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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of November 7, 2018). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 11:00am - 11:20am
(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) You Can't Just Use Gold: The Effects of Elevated Algal and Sedimentary Turbidity on Lure Success for Walleye (Sander vitreus)

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AUTHORS: Chelsey L. Nieman, Suzanne M. Gray – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Increasing anthropogenic turbidity changes underwater visual environments, leading to altered perception of visual cues. This alteration may have a variety of consequences, such as movement to other localities, a shift in diet or preferred prey, and reduced consumption of prey items. Lures are known to be perceived by fish as a potential prey item, therefore lure color/type can be utilized as a relative proxy for prey items that fish are capable of visually perceiving in turbid water. The objective of this study was to understand how shifts in visual environments may influence predatory success of Walleye (Sander vitreus) in Lake Erie using both local knowledge of altered fishing practices as well as lure success. Charter boat captains on Lake Erie are experienced in fishing in and around algal blooms and as such their knowledge and real-time lure success data allowed us to monitor color of lures that were successful in attracting Walleye under differing conditions. A survey of Lake Erie charter captains (N=37, 38% response rate) was used to determine how altered water quality (i.e. algal blooms) affected fishing practices and lure usage over the long term, with results indicating that lure color success changed in highly turbid water. Additionally, a mobile phone application, Walleye Tracker, was used by 19 charter captains over two years to gather real time data on lure successes. The use of photographs of lures and water conditions allowed for quantitative, in situ, analysis of lure successes in differing water clarity conditions. The results of this study indicate that increases in both sedimentary and algal turbidity that are altering the underwater visual environment are not only changing visual perceptions of Walleye, but also indicate that this is likely to have long-term consequences, not only for the ecosystem, but also for recreational anglers within these altered systems.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am
CENTER STREET ROOM A