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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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Human Dimensions [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) What Makes Anglers Happy: A Sentiment Analysis of Walleye Angler Fora in the United States
AUTHORS: Kirsten Vacura, Paul Venturelli – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: Human behavior is an important factor in natural resource management. Obtaining the public’s opinion – for example, through creel, mail, and phone surveys – can be time consuming and expensive. Analyzing the text that hunters and anglers contribute to online fora may be a faster and cheaper alternative. In this study, we used walleye (Sander vitreus) oriented online fora to compare and explain the “happiness” of walleye anglers among and within ten U.S. states. We used sentiment analysis to score text data from each state as positive, negative, or neutral, and then normalized these scores by expressing them relative to the baseline level of happiness in each state. We determined the extent to which fisheries management explained variation in “happiness” scores within and among states via statistical analyses that included such factors as regulation strictness and complexity, angler density, stocking programs, and transparency of the state's natural resource agency. Although we did not generate results in time for the abstract deadline, we are confident that we will explain some variation and have interesting things to report at the meeting.

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

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) You Can Have Your Fire Hose and Drink from It, Too: An Expert-Approved Approach to Using Angler Apps to Generate Large Volumes of Usable Data
AUTHORS: Paul Venturelli, Ball State University; Kieran Hyder, Cefas; Tonie Aarts, Royal Dutch Angling Association; Rob Ahrens, University of Florida; Michael Allen, University of Florida; Paul Askey, Freshwater Fisheries Society of British Columbia; Johan Attby, Fishbrain; Leah Baumwell, International Game Fish Association; Peter Belin, Swedish Anglers Association; Scott Bonar, U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Shannon Bower, Uppsala University; Adam Brown, Substance; Steve Cooke, Carleton University; John Curtis, Ireland Economic and Social Research Institute; Andy Danylchuk, University of Massachusetts; Brett Fitzgerald, The Snook and Gamefish Foundation; David Fulton, U.S. Geological Survey Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jon Giacalone, Fishidy; Rob Houtman, Pacific Biological Station; Len Hunt, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Matt Johnson, C-Map; Jan Kamman, Royal Dutch Angling Association; Steve Kelling, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Elizabeth Overstreet, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center; Kevin Pope, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Tim Sartwell, NOAA Fisheries Service; Sean Simmons, Angler's Atlas; David Stormer, Florida International University; Christian Skov, Technical University of Denmark

ABSTRACT: Angler smartphone applications (apps) are a new tool for efficiently collecting conventional and novel fisheries data, and have the potential to fundamentally change how anglers interact with the resource. Given that the angler app market is diverse, competitive, and unpredictable, an important step in realizing the potential of angler apps is to develop standards that will ensure a large and reliable data stream for scientific study. To that end, we convened a workshop that was attended by representatives from 11 angler apps, and 22 experts in recreational fisheries, human dimensions, economics, data management, citizen science, and standards. A pre-workshop survey of participants identified gaps between fisheries data needs and the data that angler apps were collecting. We addressed these gaps during the workshop by cataloguing the importance and specific needs associated with 49 data fields (i.e., standards), and then determining whether apps can deliver on these standards. We concluded that any standard can be met, but that anglers will only be willing to supply data for a subset of these standards. Therefore, we propose an initial set of standards that are important to fisheries and/or easy to obtain (e.g., via automation). The consensus among workshop participants was that these standards should be maintained by a science-based and international standards council. This council should also maintain a repository of participating angler apps (including which standards they meet, the amount of data that they have, and for which locations), and any data that participating apps are willing to share. Access to these data will be controlled by the standards council, and in accordance with terms that have been set out by each participating app.

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

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

(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

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 1) Fishing for Answers: Restoration in the St. Clair-Detroit River System Improves Angling Opportunities
AUTHORS: Dana Castle, Central Michigan University, Tracy Claramunt, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ed Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center, Tracy Galarowicz, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT: Within the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS), fish and wildlife habitat and water quality have historically been degraded, however in 2004, extensive restoration projects began on this system to remediate past degradation. Post-monitoring of restoration areas conveys improving biota of the region, including improvement in Burbot, Lake Sturgeon, Walleye, and Lake Whitefish. Although species are improving in the region, the response of anglers in the region remains unknown. In 2002-2005, an extensive creel survey was conducted, however, since that time, there has been no other extensive analysis of the anglers in the SCDRS. We analyzed post-restoration creel data by calculating interview catch rates, interview harvest rates, and examining supplemental questions collected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). We also estimated the economic value of a recent creel survey by using estimated lodging and gas expenses of interviewed anglers in the SCDRS. We examined interest in fishing in the SCDRS by examining Google Trends data. For Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, there were larger interview catch and harvest rates in post-restoration periods than in pre-restoration periods. We determined that the 2017 open water fishery on Lake St. Clair was worth approximately $11.87 million. Search terms related to the Detroit River and show a significant upward trend, indicating a rise in fishing interest in the region. Because of the increased travel, interview catch, interview harvest rates, and interest in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, anglers are likely capitalizing on increased fishing opportunity in these parts of the system. Another extensive creel survey, similar to the one conducted in the early 2000s, would be helpful in further determining the influence of restoration on angling opportunities in the SCDRS and if anglers are acting to remediate restoration costs.

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

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) It Takes a Village: A Collaborative Approach to Bird Conservation
AUTHORS: Matthew B. Shumar, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative

ABSTRACT: Many species of birds migrate at night, guided in part by starfields and lunar paths. However, artificial lighting is becoming increasingly abundant on the landscape. This source of pollution has the ability to disrupt migratory cues and cause substantial mortality; birds attracted to bright lighting often fatally collide with buildings, and it is estimated that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed by collisions each year in the United States. Collaborative conservation programs designed to address bird-building collisions have been successful in a number of cities across North America—including Toronto, Chicago, and New York—by combining elements of public outreach, conservation, and research in a campaign to reduce the dangers of nighttime lighting for migrating birds. With support from a wide range of partners, including state wildlife agencies, local government, universities, and non-profit conservation organizations, Ohio’s first “Lights Out” campaign was launched in Columbus in 2012. In 2013, we initiated a study to assess the relative influence of light intensity and building height on collision rates. Results strongly suggested that minimizing lighting on tall buildings would effectively reduce collision rates. In recent years, this partnership has expanded “Lights Out” into a statewide network, with focused efforts in Ohio’s major urban centers. To date, regional branches of Ohio Lights Out have been established in seven cities. The magnitude of this conservation issue is likely greater than currently understood (e.g., more than 2,100 dead and injured birds were salvaged by volunteers in Cleveland during 2017 alone), and each city presents unique social and political challenges. There is great potential for programs such as “Lights Out,” but success will ultimately depend on cooperation among wildlife agencies, academic institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, natural history museums, building owners, city officials, and the general public.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

1:20pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Use of Surveys to Enhance R3 Programs
AUTHORS: Kristen Black, Illinois Learn to Hunt; Daniel Stephens, Illinois Learn to Hunt; Craig Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Surveys are commonly used to drive the development of public programs and to determine efficacy of those programs. This presentation will discuss how the Illinois Learn to Hunt program has used a series of surveys given to program participants and the public to drive the creation of a successful hunter recruitment, retention, and reengagement (R3) program in Illinois. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, survey creation, survey implementation, statistical analyses, and how survey results affect program management and execution.

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

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) First Year Evaluation of a Regulation Change for Walleye at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Kansas
AUTHORS: Susan Steffen, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

ABSTRACT: A 21-inch minimum length limit (MLL) on Walleye at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Kansas, was implemented in 2018 to prevent recruitment overfishing by reducing exploitation of spawning-sized Walleye. Initially, anglers opposed the 21-inch MLL and voiced this through various outlets: on the 2013 Kansas Licensed Angler Survey, at commission meetings in 2017, and during the public meeting about the MLL in July of 2017. To better understand anglers’ feelings toward the MLL, I added supplemental questions at the end of the access point creel survey that was conducted from March to October 2018. Anglers that agreed to answer the additional questions were asked about the number of days they fished at Cedar Bluff Reservoir last year, their level of support for the 21-inch MLL on Walleye, and their confidence in KDWPT. Confidence in KDWPT was measured by four questions in a Likert scale format based on responses from 1 to 5 where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree. I was able to obtain useable responses from 200 anglers from March through early September 2018. The average age of anglers was 47 years old (SD = 16.13) and they fished on average 22 days (SD = 26.29) last year at Cedar Bluff Reservoir. The plurality, or 34%, of anglers interviewed supported the 21-inch MLL on Walleye. Confidence in KDWPT was high, with Likert scale means ranging from 3.95 to 4.10. Results from the remainder of anglers interviewed in September and October of 2018 will be presented as well. The creel survey and supplemental interview questions will continue through 2020 to determine if angler support for the Walleye regulation changes as the Walleye population responds to the regulation as well.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

1:40pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Psychological Involvement and Constraints to Hunting Participation: Implications for R3 Research
AUTHORS: Adam Landon, Illinois Natural History Survey; Craig Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jerry Vaske, Colorado State University; James Absher, Environmental Sociologist

ABSTRACT: Research on recruitment, retention, and re-engagement (R3) has become increasingly important for fish and wildlife management agencies that are seeking to bolster participation in hunting and fishing, and ensure fiscal sustainability through increased license sales. To date, however, much of the literature surrounding R3 has been ad hoc with respect to theory explaining patterns of recreation behavior. In this study, we drew on the human dimensions literature to understand the influence of psychological involvement and perceived constraints on hunters’ commitment to the activity as potential new explanatory frameworks for R3 research. We hypothesized that hunters’ psychological involvement in the activity positively influenced their prolonged engagement, operationalized from patterns of hunting license purchase, and that perceived constraints had a negative effect. Data for this study were drawn from a large-scale cohort-based survey of Illinois hunters (n=6,000). Hunters were randomly sampled in age cohorts at two-year intervals based on their date of hunting license purchase over the period 2006-2018. Results suggested that psychological involvement may play an important role in hunters’ commitment to the activity, but that hunters placed different levels of importance on different aspects of involvement. Findings further suggested that perceived constraints negatively influenced commitment, whereby more constrained hunters’ were less engaged over time. Results of this study have implications for mechanism for R3 activity. Although demographic changes underpin broad patterns of hunting license sales, additional factors like involvement and constraints may account for commitment to the activity.

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

2:00pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Guiding Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation: A Market-Driven Approach
AUTHORS: Dan Stephens, Kristen Black, Dr. Craig Miller – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Hunters in Illinois have long faced constraints to hunting. Socioeconomic and demographic trends suggest that the public is becoming isolated from the relevancy and importance of hunting. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey have partnered on an adult hunter recruitment initiative aimed at addressing a long-term decline in hunter numbers. In order to develop an objective strategy to mitigate the decline of hunting participation in Illinois, an analysis of market segments, messaging, and imagery is needed to guide hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) efforts. Using web tracking, hunter harvest surveys, license buying data, focus groups, and socioeconomic data the Learn to Hunt program was able to define distinct market segments, market characteristics, and marketing themes. These market segments are defined as: locavores, nature lovers, competitors, and social enthusiasts. Web tracking through newsletters, social media, and program website analytics allowed for testing the response rate of various messages and imagery. Moving forward, R3 programs will need to develop a comprehensive marketing plan that cumulatively addresses market segmentation aimed at testing the effectiveness of various messaging themes and imagery.  

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

2:20pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) University Students and Bears: Understanding Attitudes Among Future Stakeholders
AUTHORS: Haley Netherton, Mike Rader, Shawn Crimmins, Brenda Lackey, Cady Sartini – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Increasing global bear populations and human-bear conflicts have made it more imperative to understand public attitudes towards bears and management interventions. Management methods vary in effectiveness and public support, further complicating the management of bears and other large carnivores. Without proper understanding of public attitudes towards bears and specific management actions, conflict can ensue between stakeholders and managers. To address this need, we conducted a survey of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), as they will become the next stakeholders and policymakers. The objective of our study was to evaluate university student attitudes towards bears and their management and determine the associated factors, including personal experience with bears, socio-cultural influences, and stakeholder group membership. UWSP students tend to favor education and relocation as management tools, with education creating the least conflict. Destruction of the bear is more favorable as conflict escalates, but remains fairly controversial. Our results suggest that college of study and personal experience may be correlated with attitudes towards management interventions. Significant differences in students grouped by attitude towards bears were found for multiple management actions across several encounter situations. Students in the positive attitude group significantly differed from students in the mixed/negative attitude group in their responses towards monitoring the situation, providing education for locals, and destruction of the bear in all five contexts of increasing conflict in a neighborhood setting (all p < 0.001). The effect sizes for these differences suggest minimal to substantial relationships between respondents’ general attitude towards bears and their attitude towards a management action in a specific encounter context (d = 0.304-0.894). The results of this study will contribute to the greater body of literature that can be used to inform the best management options for bears and other large carnivores in a particular socio-demographic context. 

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

2:40pm EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: WILDLIFE) Tolerance of Restored Wildlife: Landowner Attitudes Toward Elk in Northwest Minnesota
AUTHORS: Eric Walberg, Minnesota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, University of Minnesota; Gino D'Angelo, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia; David C. Fulton, U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Lou Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Reintroduction is an important tool used to restore elk (Cervus elaphus) populations to their native ranges in North America, though private landowners may be negatively impacted due to damage to private property (e.g., agricultural crops, fences). Restoration of elk populations in northwest Minnesota began in the 1920’s, yet elk numbers have remained low and the species is currently managed at low levels to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. The long-term viability of elk populations in Minnesota depends on landowner tolerance and public support for elk. Past studies have found that most individuals affected by elk normally do not participate in actions that impact the elk population, though as human-elk interactions increase individuals’ start undertaking actions either negatively or positively impacting the elk population. Actions that negatively impact wildlife indicate intolerance of a species and actions that positively impact a species indicate stewardship. We conducted a census of landowners within elk range in northwest Minnesota (N = 768) using a mail-based questionnaire to assess landowner attitudes toward elk and elk management in northwest Minnesota. Our theoretical framework posits that tolerance can be represented using three concepts: (1) Wildlife Acceptance Capacity (WAC); (2) attitudes toward elk; and (3) trust in the responsible management agency. Our research objectives were to understand tolerance of elk in northwest Minnesota among landowners and determine the effectiveness of our model at measuring tolerance of elk populations. The analysis supported two conclusions: (1) a majority of landowners have neutral tolerance attitudes toward elk (55%), and (2) landowner attitudes toward elk and WAC are effective measures of landowner tolerance of the elk population in northwest Minnesota.

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

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
 
Tuesday, January 29
 

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Something Fishy or Something Wild? Comparing the Progression, Status, and Needs of Social Science Integration in Fisheries and Wildlife Sides of Conservation
AUTHORS: Abigail Bennett, Shawn Riley – Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: This paper assesses the status and needs for social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance in Michigan. While the use of social science data and the participation of social scientists in fish and wildlife management has expanded over time, significant knowledge gaps remain. In general, there is a need for increased knowledge of stakeholder characteristics, perceptions, and behavior, rigorous analysis of the policy process, and more robust and nuanced understandings of the social, economic, and political implications of policy decisions. A thorough assessment of the context-specific social science research needs and a deeper engagement with theory and methods available for producing the knowledge to meet those needs can support more effective integration of social science into fish and wildlife governance. This study seeks to identify the current gaps in social science knowledge, data, and expertise in the context of Michigan fish and wildlife governance, drawing on interviews with managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Using the interview data and a literature review, the paper traces the recent evolution of social science engagement in fish and wildlife governance in Michigan. In doing so, the analysis contrasts fisheries and wildlife with respect to how social science integration in management and decision-making has proceeded, highlighting lessons from each. The paper then analyzes interview respondents’ perceptions of the most pressing social science and human dimensions knowledge and information gaps in both sectors, as well as current barriers to closing those gaps. Distilling the major themes emerging from the interview data, the discussion synthesizes relevant social science theories, frameworks, and approaches from multiple disciplines that can guide efforts to rigorously and cohesively advance the integration of social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance. The paper concludes by outlining a research agenda and identifying practical steps toward incorporating the research into policy decision-making.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) What Should a Baccalaureate Program in Conservation Law Enforcement Emphasize?
AUTHORS: Michael Rader, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Law enforcement is critical to natural resource protection and conservation. Increasingly, the job duties of a conservation law enforcement (CLE) officer have been expanding and getting more complex as natural resource agencies interact with an increasing number of non-traditional stakeholders and issues. Many colleges and universities now offer baccalaureate programs in conservation law enforcement, but it has been 30 years since research has examined what curricular components to emphasize in such a program. This study surveyed all full-time, non-probationary conservation wardens in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to determine their opinions on probationary officer strengths & weaknesses, preparedness for entry-level training, relative importance of academic subject areas, relative importance of modes of instruction, and officer demographics. Results (65% response rate; n = 108) indicated that probationary officers were weakest in CLE field techniques, written communication, and natural resource law and policy; officers were strongest in technology/computer applications, physical fitness and basic law enforcement skills; the top three skills to develop in a baccalaureate program were CLE field techniques, natural resource sciences, and basic law enforcement skills. Specific courses rated extremely/very important included oral/written communication, CLE fundamentals/field skills, criminal justice investigation, law enforcement academy, resource policy and law, English, human dimensions, internship, and natural resource field skills. Courses rated relatively low in importance included philosophy, economics, arts, history, and math/statistics. The top three instructional methods were practical exercises/application, role playing/scenarios, and case studies. Observations about how to incorporate the results into a CLE baccalaureate curriculum are made as are recommendations for future research.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Investigating Perceptions of Wildlife and Vegetation in Urban Vacant Lots
AUTHORS: Andrew Mallinak, Charles Nilon, Robert Pierce – University of Missouri

ABSTRACT: Vacant lots are a prevalent issue in many urban, residential areas nationwide, causing property value declines and further neighborhood blight. These lots are often targeted by city officials to become planned greenspaces, though nearby, marginalized residents may not adequately be involved in the process. This exclusion disempowers residents and provides greenspace that while ecologically useful, may not benefit residents. St. Louis, Missouri is one of /many Midwest cities dealing with a large number of vacant lots, with most of the vacancy concentrated in the predominantly low-income, African-American north side. The city has selected several lots in two north side neighborhoods to implement various management strategies for storm water control and biodiversity conservation. To understand residents’ management preferences for the lots, I administered semi-structured interviews combined with vacant lot photo-evaluation surveys to residents in both neighborhoods. I created themes from the interview transcripts and photograph scores that explain how residents perceive the wildlife and vegetation in their neighborhood vacant lots and how that perception affects their preferred lot management and use. Top ranked photograph scenes exhibited a clear line of sight and signs of care such as mowing, fencing and litter absence. Bottom ranked photographs exhibited blocked line of sight and signs of neglect such as litter, patchy vegetation, and unmown or untrimmed vegetation. Themes surrounding management perception and preference included sense of safety, maintenance effort, and community needs. While wildlife was sometimes seen as tolerable or appreciated, most wildlife was viewed negatively as a form of nuisance or danger. Vegetation was pivotal in how residents felt an area was cared for and whether a vacant lot was seen as being safe and usable, with low, uniform vegetation preferred.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) A Professional Development Program for Community-Engaged Research
AUTHORS: Heather Triezenberg, Michigan Sea Grant, MSU Extension, Fisheries and Wildlife Department; Diane Doberneck, Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement; Rhett Register, Catherine Riseng – Michigan Sea Grant, University of Michigan

ABSTRACT: Gradaute students receive high-quality scientific training, and some receive excellent mentoring in working with state, federal and tribal partners, management agencies, community partners, or nongovernmental organizations. However, some students who have excellent practical experience might benefit from understanding foundations for community engagement.  In this presentation, we summarize professional development programs offered by Michigan Sea Grant and our partners to help increase competency in community-engaged appraoches needed to increase public understanding of and interest in conservation.  We present the foundations of our programs and recent evaluation results.

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

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Michigan EnviroImpact Tool: Collaboration, Cultivation, and Communication to Support Farmers in Forecasting Manure Nutrient Runoff Risk
AUTHORS: Meaghan Gass, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Sea Grant; Erica Rogers, Michigan State University Extension

ABSTRACT: The Michigan EnviroImpact Tool is a decision support tool for short-term manure application planning that shows daily runoff risk across Michigan. Nutrient runoff from manure application is just one source of harmful algal blooms, but with proper planning, farmers can help keep applied manure nutrients on their fields and reduce nutrient runoff from entering the Great Lakes. The runoff risk forecast is derived from real-time National Weather Service hydrological models. These models rely on precipitation and temperature forecasts as well as simulated snow melt, soil moisture and temperature, and other landscape characteristics. Tool developers used regional testing from edge of field monitoring sites to validate the prediction models. The Michigan EnviroImpact Tool was developed in partnership with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension. This tool is part of a regional effort to improve runoff risk decision support tools in the Great Lakes basin supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and National Weather Service North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC). In this presentation, we will outline the Michigan EnviroImpact Tool’s modeling system, agricultural best management practices for manure nutrient application, the social marketing campaign to Michigan farmers, and lessons learned from stakeholder engagement strategies.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

6:00pm EST

(P64) Using Citizen Science to Assess the In-stream Response of Watershed Conservation Practices
AUTHORS. Carlos Calderon, Grand Valley State University and the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds

ABSTRACT. A long-term, community-based stream monitoring program will be developed for Indian Mill Creek, a 3<sup>rd</sup> order tributary of the Grand River (Kent County, Michigan). This 11,000-acre watershed is designated impaired by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) due to non-attainment of habitat quality and low aquatic faunal diversity. This monitoring program will establish baseline metrics, identify priority sites for restoration, recommend appropriate and effective Best Management Practices (BMPs), and assess effects of restoration practices. Two grant funded programs are currently providing funding to landowners to implement restoration practices. Citizen Scientists will be trained over the course of a year to be familiar with the MDEQ’s Surface Water Assessment Section Procedure 51. This qualitative rapid bioassessment tool will be used to examine the changes in macroinvertebrate communities and habitat qualities. Citizen Scientists from the watershed will continue collecting habitat and biotic data quarterly to assess response of conservation and restoration practices implemented over the course of 5 years.

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

6:00pm EST

(P65) Student Organizations as Professional Development Vehicles for Applied Learning Experiences: The MWSU Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society Example
AUTHORS. Cary D. Chevalier, Department of Biology, Missouri Western State University

ABSTRACT. Every college/university has some student organizations, each addressing an area of interest to some students.  Some focus on support experiences for degree development and some are actually associated with a national or international professional organizations having similar interests and goals.  Student Chapters of The Wildlife Society are among these types.  A constant challenge of any student organization is attracting and retaining active members.  Undergraduates have lots to do in the 4 short years they have to become competitive for the coming job market (whether in the industry, or on to graduate school).  I herein offer some suggestions as to what sets apart an excellent Student Chapter from others.  Student Chapters must have a clear mission and relevant goals.  These must be known and understood by all student members, and their faculty advisor(s).  The Student Chapter must have an involved faculty advisor whose work unit understands and supports his/her efforts.  There must be demonstrable “context” to the students’ professional development (What is in it for me?).  Students must be empowered and encouraged, but guided, to develop and lead their organization.  The Student Chapter should address what I call the “Trilogy Success”: Leadership of development, Skill development, and Professional development.  The Student Chapter must be incorporated in the degree program culture.  I suggest it be considered as a “capstone Applied Learning experience” that begins when the students join, and continues until graduation.  The Student Chapter should have demonstrable context relating to the students’ degree requirements, and reinforce and extend experiences begun in the course environment (lecture and/or lab).  The strategic purpose of a Student Chapter should be to provide Applied Learning through the Trilogy of Success mentioned above outside the traditional classroom format.

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

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) It's Time to Change the Game: How Can Natural Resource Agencies Use New Communication Tools to Stay Relevant?
AUTHORS: Sawyer Briel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: New technology has given way to a sea change in how many of our users receive and interpret. So, what does this mean for state fish and wildlife agencies? To stay relevant and share our message, we need to adapt and use modern tools in our communications and outreach. Whether through podcasts, vlogs or a number of other tools, there are cost-effective and efficient ways to reach new (and current) users. In turn, partnerships and connections that may not have been possible ten years ago are now a reality, thanks to social media and other new communication tools.

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

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Seizing an Opportunity for Engagement with New Stakeholders: Building Wildlife Policy and Agency Relevancy
AUTHORS: Barbara Avers, Amy Derosier – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: State wildlife agencies (SWAs) have limited opportunities to interact with new constituents, and many times these are unsolicited interactions. Yet these exchanges can provide important opportunities for SWAs to build trust and relevancy with new stakeholders by creating strong processes that include transparency and clear decision space. We will share an example in Michigan where Michigan DNR engaged with a new group of constituents to develop a policy and program to address swimmer’s itch concerns.  Residents of several northern Michigan lakes had serious concerns that swimmer’s itch was negatively impacting local economies and were seeking a solution.  Since previous research indicated that common mergansers (Mergus merganser) are an important host for the parasite that causes swimmer’s itch, there was a desire by several lake associations to control these waterfowl despite concerns by state and federal wildlife agencies and other stakeholders.  Concerned citizens turned to their state legislators for relief and the Michigan DNR was tasked with resolving the issue. The Michigan DNR convened a core team of diverse stakeholders to co-develop a policy and program for common merganser control and used an interest-based approach that recognized multiple and diverse interests in the issue (e.g., lake residents for and against lethal control, tourism industry, wildlife managers, health departments, bird watchers, waterfowl hunters). Through the engagement process, a common understanding of the issue was developed, and the agency was able to better understand and manage stakeholder expectations.  Using this example, we will present challenges and successes of the engagement process, as well as provide tangible recommendations and tools for future stakeholder engagement opportunities.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

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

(SYMPOSIA-15) Differential Constraints and Preferences of Anglers and Non-anglers in Urban Areas of Iowa
AUTHORS: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Like many other states, Iowa faces dwindling fishing participation and increasing urbanization. To better target urban and suburban anglers, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources created a community fishing program. To guide the program, a general population survey was conducted in Iowa’s urban and suburban communities. Survey questions focused on constraints to fishing participation, characterization of an ideal fishing trip, identification of important amenities and features, and identification of useful outreach programs. Cluster analysis yielded several groups defined by unique sets of constraints, including concern over the safety of eating fish, family friendliness, marginality, lack of basic knowledge, need for mentorship, accessibility, and catch quality and quantity. The importance of various constraints differed by demographic group and by background of the respondent (i.e., whether they grew up in a rural location, urban center, or other). In addition, preferences for an ideal fishing location and educational programs differed by cluster, demographic group, and level of fishing experience. Interestingly, the most common features characterizing an ideal fishing trip were experiential (e.g., being able to fish a location with good water quality) rather than catch-oriented (e.g., being able to catch many or large fish). These data were combined with tapestry data, allowing the characterization of neighborhoods by their probable reception to various fishing opportunities and programs. The results provide guidance to Iowa’s community fishing program for strategic fishery planning and marketing.

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

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Breaking It Down: Communicating Complex Subjects to the People We Serve
AUTHORS: Beth Fults, Kathleen Lavey – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Professional marketers and communicators spend their careers finding the right images and words to sell a product or service, share news, or to help people learn – many times all at once. This is an important job, and in science-based worlds, carefully chosen and easily understood words are especially vital. Oftentimes the subject matter that needs to be shared with the public – those who are the true owners of our natural resources – is the most difficult to understand outside the world of biologists. This symposium will provide real examples of successful communication and marketing campaigns the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has spearheaded -- including a current television, digital, radio and outreach campaign that is reaching urban areas in Michigan to explain the importance of forest management -- advice, and expertise on how science professionals can best work with communications experts to get messages out to the masses. 

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

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Learning from Michigan’s Women Anglers Through Community Engagement and Photography
AUTHORS: Erin M. Burkett, Michigan Technological University; Amanda Popovich, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: Recreational fishing is an important part of Michigan’s economy and outdoor culture, and women’s participation in recreational fishing is on the rise. Providing fishing opportunities for all stakeholders, including women, requires fisheries management agencies to gain a better understanding how women are recruited into fishing, what draws them to fishing, and what aspects of the sport they enjoy the most. This includes information about their experiences, values, and preferences regarding fishing and fisheries more broadly. Previous studies found that men and women sometimes ascribe different values and meanings to recreational fishing, but the underlying gender-based reasons for these differences, and how they relate to the underrepresentation of women in recreational fishing, has not been explored. Gendered expectations and related social processes are linked to both how natural resource management operates and what outdoor recreation activities are perceived as appropriate for women. This study’s purpose is to use a community and participant-centered method called Photovoice to better understand Michigan’s women anglers. I ask the following research questions: 1) Why do Michigan women fish?; 2) What does fishing mean to them?; and 3) What experiences or perceptions shape their initial decision to fish and continued participation in recreational fishing? Photovoice allows participants to record their experiences, values, and opinions through pictures and develop personal narratives during facilitated group discussions. This approach can invoke explanations of social processes that are inaccessible to more traditional social research methods like surveys. In this talk I will present the study findings including the participants’ own photographs, the major themes that emerged from their experiences and conversations with other participants, and how the participants decided to use this project as a means of organizing some policy-related action.

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