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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 • 10:40am - 11:00am
(FISHERIES: INVERTEBRATES) Response of Benthic Macroinvertebrates to Dam Removal in the Restoration of the Boardman River, Northern Michigan, USA

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AUTHORS: Joel Betts, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU; Dave Mahan, Au Sable Institute; Eric Nord, Greenville University; Jessica Tinklenberg, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; Alison N. Goetz, Institute for Marine Mammal Studies; Fred Van Dyke, Au Sable Institute

ABSTRACT: Dams are ecologically harmful to streams because they impede ecosystem connectivity and alter hydrology, leading to changes in aquatic community structure and function. Dam removal is a useful stream restoration technique, but can have initial or prolonged negative impacts on aquatic communities. From 2011 to 2016, we monitored responses of benthic macroinvertebrates to dam removal in the Boardman River, a fifth order groundwater fed stream in northern Michigan. We used benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of ecosystem quality to assess the river before and after the Brown Bridge Dam was removed in September 2012. Dam removal had an initial depressive effect on %EPT and taxa richness of the downstream macroinvertebrate community, but was followed by recovery to a community composition similar to undisturbed conditions within two to four years downstream of the dam. In the newly restored channel in the reservoir area, establishment of diverse, environmentally-sensitive macroinvertebrate communities occurred within the first year of removal, indicating improvement over time (%EPT was higher in 2015 compared to 2013 and 2014). Other metrics and taxa-specific observations supported these patterns below the dam and in the new channel. We also observed increasing abundance of non-native New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) after removal from 2013 to 2016, which significantly affected density and diversity indices by 2016. These results suggest that dam removal can result in restoration of pre-impoundment ecological communities of benthic macroinvertebrates in small, groundwater-driven streams. Future research should further consider the relationship between dam removal and the spread of aquatic non-native species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am