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As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we’re expecting some presentation cancellations and will continue to update the schedule with changes as they occur.  Otherwise the conference will proceed as planned.  Current cancellations and changes are listed here.

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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(STUDENT RESEARCH POSTER 5) Invasive Rusty Crayfish Control on Critical Native Fish Spawning Reefs in Northern Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS: Jake Kvistad, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT: Rusty crayfish is the most widespread invasive crayfish in the Laurentian Great Lakes, where their documented effects include reducing macrophyte cover, displacing native crayfish, and consuming native fish eggs. Their role as egg predators has been implicated as an impediment to the recovery of native fish populations, such as lake trout and many coregonids, which utilize nearshore cobble reefs as spawning habitat. Despite this, an effective control strategy for rusty crayfish in the Great Lakes has not yet been developed. We tested a rusty crayfish control strategy on nearshore cobble reef spawning habitat in Little Traverse Bay, MIWe intensively trapped rusty crayfish off a treatment reef using a combination of standard gee minnow traps and modified pyramid traps prior to fall spawning of native fish and installed a set of physical barriers around the reef to slow crayfish recolonization after removal. A nearby reef was untreated and used as a reference site. Crayfish density was observed before, during, and after treatment at both sites from diver collections using replicate 1 m2 quadrats. Treatment effects on non-target species were also measured at treatment and reference sites, including benthic invertebrate and round goby densities. Egg bags were installed in treatment and reference reef habitat and seeded with eggs to measure the extent to which rusty crayfish removal on the treatment reef reduced predation pressure on native fish eggs. If successful, our strategy may be applicable for crayfish control in other Great Lakes reef habitats impacted by invasive crayfish.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm