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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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Freshwater Fish-Other [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 1) Can Otolith Microchemistry Be Used to Delineate Natal Origin of Larval Lake Whitefish in the Lower Waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan?
AUTHORS: Lydia R. Doerr, Dr. Patrick Forsythe, Dr. Christopher Houghton – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Scott Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Dr. Kevin Pangel, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT: Much remains unknown regarding the early life history of Lake Whitefish in the Great Lakes despite their ecological and economic importance. The capture of larval Lake Whitefish in four major Green Bay tributaries (Fox, Menominee, Peshtigo, and Oconto Rivers) indicates the re-establishment of potamodromous stocks and suggests that these tributaries contribute to the overall metapopulation. The collection of larvae from the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal and the other reefs throughout Green Bay provides evidence that Lake Whitefish are also spawning in nearshore habitats. The ability to identify natal origin of a specific population is essential to creating effective stock-specific management plans; capable of protecting various sub-population that make up the larger Lake Whitefish metapopulation. Larvae collected during 2017-2018 were used to examine whether otolith microchemistry can accurately determine natal origin of these individuals. Preliminary analyses found significant differences in the ratio of strontium and barium to calcium in riverine and offshore water chemistry for Green Bay and Lake Michigan.  The incorporation of these and other trace elements in larval otoliths allowed for the identification of natal origins of Lake Whitefish sub-populations. Otolith microchemistry proved successful at delineating natal origins at both broader level (i.e. tributary vs. open water) and at the site-specific scale.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Influence of Mink Predation on Brown Trout Survival and Size-Structure in Rapid Creek, South Dakota
AUTHORS: Austin G. Galinat, South Dakota State University; Steven R. Chipps, USGS South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit ; Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University

ABSTRACT: In the early 2000’s, annual population surveys indicated that abundance of adult brown trout (Salmo trutta; >200 mm) in Rapid Creek, South Dakota had declined by approximately 70% and currently, the factors influencing survival are poorly understood. Recent studies show that growth and condition of brown trout in Rapid Creek are high compared to other Black Hills populations and diet analysis shows that food availability is an unlikely source of mortality. However, a recent study discovered that predation by mink (Mustela vison) accounted for 32% of brown trout mortality in Rapid Creek. Limited refuge habitat combined with high water clarity in Rapid Creek may enhance capture and foraging success by mink on adult trout. Moreover, the lack of stationary ice cover in tail water reaches, like that of our study area, has been linked to increased predation on trout by predators such as mink. Three experimental sites along Rapid Creek have been selected: (1) in-stream habitat improvement, (2) mink removal, and (3) control. Eight fish from each section were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and tracked for six months. Mortality has been observed at all study sites. 50% of predation in the habitat improvement site (n=4) and 25% of predation in the control site (n=2) is attributed to mink. 25% of predation in the mink removal site (n=2) is attributed to avian predators. Currently, another six month fish tracking period is underway. Survival estimates will be assessed between the three fish populations using mark-recapture survey techniques. Additionally, mink are being captured, implanted with radio transmitters, and tracked to determine movement and home ranges. Data gathered in this study will provide insight into the effectiveness of management techniques such as instream habitat improvements and predator block management on trout populations.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 10:50am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 1) Using Sonar to Describe Spawning Habits of Tributary Spawning Lake Whitefish in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
AUTHORS: Andrew Ransom, Dr. Patrick Forsythe, Dr. Chris Houghton – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

ABSTRACT: A resurgence of the Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) population within the waters of Green Bay has been documented in recent years despite overall low and stable numbers reported for Lake Michigan. Furthermore, large numbers of adult Lake Whitefish have been observed within major tributaries during the time of spawning in late fall. While our understanding of the ecology and behavior of Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan is improving, knowledge gaps exist with these new river spawning ecotypes. Among these knowledge gaps are microhabitat selection in spawning locations, as well as timing and drivers of migration. In order to bridge these gaps, we used using Adaptive Resolution Imaging Sonar (ARIS) to monitor relative fish abundances in 10 sample locations with different physical characteristics (ie. flow rates and substrate type) on the Fox (n=5) and Menominee (n=5) Rivers in Wisconsin. To confirm egg deposition in spawning locations, suction sampling was also conducted throughout each river. Sampling was conducted in November and December of 2017 and 2018, in order to encompass the entire spawn period. Results will be used to influence potential restoration efforts for similar ecotypes across the Great Lakes.

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

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

(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

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) Assessing Opinions Toward Native Fish Management in the Black Hills Region of South Dakota
AUTHORS: Seth J. Fopma, South Dakota State University; Larry M. Gigliotti, US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Fisheries management has traditionally focused on the preservation and proliferation of fishes valued by the managing society. Typical management has almost exclusively focused on ‘sport’ and native fishes. Recent trends in societal values have extended the management of fisheries to include non-game species. Mountain Sucker, Catostomus platyrhynchus, is a native, non-game species of conservation concern in South Dakota. Recent surveys suggest that Mountain Sucker have declined in both distribution and density across the Black Hills. To properly assess the best-management practices for Mountain Sucker in the region, we must assess the societal attitudes towards the active management of native species. A stratified-random sample of Black Hills area residents (4,200) were surveyed using a modified Tailored design method (24% return) to assess attitudes towards native, non-game fisheries management in the Black Hills. K-means cluster analysis was used to categorize respondents into three distinct groups (apathetic, utilitarian angler, and conservation angler) defined by attitudes towards native fisheries management. Further analysis revealed significant differences in angling activity between groups. Results will guide managers towards appropriate native fish management practices.

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

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: BEHAVIOR & PHYSIOLOGY) Effects of Wastewater Effluent on Fin Length and Body Condition of Fathead Minnows
AUTHORS: Seth M. Bogue; Cassi Moody-Carpenter; Anabela Maia; Robert E. Colombo – Biological Sciences Department, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: The Sangamon River flows approximately 396 kilometers through central Illinois and is impounded in the city of Decatur for municipal use. The Sanitary District of Decatur (SDD) processes residential, medical, and industrial waste before releasing effluent into the river downstream of the dam. Discharge from the dam is significantly reduced during periods of low precipitation. As a result, the downstream stretch of the river is dominated by wastewater effluent. A high density of fish exhibiting elongated fins reside in this stretch of the river. To assess the relationship between effluent and fin elongation, Fathead minnows were exposed to wastewater effluent in microcosms at SDD and at a second wastewater treatment plant located in Charleston, Illinois. In addition, two control groups were exposed to dechlorinated tap water. Standard length, individual fin lengths, and weight was recorded for a total of 32 fish from each treatment during an 8-week time span. SDD treatment fish had significantly longer fins and exhibited better condition and faster growth in comparison to all other treatments. Our results are indicative of a causal relationship between SDD wastewater effluent and the fin elongation observed in fish of the Sangamon River. We hypothesize that fin elongation is the result of chronic exposure to contaminants and heavy metals present in the effluent.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

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

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-04) Toward Examining Climate Effects on Yellow Perch Recruitment: How Do Lake Erie Larval Yellow Perch Diets Vary Within a Year?
AUTHORS: Luke A. Bobay, L. Zoe Almeida, Elizabeth A. Marschall, Stuart A. Ludsin – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: A full understanding of how climate change affects the recruitment process of fish is lacking for most populations. The possibility exists that altered temperature and precipitation patterns could interact with other factors (e.g., photoperiod) to reduce the availability of zooplankton prey to pre-recruited individuals. If preferred prey sizes or taxa are unavailable during critical periods of development (e.g., larval stage), foraging success, growth, and survival might decline. As a first step toward understanding how climate variation influences larval yellow perch (Perca flavescens) success in Lake Erie, we processed the diets of larvae captured during spring 2017 from several nearshore areas of the western basin. While we expected average zooplankton prey size in the diet to increase with yellow perch size, we were uncertain as to how availability of prey of different sizes and taxa would affect which prey types are consumed. We also did not know if larval yellow perch require a specific size or type of prey during early life, when their ability to catch large, fast prey is limited. Preliminary analyses indicate that the biomass of yellow perch diets varied both through time and between sites (Date: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>4,428</sub>= 114.3, p < 0.001, Site: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>3,428</sub>= 22.7, p < 0.001), with no obvious effect of fish size (Length: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>1,428</sub>= 0.04, p = 0.84). Interestingly, we found that some small prey items (e.g., small Cyclopoida) were primarily consumed by small yellow perch larvae (5 – 9 mm), whereas other small taxa (e.g., Bosmina) were primarily consumed by larger larvae (13 – 18 mm). Future analyses should reveal if these differences in consumption between larvae of different size are due to prey availability or a preference for specific taxonomic groups. Ultimately, these results will direct our impending inter-annual examination of larval yellow perch diets in relation to environmental conditions.

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

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

1:40pm 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

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-04) Food Web Interactions Among Walleyes, Lake Whitefish, and Yellow Perch in Green Bay
AUTHORS: Daniel Isermann, Lucas Koenig, Daniel Dembkowski – Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Iyob Tsehaye, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Wesley Larson, USGS-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Scott Hansen, Steve Hogler; Tammie Paoli – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Troy Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Green Bay supports important fisheries for walleyes, lake whitefish, and yellow perch and these species likely interact in a variety of ways. A better understanding of these interactions is needed to guide management decisions. Specifically, there are concerns that high walleye abundance could negatively influence abundance of yellow perch and lake whitefish, primarily through predation. However, the prevalence of round gobies within the ecosystem may provide a predation buffer for yellow perch and lake whitefish. Moreover, the lake whitefish population in and around Green Bay is comprised of multiple genetic stocks. Consequently, if walleye predation on lake whitefish varies across time and space, this predation could affect certain whitefish stocks to a greater degree than others. To help address some of these uncertainties, our research objectives are to determine if: 1) lake whitefish and yellow perch represent important prey for walleyes in Green Bay; 2) diets of these three species vary spatially and temporally and if diet overlap among species is evident; 3) the extent of walleye predation is sufficiently high to influence recruitment potential of lake whitefish and yellow perch and 4) extent of walleye predation varies among individual stocks of lake whitefish. We are integrating an intensive assessment of diet composition for all three species with bioenergetic modeling and genetic stock identification to address our objectives. We will discuss the innovative experimental framework we are using to address these objectives and provide preliminary results of our diet analyses.

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Evaluating a Statewide Yellow Perch Regulation for Michigan
AUTHORS: David Clapp, MDNR, Charlevoix; Andrew Briggs, MDNR, Lake St. Clair; Randall Claramunt, MDNR, Lake Huron; David Fielder, MDNR, Alpena; Troy Zorn, MDNR, Marquette

ABSTRACT: Michigan DNR recently evaluated a revised statewide bag limit for yellow perch using creel survey data, fisheries independent assessments,  and social survey data. We will present an overview of this evaluation, highlighting the advantages and limitations of each of these data sources. This review resulted in a recommendation for regulation change in Michigan, but also resulted in development of a template that can be used in future regulation evaluations for species other than yellow perch. 

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

2:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-04) Reevaluation of Wild Juvenile Lake Trout Spatial Distribution and Diets in Lake Huron (2008 - 2017)
AUTHORS: Taaja R. Tucker, University of Toledo; Edward F. Roseman, Stephen C. Riley, Timothy P. O’Brien, Darryl W. Hondorp, Dustin A. Bowser, Scott A. Jackson – US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Rehabilitation efforts of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Lake Huron have resulted in increased recruitment and capture of young wild lake trout in annual bottom trawl surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. To better understand the spatial distribution and food habits of wild juvenile lake trout, we performed diet analyses on 311 of 343 fish captured in bottom trawls at six ports in Lake Huron during October/November 2008–2017. Lake trout ranged in size from 27 to 371 mm, representing approximately three age classes. Most of the fish (83%) were captured at 46–64 m depths at the two northernmost ports, typically below the thermocline. Mysis diluviana was the most prevalent diet item, found in 222 of 299 fish with non-empty stomachs (74%), followed by Bythotrephes longimanus (31%), and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus; 11%). Young-of-year lake trout (Mysis and Daphnia, while larger lake trout converted to mostly fish-based diets at age 2+. Compared to a previous diet analysis of young Lake Huron lake trout from 2004–2006, fish in the current study consumed more unique prey items (12 vs. 6) and fish species, although many of the lake trout in the current study were larger than those analyzed in the past (74–120 mm). While the variety of taxa consumed by young lake trout has increased since the last study period, the most commonly observed prey items after Mysis were nonnative taxa. Mysis remain an important early food for lake trout in Lake Huron.

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Science to Action: Decision-Support to Advance Stream Trout Management in a Changing Climate
AUTHORS: Andrew K. Carlson, William W. Taylor – Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University; Zeenatul Basher, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; T. Douglas Beard Jr., National Climate Adaptation Science Center, USGS; Dana M. Infante, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Decision-making with limited information is commonplace in fisheries management, stemming from the need to sustain fisheries ecosystems in the face of changing environmental and human conditions. Decision support tools (DSTs) facilitate decision-making by systematically integrating environmental and socioeconomic information and accounting for variability in human and natural systems, yet they have not been widely applied in freshwater recreational fisheries management. As such, we collaborated with fisheries research and management professionals to develop a DST – specifically, a stream prioritization tool (SPT) – to inform fisheries management amid climate change in Michigan coldwater streams inhabited Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis, Brown Trout Salmo trutta, and Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. The SPT ranked streams by synthesizing management decision-making criteria that affect trout thermal habitat quality (e.g., current and future stream temperature, relative abundance of trout, groundwater input). Productive, socioeconomically important trout streams with high thermal habitat quality such as the Au Sable and Manistee rivers were predictably the highest-ranked streams by the SPT and thus warrant continued trout population and thermal habitat management (e.g., groundwater conservation). However, certain streams currently important for recreational fishing (e.g., Muskegon River, Pere Marquette River) were projected to have relatively low thermal habitat quality by 2056, whereas other streams without top-tier fisheries (e.g., Rapid River, Davenport Creek) were predicted to have high-quality thermal habitats, suggesting they merit increased management efforts. Revealing unexpected yet management-relevant findings under different scenarios of climate change, the SPT is a flexible instrument to help sustain thermally resilient trout populations and streamline fisheries management decision-making amid climate change.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

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

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-04) Diet Complexity of Lake Michigan Salmonids
AUTHORS: Benjamin Leonhardt, Purdue University; Benjamin Turschak, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Austin Happel, Colorado State University; Sergiusz Czesny, University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey; Harvey Boostma, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Jacques Rinchard, SUNY-Brockport; Matt Kornis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Charles Bronte, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Tomas Höök, Purdue University, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

ABSTRACT: Documenting trophic relationships in aquatic ecosystems can facilitate understanding of not only system processes, but also the potential responses of food webs to stressors.  In Lake Michigan, the introduction of invasive species (e.g., zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha; quagga mussel, Dreissena bugensis; round goby, Neogobius melanostomus) and reduced nutrient loading has resulted in changes in nutrient dynamics and community composition over the past two decades. As a result, abundances of many forage fish have declined, including alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) which have historically supported the five dominant salmonid species of Lake Michigan (brown trout, Salmo trutta; Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha; Coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch; lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush; rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss). With these ecosystem changes, there is uncertainty as to the extent of how different species of salmonids will transition to alternative prey items (e.g., round goby). We investigated the diet complexity of Lake Michigan salmonids by evaluating stomach content composition, diet diversity, and lengths of alewife consumed. Stomachs collected in 2015 and 2016 in Lake Michigan revealed that Chinook salmon almost exclusively consumed alewife and had a lower diet diversity compared to the other four species, which consumed round goby (brown trout and lake trout), aquatic invertebrates (Coho salmon), and terrestrial invertebrates (rainbow trout) in addition to alewife. Additionally, salmonid species appeared to consume the entire size range of alewife that were available to them despite year to year changes in alewife length availability. Due to their reliance on alewife, it is likely that Chinook salmon may be more negatively impacted than other salmonid species if patterns of alewife decline continue in Lake Michigan.

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

3:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: FISH CONSERVATION) Distributions Across an Island: Using SDMs to Conserve an Imperiled Sucker
AUTHORS: Seth J. Fopma, South Dakota State University; Brian D.S. Graeb, South Dakota State University; Tammy Wilson, National Park Service

ABSTRACT: Described as an “island on the prairie” the Black Hills are a small range of mountains arising from a sea of short and mid-grass prairies. Upwelling from the center of the hills, flowing outward are numerous, cold-water streams lacking connectivity to regional cold-water networks. Many species that inhabit local streams are subsequently isolated from conspecific populations, posing unique management challenges. Climate change, predicted to alter local climatic patterns (intensified wet and dry cycles, general warming), potentially further limits species distributions within the island. Mountain Sucker (Catostomus platyrhynchus) is listed as a management indicator species for the Black Hills of South Dakota by South Dakota’s department of Game Fish and Parks, and is used as a proxy for regional ecosystem health. Surveys conducted between 2008 and 2010 revealed that populations had been in decline in both distribution and local abundance. Population surveys conducted between 2014 and 2017 were used to generate species distribution models (SDMs) for this regionally imperiled species. Model predictions are expected to be driven by stream permanency and connectivity. Predictions were compared to 2018 empirical observations to assess model accuracy. Accurate models allow managers to more efficiently identify local populations, impacts of climate change and target conservation efforts.

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

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

(SYMPOSIA-06) How Do Beavers Affect Trout Populations? Well, it depends…
AUTHORS: Troy Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division

ABSTRACT: Most published studies do not provide a complete understanding of the effects of beavers on trout populations and streams.  Results often vary by location, with some studies characterizing beavers as beneficial to trout populations and others indicating beavers are harmful.  Drawing on case studies throughout the Midwest and North America, I will attempt to explain what underlies these seemingly contradictory findings.  For example, groundwater availability and inputs drive many Midwestern trout streams, and a thorough understanding of these processes is critical for understanding how beaver dams will affect trout populations.  Understanding the factors that shape trout streams in other regions will provide the context needed for interpreting an array of studies examining beaver-trout relationships and will enable managers to better predict how beavers might affect trout streams in their region.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

3:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 1) Intensive Harvest of Bigheaded Carps Using the Unified Method in a Floodplain Lake in Missouri, USA
AUTHORS: Jeffrey C. Jolley, Duane C. Chapman, Katelyn M. Lawson – US Geological Survey; Wyatt J. Doyle, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Kevin J. Meneau, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: Intensive and efficient harvest methods for invasive Asian carp in the Mississippi River Basin may alleviate negative effects of overabundance and are desired by fisheries managers.  Commercial desirability of these fish may provide economic benefits, as well.  We conducted a mass harvest at Creve Coeur Lake, Missouri using the Unified Method which was developed by Chinese fishers for harvesting carp from floodplain production lakes.  The method consists of using a variety of driving, herding, and netting techniques, in unison, to concentrate large numbers of fish from large waterbodies to a defined collection location.  We used a combination of boat electrofishing, electrified trawling, and boat-mounted acoustic deterrents to drive fish from a series of block-netted cells in the lake to concentrate fish.  Driving methods were extremely successful and 80% of the lake was mostly cleared of fish in seven days of work.  Fish behavior eventually changed when high concentrations were created and driving methods had greatly reduced effectiveness.  Fish were not successfully driven into an Iruka-style stownet likely due to a combination of water depth, physical location, and mouth opening size.  We used beach seining techniques using block nets to capture large schools of fish that had formed.  Four seine hauls resulted in 108 metric tons of Asian carp removed from the lake.  Preliminary estimates suggest that at least 50% of the Asian carp (> 40,000 fish) were harvested from the lake.  Analyses of companion environmental DNA, hyrdoacoustics, and mark-recapture data will provide additional information on efficiency of harvest. 

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

3:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: FISH CONSERVATION) The Cart Before the Redhorse: Examining Summer Habitat Use of the Threatened River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) to Guide Future Management
AUTHORS: Nicholas Preville, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: The resiliency of our aquatic ecosystems hinges on our ability to protect the native species that reside there. The River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) is one such example and populations have become low enough to warrant listing by the State of Michigan. Causes of decline include overfishing, habitat alteration, and lack of knowledge of basic life-history attributes including the use of non-spawning habitat. In order to aid its recovery, we implanted 15 individuals with radio transmitters and tracked their locations over the course of a summer. Tagged River Redhorse were found to move as far as 50 km down river following spawning and establish themselves in small home ranges. Substrates in these home ranges were dominated by gravel which represented 59 percent of samples. Little preference for depth or velocity was shown among the tracked fish. However, general habitat use was dominated by runs and riffles which represented 58 and 27 percent of tracked locations respectively. Presence of mussels and snails, the River Redhorse’s preferred food source, appeared to be the best predictor for the River Redhorse’s use of an area as they were found at 79 percent of all tracked locations. The recovery of the River Redhorse will likely depend on our ability to protect these newly discovered feeding areas as well as any known spawning sites. Future management should therefore focus on the protection of native mussels and snails and should attempt to maintain connectivity between spawning and summer habitats.

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

3:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: HABITAT) Projected Temperature Increases Decrease Sport Fish Habitat Quality in Ohio Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Richard R. Budnik, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries Research Unit; Geoffrey B. Steinhart, The Ohio State University, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory; Joseph D. Conroy, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries Research Unit; Richard D. Zweifel, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife; Stuart A. Ludsin, The Ohio State University, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory

ABSTRACT: Increased temperatures due to climate change will likely decrease the quality and quantity of habitat available to reservoir sport fish, although the extent of the effect will likely be variable by species. We developed bioenergetics models to estimate growth rate potential (GRP), a metric of habitat quality, for Largemouth Bass, saugeye, and White Crappie during a 13-year span (2005–2016) in three Ohio reservoirs that varied in productivity (summer 2012–2014 concentrations: chlorophyll a 7–55 µg/L; total phosphorus 21–106 µg/L). We contrasted these baseline measures of habitat quality with projected future changes in GRP and high-quality habitat (HQH; GRP > 0) availability under stabilizing (RCP 4.5) and increasing (RCP 8.5) carbon emission scenarios which estimate air temperatures will increase 2.5 and 4.8 degrees C by 2099. Our simulations predicted Largemouth Bass, saugeye, and White Crappie GRP would decrease an average of 0.001 g/g/day, 0.003 g/g/day, and 0.007 g/g/day, respectively, under RCP 4.5, and 0.005 g/g/day, 0.004 g/g/day, and 0.013 g/g/day under RCP 8.5. The average reduction of HQH was greatest for saugeye (20% loss) under RCP 4.5 and for White Crappie (45% loss) under RCP 8.5. Largemouth Bass HQH was the least affected with an average reduction of < 9% under both scenarios in all reservoirs. Temperature increases in the highest productivity reservoir led to the greatest reduction in habitat quality and quantity among reservoirs. These outcomes, as shaped by temperature changes, have the potential to influence not only the performance of individual fish but also will affect population dynamics, trophic interactions, and fish community structure.

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

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

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Minnesota’s Stream Conservation Easements and New Perennial Vegetation Buffer Law Overlap to Improve Riparian Habitat
AUTHORS: Jennifer A. Olson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish & Wildlife

ABSTRACT: This presentation will highlight the success of Minnesota’s stream conservation easements, a new perennial vegetation buffer law, and how the MN DNR Fisheries Section manages beaver on private land under stream easements across the state. Beaver management is targeted on high priority streams based on expected benefits and available resources. There is pressure to do both more and less beaver control depending upon location.Conservation easements are interests in real property that place certain restriction on the use of the property for conservation benefit. The easements are an agreement between the original landowner and State of Minnesota. Easements are recorded with the county government and stay with the land. Minimum requirements to hold conservation easements include completing baseline property reports, maintaining relationships with original and successive landowners, monitoring the easement on a regular basis, and enforcement of easement terms when needed.Stream conservation easements are most commonly found on trout streams in southeast and northeast Minnesota. The original landowner is compensated using a standardized formula for relinquishing certain land use rights within the stream corridor. Typical stream conservation easement terms allow public angling, the development of fish habitat, access to the stream for management activities, along with the prohibition of new buildings or structures, excavating, filling, dumping, tree cutting, etc. In some regions (southern MN), agricultural tillage setbacks are also established.Minnesota established a new perennial vegetation buffer law protecting up to 50 feet along all public waters including lakes, rivers and streams, and buffers of 16.5 feet along public ditches. The purpose is to help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment. Additional benefits exist which overlap and impact stream conservation easements. The deadline for implementation of the new buffers along all public waters was November 1, 2017. The deadline for public ditches is November 1, 2018.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

4:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 1) History and Issues in Controlling the Bighead and Silver Carps in the Mississippi Basin
AUTHORS: Maurice Sadowsky, President, MJSTI Corp.

ABSTRACT: The bighead and silver carps (combined bigheaded) are an alien invasive species that escaped from aquaculture around 1980.  About 35 years later an estimated 12 to 30 million fish inhabit about 6,400 miles of the Mississippi Basin.  Every year the fish expand their territory and or their bio-mass density on the margins of their habit.The paper uses literature and Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) and other government reports to review the programs to control these fish.  The ACRCC funds three major efforts: barriers, education/early detection/enforcement and population control.  Each division will be reviewed.The paper will then discuss the realities of controlling the bigheaded carp.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

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

(SYMPOSIA-06) Effect of Beaver on Brook Trout Habitat in North Shore Lake Superior Streams
AUTHORS: Dr. Andrew Hafs, Kathryn Renik – Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT: In Minnesota, Beaver Castor canadensis are considered to have an overall negative affect on native Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Brook trout provide a valued and productive sport fishery to the North Shore streams of Lake Superior and since revival of the Beaver population from past trapping and timber harvest, a need emerges to examine the complex ecological relationship where the two taxa interact. Suitable Brook Trout habitat is characterized by cold, spring-fed water with silt-free rocky substrate and abundant cover, all of which Beaver may directly, or indirectly, affect. Data collection occurred on 80 (200 m) stream sections and 22 beaver ponds spanning the North Shore during summers 2017 and 2018. A habitat suitability index (HSI) model was employed, and through interpolation in geographic information systems (GIS), maps depicting Brook Trout habitat of sampled stream sections were produced. The average HSI and suitable area (m<sup>2</sup>/100 m<sup>2</sup>) of each sampled reach were compared to Beaver related activity, including reach slope, distance to nearest Beaver pond, and number of dams upstream of sampled sites. Classification regression trees were used to identify significant thresholds in which Beaver activity influenced the amount or quality of Brook Trout habitat. Preliminary results from 2017 data indicated that a greater area of suitable Brook Trout habitat in North Shore streams was achieved when the maximum tree line width of the nearest upstream Beaver pond was = 71.23 m.  Anticipated results from 2018 will be presented contingent on completion of data analysis. Since the effect of Beaver on Brook Trout varies regionally, this study will provide a simple decision-making flow chart to aid in the development of management strategies pertaining to these two species in North Shore, Lake Superior streams.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

4:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: FISH CONSERVATION) Successful Translocation of Bluebreast Darters: A Case Study from the Upper Licking River, Ohio
AUTHORS: Brian J. Zimmerman, S. Mažeika P. Sullivan – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Aquatic ecosystems of Ohio historically supported diverse and abundant stream and river fish communities.  Loss and fragmentation of high-quality aquatic habitat and impairments in water quality have led to significant alterations in the diversity, composition, and productivity of native fish communities. The Bluebreast Darter (Etheostoma camurum), for example, was extirpated from many Ohio river systems over a century ago. In June of 2016 and 2017, 974 and 924 adult Bluebreast Darters, respectively, were translocated from the greater Muskingum River basin into the upper Licking River. Translocated individuals were marked with visible implant elastomer (VIE) tags. Translocated individuals from both events continue to be recaptured in follow-up surveys, most recently in late August 2018. VIE tags revealed minimal movement between release sites, however a few individuals have traveled as far as nine river kilometers following translocation. Natural reproduction by translocated fish has been documented by the capture of untagged individuals beginning in the first follow up surveys in 2016 and continues to be observed in subsequent years.

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

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

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 1) Selective, Safe and Low Cost Piscicide
AUTHORS: Maurice Sadowsky, President, MJSTI Corp.

ABSTRACT: MJSTI proved a selective, safe and low-cost fish pesticide with the goal of controlling the bighead and silver carps (bigheaded carps).  The technology and experiments will be discussed and compared to the USGS antimycin A/beeswax formulation (with patent lawyers’ approval).  The US patent should be submitted in 2018.  The formulation is selective as a digestive poison.  It is safe using FDA additives.  The average raw material cost is 1/12 to 1/30<sup>th</sup> of MJSTI’s estimated USGS antimycin A/beeswax raw material cost.  The EPA registration should be for a new formulation since the component chemicals are all EPA registered pesticide ingredients.  The technology has application for other fish including common carp and potentially grass carp.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

4:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: HABITAT) Assessment of the Accuracy of Spatially Interpolated Brook Trout Habitat in Northeast Minnesota Streams
AUTHORS: Kathryn Renik, Dr. Andrew Hafs, Dr. Jeffrey Ueland – Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT: Developments in geographic information systems (GIS) and improved global positioning system (GPS) unit accuracy have allowed for advancement and are increasingly being used to collect spatial data in ecological studies. Benefits include decreased error in the field and ease of usability, allowing for quicker and more accurate field measurements. The objective of this study was to quantify the accuracy of predicted Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis habitat from spatially interpolated GIS maps generated using a Trimble Geo7x handheld GPS unit. Brook Trout habitat variables were collected at data points throughout 40 (200m) stream reaches during summer 2018 in Northeastern Minnesota. Data was recorded directly onto the Geo7x GPS unit and two different data point types were collected, data points for creating interpolated habitat maps (“map data points”) and reference data points.  A habitat suitability index model was utilized to predict Brook Trout habitat and produce spatially interpolated GIS maps by kriging. Quantification of interpolated map accuracy was determined by comparing the interpolated values to the reference data points. An error matrix was used to calculate overall accuracy, user’s accuracy, producer’s accuracy, and the kappa coefficient, allowing us to determine the ability of interpolated maps to accurately predict Brook Trout habitat. Accurate Brook Trout habitat maps provide management not only with tools to successfully manage the species, but also with illustrative visual aides that allow for improved communication within agencies and among the public.

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

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: LAKES & RESERVOIRS) Age and Growth of Blue Catfish in Two North-Central Kansas Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Ernesto Flores, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; William J. Stark, Fort Hays State University

ABSTRACT: Age information is a management tool used by fisheries biologists to characterize populations. The Blue Catfish (Ictaluris furcatus) is a riverine species that grow to trophy lengths and have been introduced into Kansas Reservoirs. Blue Catfish were introduced into Wilson Reservoir in 2006 and Lovewell Reservoir in 2010 with a common management objective, establishing a trophy fishery. Standard sampling protocol (SSP) has misrepresented the Blue Catfish population status in both reservoirs; a targeted sampling effort was conducted in the summer of 2016 in Lovewell Reservoir using low-pulse electrofishing and in 2017 using float-lines to gain insight on the population structure. A total 170 fish were collected from Wilson Reservoir with a TL ranging 210-860 mm. We sampled Lovewell Reservoir and collected 146 individuals ranging from 220-860 mm. Pectoral spines were collected from each individual and used for aging. Annual stockings were scheduled for Lovewell reservoir from 2010-2014 approximately at 1 fish/acre excluding the year 2013 stocking at 0.33 fish/acre. Age 6 fish comprised 52% of the sample, 2% at age 5, 13% age 4, 3% age 3, 23% age 2, and 4% age 1. Wilson Blue Catfish stocking rates were conducted at 2 fish/acre in 2006 and 2008; stocking rates were 1 fish/acre in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. Age 11 fish made up 13% of the sample, age 10 at 49%, 36% were age 9, and 7% age 1. Age classes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were not represented in the sample. Detection of these missing year classes may have been caused by low lake levels during this time period.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: LAKES & RESERVOIRS) Active Bluegill Management for Improved Angling Quality: Walnut Point Lake a Case Study in Central Illinois
AUTHORS: Michael Mounce, Division of Fisheries, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Anglers want quality fishing opportunities and a growing body of literature indicates that active bluegill management can maintain or increase angling quality in bluegill fisheries. Panfish anglers are a very important part of the angling community, but often ignored in developing quality fisheries due to stereotyped as being primarily harvest-oriented. In 1999, as part of a state-wide bluegill management study, a 203 mm minimum length limit and 10 bluegill/day harvest limit were applied to Walnut Point Lake (21 ha). Initial results looked promising, but bluegill soon stockpiled below the minimum length limit, which is typical in fish populations with good recruitment and average growth. In 2007, a maximum length limit was applied allowing the harvest of 15 bluegill/day, of which, only 5 could be > 203 mm. Age structure and the number of large bluegill collected improved. In 2013, concerns regarding body condition and potentially growth prompted liberalization of the limit to 20 bluegill/day (still allowing 5 fish > 203 mm). Body condition and the number of large bluegill collected improved. Under the maximum length limit the average proportion of large bluegill (> 203 mm) collected in surveys is significantly higher (P< 0.02) than in pre-regulation years (< 1999). The application and tailoring of this regulation, coupled with angler education, has demonstrated biological and sociological benefits in this bluegill fishery for eleven consecutive years. Resource-appropriate regulations, similarly tailored, could provide long-term angling quality benefits in other bluegill and panfish fisheries while maintaining harvest opportunities.

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

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: INVERTEBRATES) Abiotic and Biotic Factors Relating to Mermithid Infection Rates in Larval Midge (Chironomidae) Specimens in Northwestern Wisconsin Streams
AUTHORS: Macayla Greider, Jeffrey Dimick – Aquatic Biomonitoring Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Dr. Justin VanDeHey, Dr. Shelli Dubay – College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Mermithid nematodes are generally considered as biological control agents for pest species like Anopheles, but also may influence Trout (Salmonidae) food sources because they cause reproductive failure and mortality in both midge (Chironomidae) larvae and mayfly (Ephemeroptera) nymphs.  However, much remains unknown about the mermithid life cycle and factors affecting their distribution. Our objectives were to determine if the prevalence of mermithid infections differed (1) between hosts with different feeding strategies, (2) in streams with different macroinvertebrate and fish communities, and (3) with stream flow rates. We hypothesized that (1) filter feeding midges would have higher prevalence of midge infection because filter-feeders passively ingest eggs whereas other midges seek out specific prey, (2) Trout streams would have fewer mermithids, and (3) stream flow would not be related to mermithid prevalence. Mermithid prevalence was assessed in samples collected from 48 streams during 2010-2014 from four northwestern Wisconsin counties. Infection was determined by observation of mermithids within midge bodies. Midges were identified to species to determine feeding behavior and distinguish filter feeders from non-filter feeders. Significantly lower proportions of mermithids were present in Trout streams than non-Trout streams, but no significant differences were present between mermithid presence and either HBI score or stream velocities. Chi-square analysis indicated no significant difference in prevalence between filter feeding and non-filter feeding groups; however, shredders had higher mermithid prevalence than other feeding groups. This research will provide insight into some aspects of mermithid life cycles and host selection.

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

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: LAKES & RESERVOIRS) Evaluating Growth of Angled Bluegill Relative to the Randomly Sampled Population
AUTHORS: Ben C. Neely, Jeff D. Koch, Connor J. Chance-Ossowski – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT: Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus contribute to unique fisheries in Kansas where they fill many niches. One niche that has been gaining recent attention from anglers is pursuit of large individuals. These efforts typically occur during the Bluegill spawn in May and June when anglers can visually target nest-guarding fish. A combination of being visually evident and aggressively defending nests makes Bluegill especially susceptible to angler harvest during this time. There is concern that harvest of nest-tending Bluegill may remove the fastest growing individuals from the population and ultimately results in populations that do not support quality Bluegill fisheries. To this end, Bluegill were sampled from 14 Kansas impoundments with both fall electrofishing at random shoreline locations and spring angling for nest-tending individuals in 2017 and 2018. Total length was recorded from all captured individuals and otoliths were collected from up to five individuals per centimeter group for age and growth estimation. In all impoundments, length distribution of sampled bluegill differed between gears with angled fish shifted toward larger individuals. Similarly, angled fish exhibited more rapid growth than randomly sampled individuals in some populations. These results highlight the vulnerability of the fastest growing individuals in bluegill populations to angler harvest while preparing and guarding spawning sites. Further, these results suggest that instituting some level of protection to nest-guarding Bluegill might result in increased size structure and promote development and maintenance of quality Bluegill fisheries.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

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-07) Paddlefish Migration: Evidence to Support Need for Interjurisdictional Management
AUTHORS: Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Dr. Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University; David Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: The scale of policy required to effectively manage or restore species that cross jurisdictional boundaries is a critical component for sustainability across a species’ range. Many riverine fish species (i.e., Paddlefish) range far beyond state boundaries; which makes existing state-by state management strategies null when conservation and sustainability goals differ widely. Before management strategies can be implemented, quantifying movement patterns is necessary to determine the appropriate spatial scale for management. Prior information collected using tag return data, has shown long-range movements for Paddlefish, but the proportion of the population making these movements is often underestimated from this type of data. Because of this, we investigated broad scale movement patterns of Paddlefish in the Mississippi River using acoustic telemetry. With the increasing use of this technology, researchers throughout the Mississippi River Basin now have access to a stationary receiver array that spans from Minnesota down to Louisiana and includes all major tributaries and many other locations. Without, the sharing of data among states and agencies, this type of data collection and analysis is not feasible. After summarizing more than a million detections from over 200 Paddlefish implanted with transmitters throughout the Mississippi Rivers, the data suggests that over 50% of the paddlefish tagged are migratory and moving freely among rivers (e.g., Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio rivers) across many political boundaries and encompassing multiple regulatory agencies. This type of information regarding spatial bounds is now being incorporated with population demographic information to develop a basin wide management plan that could be implemented in portions of the Paddlefish range.

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

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-09) Effects of Sociability and Conspecifics on CO2 Avoidance in Fish
AUTHORS: Emily K. Tucker, Cory D. Suski – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) has been proposed as a non-physical deterrent to prevent the movement of fishes in freshwater systems. Previous studies have shown that fish of different species tend to avoid CO<sub>2</sub> at 50,000-75,000 µatm, but there is also wide variation between individual fish in the amount of CO<sub>2</sub> required to elicit avoidance. In many of these previous studies, fish were tested for CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance individually. Many fish species, including bigheaded carp, are frequently found in groups, and it is not known if the response of groups of fish to CO<sub>2</sub> exposure is consistent with the response of individuals. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to define CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance in fish that are part of a social group relative to when tested individually. Bluegill were first tested individually in a "shuttle box" choice assay, to define their initial avoidance threshold. All bluegill were then assigned to groups for a social network assay to determine the social personality type of each fish. Finally, each social group was tested together in the shuttle box to define the CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance threshold of the group. Results indicate that fish in a social group that are exposed to CO<sub>2</sub> will shuttle at an average of 6 times lower partial pressures of CO<sub>2</sub> (pCO<sub>2</sub>) than fish tested individually, and that fish in groups had significantly less individual variation in CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance thresholds than fish that were not in groups. However, social personality type was not associated with shuttling behavior. Our results indicate that individual variation in CO<sub>2</sub> avoidance is greatly reduced when fish are in social groups. This has important implications for the use of CO<sub>2</sub> in fisheries management, as less CO<sub>2</sub> might be needed to deter groups of fish relative to deterring individuals.

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

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

1:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: EARLY LIFE HISTORY) Effect of Temperature on Growth, Energy Reserves, Survival, and Settling Time of Endogenous Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus Albus Larvae
AUTHORS: Joseph T. Mrnak, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University; Steven R. Chipps, South Dakota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, South Dakota State University; Daniel A. James, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus are a federally endangered species endemic to the Missouri River basin and the lower Mississippi River. Natural reproduction of Pallid Sturgeon is negligible in the Missouri River with a recruitment bottleneck believed to occur during the drift phase of endogenous development. Understanding factors that affect survival of Pallid Sturgeon larvae is key given their critical status and ongoing recovery efforts. In this study, we evaluated the effects of water temperature on growth, energy reserves, survival, and settling time of endogenous Pallid Sturgeon larvae (<25 mm TL). We tested three water temperature treatments at a velocity of 8.9 cm s<sup>−1</sup>; treatments included low temperature (18.7 °C), medium temperature (20.4 °C), and high temperature (23.3 °C). Larvae maintained at the high temperature exhibited significantly greater growth rate (1.05 mm d<sup>−1</sup>) than larvae maintained at medium and low temperatures (1.04 and 1.03 mm d<sup>−1</sup>, respectively). Energy reserves of Pallid Sturgeon larvae maintained in the high temperature treatment declined significantly compared to larvae in the medium and low temperature treatments. Moreover, larvae in the high temperature treatment experienced significantly greater mortality and settled on the bottom significantly faster than those in the medium and low temperature treatments. Increasing river water temperatures by manipulating water releases from upstream dams may provide a potential restoration option by shortening the development time and thus the drift distance required during the endogenous phase of Pallid Sturgeon larvae.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Lake Sturgeon Movements in the Missouri River Basin Call Attention to the Importance of Tributaries in Large River Fish Conservation
AUTHORS: Michael Moore, Craig Paukert – University of Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Large river tributaries often provide spawning and nursery habitat for large river fishes and may be less altered than the mainstem large rivers.  We used telemetry to identify tributary use and habitat selection of Lake Sturgeon, a threatened species, in the Osage and Gasconade rivers, two tributaries of the Missouri River in Missouri USA near the southern edge of their range. We implanted 96 Lake Sturgeon with acoustic transmitters in the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from 2015 to 2018 and relocated fish by remote receivers in the tributaries and mainstem Missouri River and monthly manual tracking. Ninety Lake Sturgeon have spent 75% of their time in tributaries. However, 20 fish have not been detected for up to 10 months, suggesting they may leave the tributaries for extended periods.  Bayesian discrete choice models determined that Lake Sturgeon selected deeper habitats across all seasons. Lake Sturgeon also selected habitats closer to the main channel in all seasons except spring when they moved closer to the bank in faster flows. Lake Sturgeon did not select habitats based on substrate composition or cover. This information may help inform river conservation and the consideration of tributaries into conservation strategies for large river fishes. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Fishes of Ohio Inventory and Distribution Project
AUTHORS: Brian J. Zimmerman, The Ohio State University; Dan Rice, (retired) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (ODNR); Marc R. Kibbey, The Ohio State University; Marymegan Daly, PhD, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Milton Trautman’s classic book, “The Fishes of Ohio,” was published in 1981 and did an excellent job presenting the distribution and status of Ohio’s fish fauna at the time. In subsequent decades, fish communities of Ohio have changed in composition and distribution. In 2011, we began an inventory of the current status of all fish species found in Ohio. Some of these changes we have documented are positive, including the large scale expansion of many species of riverine fish that have been characterized as sensitive to water quality. Other changes point towards declines, particularly in species reliant on wetland or glacial lake habitats. In addition to trends in distribution and abundance of native species, we see significant impact in the occurrence of non-indigenous species that were not documented by Trautman. The results of the 2011-2017 distribution surveys are summarized in our 2018 field guide “A Naturalist Guide to the Fishes of Ohio” by Dan Rice and Brian Zimmerman.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

2:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: EARLY LIFE HISTORY) Larval Drift Sampling for Scaphirhynchus Sturgeon in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers
AUTHORS: Kevin Haupt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Hae Kim, West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Donovan Henry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Sara Tripp, Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station Missouri Department of Conservation; Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Larval fish sampling can provide insight into early life vital rates, abundance, and drift dynamics. In riverine environments, larval fish drift dynamics may influence early-life survival. Further, field and lab studies have shown that drift dynamics vary across species. Thus, information during this life stage is imperative for proper conservation and management of riverine fishes. However, successfully sampling larval fishes in riverine environments presents various challenges (e.g., spatial and temporal coverage and sampling effectiveness). As it relates to Scaphirhynchus sturgeon, these challenges are exasperated when targeting larvae in fast flowing reaches of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Prior research suggests that Scaphirhynchus sturgeon are benthic post-hatch. Our objectives were to determine drift dynamics and origin of Pallid Sturgeon in the Missouri River, Middle Mississippi River, and Upper Mississippi. We sampled in river reaches above and below the confluence of the Misssouri River, above chain of rocks and below chain of rocks on the middle Mississippi. We employed two 1000µm mesh, rectangular framed-nets off both sides of the boat. Weights (45kg) were affixed to the bottom of each net, to keep nets upright. Additionally, flow-meters were affixed to the mouth of the nets to measure volume of water filtered. Nets were deployed from the boat via an electric winch. Sampling commenced in mid April and ended in late June.  Overall, approximately 3,500 larval drift samples were collected during the study period.  Preliminary results indicate we have captured drifting Scaphirhynchus sturgeon throughout the water column (i.e., surface, middle, and bottom) at all river reaches.  To this end, employing larval drift nets throughout the water column may provide additional insight into Scaphirhynchus sturgeon life history that will inform conservation and management of these species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Tracking the Movements and Interactions Among Salmonids in Lake Ontario
AUTHORS: Sarah Larocque, University of Windsor; Tim Johnson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Dimitry Gorsky, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Jon Midwood, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Aaron Fisk, University of Windsor

ABSTRACT: In Lake Ontario, five salmonid species are part of an economically important recreational fishery, with two native species undergoing bi-national restoration efforts. Understanding species distributions, movements, and habitat use can help management in maintaining a sustainable fishery as well as improve native species restoration. Thus, it is important to quantify the salmonid movements in relation to each other in Lake Ontario. Acoustic telemetry enables us to better understand the spatial habitat use of fish, particularly in large lakes where it is difficult to monitor. This endeavor is made possible through a large collaborative effort with academics and government on both sides of the border, unified by the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS). In 2017, 40 individuals across five salmonid species have been tagged in western Lake Ontario, with an additional 50 individuals tagged in 2018. With the ever-expanding receiver array in the western and eastern basins, we are beginning to see lake-wide individual movements of some species, including Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Overall, telemetry data is informative on various levels including describing cross lake and overwintering movements which represents a gap in our understanding of Great Lakes salmonid ecology.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

2:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: EARLY LIFE HISTORY) Phenology and Magnitude of Larval Fish Drift and Production Near the St. Marys River Rapids, MI
AUTHORS: Jason Gostiaux, Contractor at US Geological Survey; Edward F. Roseman, US Geological Survey; Robin L. DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Jason L. Fischer, University of Toledo; Ashley Moerke, Lake Superior State University; Kevin Kapuscinski, Lake Superior State University; Christopher Olds, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Faith Vandrunen, Contractor at US Geological Survey; Kaley Genther, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Ethan Binkowski, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: The St. Marys River is the Great Lakes connecting channel connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron and is the international border between Michigan, United States, and Ontario, Canada.  This large river has a variety of habitats present including lakes, wetlands, islands, tributaries, side channels, and main channels.  Water flow is regulated through the navigational locks and a series of 16 compensating gates immediately upstream of the area known as the St. Marys Rapids.  This area is considered an important spawning and nursery area for numerous fish species, although no research has been done to assess fish use or production.  To address this knowledge gap, active and passive larval sampling gears were used to measure the timing and abundance of larval fishes upstream and downstream of the St. Marys Rapids area from May-August 2018.  Drifting eggs and larvae were collected near the bottom and surface during weekly daytime and nighttime sampling.  Eggs and larvae of several native (suckers, sculpins, troutperch, minnows) and introduced species (rainbow smelt, salmonids) were collected at sites above and below the St. Marys Rapids area, however, larval fish and eggs were more abundant below the St. Marys Rapids.  Furthermore, salmonid and lake sturgeon larvae were only captured downstream of the rapids area.  Lake sturgeon larvae have been documented in the Garden River, Ontario, a tributary of the St. Marys River, however, this is the first contemporary documentation of successful lake sturgeon spawning and larval drift within the St. Marys River proper.  Evidence of fish use of the St. Marys Rapids including the presence of multiple sensitive species, confirms the importance of this area for spawning, production, and biodiversity.

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation
AUTHORS: S. Mažeika P. Sullivan, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Ohio’s stream, river, and wetland ecosystems have been subjected to multiple environmental stressors (e.g., changes in climate and land-use; alterations in stream hydrogeomorphic processes; ecosystem contaminants and nutrient enrichment, etc.). These changes can affect aquatic communities and ecosystems in myriad and interactive ways, with rare and endangered species particularly susceptible. The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership (OBCP) has been an effective mechanism in supporting and catalyzing applied research that directly informs conservation, restoration, and management of rare fish species, aquatic communities, and ecosystem function. Here, I overview specific examples of linked research-conservation activities supported by OBCP and how they have contributed to improved aquatic ecosystem health (e.g., impacts of dam removal, linkages between fluvial geomorphology and aquatic communities, rare fish propagation and reintroduction). I also highlight additional advantages of OBCP in the context of aquatic resources including training and diversifying undergraduate and graduate students, leveraging for federal funding, and increasing science communication.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

3:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-11) Avoidance Behavior of Cold-, Cool-, and Warm-water Fish Species to Zequanox®, a Biopesticide for Dreissenid Mussel Control
AUTHORS: Matthew T. Barbour, James A. Luoma, Todd J. Severson, Jeremy K. Wise – US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: Zequanox® is an EPA-registered molluscicide for controlling populations of dreissenid mussels (zebra and quagga mussels). Zequanox® has demonstrated selective toxicity to dreissenid mussels. However, recent research indicates Zequanox can impact body condition and even cause mortality in non-target species.  We assessed the avoidance behavior of two species each of cold-, cool-, and warm-water fish (lake trout, brook trout, lake sturgeon, yellow perch, and fathead minnow) to Zequanox® at the maximum concentration allowed by the product label (100 mg A.I./L).  Naïve, juvenile fish were individually (n = 30) observed in a two-current choice tank through which treated and untreated water flowed simultaneously on either side.  Each individual fish was observed during a control period (20 min) with no treatment and two treatment periods (20 min each) between which the treated side was alternated to eliminate bias.  Positional data was collected and tabulated in real time with EthoVision® XT software.  Zequanox® concentrations and water quality (pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and specific conductance) were monitored during each trial.  Results from this research will help inform resource managers of the likelihood of fish to avoid Zequanox® treated areas, thereby assisting in the establishment of treatment-related risk assessments.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

3:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 2) Spawning Chronology and Environmental Factors Associated with Grass Carp Reproduction in the Sandusky River
AUTHORS: Nicole R. King, University of Toledo Lake Erie Center; Madeline G. Tomczak, University of Toledo; Patrick M. Kocovsky, US Geological Survey; Christine M. Mayer, University of Toledo Lake Erie Center; Song S. Qian, University of Toledo Lake Erie Center

ABSTRACT: Invasive grass carp have been documented in the Great Lakes since 1975. Although occasional individuals have been captured, it was assumed that most were sterile escapees from stocked ponds. However, spawning was documented in the Great Lakes in 2015 with the collection of eight eggs from the Sandusky River, Ohio, a Lake Erie tributary. In 2016 no eggs were found despite extensive effort, likely because no high discharge events occurred, and grass carp, like some other non-native carps, spawn during high flows. Monitoring continued in 2017 with increased sampling effort including the addition of a second net and adaptive sampling after egg detection to follow the spatial extent of the egg mass. In 2017 the Sandusky River yielded 7,000+ eggs during two high flow events. The earliest developmental stage, three (stage one= no cell division, thirty= hatch) occurred at the most upstream site and the latest developmental stage (twenty five) near the river mouth. Egg stages were more variable at downstream sites and during lower flows; slower moving eggs are more likely to hatch in the river and survive to larvae. The pattern of egg stages and spatial distribution over time indicated spawning likely occurred several times or over a prolonged period. Although the hydrograph indicates that grass carp spawn during high flows, it is unknown what proximal cues initiate spawning and what specific conditions increase the likelihood of egg survival. We back calculated spawning time based on egg stage, collection location, and temperature to determine what specific factors may trigger spawning. Furthermore, we examined the conditions that likely support egg hatching and survival within the river. Preliminary analysis indicates several spawning bouts over a <10 hour time period. The ability to predict the timing and location of GC spawning and recruitment potential has implications for future control efforts.

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

3:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: BIG RIVERS) Age-0 Daily Growth Estimation of Commercially Exploited Channel Catfish in a Free-Flowing Midwestern River
AUTHORS: K.B. Wood, Cassi J. Moody-Carpenter, Robert E. Colombo – Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Highly variable discharge experienced by the lower Wabash River due to a more natural hydrology pattern overlaps with Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) reproduction period; this leads to variable conditions for age-0 fish to develop upon hatching. There ubiquitous pattern of cryptic information published about age-0 Channel Catfish, and any insight would be advantageous to multiple facets in Channel Catfish life history. While a male will spawn multiple times through the year, reproduction is dictated by the females, only becoming gravid once annually; females becoming gravid at separate times leads to there being non-coeval cohorts. In their larval stages, endogenous feeding promotes a constant growth rate, but switching to exogenous feeding and entering the juvenile stages leads to growth dependent on the environmental conditions. We observed stable reproduction in varying conditions over four years of sampling (p > .05). Peak abundance in August signifies a peak in the aggregation of cohorts. Past surveys have shown there are at least five cohorts of age-0 Channel Catfish throughout the spawning season in the Wabash River; investigations into growth patterns of these cohorts by estimating daily growth from the otoliths can offer insight into which cohorts may best be utilizing their available resources. Variations in growth patterns could come from present conditions, normal seasonal variation, or a combination of both. Results from this study could aid in creating a recruitment index for Channel Catfish in this exploited lotic system. 

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

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Incision Healing Rate of Shortnose Gars Using Novel Surgical Methods for Transmitter Implantation
AUTHORS: Sarah King, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jeffrey A. Stein, Illinois Natural History Survey/University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Knowledge regarding the movement of wild fishes provides valuable information of their spatial ecology, habitat use, and migration patterns. Telemetry methods utilizing either radio or acoustic signals require that a transmitter be affixed to the animal, introducing the potential for adverse effects on the natural movements of study animals. Intracoelemic transmitter implantation has been documented to have limited adverse effects and is considered the best method for long-term tracking relative to gastric insertion or external attachment. Surgical procedures describing transmitter implantation are well known in the literature, however, these methods cannot be used on more primitive fishes such as Lepisosteids due to the complexity of their armored, ganoid scales. External transmitter attachments have only been used on gars because it is not possible to breech ganoid scales using traditional surgical methods. Recently, Midwood et al. (2018) described a new procedure to implant transmitters in the body cavity of Longnose Gars in Lake Ontario. The surgical procedure was deemed successful based on detection rates of the majority of fish up to 3 months post tagging; however, individual post-surgery data was unavailable due to the lack of recaptured individuals over time. To further our knowledge on the survival and healing rate using these novel surgical techniques, we conducted a sham surgery study on Shortnose Gar in a controlled laboratory setting to monitor post-surgery impacts over time. Forty-seven gar were subjected to one of three treatment groups; control, sedation only, or sedation and sham surgery, and monitored over a period of 68 days. Results from our study provide insight to the expected healing rate and survival of gars using intracoelemic transmitter attachment methods in a field setting.

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

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Reading the Riverine Landscape and Learning From Past Restoration Designs
AUTHORS: Dana Ohman, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: There are many riverine factors that need to be scrutinized for stream restoration.  Some of these factors are fluvial processes, riverine channel characteristics, thermal regimes, longitudinal and lateral connectivity, water quality and quantity, aquatic ecology, and physical habitat characteristics.  All too often streams and rivers are restored based on a cookbook approach without addressing the causes of degradation or individual needs of the stream.  Unfortunately, this approach creates a stream condition that does not match the natural integrity of the stream thereby creating a restoration project that will end up failing.  Learning from past incompatible designs and stream restorations create a learning opportunity to develop more dynamic restoration designs that will keep that natural integrity of the stream intact.  This talk will focus on stream characteristics, identification of a reference reach to mimic stream restoration design components, and lessons learned from past stream restoration designs. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

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

4:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: BIG RIVERS) Age, Growth, and Yield-Per-Recruit of Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) in Pools 4, 8, and 13 of the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS: Tyler Ham, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Dr. Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University

ABSTRACT: Population dynamics are important to consider when managing recreational fisheries. Population dynamics interact with effects of harvest to create fluctuations that may need ameliorated through regulation. Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)are a popular sport fish in the United States that anglers spend time and money pursuing on a yearly basis. Despite their importance, limited information exists on Mississippi River Black Crappie. Therefore, the goal of this study was to evaluate the population dynamics of Black Crappie in Pools 4, 8, and 13 of the Upper Mississippi River. The potential for growth overfishing was evaluated through the use of yield-per-recruit modelsand based on historic harvest rates and habitat modifications within these pools. Overall, 201 crappie were collected from Pool 4, 215 from Pool 8, and 130 from Pool 13 during the summer and fall of 2016. All fish were weighed, measured, and aged via sagittal otoliths. We simulated exploitation for six different length limits. We found that growth overfishing did not occur until exploitation rates exceeded 50% for fish less than or equal to 152 mm. These results suggest that Black Crappie populations in Pools 4, 8, and 13 are not at risk of growth overfishing, but continued monitoring is warranted due to the potential influence of extrinsic factors like climate change, eutrophication, and vegetation shifts.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Using a Simplified Approach to Analyzing Acoustic Telemetry Data and Identifying Sea Lamprey Spawning Areas in the St. Clair Detroit River System
AUTHORS: Michael Lowe, Christopher Holbrook – USGS, Hammond Bay Biological Station; Darryl Hondorp, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Aaron Jubar, USFWS Ludington Biological Station; Jessica Barber, USFWS Marquette Biological Station; Kevin Tallon, DFO Canada Sea Lamprey Control Centre

ABSTRACT: Despite continued monitoring and control efforts, the invasive Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) population in Lake Erie during 2009 was the highest in the time series and has since remained above target levels set by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC).  It was hypothesized that Sea Lamprey production in the St. Clair and Detroit River system (SCDRS), which had undergone extensive restoration in recent years and was historically excluded from control efforts, has been under-estimated.  We present the results of a 2014 pilot study (n = 27 fish) and a larger study spanning 2016 (n = 125 fish) and 2017 (n = 125 fish) that used acoustic-tagged adult sea lamprey to identify potential spawning areas in the SCDRS.  In doing so, we introduce a new statistical method for summarizing and analyzing multidimensional fish movement data.  Our analysis of the 2014 pilot study data is congruent with a previous analysis of those same data using a more complex multinomial process model.  Both analyses show similar detection probabilities and behavioral aspects of sea lamprey movements, and ultimately reach the same conclusion: most Sea Lamprey spawning occurred in the lower half of the St. Clair River.  The 2016 and 2017 study, which had more fish and a more extensive array of acoustic receivers, further reduced the potential spawning area down to the middle St. Clair River between the mouth of the Belle River and Stag Island. The combined results of these studies address several needs identified by the GLFC and are expected to inform and guide alternative assessment and control strategies in the SCDRS.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

4:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: BIG RIVERS) Paddlefish Exploitation and Movements Within the Mississippi River Basin
AUTHORS: Thomas Devine, Southeast Missouri State University; Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Nick Kramer, Kansas Fish & Wildlife Division

ABSTRACT: The American Paddlefish Polyodon spathula is an ancient species native to the Mississippi River and its larger tributaries. This species exhibits a unique combination of morphology and life history characteristics that leaves them vulnerable to negative impacts caused by river modification and the potential for overexploitation. This has led to population declines in portions of the historic range. Concern regarding unknown exploitation rates from sport and commercial fisheries has increased in recent decades and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species is now seeking information from state agencies regarding the sustainability of commercially harvested Paddlefish Populations. The Missouri Department of Conservation is addressing this through the implementation of a five year study on exploitation of Paddlefish in the Mississippi River. The first two years of this project found that minimal exploitation of Paddlefish along Missouri’s eastern border with an exploitation estimate of 4.01% (SE=0.02). The third and fourth year of this study we focused on tagging more paddlefish with jaw bands and transmitters to further evaluate current exploitation rate and better understand paddlefish movement patterns in the Mississippi River and its tributaries. We found that paddlefish are moving great distances and crossed many regulatory boundaries. Despite low exploitation rate estimates, when information from this study is combined with previous work, a precautionary adjustment of regulations is advised to protect Paddlefish through maturation and ensure sustainability. In addition, Paddlefish regulations should be assessed across the entire Mississippi watershed, as regulations differ within and between regulatory and state boundaries. A combination of population monitoring (e.g. exploitation and population dynamics) and telemetry efforts have the potential to help inform future basin wide management approaches.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B
 
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) An Estimation of Harvest and Angler Habits at Bowfishing Tournaments in Illinois
AUTHORS: Sarah A Molinaro, Jeffrey A Stein – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Previous efforts to study and manage freshwater recreational sport fishing have largely focused on rod-and-reel anglers targeting black bass, catfish and panfish, while bowfishing – the use of archery equipment to capture fish – has received little attention despite the obligatory lethality and increasing popularity of the angling method. Furthermore, bow anglers in the Midwest primarily harvest species not traditionally targeted by recreational anglers, such as gar, buffalo and carp, which oftentimes may be taken in unlimited numbers. The limited information available on bowfishing harvest suggests that bowfishing tournaments harvest large numbers of fish at higher rates than those reported from rod-and-reel tournaments, which may leave populations vulnerable to over-exploitation. To better understand the habits and preferences of bow anglers, to characterize species-specific bowfishing harvest rates, and to estimate size-specific bowfishing mortality of gars, we conducted point-access creel surveys at bowfishing tournaments throughout Illinois from June 2017 to August 2018 (n = 16).  Creel clerks recorded fishing effort, the count of each species harvested, and individual size metrics of gars from each participating team (n = 147), and a subsample of anglers were surveyed about their bowfishing experiences, recreational angling habits, and bowfishing target species preferences (n = 147). Across all tournaments, the 456 participants bowfished for approximately 3,390 hours and harvested fish at a rate of 1.73 fish angler-hour<sup>-1</sup>, with carps accounting for 86% of the harvested fish, buffaloes for 9% and gars for 4%. Tournament anglers reported a wide range of lifetime experience with bowfishing and bowhunting, and that tournament participation is important to their overall fishing activity. The results and conclusions of this study will inform management decisions that promote sustainable harvest of novel recreational fisheries and provide quality recreational opportunities to bow anglers, and have implications in the management of invasive carp species.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: TECHNIQUES) Evaluation of Gill Net Design to Sample Fishes in Kansas Impoundments: Year Two
AUTHORS: Nick Kramer, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT: Gill nets are one of the most popular gears implemented to assess fish populations in North America. Ease of construction and low maintenance has led to their success and widespread implementation in the field of fisheries management. The characteristics of a gill net, along with the size and shape of the fish affect how capture occurs (i.e., wedging, gilling, tangling, or a combination). Many studies have been completed on selectivity of various sizes of mesh. Despite the importance of mesh size, the shape of the mesh can also be altered by modifying the hanging ratio which in turn will affect the catchability of fishes with differing body shapes. Additional studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of hobbling or tying down gill nets. This creates more of a “baggy” net which studies have shown to capture a wider size range of fish and may increase catches of species that could easily become tangled due to external protrusions (e.g., Channel Catfish or Paddlefish). In recent years, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism biologists have become interested in managing Blue and Flathead Catfish and have placed an increased priority on sampling these species; however, the biologists currently have little insight into fully representative population parameters due to standardized sampling gear that does not capture larger individuals. Thus, the objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of various gill net designs to sample fish populations in Kansas impoundments with special consideration given to species of interest for biologists (e.g., Blue Catfish, Flathead Catfish). Year one of this study found differences in catch rates for some commonly assessed species. These differences were further examined in year two of the study by expanding the sample size; in both number of sets and number of reservoirs.

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

11:40am EST

(FISHERIES: TECHNIQUES) Growth Chronology and Population Characteristics of Channel Catfish and Freshwater Drum Across Six Illinois Rivers
AUTHORS: Sabina Berry, Jim Lamer – Western Illinois University; Jason DeBoer, Andrya Whitten – Illinois Natural History Survey; Rob Colombo, Cassi Carpenter – Eastern Illinois University; Neil Rude, Greg Whitledge – Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Ben Lubinski, Jerrod Parker – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) are two prominent North American sportfishes occupying a similar ecological niche in many river systems. Comparison of historically validated ageing structures and length frequency data can reveal dynamics of fish populations, including their recruitment, mortality, and individual growth patterns. In addition, tracking years of strong and weak growth through biochronological inference can increase understanding of the biotic and abiotic factors affecting individual reaches and rivers. This collaborative project covers reaches of six major rivers spanning Illinois, including the Wabash, Ohio, Illinois, Kankakee, Iroquois, Pools 16, 19, 20, 21, and 25 of the upper Mississippi River, as well as a small section of the lower Mississippi River. All fish were caught in 2017 and 2018 using DC electrofishing gear as part of a long term survey submitted annually to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Preliminary results from 2017 revealed weak year classes in all reaches for drum from 2010 to 2014, but stronger classes in the following years. Catfish showed weak years before 2011 and after 2014, but stronger years in between. Drum had faster growth rates in the Ohio and Mississippi reaches and slower growth in the Illinois and Wabash, whereas the catfish initially had faster growth rates only in the Ohio River. Mortality rates were highest for drum in the upper Mississippi River in pools 16 & 19, but lowest in the Ohio River. Catfish mortality rates were low throughout all reaches. Incorporating chronology factors as well as the data collected in 2018 may reveal additional trends and the larger dataset will allow us to further compare pools and reaches within each river. Understanding population dynamics and growth chronology of two common predatory fish spanning Illinois waterways is important for creating potential management strategies and determining their initial necessity.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A