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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! Please note, this event has passed. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

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Ecology [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-03) A System for Rapid eDNA Detection of Aquatic Invasive Species
AUTHORS: Austen Thomas, Smith-Root; Samantha Stanton, Michigan State University; Jake Ponce, Smith-Root; Mieke Sinnesael, Biomeme; Phong Nguyen, Smith-Root; Caren Goldberg, Washington State University

ABSTRACT: Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection of aquatic invasive species using PCR is a powerful new tool for resource managers, but laboratory results often take weeks to be produced which limits options for rapid management response. To circumvent laboratory delay, we combined a purpose-built eDNA filtration system (ANDe) with a field DNA extraction and handheld qPCR platform (Biomeme) to form a complete field eDNA sampling and detection process. A lab study involving serial dilution of New Zealand mudsnail eDNA was conducted to compare the detection capabilities of the field system with traditional bench qPCR. Two field validation studies were also conducted to determine if the on-site eDNA process can be used to map mudsnail eDNA distribution and quantify temporal fluctuations. Both platforms (Biomeme, bench qPCR) lost the ability to reliably detect mudsnail eDNA at the same dilution level (10<sup>-4</sup>), with SQ values as low as 21 DNA copies/reaction. A strong relationship was observed between the average Cq values of the two platforms (slope = 1.101, intercept = - 1.816, R<sup>2 </sup>= 0.997, P < 0.001). Of the 80 field samples collected, 44 (55%) tested positive for mudsnail eDNA with Biomeme, and results identified both spatial and temporal fluctuations in mudsnail eDNA/L. However, the PCR inhibition rate (no IPC amplification) with Biomeme was 28% on average for field samples, and up to 48% in the temporal dataset. With additional optimization of the DNA extraction process, the ANDe-Biomeme system has potential to be a rapid and highly effective detection/quantification tool for aquatic invasive species.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-03) Testing the Role of Stream Flow on eDNA Abundance Using the Invasive Asian Clam Corbicula Spp
AUTHORS: Mark Davis, Illinois Natural History Survey; Amanda Curtis, University of Illinois; Jeremy Tiemann, Illinois Natural History Survey; Sarah Douglass, Illinois Natural History Survey; Eric Larson, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: The efficacy of environmental DNA to assay the presence of invasive species hinges upon understanding the covariates influencing fate and transport. In lotic systems, these covariates may include biotic (e.g. invasive species density, seasonal activity patterns, etc.) and abiotic (e.g. stream discharge, temperature, ultraviolet irradiation, pH, etc.) factors, as well as their complex interactions. To better understand fate and transport of eDNA in complex lotic systems, we assessed eDNA copy number for invasive Asian clams (Corbicula spp.) in paired freshwater streams in central Illinois via a primer/probe assay. We collected eDNA samples approximately every two weeks for one year, as well as during periods of high and low discharge. At each sampling period, we collected data for a number of water quality variables (including pH, temperature, turbidity, conductivity, total dissolved solids, and salinity), and we also conducted mid-summer quadrat sampling at each site to estimate Corbicula densities. Importantly, we placed our two sampling sites at USGS stream gages in order to access continuous discharge data. We anticipated that high stream flow events could either dilute eDNA concentrations or increase eDNA concentrations by mobilizing Corbicula DNA from the sediments. We found abundance of Corbicula eDNA as copy number increased with increasing water temperatures, likely reflecting a late spring and early summer reproductive peak for this species. However, we found a weak and non-significant negative relationship between stream flow and Corbicula eDNA abundance, despite having sampled at base flow and high flow conditions across multiple seasons. As such, we conclude that stream discharge may have little effect on estimates of eDNA abundance for common stream and river species like the invasive Asian clam, although more studies should seek to evaluate the role of stream and river flow regimes on eDNA performance.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: BEHAVIOR & PHYSIOLOGY) The Expression of Bluegill Behavioral Types in Chronically Heated Environments
AUTHORS: Tyler Grabowski, University of Illinois; David Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey; Joe Parkos, Illinois Natural History Survey; Dalon White, University of Illinois; Anthony Porreca, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Global climate change is expected to exert selective pressures on behavioral phenotypes within freshwater ecosystems through environmental changes associated with chronic warming of water temperatures. We compared the behavioral profiles of bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) from three power-plant cooling reservoirs to the behavioral tendencies of bluegill from three ambient reservoirs to investigate whether long-term exposure to increased water temperatures influences the expression of behavioral phenotypes. Power-plant cooling reservoirs were considered as model systems for global warming due to their year-round elevated water temperatures (~5°C) when compared to ambient reservoirs. We quantified activity, boldness, and exploration through 30-minute assays in a common laboratory setting that tested the spatial usage and response of individual fish to a suite of situations involving novel items and a predator, largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). For each assay, multiple measurements were recorded for each behavior, leading to the development of a principal component score (PCA) for activity, boldness, and exploration for each individual. PCA scores for each behavior were compared between groups (heated or ambient) and then used to determine how well behaviors correlated to one another within groups. Distinct behaviors did not differ between bluegill from heated and ambient lakes. However, we found significant directional changes between groups for the correlations of activity and exploration as well as for boldness and exploration. These results suggests that chronic exposure to warming can influence the expression of behaviors, providing insight for how the behavioral composition of bluegill populations may be modified in chronically warmed systems.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) The Ancient Sport Fishes Project: Old Fish Emerging as a New Multimodal Recreational Fishery
AUTHORS: Jeffrey A. Stein, University of Illinois; Solomon R. David, Nicholls State University; Sarah M. King, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Gars (Lepisosteidae) and Bowfin (Amiidae), collectively known as holosteans, are among the most ancient fish lineages native to North American waters. Understudied and historically disliked relative to other North American fisheries, many holostean populations have declined due to habitat loss, overfishing, and eradication efforts. Furthermore, knowledge regarding the basic biology and life history of these species is limited. As anglers’ perception of these ancient species begins to transform from “rough fish” to “sport fish,” the need for a better understanding of the ecology and conservation status of holostean populations is fundamental to their effective management. This lightning talk will provide an overview of the Ancient Sport Fishes Project, a collaboration among researcher at the University of Illinois and Nicholls State University that explores the spatial ecology, population dynamics, genetics, and human dimensions of Gars and Bowfin.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:10am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:00am EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 1) Quantifying Oxythermal Habitat Availability for Coldwater Species in the Central Basin of Lake Erie
AUTHORS: Joseph D. Schmitt, Christopher S. Vandergoot, Richard T. Kraus – USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station

ABSTRACT: Populations of coldwater fishes such as burbot Lota lota, lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis, and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush have declined in Lake Erie, while cisco Coregonus artedi have been extirpated. Warming temperature regimes and the re-eutrophication of Lake Erie have increased the frequency of harmful algal blooms and hypoxic events, which can reduce oxythermal habitat availability. Using vertical profile data collected in the central basin from 2008-2017, we developed generalized additive models to explore spatial, seasonal, and interannual trends in oxythermal habitat availability for lake trout, cisco, lake whitefish, and burbot based on published oxythermal niche benchmarks. Habitat availability was usually temperature-limited rather than oxygen-limited, and significant (P<0.05) monthly and interannual variations in habitat availability were detected for most species. In general, oxythermal habitat was most limited during August and September; moreover, significant interannual trends in habitat availability were also detected, with 2016 having the most extreme habitat reduction for many species due to record high temperatures. Understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of oxythermal habitat availability will be important for the conservation and restoration of these fishes in our changing climate. Moreover, these models can be integrated with climate predictions to better understand how warming temperatures will affect coldwater habitat in the future.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: BEHAVIOR & PHYSIOLOGY) Investigating the Influence of Turbidity on the Diet and Coloration of an African Cichlid Fish
AUTHORS: Tiffany Atkinson, Suzanne M. Gray – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: One of the most deleterious stressors on aquatic systems is elevated turbidity (i.e. concentration of suspended particulates in a body of water) resulting from human activities. In turbid waters, fish struggle to perceive visual cues, especially those associated with foraging (e.g. finding prey items) and reproduction (e.g. colorful nuptial displays). Thus, we expect foraging behaviors to be altered with some prey being less detectable under turbid conditions. In addition, in many fishes, females prefer males with more saturated red and yellow (carotenoid-based) nuptial coloration, as indicators of high male fitness. However, fish are unable to synthesize carotenoid-based pigments, thus they rely solely on their diet for these red and yellow nuptial displays. We evaluated the influence of turbidity on the diet and male coloration of an African cichlid (Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae) across a gradient of degraded water quality. Wild-caught, male P. multicolor from low turbidity sites, within an agricultural zone, displayed significantly more carotenoid-based coloration than males from high turbidity sites, with standard length as a significant covariate. However, we found that prey availability (based on point-in-time macroinvertebrate sampling) was similar across turbidity levels. Diet analyses will allow us to determine if turbidity caused a behavioral shift in foraging and will reveal if carotenoid uptake varies across sites. Our results can inform future land-use decisions to maintain viable African fisheries and conservation of aquatic biodiversity.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:10am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Dietary Comparisons of Fishes in the US and Mongolian Mountain Steppe
AUTHORS: Mario Minder, Mark Pyron, Robert Shields – Ball State University; Emily Arsenault, Greg Matthews – University of Kansas; Bolortsetseg Erdenee, Drexel University

ABSTRACT: Compared the the United States, rivers in Monglolia are very minimally impacted by human development. As part of a larger macrosystems project we focused on the diets of fishes located in both the U.S. and Mongolian Mountain Steppe ecoregions. We analyzed gut contents from fishes collected across multiple sites on each continent to compare diets among species and funtional groups. Using the Manly-Chesson diet selectivity index we compared the contents of our stomachs to results of invertebrate surveys performed concurrently with our fish sampling.The results of this will be used in conjuction with future sampling efforts that will complete in the Summer of 2019 in the Mongolian Grassland.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:10am - 11:20am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:30am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Fish Assemblages in an Effluent Dominated Stream in Central Illinois
AUTHORS: Ryan W. Sparks, Cassi J. Moody-Carpenter, Scott Meiners, Robert E. Colombo – Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: The Sangamon River, a tributary to the Illinois River, stretches about 396 kilometers across Central Illinois. The river basin has a dam located in the city of Decatur, IL creating a lake to supply drinking water for the city. Roughly 5 miles downstream of Lake Decatur, the Sanitary District of Decatur releases treated wastewater into the Sangamon River. Furthermore, 2 combined sewer outflows are located above the effluent, they are not treated. Fish were sampled at sites above this point pollution, directly at the source, and several miles below using DC-pulse electrofishing for 3 years. Also, we collected water quality data from 1 site upstream and 5 sites downstream of the Sanitary District. Our results showed high numbers of forage fish, consisting of almost 35 percent of the family Clupeidae and 18 percent Cyprinidae. The next highest abundance was Catostomidae at 30 percent; which displayed a high proportion of abnormal fin morphology. All abnormal fish were found below the point pollution of the wastewater treatment plant. Using Pulse-DC electrofishing, we will continue sampling our sites as well as incorporating mark-recapture methods in different seasons to track movement of fish in relation to the effluent.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:30am - 11:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:40am EST

(FISHERIES: BEHAVIOR & PHYSIOLOGY) Exposure to Harmful Algal Blooms Impairs Prey Recognition and Capture Success in a Larval Freshwater Fish
AUTHORS: Jessica Ward, Gina Lamka, Autum Auxier, Hannah Mullinax – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Cyanobacteria are prevalent blue-green algae in freshwater systems with adverse impacts on both human health and the environment. At least 8 classes of toxins produced by cyanobacteria have been identified with the potential to affect organismal physiology and function. Of these, ß-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and its isomer 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DABA) are potent neurotoxic metabolites of interest because they are a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases in humans. However, sensorimotor integration is also critical to the successful survival and reproduction of resident aquatic organisms, and these neurodegenerative cyanotoxins have the potential to modify the expression of simple and complex behaviors within individuals and the outcomes of interactions between individuals in aquatic environments. One way that this can happen is through changes that compromise an organism’s ability to correctly perceive, process and respond to relevant biotic stimuli (e.g., predators, prey, or mates). In this study, we examined the effects of DABA on the foraging behavior of a larval fish (Promelas pimephales). We exposed larvae to a range of environmentally-relevant concentrations of DABA for 21 days. We then tested larvae in prey-capture assays to assess the effect of neural disruption on the outcomes of predator-prey interactions, and recorded individual prey strikes using a high-speed camera to assess changes in cognitive and motor aspects of hunting behavior. Compared with nonexposed fish, exposure to DABA was associated with reduced foraging success and an altered ability to recognize prey. These data improve our understanding of how aquatic contaminants affect stimulus-response pathways though their effects on brain function, and suggest that even subtle contaminant-induced shifts in perception, processing, or response can have marked effects on fitness.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: WETLAND CONSERVATION) A Field Study Assessing Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Aquatic Invertebrates: Implications for Wetland-Dependent Taxa
AUTHORS: Kyle Kuechle, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources; Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Division; Anson Main, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources.

ABSTRACT: Neonicotinoid insecticides (NI) are commonly used as seed-treatments on major agricultural row crops (e.g., corn). Indeed, neonicotinoid treated agricultural crops are often planted directly in floodplain wetlands managed for wildlife, specifically waterfowl. Numerous studies have documented impacts of neonicotinoids to aquatic invertebrates in laboratory and mesocosm settings; however, there is limited information on impacts to aquatic invertebrate in field settings. We investigated invertebrate community response to planting of neonicotinoid-treated seed in managed wetland ecosystems in Missouri. In 2016, we sampled water, sediment, and aquatic invertebrates from 22 paired wetlands during spring (pre-wetland drawdown) and fall (post-wetland flood-up) followed by a third sampling period (spring 2017). During summer, portions of study wetlands were planted with either neonicotinoid-treated corn or untreated corn (control). Water and sediment concentrations of the three most common neonicotinoids were used to calculate overall NI toxicity equivalents (NI-EQs) based on an additive model of NI toxic equivalency factors. Mean total NI-EQs for sediment (0.60 μg/kg) were an order of magnitude greater than water (0.02 μg/L). Water quality parameters and pesticide concentrations were used to evaluate effects of neonicotinoid concentrations on aquatic macroinvertebrates using a series of generalized linear mixed effects models. Preliminary results indicate an overall decrease in aquatic invertebrate diversity and abundance with increasing NI-EQs in both wetland water and sediments. Post-treatment, treated wetlands had lower benthic invertebrate diversity and abundance compared to untreated wetlands, but a recovery in abundance and diversity followed in spring 2017. Our results have implications for aquatic invertebrates and wetland-dependant species (e.g., migrating birds) as neonicotinoid concentrations, although below regulatory limits, are impacting wetland ecosystems. Research results will be useful to wetland managers in making decisions regarding use of neonicotinoid seed-treatments, specifically, and potentially, provide broader considerations of the role agriculture may play in future wetland management and conservation plans.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

1:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: RIVERS & STREAMS) Fine-scale Spatial Distribution of Resident Fish Species in Lower-order Tributaries of the Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Cynthia Nau, Dr. Patrick Forsythe – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

ABSTRACT: Small, lower-order (1<sup>st</sup>-3<sup>rd</sup>) tributaries of the Great Lakes, including those of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, have been largely understudied relative to the open water and large rivers in the region. Nonetheless, recent research suggests that these aquatic ecosystems may play a vital role as reproductive, nursery and foraging habitat for the highly varied assemblage of fish species resident to the area. Diverse stream geomorphology and anthropogenic influences have resulted in a high degree of variation in stream condition across the watersheds of the region. This large environmental gradient allows for exploration of the ecology of resident fish species in relation to abiotic variability. The primary objective of this study is to quantify the diversity, distribution and habitat selection of resident fishes in intricate detail. This assessment has been carried out on seven Green Bay tributaries and two Lake Michigan tributaries of varying stream condition. Fish and habitat surveys were conducted over a one-kilometer reach, which was further divided into 20-meter sub-reaches using block nets. Preliminary results suggest that the fish community is a unique function of each tributary and that community composition changes as distance from the stream’s mouth increases. The detailed nature of this study will serve to inform restorative management actions, maximizing benefit to individual streams and fish species. Understudied non-game fishes may especially profit from this habitat association knowledge by allowing restoration projects to account for their species-specific requirements. Due to the vast amount of variation found in the Green Bay sub-watershed, these species to habitat relationships may be applicable to tributaries across the Great Lakes region.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

1:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Habitat Heterogeneity and Wetland-dependent Bird Use in Wisconsin's Glacial Habitat Restoration Area
AUTHORS: Zack Loken, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; Rachel Schultz, State University of New York at Brockport

ABSTRACT: The Glacial Habitat Restoration Area (GHRA) is a 558,879-acre restoration zone in east-central Wisconsin. The GHRA was designed to enhance wildlife habitat, especially for waterbirds, through wetland restorations. We observed and counted all waterbirds on wetland basins from April – May of 2017 and 2018 using fixed location focal scans. We categorized study wetlands into 3 groups based on hydrologic modification: scrape; scrape plus wetlands with ditch plug, ditch-fill, and/or tile break; and scrape plus berm and/or berm with a water control structure. Two reference groups were included: Waterfowl Production Areas and unmodified sites without basins. Wetland plant communities were categorized following the Natural Heritage Inventory database, mapped using aerial imagery, and field checked for accuracy. After plant communities had been digitized, habitat heterogeneity was assessed within each wetland property using an interspersion-juxtaposition index (IJI). Greater values of IJI indicated that community types were more evenly dispersed throughout the wetland than areas with large blocks of similar vegetation. Wetlands with diverse habitat types distributed throughout their basins may be more attractive to waterfowl than those with a homogenous composition. Analysis of year-one data found that habitat heterogeneity, of the 38 properties, ranged from 17.7 to 85.5 and differed among hydrologic modification categories (P = 0.04). Data from year two is currently undergoing analysis. Our results will be used to assess landscape scale factors that might influence the use of restored wetlands by wetland-dependent bird species.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Lake Huron Prey Fish Community Affects Saginaw Bay Predator/Prey Dynamics and Management Implications
AUTHORS: David G. Fielder, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Saginaw Bay historically supported large Walleye and Yellow Perch populations and fisheries. Walleye diet from 1989 to 2002 was dominated by Clupeids (Gizzard Shad and Alewives). Alewives from the main basin of Lake Huron used the bay for spawning and nursery grounds. Alewives disappeared from most of the lake as a result of a profound foodweb paradigm change in 2003. Walleye diet in the bay has become more diverse with age-0 Yellow Perch now comprising a major component. Yellow Perch have exhibited good reproductive success but mortality between age-0 and age-1 is now routinely upwards of 95%, resulting in failed recruitment to the larger population. It appears that Saginaw Bay’s predator/prey dynamics depend on a predation buffer from main basin pelagic planktivores with Cisco historically playing that role. With Alewives largely extirpated and Cisco not recovered, a broken linkage may exist resulting in suppressed Yellow Perch population and fisheries. Fishery managers are commencing a Cisco restoration initiative in Central Lake Huron partly in hopes of addressing this situation.   

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

1:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: RIVERS & STREAMS) Seasonal Use of Riffles, Lateral Pools, and Non-Wadeable Deep Pools by Fishes in the Neosho River, Kansas
AUTHORS: Sam Schneider, David Edds – Emporia State University

ABSTRACT: Lotic ecosystems are characterized by riffle–pool mesohabitats that support discrete fish assemblages. Most previous mesohabitat studies on fishes have focused on riffles and wadeable pools in small streams, and only recently have non-wadeable, deep pool mesohabitats been examined. Previous research suggests that deep pools are vital seasonal refugia for various fish species during times of adverse physicochemical conditions, yet the deep pool fish assemblage is often not sampled during all seasons, especially winter. We are comparing fish abundance and species richness at the mesohabitat scale in riffles, shallow lateral pools, and non-wadeable deep pools in the Neosho River, Kansas, and are examining relationships between fish abundance, species richness, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and season, with emphasis on investigating possible seasonal use of deep-pool refugia. We are using a Siamese trawl to sample these three mesohabitat types monthly at nine sites. Summer results suggest that mesohabitats are discrete depending, however, on whether catch is analyzed by m<sup>2 </sup>or m<sup>3</sup>. Riffles contain more fish per m<sup>3</sup> and more fish species per m<sup>3</sup>, but shallow lateral pools contain more species per m<sup>2</sup>. This research will provide insight on seasonal mesohabitat use and the importance of seasonal deep pool refugia in warmwater rivers of the Midwest.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-03) Determine What Fishes Adult Sea Lamprey Parasitized by Barcoding DNA in Their Feces
AUTHORS: Nicholas Johnson, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Chris Merkes, Joel Putnam – U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

ABSTRACT: Sea lamprey are controlled in the Great Lakes to reduce damage to valuable fisheries. Sea lamprey control is effective, but damage caused by remaining sea lamprey is poorly defined because because sea lamprey feed on blood and traditional gut content analysis has not possible.  Here, we test the concept that sea lamprey diet can be quantified by barcoding DNA in sea lamprey feces.  Specifically, we determined the percentage of fecal samples containing measureable DNA from host fishes when collected from (1) recently fed parasitic sea lamprey, (2) fasted parasitic sea lamprey transitioning to the adult stage, and (3) adult sea lamprey captured from a spawning stream.   If successful, the method could help managers better interpret lake trout wounding rates by providing insight as to how often hosts alternative to lake trout are targeted by sea lamprey. Ultimately, our vision is that adult sea lamprey assessment in each Great Lake may be able to produce an annual estimate of abundance and an estimate what fishes that cohort of adult sea lamprey were feeding on, so that fish managers could estimate damage caused to specific fish stocks.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

2:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: RIVERS & STREAMS) Comparison of Geomorphological Characteristics of the Wabash and Ohio Rivers and Their Impacts on Fish Assemblages
AUTHORS: Jeff Robbins, Dr. Mark Pyron – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Streams are continuously changing systems, which makes them a challenging aquatic environment to quantify. River ecosystem models (River Continuum Concept, Flood Pulse Concept) define streams using longitudinal or lateral gradients, but neither is effective at defining stream geomorphology links to the biota. The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis (RES) was developed to incorporate geomorphological structures of streams in coordination with their delineation. The RES divides rivers and streams into Functional Process Zones that are repeated throughout the river using physical characteristics and other variables. The RES defines FPZs using an ArcGIS model called RESonate. The model uses geology and elevation variables to determine floodplains, valley sizes, and river channels, which are then analyzed and processed into FPZs. This GIS model is relatively novel and therefore not many macro level watersheds have been processed through RESonate. The Wabash and Ohio Rivers have a combined stretch of over 2000 km of waterway through agricultural, urban, and forested land. At this time, no rivers in the Midwest United States have been analyzed using RESonate. The Wabash and Ohio Rivers contain high fish and wildlife biodiversity that have recreational and conservational value. The RESonate model will generate FPZs for the river that were previously unknown.Fish species inhabit environments best suited to their ecology that is dictated by substrate composition, large woody debris, and local hydraulics. I plan to use the RESonate model to identify FPZs at fish collection sites where we have longterm data. One goal is to test if fish species are using specific FPZs. This technique has not yet been tested for any fish assemblages. Determining FPZs of fish species in large Midwest Rivers can help with future management and conservation goals.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Spatial Patterns and Temporal Trends of Predator Diets in Lake Huron
AUTHORS: Katie Kierczynski, Michigan State University; Brian Roth, Michigan State University; Ed Roseman, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Robin DeBruyne, University of Toledo/USGS Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT: Lake Huron has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades. Introductions of non-native species have drastically altered the food web and nutrient pathways. In the mid-2000s, alewife collapsed closely followed by Chinook salmon. Since then, some native prey species (e.g. bloaters) and some invasive species (e.g. round goby) have increased in abundance. Populations of native predators walleye and lake trout have also increased substantially, but there are now questions regarding the sustainability of current predator populations as well as uncertainty regarding connections among food web members given changes in prey populations and shifts in productivity. Predator diets can be used as evidence that could shed light on the sustainability of the food web. However, the last angler-caught predator diet study in Lake Huron was conducted between 2009 and 2011 (Roseman et al. 2014). That study demonstrated increased reliance on round goby for lake trout and walleye, but Chinook salmon continued to be dependent on alewife despite their exceptionally low abundance. The goals of the present study are to investigate how predator-prey relationships have changed since the 2009-2011 study and to determine spatial patterns and temporal trends in diet composition. We hypothesize that a) consumption of round goby will have increased for native predators, b) consumption of bloaters will have increased for all predator species, c) Chinook salmon will continue to be dependent on alewife, and d) diets will be heterogeneous across space and time. This data will give managers a more thorough understanding of predator-prey interactions in Lake Huron, and will be used to update models used by managers to evaluate the sustainability of current predator levels and stocking strategies.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

2:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: RIVERS & STREAMS) Recovery of Riverine Fish Assemblages After Anthropogenic Disturbances
AUTHORS: Jessica M. Rohr, Eastern Illinois University; Scott J. Meiners, Eastern Illinois University; Trent Thomas, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Disturbances among communities are common, but the response of fish assemblages to anthropogenic fish kills is rarely investigated. To determine how rapidly, or if recovery occurs without further mitigation, complete quantification of the fish recovery process is necessitated. We evaluated the recovery of six creeks located in central Illinois, including an undisturbed control system. Pre-kill data was available for all locations, and post-kill data was available within two to six months following the perturbation. Data analysis included pre- and post-kill comparisons of species richness, catch per unit effort (CPUE), and index of biotic integrity (IBI) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) to visually compare compositional shifts. We found that richness and IBI experienced dramatic shifts within the first year after the kill, while CPUE remained relatively consistent among sampling events. Interestingly, extinction was not limited to only rare species. There were also multiple colonizations of new species that were not present prior to the perturbation. NMS revealed that some creeks experienced little compositional shift similar to that of the control system while other creeks are still experiencing large shifts. Lastly, the rate of compositional change decreased significantly over time among all locations, especially within the first year. Richness and IBI have clearly recovered from the disturbance and continue to exceed the original pre-kill values; however, assemblages in some locations have shifted into a different community structure and are continuing to change. Our results make recovery among these systems difficult to assess calling into question the predictability of the system’s response. Further functional analysis of these systems, including fish length distribution, may help to alleviate some of these discrepancies.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

2:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: RIVERS & STREAMS) The Temporal Effects of Heavy Metal Contamination on the Fish Community of the West Fork White River, Muncie, IN
AUTHORS: Drew Holloway, Muncie Sanitary District Bureau of Water Quality; Jason Doll, University of Mt. Olive; Robert Shields, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

ABSTRACT: The importance of monitoring anthropogenic changes in a lotic system are not limited to chemical water quality monitoring. The addition of biological monitoring allows fish to be used as bioindicators because of their varying tolerance to pollution. For this study we utilized long-term water quality and fish data to evaluate temporal changes brought on by passage of the Clean Water Act (1972). Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS) was used to describe changes in the fish community and also heavy metal concentrations of the West Fork White River inMuncie, Indiana over the past 33 years. The NMS results for both heavy metals and fish separated into distinct decadal clusters. The shift in fish community data was characterized by a drop in pollution tolerant species and an increase in intolerant species. A decrease in heavy metal concentrations (chromium, zinc, and lead) was also found during this time period. All NMS fish axis had a positive slope indicating an increase in intolerant species as heavy metal concentrations decreased. Our findings indicate that the water quality improvements documented in the West Fork White River have directly impacted its local fish community. 

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

2:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Stepping down a Regional Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Decision Support Tool
AUTHORS: Matthew D. Palumbo, Jacob N. Straub – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: The goals of the 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan target a combination of biological and social objectives that are prioritized regionally through Joint Venture (JV) partnerships. The Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes (UMRGLR) JV developed a decision support tool (DST) to assist in implementing these objectives. The DST is based on six spatially explicit model-based maps, each representing a biological or social objective weighted by input from regional decision makers. The DST depicts areas of relative value to meet the combined six objectives and therefore identifies areas for regional managers to target conservation for waterfowl and people. In 1992 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources developed their own state-based conservation plan to achieve waterfowl population and habitat objectives.  This ‘WI Plan’ was based on a spatial hierarchy of priority regions, areas, and townships that were delineated from estimated waterfowl densities and habitat, geo-political boundaries, and expert opinion. Since 1992 managers have been working to implement conservation practices based on this system. However much has changed since this time thus, our objective was to revise the 92 WI Plan and provide an updated spatially-explicit tool to drive waterfowl habitat conservation efforts in the upcoming decades. Using the framework of UMRGLR JV, we developed six updated model-based maps representing waterfowl and human objectives specific to Wisconsin.  These maps have allowed WI conservation managers to visualize how conservation practices would be prioritized under various ranks of biological and social values. The WI DST will assist state managers with redistributing priority regions based on eco-physiographic boundaries and quantitative ranking based on the underlying biological and social data of the tool. The DST of UMRGL JV and WI demonstrate the value of incorporating spatio-temporal variation of biological and social data for conservation managers to prioritize practices.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Criteria for Removing a Protected Slot Limit on Smallmouth Bass Using Standardized Fisheries Survey Data
AUTHORS: Mark J. Fincel, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

ABSTRACT: In an effort to improve size structure of Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu in Lake Sharpe, a large Missouri River impoundment, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks instituted two protected slot limits: restricted (305-457 mm) beginning in 2003 and relaxed (355-457 mm) beginning in 2008. We examined the effects of these regulations on Smallmouth Bass harvest and population characteristics and compared creel and population trends of Lake Sharpe Smallmouth Bass to adjacent reservoirs where Smallmouth Bass harvest was not regulated. Prior to the slot limit, the majority of the Smallmouth Bass harvest on Lake Sharpe was from 250-400 mm (PP355 mm, and angler catch of trophy Smallmouth Bass was observed, suggesting an effective regulation. However, a before-after-control-impact (BACI) study design and analysis indicated the slot limit regulation was not likely contributing to the observed increases in Smallmouth Bass size structure. Indeed, similar changes in size structure were observed in abutting Lakes Oahe and Francis Case, suggesting a Missouri River system-wide affect was responsible for observed population changes. Subsequently, the protective slot limit regulation was removed from Lake Sharpe in 2012.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Forty Years of Bird-building Collisions Shed Light on the Evolutionary Dynamics of Bird Migration in a Rapidly Changing World
AUTHORS: Benjamin Winger, University of Michigan; Brian Weeks, University of Michigan; David Willard, The Field Museum

ABSTRACT: Global warming is hypothesized to cause reductions in animal body size. Migratory birds are particularly vulnerable to change because they breed at high latitudes where temperatures are changing most rapidly, their morphologies are constrained by the demands of migration, and they are dependent on fluctuating seasonal resources and climatic conditions throughout their annual cycles. We analyzed morphological change for 52 species of migratory birds from 1978-2016, using measurements of 70,000 specimens that died from building collisions during migratory passage through Chicago, IL. Across species, we found a consistent decline in body size and consistent increase in wing length. Body size declines are linked to increasing summer temperatures on the breeding grounds: years with high summer temperature yielded birds with smaller body size. Increases in wing length are driven by selection during the migratory period, which we hypothesize is due to compensatory selection for efficient flight to maintain migratory journeys in the face of shrinking body size. The species composition of the Chicago collision data we analyzed also yielded insights into the relevance of avian social behavior for understanding the negative impacts of artificial light on birds during nocturnal migration.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

3:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 1) Community Shifts in the Middle Mississippi River Relative to the Introduction of Two Hypophthalmichthys Carps
AUTHORS: Christopher Schwinghamer, Quinton Phelps, Kyle Hartman – West Virginia University

ABSTRACT: Aquatic invasive species can have broad impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Through direct and indirect competition, alteration of existing habitats, and increased predation pressure, non-native species can alter the composition of native fish communities. Two non-native carps from the genus Hypophthalmichthys, Silver H. molitrix and Bighead H. nobilis carps, were introduced into the Mississippi River Basin in the 1970’s through escape from aquaculture facilities and have established populations throughout much of the basin. Due to their planktivorous diets, these non-native invaders possess a high likelihood for competition with native fishes. This creates the potential for shifts in community composition in reaches where they are present. One such reach, in which Silver and Bighead carp established in 2004, is the Middle Mississippi River. Principal response curve analyses of the fish community data was performed to evaluate shift in community composition over time using long term monitoring data. Introductions of these carps appears to have altered native fish communities. Results suggest dramatic declines in abundance of Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum, while populations of benthic omnivores such as catfish and suckers and abundant prey species may be slightly increasing post-carp establishment. Gizzard Shad, a highly abundant prey species, represent the most abundant native planktivore who likely share the largest dietary overlap and thus highest intensity of competition with the carps. While some species may be experiencing increased abundances, the magnitude of their increase in far exceeded by the declines in Gizzard Shad populations. As such, proper management of invasive carp populations is vital to maintaining healthy fish communities in the Middle Mississippi River.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

3:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: HABITAT) Hypoxia Alters Spatial Overlap of Primary and Secondary Consumers in the Pelagic Food Web of Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Rebecca A. Dillon, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University; Joseph D. Conroy, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Division of Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Stuart A. Ludsin, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Hypolimnetic hypoxia has been shown to affect individual behavior, food web structure and interactions, and ecosystem function in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. While recent research has explored the impact of hypolimnetic hypoxia on coastal marine and large-lake food webs, less is known about the effects of hypoxia on reservoir food webs, especially pelagic ones. To address this gap, we examined how the spatial distribution of primary consumers (zooplankton) and secondary consumers (i.e., zooplanktivorous fish, clupeids; vertically migrating, hypoxia-tolerant, macroinvertebrates, Chaoborus spp.) varied between periods of normoxia (spring) and hypoxia (summer) in two small (surface area = 13.5, 11.7 km<sup>2</sup>), shallow (average depth = 6.6, 5.7 m) Ohio reservoirs. We tested the hypothesis that hypolimnetic hypoxia increases spatial overlap among zooplanktivorous fish, macroinvertebrates, and their potential zooplankton at night, whereas it reduces their overlap during the day because hypoxia-tolerant macroinvertebrates can use the hypoxic hypolimnion (and their zooplanktivorous fish predators cannot). We used net tows and hydroacoustics to describe the distribution and spatial overlap of zooplankton, Chaoborus, and zooplanktivorous fish during both day and night, and simultaneously measured physiochemical attributes (e.g., temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, light levels). We found partial support for our hypothesis, as the overlap (determined from visual examination of net tow and hydroacoustics data) between fish and zooplankton was always high during periods with hypoxia, and was only high at night during normoxia. The overlap between Chaoborus and zooplankton was higher at night than during the day during periods of both normoxia and hypoxia, as Chaoborus were found at all depths during the day. Fish, Chaoborus, and zooplankton had the greatest spatial overlap at night during hypoxic periods. Our findings highlight the potential for hypoxia to alter pelagic food-web interactions in reservoir ecosystems.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Diet and Niche Overlap of Lake Michigan Piscivorous Fishes as Revealed by Stable Isotopes
AUTHORS: Ben Turschak, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Harvey Bootma, UW-Milwaukee; Chuck Bronte, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Sergiusz Czesny, University of Illinois; Tomas Hook, Purdue; Matt Kornis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Ben Leonhardt, Purdue; Jacques Rinchard, SUNY-Brockport

ABSTRACT: In the past several decades, the Lake Michigan ecosystem has experienced significant changes at all levels of the food web including major declines in pelagic forage fish biomass. To some degree, loss of pelagic forage has been offset by the invasion of the benthic Round Goby. Several piscivorous species including Lake Trout, Brown Trout, and Burbot have taken advantage of this novel prey source while others such as Chinook and Coho Salmon continue to rely on Alewives and other pelagic forage.  We explored the trophic structure, diet, and potential for niche overlap of Lake Michigan piscivores from 2014-2016 using stable C and N isotopes. To estimate diet proportions among species, Bayesian mixing models were used. Region and year were used as fixed effects with total length as a continuous covariate. Isotopic niche overlap was assessed by fitting Bayesian ellipses to the data and measuring overlap among species. Regional and interannual variability in trophic structure and diet with corresponding changes in niche overlap were observed. Greatest niche overlap corresponded with dependence on Alewife whereas predators that took advantage of other prey sources including Round Goby, and terrestrial invertebrates exhibited lower probability of niche overlap. Degree of overlap also appeared to decrease corresponding to availability of alternative prey sources or reduced alewife abundance.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

3:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: CERVIDS) Proximity to Established Populations Explains Moose (Alces alces) Occupancy in Northern Wisconsin
AUTHORS: Lucas O. Olson, Timothy R. Van Deelen, John D. J. Clare – University of Wisconsin-Madison; Maximilian L. Allen, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Wildlife conservation and management depends on understanding patterns and changes in the populations and distributions. Moose (Alces alces) sub-populations are alternately declining and increasing in abundance across their circumpolar distribution. Within regional populations a similar variable pattern sometimes exists, such as in the upper Midwest region of the United States where sub-populations are declining in Minnesota but steady or increasing in Michigan. Although abundant before European settlement, little is known about the current state of moose in Wisconsin. We examined citizen science observations of moose collected by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources over 25 years to determine the drivers and trends of moose distribution in Wisconsin. Because opportunistically collected citizen-science data may be unreliable for abundance estimates, we used an occupancy framework to understand how variables affect county-level detection and occupancy of moose. We found that detection was driven by area of Intermix Wildland Urban Interface and road density, and occupancy was driven primarily by proximity to Minnesota and Michigan, and appears to have been stable over the previous 25 years. This study offers insight for understanding moose populations on the southern fringe of their circumpolar distribution, and a foundation for understanding the moose population in Wisconsin.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Lake Trout: Not a Picky Eater. Dietary Flexibility and Perseverance
AUTHORS: Dan Traynor, Shawn Sitar – Michigan Department of Natural Resources Marquette Fisheries Research Station; Ji He, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Alpena Fisheries Research Station

ABSTRACT: Lake trout are the dominant piscivore in the upper Great Lakes and are a major focus in fisheries management.  Lake populations underwent catastrophic collapses in the middle of the 20th century but have recovered in Lake Superior due to diligent management actions.  Recently, lake trout recovery has improved in Lake Huron and there are indications that Lake Michigan may be following suit.  Although controls on fishing, sea lamprey suppression, and stocking of hatchery fish were instrumental in lake trout recovery, we pose that dietary flexibility also contributed to its success.  We analyzed the diet of a broad size range of lean and siscowet lake trout from spring and summer gill net surveys conducted in southern Lake Superior and western Lake Huron during 2005-2016.  In addition to categorizing prey items by taxa, we grouped prey items by habitat types to further describe dietary flexibility.  We found that lake trout diet compositions were diverse in both lakes Superior and Huron. Generally, the diet of leans and siscowets in Lake Superior were similar.  We observed ontogenetic diet shifts in both lean and siscowet lake trout with small fish feeding predominantly in the benthos expanding to the pelagic zone as fish grew larger.  Progress in lake trout recovery in Lake Huron coincides with collapses in alewife abundance and declines in Chinook Salmon populations.  We pose that lake trout success in rapidly changing ecosystems is partly due to its high dietary flexibility and declines in Great Lakes Chinook salmon are due to its strong reliance on pelagic prey such as alewife.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Energy Pathways to Prey Fishes Across a Productivity Gradient: A Case-study in the Laurentian Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Anne Scofield, Paris Collingsworth, Tomas Höök – Purdue University; David Bunnell, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Aaron Fisk, University of Windsor Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research; Tim Johnson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Brian Weidel, USGS Lake Ontario Biological Station

ABSTRACT: Natural stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (d<sup>15</sup>N) and carbon (d<sup>13</sup>C) have proven to be valuable tools for identifying basal energy sources for fish production and describing trophic complexity, but cross-lake comparisons of stable isotope data are often limited by challenges associated with standardizing study design and isotopic baselines. Over the past decade, a great number of resources have been invested to generate stable isotope data for the lower food web and prey fishes across all five of the Great Lakes through the bi-national Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI), providing opportunities for robust cross-lake comparisons. In this study, we investigate differences in nearshore subsidies and trophic transfer efficiencies to prey fish across the productivity gradient observed in the Great Lakes, which range from eutrophic (western Lake Erie) to ultra-oligotrophic (e.g., Lake Superior). Using rainbow smelt as a case study, we examine the basal carbon sources and trophic positions of prey fish in the offshore regions of the five lakes. We also consider how differences in the densities on non-native species, such as dreissenid mussels, may affect resource distribution and energy flow to fishes. Quantifying how trophic structures in lakes differ across a productivity gradient can help elucidate the consequences of human actions such as nutrient management programs, fish stocking, and non-native species introductions.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

4:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: CERVIDS) Elk Habitat Suitability and Potential of Public and Private Lands in Michigan
AUTHORS: Chad R. Williamson, Henry Campa III, Scott R. Winterstein – Michigan State University; Alexandra B. Locher, Grand Valley State University; Dean E. Beyer, Jr., Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: To determine current habitat suitability for elk (Cervus elaphus) in Michigan, we developed a stand-level (fine-scale) habitat suitability index (HSI) model for public lands, and a landscape-level (coarse-scale) HSI model for public and private lands. For our stand-level HSI model, we used forest compartment inventory data to identify cover types important to elk, and assigned suitability values (0=low, 1=high) to each cover type for elk life requisites (spring food, winter food, winter thermal cover). Additionally, we modified suitability values based on stand conditions (e.g., stand size, age of aspen [Populus spp.], % canopy closure). For our landscape-level HSI model, we used satellite imagery to classify cover types and assigned suitability values to cover types for each life requisite. Our HSI models indicate a heterogeneous arrangement of high suitability for spring food (openings, aspen) and winter food (aspen, hardwoods, conifers) throughout our study area, and several large areas of high suitability for winter thermal cover (conifers) in the southern edge of our study area. Our landscape-level model provided suitability for private lands, but overestimated areas of high suitability in comparison to our stand-level model. Habitat potential was modeled by delineating habitat types by overlaying digital spatial data layers (soils, land-type associations, vegetation) and identifying successional trajectories using habitat classification guides and literature. We assigned suitability values to each habitat type for life requisites at early to late successional stages. Comparisons between current elk habitat suitability and habitat potential identify key areas where managers can maximize management efforts for elk in Michigan. Areas determined to have higher habitat potential may become focus areas if they are not currently being managed or have low suitability. Conversely, areas with low habitat potential may be avoided for continued or future elk habitat management.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

4:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-04) Density and Biomass of Drifting Macroinvertebrates in the Upper St. Marys River: A Comparison of the Power Canal and Main Rapids
AUTHORS: Tristan Tackman (Student); Dr. Ashely Moerke (Professor/Undergraduate Advisor); Jake Larsen (Graduate) – School of Natural Resources and Environment, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: The St. Marys River is the only outflow of Lake Superior and feeds both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The river itself rears a majority of these lakes’ sports fishes by providing ample spawning grounds; these young fish rely on small macroinvertebrates for most of their growth in early years. The objective of this study was to quantify and compare the supply of drifting invertebrates from the main rapids and the hydropower canal in an effort to understand key food sources available for fishes in the river.  To do so, two larval drift nets were set overnight in the rapids and canal to collect drifting invertebrates during the months of May and June 2016.  For each date biomass was calculated asash free dry weight and density was calculated as number of invertebrates per 100m<sup>3</sup>. Densities were the highest for Hydropsychidae and Mysidae at both sites, andcomprised 18% (the remanding 82% being non-dominant taxa) and 9.5% in the rapids and 26.7% and 8.9% in the canal site. Although Mysidaedensities were higher than other taxa, Hydropsychidae contributed more biomass to the system in both sites during May and June of 2016. Additionally, total drift densities were 2.4 times higher in the canal site than the rapids, suggesting that the canal is a better source of invertebrates to the St. Marys River. The canal is likely drawing water from more offshore areas in Lake Superior, which may explain the higher numbers of drifting Mysids in the canal site compared to the rapids.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

4:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: CERVIDS) Understanding Relationships Between Deer Demographics, Deer Health and Forest Vegetation Through Partnerships with Wisconsin Hunters
AUTHORS: Amanda McGraw, Daniel Storm – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Deer health reflects habitat quality, climate, and interspecific competition. Deer health, in turn, is reflected in body condition, including body weight and fat reserves. To relate deer health to habitat quality, climate, deer density levels, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began a collaborative project with landowners enrolled in the state’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to collect data on harvested deer and available forage on private properties. DMAP cooperators were recruited as to participate as citizen scientists through outreach including public presentations and email announcements during 2017 and 2018. Several training tools were developed to facilitate quality data collection by cooperators. Data collection kits containing all necessary supplies was provided to cooperators. In 2017 we received data from 57 DMAP cooperators for 280 deer. Cooperators measured several morphological characteristics indicative of body condition and overall health, such as antler dimensions and carcass weight. Cooperators extracted a tooth for aging via cementum annuli and photographed hearts for organ fat estimation. Age explained 66% of variance for female deer carcass weight (R<sup>2</sup> = 0.64, F<sub>1,6</sub> = 20.61, p < 0.001) and 81.7% of variance for male carcass weight (R<sup>2</sup> = 0.81 F<sub>1,6</sub> = 64.19, p < 0.001). Less variation in antler width (Deviance = 0.57, R<sup>2</sup> = 0.56, F<sub>1,6</sub> = 13.39, p < 0.001) and number of antler points (Deviance = 0.55, R<sup>2</sup> = 0.53, F<sub>1,6</sub> = 12.45, p < 0.001) was explained by age for male deer. We are continuing to explore the potential effects of density, habitat, and weather on deer body condition and antler development. This study highlights methods developed to ensure quality data collection by citizen scientists, and feasibility of operating a citizen-science based research project at a state-wide scale. We also provide insights about how habitat quality on private lands impacts deer health and productivity.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D
 
Tuesday, January 29
 

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: INVERTEBRATES) Characterizing Macroinvertebrate Community Changes of West Fork White River (1979-2015)
AUTHORS: Caleb Artz, Dr. Mark Pyron – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Long term macroinvertebrate data (1979-2015) was used to describe and analyze community characteristics of West Fork White River in Muncie, IN. Family abundance, functional feeding group, taxon richness, and sensitivity were analyzed to describe patterns in assemblage shifts. Multivariate statistical analyses was used to determine significant temporal and spatial patterns in the data set. Observed shifts in long term macroinvertebrate data are likely due to advancements in water quality due to the Clean Water Act.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Timber Rattlesnake Habitat Use: A Thermal Landscape Perspective
AUTHORS: William Peterman, Andrew Hoffman, Annalee Tutterow – Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Temperature is of paramount consideration for ectothermic animals. Numerous studies have previously described multiscale habitat selection and use in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus). However, there is currently limited understanding of how habitat use and selection are related to the thermal landscape. The primary objectives of this study are to understand how the thermal landscape is affected by land use and forest management, and how spatial and temporal habitat use by timber rattlesnakes relates to the thermal landscape. To create a down-scaled near-surface air temperature model, we deployed remote temperature loggers across our focal landscape in Southeast Ohio. We then used fine-scale LiDAR data to derive spatial topographic surfaces as well as surfaces describing forest structure. Using these models, we related the predicted spatial-temporal air temperatures to field observations of radio telemetered snake locations, as well to snake body temperature data collected using internal temperature data loggers.Our near-surface air temperature and snake body temperature models both fit the data well with high predictive power. Unsurprisingly, we found that gravid females, on average, occupied areas of the landscape with higher temperatures than non-gravid snakes. We have observed large differences in parturition dates in our population. Females that give birth earlier in the summer are occupying areas that are warmer than areas occupied by females that give birth later in the summer. Our study provides a novel perspective of habitat use in timber rattlesnakes, and adds to the limited knowledge of timber rattlesnake ecology in the Midwest. A clear understanding of the landscape features affecting near-surface air temperatures and the spatial thermal ecology of timber rattlesnake has the potential to facilitate more effective and targeted habitat management.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-07) Spawning Site Contribution and Movements of Lake Whitefish in Northwestern Lake Michigan
AUTHORS: Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Tom Binder, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University-Hammond Bay Biological Station; Scott Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; David Caroffino, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Daniel Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Charles Krueger, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Christopher Vandergoot, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station; Wesley Larson, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Lake whitefish support important commercial and recreational fisheries on Lake Michigan, with the northern third of the lake supporting the majority of harvest. Previous genetic analyses indicated lake whitefish harvest in northwest Lake Michigan was largely supported (˜ 75%) by fish assigned to Big Bay de Noc (BBDN) and North and Moonlight bays (NMB) genetic stocks. Previous tagging suggested the BBDN stock spawned on reefs within BBDN and were usually recovered by the fishery in Green Bay north of Chambers Island or along the lake side of the Door Peninsula. Most fish from the NMB stock were thought to spawn on reefs along the lake side of Door Peninsula and the majority of tags were recovered along both sides of the Door Peninsula. While these previous studies suggested lake whitefish show relatively high spawning site fidelity, determining whether these two stocks are functionally discrete remains an important question for fishery managers. Additionally, lake whitefish assigning to multiple stocks now spawn in tributaries to Green Bay (primarily the Fox and Menominee rivers) where spawning had not been observed for nearly a century; the movements of these fish are largely unknown. We implanted acoustic transmitters in 400 lake whitefish at four different spawning locations (BBDN, NMB, Fox and Menominee rivers) during November 2017. Use of acoustic telemetry coupled with genomics will allow us to test current understanding of lake whitefish stock structure and describe stock-specific movements and spatial distribution relative to fishing effort. We will present preliminary results from the first year of our assessment.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:40am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) Changes in Great Lakes Forage Species Abundance and Composition: 25 Years of Trawling on Lake St. Clair
AUTHORS: Jan-Michael Hessenauer, Andrew Briggs, Brad Utrup, Todd Wills – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The Laurentian Great Lakes have experienced substantial ecological change over the past 25 years in response to the invasion of non-native species, changes in nutrient fluxes, habitat degradation, and restoration initiatives.  Long term datasets provide a valuable tool to assess the scale of broad ecological change and make predictions about future change in response to perturbation.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station conducts annual spring trawl surveys on Lake St. Clair, using an 8.4 m headrope otter trawl with 0.95 cm codmesh. This survey is part of a continuous monitoring program occurring since 1993 with the goal of assessing the status of the lakes forage fish community and corresponds with the establishment and dominance of dreissenid mussels (first detected in 1986) and Round Goby Neogobius melanostomus (first detected in 1990).  Each spring an index site is trawled for three 10-minute tows.  Captured fish for each tow are graded through a 3.2 cm sorting mesh to separate forage sized individuals from the rest of the catch.  Forage was identified, counted and weighed, and a subset of up to 150 individuals per species were measured for total length to generate length frequency data.  Using these data, we calculated indices of abundance and diversity for the forage fish community and compare trends in these data over the time series.  These data provide useful management benchmarks against which the response to ecological perturbations have on the forage fish community of the Great Lakes.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Waterfowl Ecology and Management in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Matthew Palumbo, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, David Luukkonen, Michigan State University; John Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Applied scientific research has been an underpinning of sound waterfowl and wetland conservation for decades. The Lower Great Lakes (LGL), especially wetland and adjacent upland habitats near Lakes Erie, St. Clair, and Ontario, were historically and remain a critical region for waterfowl of the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. In fact, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl use this landscape as their primary breeding location and millions use the resources of the region during migration between breeding and wintering areas. Waterfowl managers and researchers in the LGL have strong partnerships and have largely focused efforts in this region on studies that improve understanding of the overall ecology of the species and how management actions can influence these birds. Specifically, the LGL have been the home to seminal studies on waterfowl bioenergetic modeling during spring migration, habitat use and movement for key focal species (e.g., mallards), monitoring and evaluation of diving sea duck distributions on the Great Lakes, studying the potential limiting factors for Great Lakes mallard populations, and influence of weather, wetland availability, and mallard abundance on productivity of Great Lakes mallards. Importantly, these studies have critical linkages to management which have serviced wetlands conservation. Our objective is to synthesize recent research that has improved our understanding of waterfowl ecology and habitat management in the region. Additionally, we will identify future research needs and information gaps to expand waterfowl conservation in the LGL.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Acoustic Telemetry and Management of Behaviorally Diverse Lake Sturgeon in the Huron-Erie Corridor
AUTHORS: Scott Colborne, Michigan State University; Darryl Hondorp, US Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center; Charles Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Effective management of fishes requires basic understanding of species movements and habitat use at biologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Conceptualizing the spatial ecology of sturgeon species has proven challenging due to life history characteristics of these species such as long-life, intermittent spawning, and long-distance movements. Through the use of acoustic telemetry individuals can be tracked in aquatic environments over extended time periods and spatial distributions to document broad-scale patterns of habitat use and temporal variation across seasons and years. Within the Huron-Erie Corridor (HEC) of the Great Lakes, the habitat use of 283 Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens has been monitored 2011-2018 with 10-year tags (V16, Vemco Ltd.). The extensive spatial coverage of acoustic receivers in the HEC has made it possible to document movement patterns of adult lake sturgeon across multiple years to examine seasonal patterns of habitat use and movement between multiple habitat types within the region. Lake sturgeon were present throughout all riverine and lacustrine areas of the HEC but showed preference for Lake St. Clair over either Lake Huron or Lake Erie. In addition, movements differed between fish tagged in the St. Clair River vs. Detroit River from their Lake St. Clair overwintering areas just prior to the spring spawning period. Lake sturgeon activity within sections of both the Detroit and St. Clair rivers extended beyond the spawning period and included overwinter residence of some individuals. This research directly contributes to ongoing lake sturgeon management efforts in the HEC for sustainable populations, but also furthers knowledge about the general movement ecology of sturgeon applicable to populations in other regions.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

2:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 1) Effects of Conservation Practice and Site Age on Vegetation Structure and Avian Habitat Use in Fields Enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
AUTHORS: Bryan M. Reiley, T.J. Benson – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Farmland set aside programs provide important habitat for many wildlife species, yet little information exists regarding how vegetation structure and species respond to conservation practice and site age. This information could provide managers with a guide for how to implement, enhance, and maintain wildlife benefits of these programs. Here, we describe how avian species respond to conservation practice and time since restoration at 172 sites enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in Illinois. To do this we surveyed sites enrolled in four different conservation practices (CPs) within CREP during the breeding seasons of 2012 – 2015 using point counts and vegetation surveys. Vegetation structure and composition varied among CPs with hardwood tree plantings having the greatest amount of understory vegetation, tree and shrub cover, and lowest distance to nearest tree. Conversely, permanent wildlife habitat had the greatest distance to nearest tree, grass cover, and least tree cover. Cover of tree and live vegetation increased and distance to nearest tree decreased with site age and there were conspicuous differences among CPs and site age for these variables and bare ground cover. Avian densities varied among CP types, however only Dickcisselswere significantly greater in sites enrolled as permanent wildlife habitat and, similarly, Bell’s Vireo and Field Sparrow  were greater in hardwood tree plantings. Dickcissel density decreased and Field Sparrow density increased as fields aged, but these relationships were not consistent among CP types. Differences among CPs largely resulted from differences in dominance in woody vegetation due to differing management goals. Interestingly, many of our focal species had wider successional tolerances than previously suggested. Our results demonstrate that conservation benefits change over time depending on the starting CP and this information can be used to predict temporal changes in habitat suitability and target conservation benefits toward conservation priority species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

2:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-07) Do Growth Histories Determine Migration Patterns in Walleye?
AUTHORS: Richard T. Kraus, US Geological Survey - Lake Erie Biological Station; Michael J. Hansen, US Geological Survey - Hammond Bay Biological Station; Matthew D. Faust, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife; Graham D. Raby, University of Windsor; Christopher S. Vandergoot, US Geological Survey - Lake Erie Biological Station; Charles C. Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Migratory fish movement can be classified as partial or differential migration, contingent behaviors, or other types of alternative migratory tactics. Growing evidence suggests that multiple variables, including metabolic and growth trajectories, risk-reward tradeoffs, personality, social interactions, and current physiological state underpin such modalities. We combined acoustic telemetry with sclerochronology to investigate if and how growth was associated with seasonal habitat use of a migratory freshwater fish, Lake Erie Walleye Sander vitreum. Non-linear mixed-effects modeling of back-calculated length-at-age from fin spines revealed individual growth trajectories that varied among spawning locations. Further, logistic principal components analysis of acoustic telemetry detections revealed stock-specific patterns in seasonal habitat use. Our results highlighted that individuals and groups of individuals within a stock are likely subjected to varying levels of fishing mortality based upon their migration pattern. For managers, differences in growth associated with spatial modalities in movement may translate into overexploitation of population segments.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) The Effect of Hydrological Restoration on Nutrient Concentrations and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS: Elizabeth A. Berg, Lauren M. Pintor – Ohio State University, School of Environment & Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Growing concern over the occurrence of harmful algal blooms has prompted efforts to reconnect coastal wetlands to Lake Erie and its tributaries in order to restore ecosystem functions and provide biodiversity support. In particular, stakeholders have collaborated to hydrologically reconnect approximately 2,397 acres of protected, diked wetlands in Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to reduce nutrient inputs from the Maumee Area of Concern and improve habitat for economically important fisheries and wildlife. However, hydrologic connection to Lake Erie and impaired tributaries within the watershed may expose biota in previously diked wetlands to new stressors such as nutrient enrichment and invasion of non-native species. Here we examined the effect of hydrologic reconnection of diked wetlands on nutrient concentrations and macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Specifically, our objectives were to: 1) compare phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations between diked and reconnected wetlands,  2) compare taxonomic and functional trait diversity of macroinvertebrates between diked and reconnected wetlands, and 3) examine the relationships between nutrients and macroinvertebrate communities. If the reconnection of coastal wetlands had an effect on nutrient levels and macroinvertebrate communities, we predicted that 1) nutrients and macroinvertebrates would differ in reconnected and diked wetlands, and 2) macroinvertebrate communities would be impaired in wetlands with higher nutrient concentrations. We found total nitrogen was lower in reconnected wetlands, but total phosphorus was similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. All macroinvertebrate taxonomic metrics and most functional metrics were similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. Nutrient concentration gradients and yearly nutrient fluctuation, rather than wetland restoration, drove shifts in macroinvertebrate community structure.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

3:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Survivability of Head-Started Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) In Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park
AUTHORS: Katherine Wright, Crystal Robertson, Paul Yannuzzi, Shannon Ritchie, Andrew Lentini, Bob Johnson, Rick Vos – Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme, Toronto Zoo

ABSTRACT: A head-start program for Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) was launched in 2012 by Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme and partners in an effort to recover a local population in the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP). As per a Population Viability Analysis (PVA) in 2013, reaching a self-sustaining population required raising 50 turtles per year for two years each at a 60 female: 40 male ratio over 20 years. The head-start turtles are incubated and raised in a protected zoo environment, which includes a month in outdoor enclosures to acclimate to natural conditions. Then, a soft-release enclosure is used with half of the cohort for in-situ to acclimate to their new wetland prior to release into the wild, while a hard-release method is used for the other half (no in-situ acclimation). The release site is known habitat for Blanding’s turtles and is in close proximity to travel corridors, though many head-start turtles remain in the wetland area in which they were released. No significant difference has been observed between home ranges of soft- and hard-release turtles. The number of turtles released per cohort has increased each year (2014: 10, 2015: 21, 2016: 36, 2017: 49, and 2018: 49), as have cumulative survival rates (2018 data is still being incorporated). Survival, movement, and habitat use patterns are monitored by radio tracking a subset of turtles from each release cohort, which occurs three times per week from May-August and once per month from December-April. The number of tracked turtles from each cohort changes yearly as more turtles are released. In 2018, a total of 48 turtles were tracked out of the 165 that have been released to date. This long-term project will use adaptive management to improve husbandry, field research, habitat restoration and community outreach as the project progresses.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

3:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 2) Effects of Field and Landscape-scale Habitat on Ring-necked Pheasant Demography
AUTHORS: Tim Lyons, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; T.J. Benson, Illinois Natural History Survey; Wade Louis, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Mike Ward, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Richard Warner, National Great Rivers Research & Education Center

ABSTRACT: In agriculturally dominated landscapes, the habitat provided by public and private lands is critical for the conservation and management for non-game as well as game species, such as ring-necked pheasants. Management of these areas to increase pheasant populations has focused on increasing field size, the amount of grassland cover in the landscape, or managing vegetation composition within fields, to improve success during the nesting or brood-rearing stages, or the survival of breeding adults. How these actions will impact overall population growth or which stages or habitat features should be prioritized for management is not always clear. We studied how habitat conditions at the field-and landscape-scale influenced the demography of ring-necked pheasants on public and private grasslands in Illinois. Between 2013-2016, we used radio telemetry to track > 200 ring-necked pheasants and quantified the relationship between habitat features at multiple spatial scales, nest success, chick survival, and adult survival. We then used a simulation study to understand how changes to habitat features important to a particular stage ultimately affected population growth. We also examined how predator identity influenced the relationship between adult survival and habitat conditions. We found that several habitat features had contrasting effects among multiple stages and ultimately restricted population growth when management focused on maximizing performance during one stage. Our results also indicate that raptors may be a more important predator of pheasants than is generally recognized, but the risk of predation can be reduced by the management of vegetation within fields. Collectively our work highlights the importance of full life-cycle studies of demography for the effective management of wildlife and suggests that smaller fields, often overlooked in traditional conservation schemes, can play a role in pheasant management when coupled with appropriate management of vegetation within fields.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

4:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 2) Potential Beneficial Effects of Invasive Silver Carp on Native Fishes
AUTHORS: Rebekah L. Anderson, Nathan J. Lederman – Aquatic Nuisance Species Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Cory A. Anderson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Jason A. DeBoer, Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey.

ABSTRACT: Substantial research attests to the injurious impacts invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molotrix) have on Midwestern U.S. river systems. Particularly, the dietary overlap between silver carp and native planktivores has resulted in declined condition and abundance of these species in areas where silver carp dominate the community (i.e., the lower Illinois River). However, additional research demonstrates silver carp may benefit native non-planktivorous fishes because of the carp’s ability to produce young at a large scale providing an abundant prey source for native piscivores, and their nutrient rich fecal pellets may enrich benthic forage quality for native benthivores. Potential positive effects of silver carp for native fishes are not fully understood, and research is limited in natural systems. Here we determine whether silver carp benefit non-planktivorous native fishes in the lower Illinois River (i.e., Peoria, LaGrange, and Alton pools) by examining native piscivore and benthivore body condition over time utilizing two standardized long-term data programs. We found a significant positive relationship between silver carp abundance and native benthivore body condition. Moreover, visual trends indicate increased body condition during and immediately after strong silver carp year classes (2008 & 2014) for both native piscivores and benthivores. Therefore density-dependent effects may exist where juvenile silver carp populations and benthic nutrient levels must reach a threshold before they are exploitable (i.e., beneficial) resources. We suggest more years of data that incorporate strong silver carp year classes may be needed to clarify potential positive effects of silver carp for native non-planktivorous fishes.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

4:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-11) Improving Methods to Understand the Role of Predation on Dreissenid Population Dynamics
AUTHORS: Kevin R. Keretz; Richard T. Kraus, Joseph Schmitt – US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Ecological and societal impacts of dreissenid mussels (Dreissena spp.) on Great Lakes ecosystems are well documented, and a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause variation in mussel abundance is needed.  An outstanding question is how much mussel biomass is consumed by predation. To date, attention has mainly been focused on invasive Round Goby (genus species) predation of mussels.  We note that the biomass of native mussel consumers, such as Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), may exceed Round Goby biomass by an order of magnitude in some areas.  Thus, the role of predation on mussel population dynamics may be greater than is currently assumed.  A significant difficulty for investigating mussel consumption by native predators is that mussels in stomachs are often a macerated mix of crushed shell and flesh. This prevents counting and measurement of individual prey items as is often performed in diet studies.  Here, we develop an analysis to convert the crushed shell and flesh mixture found in diets of Freshwater Drum to a simple dry weight of mussel flesh.  We then estimate daily ration as a first step in understanding the impact of Freshwater Drum on mussel populations in Lake Erie.  Our results support evaluation of proposed mussel control methods by improving our knowledge of ecological mechanisms that influence mussel abundance.  

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

6:00pm EST

(P35) Ecology of Box-nesting Waterfowl in Central WI: Biological versus Societal Benefits
AUTHORS. Elianne Heilhecker, Marissa Kaminski, Dr. Jacob Straub, Dr. Matt Palumbo, Leah Bell, Sean Mason – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. Cavity nesting birds like Aix sponsa (Wood ducks) and Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded merganser) relied historically on natural tree cavities but today some populations have the option to use nest boxes for their eggs. At the Mead Wildlife Area in central Wisconsin, cavity nesting waterfowl have the option to use tree cavities or nest boxes. Currently, most data suggests sufficient natural tree cavities are available for cavity nesting birds, yet duck boxes still remain a factor at many wildlife management areas. While nest box use by these species has varied over time, recently managers have inquired which, if any, factors predict if a nest box will be successful.  Managers should also consider the potential societal benefits (e.g., public engagement, educational opportunities, etc.) box programs could have.  Beginning in 2002 data has been collected by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Wildlife Society by checking 78-129 boxes annually in January and February. Other studies in our study site have demonstrated low box use rates (<15%) by waterfowl. Our aim is to evaluate biological (i.e., nest success, use, etc.) and societal value of a box-program in Central Wisconsin and make management recommendations accordingly. Our biological evaluation will assist field biologists by evaluating if five independent predictor variables have any significant effect on our response variables. To determine this, competing model sets will be evaluated with a single or combinations of the following variables: species, year, use from previous year, location, and age of box.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
SUPERIOR BALLROOM C/D
  Poster, Ecology

6:00pm EST

(P36) Evaluating the Fish Communities of Riffles/runs with Three Different Substrate Types in Preparation for Changes Post Lowhead Dam Removal
AUTHORS. Drew Holloway, Muncie Sanitary District Bureau of Water Quality; Kaleb Eden, Ball State University

ABSTRACT. The importance of a natural flow regime has been well documented throughout the years. The traditional riffle, run, pool sequence allows a stream to optimize its community structure and allow habitat specific species an opportunity to flourish. Lowhead dams alter this process and overtime can lead to expansive impoundments reducing the amount of riffle and run habitats available. The removal of neglected and unnecessary dams will allow a stream to return to its natural state. The West Fork of White River in Muncie, In will be having two of its lowhead dams removed in the coming year allowing these habitats to return. In preparation for these removals and the anticipated substrate changes, a 10x10m sandy run, boulder/cobble riffle and bedrock riffle were sampled using electrofishing methods. A total of 19 species were sampled for a total of 422 individuals. Five of the species were observed in all three substrate types including four Cyprinidae species. When looking at each substrate type individually we see subtle differences, like the presence of various Percidae species that were absent in the sandy run but dominant in the boulder/cobble riffle. The results of this project will be used to help explain the potential changes seen as the West Fork White River returns to its natural state.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
SUPERIOR BALLROOM C/D
  Poster, Ecology

6:00pm EST

(P37) Assessing the Impact of Mussel Bed Presence on Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Communities and Stream Function
AUTHORS. Justin Radecki, Kathryn Sheets, Ana Wassilak, Raelee Olson – Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT. This project examined the relationship between live, active mussel beds and macroinvertebrate communities in two Barry CO., MI stream systems. Surveys of the Coldwater River & Cedar Creek were conducted to search for live mussel beds and identify species presence and abundance, and to complete quantitative sampling of the macroinvertebrate community within these same mussel beds and at paired sites without mussels.  Abiotic factors including water chemistry, substrate analysis, width, depth, velocity, and canopy cover were also sampled at all sites. We hypothesized that mussel beds would contain a larger percent of filter-feeding macroinvertebrates. The results of this project should be useful to track recovery in the degraded Coldwater River, and establish a framework for baseline conditions in Cedar Creek. Our preliminary data indicates that there was a significantly greater abundance of dipterans in Cedar Creek in comparison to the Coldwater River (% abundance 49 vs. 31; p=0.032; ANOVA).  Similarly, total macroinvertebrate abundance was significantly higher in Cedar Creek vs. the Coldwater River (total abundance 10,500 vs. 4,100; p=0.052; ANOVA). According to completed analyses, there was no significant difference in %EPT, richness, Family Biotic Index, or diversity between the two systems. Additionally, a wider range of mussel species (9 species in Cedar Creek to 6 species in the Coldwater River) and a higher abundance of mussels overall were found at the Cedar Creek sites than in the Coldwater River. Our preliminary results concerning relationship between macroinvertebrates and mussel beds suggest little difference in macroinvertebrate communities between experimental and control sites.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
SUPERIOR BALLROOM C/D
  Poster, Ecology
 
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-14) Collaboration Between Fish and Wildlife Professionals: Why Does It Matter?
AUTHORS: Emily K Tucker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Fish and wildlife are commonly studied in isolation from each other. However, collaboration between professionals from the fish and wildlife fields is becoming increasingly important in the face of rapid environmental change. The intersection between fish and wildlife science occurs at the aquatic-terrestrial interface, where the transfer of organic and inorganic material between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems results in an ecosystem linkage. This interace, which is usually associated with riparian zones, has become an area of interest due to the reduction of riparian zones as a result of human influence. The current state of the science of the aquatic-terrestrial interface will be reviewed in this talk. Additionally, the potential ways in which fish and wildlife professionals can work together and learn from each other apart from the aquatic-terrestrial interface will be proposed in order to lay the foundation for the symposium talks to follow.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

10:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-16) Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
AUTHORS: Gary J. Roloff, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: The Midwest region of the United States supports abundant wildlife and diverse agriculture, with both substantially contributing to regional and national economies and livelihoods. Recreation associated with wildlife has a positive economic impact, estimated to generate over $34 billion annually for 8 Midwestern States. The annual market value of crops and livestock exceed $76 billion. Wildlife often represents a cost to farmers through crop and livestock depredation and food safety risks, but some producers benefit through recreational leasing of their properties. State level wildlife damage data are limited and outdated, but suggests that agricultural losses in the Midwest are significant. Resources available to producers in the Midwest for integrated wildlife damage management (IWDM) vary greatly, but are generally underutilized or ineffectual, and in some cases simply nonexistent. Challenges include political and social barriers to managing valued wildlife species as pests, complex regulatory jurisdiction over wildlife damage control, lack of dedicated personnel assigned to wildlife damage response, and limited IWDM tools. Many IWDM tools do not scale to crop production contexts, provide only limited or temporary efficacy, or are not economically viable. The Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence symposium will focus on updating our understanding of wildlife damage assessments, mitigation, and philosophies with a focus on wildlife-agriculture co-existence in the Midwest region.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

10:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: AVIAN) Post-Fledgling Habitat Selection of an Endangered Species in Texas
AUTHORS: Evalynn M. Trumbo, Michael P. Ward, Jeffrey Brawn – University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Understanding associations between habitat and the demography of endangered wildlife is essential for effective management, and the age or life-stage of an individual adds complexity to these associations. The Golden-cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia; hereafter "warbler"), is an endangered neotropical migrant that breeds only in the contiguous juniper-oak forests in central Texas, of which many studies have evaluated how extensive habitat loss and fragmentation affect adult demography, yet no research has been conducted on post-fledging life stages and their habitat preferences, specifically microhabitat. For birds, the post-fledging stage is critical for sustaining species’ populations and many threats to survival during this life-stage are influenced by habitat type. To understand survival and habitat use, we studied the warbler population at Fort Hood military installation in central Texas. We monitored warbler nests until fledging and deployed one VHF transmitter per nest (n=8 and n=15, for 2017 and 2018, respectively). We tracked fledglings ~4 weeks after fledging. 15 of 23 (65%) of the fledglings survived the observation period. We obtained 1126 vegetation samples measuring various habitat characteristics for the entirety of the study (2017-2018). We compared habitat measurements between fledgling locations and random locations away from the fledgling location. Fledglings appear to select habitat that contains higher canopy cover (86% ± 0.6%, vs. 77% ± 1%). Ground cover, although correlated with canopy cover, differs from non-used habitat (29% ± 0.9%, 37% ±1.05%). Vertical vegetation density in the understory does not differ among used and non-used habitat. Most likely fledglings are selecting for canopy cover since it affords more protection from predators. Using this information for habitat selection will allow managers to implement techniques that promote higher canopy cover in GCWA habitat, hopefully providing a mosaic of necessary traits to support all life stages during the breeding season.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:00am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Migration Chronology and Wintering Locations of King Rails (Rallus elegans) Captured in the Upper Midwest
AUTHORS: Michelle Kane, Thomas Gehring – Central Michigan University; Brendan Shirkey, John W. Simpson, Michael A. Picciuto – Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

ABSTRACT: King rails (Rallus elegans) are a secretive marshbird, and the migratory population is of high conservation concern due to declining numbers and loss of historic breeding habitat. In part due to their secretive nature, knowledge gaps exist for basic life history information, including migratory routes, migration chronology and wintering range. We placed satellite transmitters on nine king rails captured in Ohio to gather information about spring and autumn migration chronology and routes, wintering locations, and the potential exposure of migratory king rails to harvest. We received autumn migration data for four individuals and spring migration data for two individuals. Departure dates from the breeding range varied from 30 August to 20 October and spring arrival date to the Upper Midwest was 20 April. Autumn migration for all birds was completed in five days or less. During autumn migration, three individuals migrated from Ohio to the Gulf Coast, and one individual migrated from Pennsylvania to the Atlantic coast. Spring migration lasted longer than autumn migration for both individuals. During spring migration, one individual migrated from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Midwest, and one individual migrated from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf Coast. We found all king rails with migration data spent the winter in states with king rail hunting seasons during open hunting dates, and thus could potentially be exposed to harvest. This novel information provides critical insight into the migratory movements and wintering range of migratory king rails.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:10am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-14) Beyond “Donors and Recipients”: Impacts of Species Gains and Losses Reverberate Among Ecosystems Due to Changes in Resource Subsidies
AUTHORS: Scott F Collins, INHS; Colden V Baxter, Idaho State University

ABSTRACT: Pervasive environmental degradation has altered biodiversity at a global scale.  At smaller scales, species extirpations, invasions, and replacements have greatly influenced how ecosystems interact by affecting the exchanges of energy, materials, and organisms.  We examined how species losses and gains affect the exchange of resources (materials and/or organisms) within and among ecosystems.  We specifically consider how changes that occur within an ecosystem may trigger effects that reverberate (e.g., directly, indirectly, via feedbacks) back and forth across ecological boundaries and propagate to multiple habitats or ecosystems connected via exchange of materials and organisms.  Our synthesis provides a cursory overview of ‘openness’ as it has been addressed by community ecologists and then we briefly characterize the conceptual development ecological frameworks used to examine resource exchanges between ecosystems. We then describe multiple case-studies and examine how species losses and gains affect food web structure via resource exchanges between ecosystems, with particular emphasis on effects spanning land-water boundaries. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 3) Control of Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Chicago Region to Reduce Risk of Spread Across Great Lakes Basin
AUTHORS: Erin O'Shaughnessey, Rachel Egly, Reuben Keller – Loyola University Chicago

ABSTRACT: Crayfish are the largest freshwater invertebrate and pose a serious threat to the ecosystems in which they invade. They have been shown to decrease macroinvertebrate density and diversity, displace native crayfish, and alter fish communities. We have identified a reproducing population of red swamp crayfish (Procambarusclarkii)in the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS). This species has been introduced in Lake Erie, small ponds in Wisconsin, and streams in Michigan, as well as in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Due to the proximity of the CAWS to Lake Michigan and undisturbed streams with native crayfish populations, P. clarkii is potentially able to spread into more areas. During summer 2018, we began a removal effort ofP. clarkii in the North Branch of the Chicago River and in the North Shore Channel. Additionally, we tested for the optimal number of nights for traps to be left in the water to achieve the highest catch rate and used mark and recapture methods to attempt to test the distance that crayfish travel in this system. In the North Branch of the Chicago River, we have recaptured 51 crayfish, traveling an average distance of 2.53 meters per night. In the North Shore Channel, we have recaptured 11 crayfish, traveling an average distance of 6.41 meters per night. Previous sampling indicated that the average CPUE (catch per unit effort) in this system was 0.843. The current CPUE of P. clarkii in our removal study area is 0.453. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

11:00am EST

(WILDLIFE: AVIAN) Species Discrimination and Habitat Selection in Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers
AUTHORS: Stephen A. Tyndel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dr. Jinelle Sperry – CERL-ERDC, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dr. Michael P. Ward, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) and Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera) are closely related species that hybridize frequently and produce fertile offspring yet tend to mate assortively and often hold overlapping territories. Information on how conspecific and heterospecific interactions impact settlement and habitat selection for both species is lacking.The purpose of this study was to examine the role of social information, specifically song, in habitat selection in both Blue-winged and Golden-winged warblers. Our first objective was to determine if conspecific and heterospecific song can be used to induce settlement in Blue-winged and Golden-winged warblers across their range and whether the response of each species to heterospecific song differs in allopatric and sympatric populations. Our second objective was to determine whether Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers males discriminate against heterospecific song and whether discrimination against heterospecific song differs in in allopatric and sympatric populations. To address the first objective, we broadcast songs of Blue-winged warblers and Golden-winged warblers in an area where only Blue-winged warblers breed, where only Golden-winged warblers breed, and where both species breed. To address the second objective, we conducted a simulated territorial intrusion experiment to compare how breeding territorial males of each species respond to heterospecific song in an area where only Blue-winged warblers breed, where only Golden-winged warblers breed, and where both species breed. Data analysis is ongoing but preliminary results for the first objective suggest the strongest response to conspecific cues occurred in the allopatric population of Golden-winged warblers with equivocal results found elsewhere. Responses to heterospecific cues were similarly ambiguous. Preliminary results for the second objective suggest strong species discrimination in sympatry and weak discrimination in allopatry. Ultimately our results will provide important insight into the relationship between these species and the role of social information in habitat selection.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Role of Environmental Context and Individual Behavioral Type on Angling Vulnerability
AUTHORS: Toniann D. Keiling, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Michael J. Louison, McKendree University; Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Global recreational fishing involves millions of anglers capturing millions of fish, and has the potential to negatively impact fish populations either through direct means (i.e. through incidental mortality or harvest), or through indirect means, such as the removal of specific behavioral types. At present, the specific mechanism(s) that define why fish strike fishing lures are unknown, as are how environmental factors influence catch rates. Understanding the factors that motivate fish to strike a lure will not only help predict catch rates, but will also help define how fisheries mortality and harvest can shape populations. The goal of this study was to define how behavioral type and prey availability interact to influence angling vulnerability, using largemouth bass as a model. To accomplish this goal, we first performed behavior assays on largemouth bass to place them along a ‘bold’ vs. ‘shy’ continuum, and then transferred fish to one of two ponds, one with a generous supply of prey (fathead minnows) and the other with no prey. Largemouth bass in the ponds were then angled for 8 days. Results indicated that prey availability only weakly influenced capture success in ponds. Rather, size (total length) was the strongest predictor of fish capture with larger fish more likely to strike lures, despite the fact that mean size varied by only 1.2 cm across captured and uncaptured individuals. Results are further discussed in the context of angling vulnerability, and how selective harvest may shape fish populations and aquatic ecosystems.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-14) Is What’s Good for the Bird Good for the Turtle? Landscape-scale Productivity Modeling of Declining Red-headed Woodpeckers, Eastern Box Turtles, and Spotted Turtles in the Oak Openings Region of Ohio and Michigan
AUTHORS: Jeanine M. Refsnider, Henry M. Streby – University of Toledo

ABSTRACT: Studies seeking to conserve habitat critical for the reproductive success of rare species often focus on nesting or spawning habitat.  While such habitats are clearly important components of a species’ ecological requirements, conservation efforts focused solely on habitats used for nesting or spawning, without considering the consequences of oviposition-site choice, are, at best, incomplete.  At worst, inadequate consideration for the fitness outcomes of oviposition-site choice may create ecological traps if animals are attracted to oviposition sites from which juveniles have very low probabilities of survival.  Similarly, management activities such as prescribed burns or selective harvests designed to benefit one species may negatively impact a different species, even if the two species superficially appear to have the same habitat requirements.  These problems illustrate the importance of understanding how multiple life stages of multiple species use a landscape, and how the fitness outcomes of differential habitat use impact population trends.  We are studying three imperiled, flagship species of the Oak Openings Region in Ohio and Michigan: two terrestrial species commonly associated with oak savannah habitat, red-headed woodpeckers and eastern box turtles, and an aquatic species found in flooded prairies and fens, the spotted turtle.  For all three species, we are radio-tracking adults to quantify habitat use and survival; locating and monitoring nests to quantify nest success in different habitat types; and radio-tracking juveniles from those nests to quantify effects of nest habitat on juvenile survival.  From these data, we are creating landscape-scale productivity models to predict how management activity in one habitat patch will impact productivity of all three species in nearby habitat patches.  Our overall goal is to provide land managers with spatially explicit productivity models for terrestrial and aquatic species of high conservation concern that are directly incorporable into adaptive management plans.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: AVIAN) Bald Eagle Nest-site Selection Along the Upper Mississippi River, 1990-2012
AUTHORS: Benjamin W. Tjepkes, Stuart C. Fetherston, Scott E. Hygnstrom – Wisconsin Center for Wildlife, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Brian J. Stemper, Stephen L. Winter – Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: The overall population of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has increased in range and size across much of North America, since they were listed as a federally Threatened Species in the 1970’s.  This increase likely is due in part to the efforts of several federal and state wildlife management agencies in protecting nest sites, an important factor in raptor reproduction.  We studied nest-site selection in bald eagles along the 420-km long Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge using survey data from 1990 – 2012.  Spatial analyses were conducted on known active nest locations using a GIS to develop several metrics relating to bald eagle nesting ecology (e.g., distance to water, surrounding cover type, patch size) and several disturbance metrics (e.g., distance to navigable channel, distance to road).  These metrics will then be used to build a mixed-effects resource selection function under a use-availability design for this population.  This information will increase the understanding of how bald eagles occupy habitats along the Upper Mississippi River in relation to habitat features and human activities, further contributing to the effective management of this species.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-14) Cross-boundary Food Webs in Stream-riparian Ecosystems: Implications for Conservation and Management
AUTHORS: S. Mažeika P. Sullivan, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Streams and their adjacent riparian zones are increasingly recognized as structurally and functionally linked through exchanges of energy, organic matter, and organisms. In particular, recent advances in our understanding of stream-riparian ecosystems have underscored the importance of aquatic-to-terrestrial prey in providing critical energetic subsidies to terrestrial riparian consumers, ranging from arthropods, to birds, to mammals. Contaminants can also move from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems through these same food-web pathways. Here, I overview a decade of research in the Scioto River basin of Ohio that documents variability in aquatic-to-terrestrial nutritional subsidies and contaminants to terrestrial consumers across a gradient of urban-to-natural landscapes, and in small streams to larger rivers. Using aerial insectivorous birds – which are experiencing serious populations declines across the guild – as a case study, I provide a detailed example of how this research is being used to bridge aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in specific conservation and management contexts.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A