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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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Management [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Using a Long-term Tagging Study to Evaluate Escapement, Survival, and Angler Catch of Stocked Muskellunge in Ohio Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Curtis P. Wagner, Kevin S. Page – Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Muskellunge fisheries in Ohio are maintained through stocking.  The Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) stocks approximately 20,000 advanced-fingerling (10–12 inches) Muskellunge annually among nine reservoirs (1 fish/acre).  Currently, voluntary angler reports of Muskellunge catches provide managers with information on the locations, numbers, sizes, and harvest of Muskellunge.  However, this voluntary reporting approach potentially misses critical information on population dynamics metrics such as survival, escapement, and the probability of catching a fish.  To provide additional information on which to evaluate Muskellunge population dynamics in Ohio, the ODOW initiated a long-term tagging study.  Starting in 2013, all Muskellunge stocked into four study reservoirs (>43,000) have been implanted with passive integrated transponders (PIT).  Escapement of Muskellunge is monitored using in-stream PIT detection systems stationed within dam spillways.  Anglers report in-reservoir recaptures using handheld PIT tag readers.  To date, more than 850 implanted Muskellunge have been detected or reported. Focusing on the escapement component of the study, we found that escapement of Muskellunge appears to vary seasonally and depend on the type of dam water control structure.  For one reservoir, the probability of escapement was 4 – 36%, annually.  Together, these estimates provide a more comprehensive picture of Muskellunge fisheries in Ohio reservoirs.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:30am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) The North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization Program: Update and Evaluating Harvest Regulations
AUTHORS: Scott A. Bonar, U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Norman Mercado-Silva, Centro de Investigacion en Biodiversidad y Conservacion, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos; Kevin L. Pope, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Evaluation of harvest regulations clearly benefits from standard collection and presentation of data. Advantages include the ability to better evaluate regulations over space and time; the ability to share data more effectively with colleagues across political boundaries; the capacity to design large studies; and improved communication with anglers. The American Fisheries Society developed standard methods to sample freshwater fish populations to aid in data comparison and collection, publishing them in 2009 in the book Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. This project involved 284 scientists from 107 different organizations across Canada, Mexico and the United States. Because of interest generated from the first edition, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and AFS are supporting development of a second edition of the book to move AFS closer towards having development of standard sampling methods as an ongoing activity of the society. Goals for the second edition include querying fish management agencies across North America as to areas of improvement, but otherwise retaining methods as similar as possible to preserve standardization; adding additional requested chapters and expanding participants; revising data averages and developing a process for updating methods in the future. Standardization in industry, medicine and science has led to great advances. American Fisheries Society standard freshwater fish sampling methods are a powerful tool for addressing a wide variety of changing objectives. One of these is evaluating harvest management regulations, where improved assessments are possible with larger samples sizes, the ability to design before-after-treatment-control experiments and collaborate across political boundaries when managing the continent's fish populations.

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

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

(SYMPOSIA-01) Harvest Regulations: What Do We Know, What Do We Need to Know, What Should We Do Next to Develop and Implement Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations?
AUTHORS: Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University; Martha Mather, Kansas State University; Daniel Shoup, Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT: Fisheries managers are tasked with maintaining specific target sportfish populations to provide satisfactory opportunities for anglers. The outcome of this complex management process is variable and depends on characteristics of the ecosystem and population. Of the limited options that are available to alter populations and ultimately influence angler satisfaction, harvest regulations (size or creel limits) are arguably the most common tool. However, when and where harvest regulations work is poorly understood, and at times regulations do not have the effect that is expected. In this talk, we review what we know and do not know about regulation effectiveness and matches and mismatches between regulations and population characteristics. To develop a framework that can be used to decide when a regulation change would be beneficial, we identify criteria on which to base standardized assessments to evaluate harvest regulations. As examples of criteria to consider, prior to implementing a regulation change, standardized fish population assessment data should be used to model the effects of possible regulation changes. Additional, standardized sampling after implementing a regulation change should be used to determine if the desired effect on the population was achieved. In situations where the desired effect is not observed, a secondary series of diagnostics can be implemented to identify the influence of other biotic and abiotic drivers. Even if regulations provide the desired effects, follow-up data to guide our understanding of fish populations and further our understanding of the conditions governing regulation effectiveness is essential. Thus, standardized evaluations of these harvest regulations can yield the same benefits as standardized population assessments and can provide a pathway to learn more about the ecosystem.

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

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Eastern Massasauga Demography and Extinction Risk Under Prescribed-Fire Scenarios
AUTHORS: Eric Hileman, U.S. Geological Service; Richard King, Northern Illinois University; Lisa Faust, Lincoln Park Zoo

ABSTRACT: Population viability analysis is a useful tool for comparing alternative management scenarios but requires accurate estimates of demographic parameters. A major threat to the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is habitat loss due to encroachment of woody vegetation and invasive species. Current land management practices include prescribed fire and mechanical control to maintain habitat suitability. Although these methods improve habitat quality, they may increase the risk of depredation due to reduced ground cover and can cause mortality if conducted when snakes are active. We estimated demographic parameters from an 8-year study of an Eastern Massasauga population near the range center of the species in southern Michigan. From 2009 to 2016, we captured 826 Eastern Massasaugas 1,776 times. Annual survival increased with increasing age (age 0=0.38, age 1=0.65, age 2=0.67, age >3 females=0.71, age >3 males=0.66), abundance ranged from 84 to 140 adults, annual reproductive frequency was 0.44, and litter size averaged 7.6 offspring. Using these parameter estimates, we created a baseline population viability model that incorporated current prescribed-fire practices. This model projected a stable population with only a 0.2–0.6% probability of extinction over 100 years, suggesting that current management practices at this site are sustainable. Simulations of modest increases in mortality due to fire changed the probability of extinction little over 50 years (<0.7%) but increased probability of extinction up to 24.5% over 100 years in the most pessimistic prescribed-burn scenario. These prescribed-burn simulations may be comparable to burn regimes used at other Eastern Massasauga sites. As information on geographic variation in Eastern Massasauga demography accumulates, population viability can be modeled more widely.

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

10:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: WETLAND CONSERVATION) Marsh Bird Use of Wetlands Managed for Waterfowl in Illinois
AUTHORS: Therin Bradshaw, Western Illinois University/Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station; Cheyenne Beach, Western Illinois University; Heath Hagy, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University; Abigail Blake-Bradshaw, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Joseph Lancaster, Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station

ABSTRACT: Marsh birds are an understudied guild of migratory birds of conservation concern that can be valuable indicators of wetland health and may benefit from wetland management for waterfowl. I assessed marsh bird occupancy of wetlands across Illinois to better understand how natural wetland characteristics, impoundment management for waterfowl, and surrounding landscape characteristics influence marsh bird occupancy of wetlands. During late spring and early summer 2015–2017, I surveyed marsh birds three times annually at focal sites (passive or active management for waterfowl), random sites (emergent, pond, or lake polygons from the National Wetland Inventory), and Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) sites (wetlands from the Illinois Natural History Survey’s CTAP). Marsh bird occupancy was greatest during my first survey period (Ψ=0.71, SE=0.11), followed by my second (Ψ=0.55, SE=0.14) and third survey periods (Ψ=0.39, SE=0.14). Focal (Ψ=0.74, SE= 0.09) sites had greater occupancy than random (Ψ=0.62, SE=0.08) or CTAP sites (Ψ=0.32, SE=0.11). Occupancy also varied by wetland complexity (greatest in the large levels of complexity [Ψ= 0.99, SE= 0.02]), waterfowl management intensity (greatest at an intermediate level of management [Ψ=0.39, SE=0.178]), percent wetland area inundated (greatest in large area of inundation [Ψ=0.74, SE=0.089]), and percent cover of persistent emergent vegetation (greatest with large percent persistent emergent vegetation cover [Ψ=0.81, SE=0.148]). Across species and marsh bird groups, detection probability decreased with ordinal date, for every week delay in marsh bird survey detection declined 7.1% (SE=2.1). Our results suggest that waterfowl habitat management positively influence marsh bird occupancy. Occupancy increased with management practices that were less intensive and focused on keeping water on the landscape with little disturbance to encourage habitat characteristics such as high habitat complexity, large area inundation and high percent cover of dense persistent emergent vegetation.

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

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

(SYMPOSIA-01) Standardized and Robust Analyses for Evaluating Fishing Regulation Effectiveness
AUTHORS: Dray D. Carl, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Daniel E. Shoup, Oklahoma State University; Martha E. Mather, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Quinton E. Phelps, West Virginia University

ABSTRACT: Regulation changes are frequently used to alter lakes and reservoir fisheries to achieve management goals.  Although regulations are generally thought to be effective, fisheries management is hampered by a lack of published studies evaluating regulation effectiveness.  This is particularly troublesome given examples where regulations did not have their expected result, as the lack of published literature on this topic means there is little guidance as to when regulations will be effective.  Further, the few studies that address the topic typically just compare samples from before and after regulations are applied.  In this traditional before-after approach, many temporal changes (e.g., drought, flood, mean annual temperature, etc.) could drive changes in the fish population over time that would erroneously be attributed to the regulation change.  Use of the BACI (before, after, control, impact) design is a more robust approach that avoids erroneous decisions that might result from traditional before-after analyses.  However, the BACI design is little used, probably because of the perception that it would require more effort than is available to sample additional control lakes.  However, we suggest that some prior planning and creativity can make BACI designs possible with little additional work, especially in situations where standardized sampling is routinely used to monitor other lakes that could serve as control systems.  It is even possible that multi-state projects could be performed using routine monitoring that is already planned to provide control lakes or additional replication in cases where both states use the same standard sampling protocol.  State agencies considering regulation changes have a unique opportunity to significantly improve our understanding of regulation effectiveness if they planned BACI studies to track effects of new regulations through time, benefiting the entire field with information that up to this point has been sorely lacking.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 1) Mark-Recapture Validation of Pectoral Fin Ray Age Estimation for Lake Sturgeon
AUTHORS: Brad Utrup, Jan-Michael Hessenauer, Andrew S. Briggs, Todd Wills, Michael Thomas (retired) – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Age estimation is a fundamental part of fisheries management; critical for evaluations of growth, mortality and recruitment.  Validation of ages obtained from age estimation of hard structures is a necessary part of the ageing process in order to better understand the magnitude of error and bias associated with structure interpretation.  Validation studies on large-bodied and long-lived species such as Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens are challenging.  We utilized a 20-year mark-recapture dataset from Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, Michigan, USA to validate pectoral fin ray age estimates from 51 individuals that were sampled twice. The time at large ranged from 2 to 17 years between capture-recapture events.  All fin rays were aged by two separate readers (agreement rate 94.1%).  Samples were divided into four quartiles based on mean annual growth rates during their time at large.  Age error was defined as the difference between the age of the fish at first and second capture and the number of years at large.  No difference in time at large existed among the four groups, but age error differed among the four groups.  Furthermore, age error did not differ from zero for the two fastest growing quartiles but did differ significantly from zero for the two slowest growing quartiles.  We conclude that for Lake Sturgeon growing faster than 3 cm/year (generally less than 100 cm in TL) pectoral fin rays provide valid age estimates.  Managers should consider the growth rates of Lake Sturgeon in their populations for determining a size threshold for utilizing fin rays for age estimation.

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

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Wisconsin's Northern Highland Fishery Research Area: A Long-term Comprehensive Program for Evaluating Fisheries Regulations
AUTHORS: Stephanie L. Shaw, Greg G. Sass – Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, Office of Applied Science, Escanaba Lake Research Station

ABSTRACT: The Northern Highland Fishery Research Area (NHFRA) includes five lakes in north central Wisconsin that were designated for experimental fisheries research purposes in the 1940s by the Wisconsin Conservation Commission. The five lakes were selected to encompass the diversity of lake types and fish communities present in Wisconsin. The NHFRA has maintained the longest running compulsory creel census in the world (1946-present), has monitored fish community, aquatic ecosystem, and climatic variables through standardized surveys, and has conducted directed research to evaluate unrestricted fisheries (no closed season, bag limits, or length limits), harvest regulations, gear restrictions, and the influences of stocking over time. Key species evaluated in the context of fisheries regulations or stocking have included walleye Sander vitreus, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomeiu, northern pike Esox lucius, muskellunge Esox masquinongy, and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush. The creel census and standardized fish surveys have afforded valuable information to WDNR biologists regarding angler and fish responses (single-species and fish community) to a given regulation change. We will summarize the history of the Northern Highland Fishery Research Area and discuss several case studies of walleye, muskellunge, and smallmouth bass responses to harvest regulations or the lack thereof that have been directly applied to fisheries management in Wisconsin. By combining long-term creel survey information with standardized fish population surveys, Wisconsin has been able to make sound, science-based decisions to manage its diversity of fishery opportunities and has also been able to rapidly respond to emerging fisheries issues.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) Effects of Harassment on Behavior and Movement of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in an Urban Park
AUTHORS: Ryan Askren, Mike Ward – Illinois Natural History Survey; Scott Beckerman, Craig Pullins – USDA Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Increasing abundances of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) wintering in urban areas have led to a host of human-wildlife conflicts including feces deposition, human health risks, and aircraft collisions. Harassment is the primary tool wildlife managers use to deal with nuisance goose abundances yet has been deemed ineffective at changing goose abundances in an area or reducing issues in longer time periods. However, the effects of harassment at the individual level are poorly studied, especially in winter when harassment may have more dire consequences. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of targeted harassment on 1) average daily movement distances, 2) habitat use, and 3) overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) as an index of energetic expenditure. To examine effects of harassment on individual Canada geese we used data from 41 geese marked with GPS transmitters in the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Harassment efforts were conducted December 2017- February 2018 by US Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services personnel at an urban park near Midway International Airport as part of ongoing efforts to reduce risk to air traffic. We compared average daily movement distance and ODBA of geese that in and out of harassment areas. In addition, we quantified differences in proportional habitat use of geese between treatments. Canada geese subjected to harassment moved more than unharassed geese in December (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 338.2 ± 19.3 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 211.3 ± 8.4 SE), January (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 409.0 ± 2.5 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 269.0 ± 11.0 SE), and February (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 447.0 ± 36.4 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 232.8 ± 13.5 SE). Results of this study suggest that winter harassment of Canada geese in winter has effects on the behavior and energetic expenditure that could result in lower survival and reduced conflicts in urban parks where targeted harassment is conducted.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Data-Driven Harvest Regulations in Minnesota: Approaches, Priorities, and Northern Pike
AUTHORS: Shannon J. Fisher, Allen G. Stevens, Bethany J. Bethke – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) maintains fisheries management plans on more than 4,400 lakes.  To keep plans current, inform harvest regulation development, and keep pace with changing lake conditions, >650 lake surveys are completed annually.  Minnesota’s lake survey program began over 70 years ago, with the modern program established in 1993.  Survey data have informed management decisions locally and statewide.  The evolution of Northern Pike management is a key example of how Minnesota has utilized this valuable database.  During the 1980s, increasing numbers of anglers and fisheries managers became concerned about long-term declines in Northern Pike sizes.  As a result, MNDNR experimented with length-based regulations.  Using pre- and post-regulation lake survey data (1970s-early 2000s) evidence was found that length limits could improve size structure – but not uniformly across lakes.  Therefore, a limited suite of “Toolbox” regulations for lake-specific management was developed.  Pre- and post-Toolbox regulation survey data were used to perform a meta-analysis (>50 lakes) that indicated >10 years of post-data were needed to detect size structure improvements across a range of lakes.  In 2016, we strategized to improve Northern Pike management across Minnesota and three starkly different sets of spatially clustered objectives emerged.  In 2018, lakes meeting regulatory and biological criteria were divided into three zones with different length and bag limits.  Our standardized lake survey program was integral in identifying lakes included in the evaluation and will provide the necessary post-regulation data.  Given valuable lessons learned in early analyses, we know that it will take time to detect results.  Similar evaluations have proven extremely useful in the development of regulations to better manage other recreationally important species in Minnesota, including Walleye Sanders vitreus, Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, and Muskellunge Esox masquinongy. 

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

1:40pm EST

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

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

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

1:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Stopover Duration and Habitat Use of Spring Migrating Dabbling Ducks in the Wabash River Valley
AUTHORS: Benjamin R. Williams, Thomas J. Benson – Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Aaron P. Yetter, Joseph D. Lancaster – Forbes Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Heath M. Hagy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Spring migration is an important and often under-studied period of the waterfowl annual cycle. Stopover sites along migration routes contain habitats and resources required by waterfowl to rest and refuel before continuing north to the breeding grounds.  The Wabash River Valley (WRV) in southeastern Illinois provides habitat for over 500,000 dabbling ducks each spring.  Despite the heavy use of this region, information regarding stopover duration and habitat use of waterfowl is lacking.  Stopover duration, or the length of time an individual spends in a distinct region, is an important metric for waterfowl managers to consider while planning for the needs and required resources of migrating birds.  Stopover duration for mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and green-winged teal (Anas crecca) was approximately 17 days (95% CI:  12.6–22.9 days).  This is shorter than current estimates used by conservation planners and may shift objectives.  Additionally, mallards and green-winged teal used emergent and woody wetland habitat at rates highly disproportional to the availability of those habitats on the landscape.  Both species tended to avoid sites with greater amounts of agriculture in the surrounding landscape, while sites surrounded by greater amounts of open water, upland forest, and upland grassland were more likely to be used.  There was also a considerable amount of use in areas under conservation easements, suggesting the importance of these easements in waterfowl management.  All of this information will help land managers and conservation planners direct funding to the most important habitats in the WRV and ensure sufficient resources for waterfowl utilizing the region each spring.

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

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Using Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations in Illinois: Let's Start the Discussion
AUTHORS: Michael J. Mounce, Division of Fisheries, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The Division of Fisheries in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources lists specific protocol in our Manual of Operations for standardized sampling methods for the evaluation of both fish populations and the success of stocked fish. We do not have standardized methods specified for evaluating harvest regulations. Our biologists realize that this would be a valuable tool. The Division of Fisheries does have a standard form for submitting harvest regulations requests/suggestions for review by piers, mid-level managers, and finally approval by the Chief of Fisheries. This form does not include any request or requirements for evaluating the suggested regulation. The AFS book, "Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes" suggested sampling methods for specific species would be a great foundation if these methods can be employed prior to implementing the harvest regulation. Effectively and adequately collecting data about the "three" rate functions, recruitment, growth, and mortality, is critical. The estimation of angler mortality is a critical component of any harvest regulation proposal. Angler harvest/creel surveys should be the foundation of any harvest regulation proposal and evaluation, as the success of any regulation will only be realized where angling mortality is a/the critical factor in limiting the quality or viability of a fishery. Many state agencies, including the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, are facing staffing and funding shortages for a wide variety of reasons and this affects their ability to critically evaluate the effectiveness of harvest regulations, or propose and implement new sampling protocol. However, the development of methods and tools (supporting software) to appropriately propose and evaluate harvest regulations would be highly valuable asset to fisheries managers, the resources they manage, the agencies and constituents they work for, and ultimately the communities that benefit economically from fisheries with greater stability and improved quality.

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

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Maintaining Quality Fisheries in Small Public Lakes Using Restrictive Harvest Regulations
AUTHORS: Bryan Kinter, Mike Wilkerson – Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Overharvest is a common result of opening small lakes and reservoirs to unregulated public fishing. In lakes comprised primarily of largemouth bass and sunfish (Lepomis spp.), populations dominated by large, older sunfish and abundant largemouth bass quickly become dominated by abundant, small sunfish and few largemouth bass. This can occur after only one year of public fishing and results in a decline in angler use and satisfaction. Maintaining quality fisheries in small lakes requires restrictive harvest regulations of both sunfish and largemouth bass, and frequent evaluation of these regulations is required. Using a combination of trapnet and electrofishing surveys, harvest quotas, length limits, and bag limits, the ODNR-Division of Wildlife successfully maintained quality sunfish/largemouth bass fisheries on the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area from 1983-2011, after these lightly-fished, privately owned lakes were opened to public fishing. Each spring, trapnet and electrofishing surveys were conducted to evaluate bluegill and largemouth bass abundance and size structure. Bluegill harvest quotas were generated based on these estimates while restrictive length limits (minimum or slot) were set for largemouth bass. A complete creel census monitored harvest. From 1987-2011, an average of 40.8% of bluegill over 150mm were also over 200mm, and largemouth bass electrofishing CPE averaged 371 fish/hour. Over 45% of bluegill harvested were greater than 200 mm in total length. The Lake La Su An fishery demonstrates that restrictive harvest regulations can be used to maintain quality fisheries in small lakes open to public fishing. However, extensive agency resources are required to collect the data needed to manage these types of fisheries.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

2:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-03) DNA-based Dietary Analysis of Invasive Flathead Catfish: A Case Study from the Edisto River, South Carolina
AUTHORS: Aaron P. Maloy, Stephanie Dowell, Roman Crumpton, James Henne, Julie C. Schroeter, Christopher B. Rees, Meredith L. Bartron – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) are large, primarily piscivorous, predators native to Gulf Coast drainages of the Mobile, Mississippi and Rio Grande River.  Intentional stockings outside of their native range were common in the early to mid-20<sup>th</sup> century, many of which resulted in self-recruiting populations that have become invasive.  Flathead catfish alter native species communities through direct predation and are considered one of the most biologically harmful invasive fish. Obtaining detailed trophic data through traditional dietary analysis is difficult due to the lack of morphological characteristics of prey and because fish are commonly taken with empty stomachs. To address these challenges a study was undertaken on the Edisto River, South Carolina to assess the trophic ecology of invasive flathead catfish using DNA-based dietary methods. A combination of DNA barcoding and metabarcoding revealed a varied diet of crustaceans, bivalves, eggs and numerous fish species.  Traditional COI barcoding was useful for determining the identity of larger remnants of prey items of both fish and invertebrates.  Metabarcoding of the 12S rRNA gene targeted fish species and was successful at identifying prey even when morphological examination determined stomachs to be empty.  A higher rate of prey detection was observed in material collected from the stomachs than that obtained from the intestines.  Used in conjunction, the two methods provided a more complete understanding of flathead catfish predation than any one method in isolation.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

2:20pm EST

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

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

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

2:20pm 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

(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

(SYMPOSIA-02) Translocating Eastern Massasaugas: Approaches and Limitations
AUTHORS: Bruce Kingsbury, Purdue University Fort Wayne; Jillian Josimovich, US Geological Survey; Monica Matthews, Purdue University Fort Wayne; Sasha Tetzlaff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Brett DeGregorio, US Army Corps of Engineers

ABSTRACT: Wildlife translocation involves moving animals to augment depleted populations or to repatriate extirpated ones, or to move “nuisance” animals from places where they might cause harm or be in harm’s way when non-conservation activities threaten them. Many translocations are occurring ahead of our understanding of best practices, and are often unsuccessful as evidenced by increased mortality or departures from a targeted destination. We have been studying the translocation of Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), a small, federally threatened rattlesnake, at a site in Michigan near the northern extent of the species’ range. As part of this ongoing research, we have also been exploring the utility of “soft-release”, which involves temporarily keeping some individuals in an outdoor enclosure at the release site in the hopes that they will acclimate to the new environment more readily than those immediately “hard-released”. To date, we have radio-tracked over 50 translocated and resident (control) massasaugas to investigate their habitat use, spatial ecology and behavior. We report on our findings. Notably, among male massasaugas (the group we had the largest sample for at time of writing), residents had a survival rate of 0.72 (+ SE = 0.21), while hard-released snakes had a reduced annual survivorship of 0.40 (+ 0.20) and soft-released 0.44 (+ 0.18). Evaluations of females are forthcoming. These preliminary outcomes indicate that translocated snakes may experience higher mortalities, and that soft-release does not appear to improve that outcome. Given the increased rates of mortality for individuals moved into unfamiliar territory, nuisance animals should be moved the shortest distances possible, and ideally within their home ranges. Massasaugas translocated out of their home ranges will likely experience higher mortality than residents, and translocation efforts should incorporate that result during planning.

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

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

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

3:40pm 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

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) Use of Multiple Surveys and Stock Assessment Models to Evaluate Effects of Liberalized Walleye Harvest Regulations in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron and Gauge Progress on Management Objectives
AUTHORS: David G. Fielder, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Walleye reached recovery targets in Saginaw Bay in 2009 and a management simulation model indicated that recreational fishing mortality could be increased by as much as 50% without exceeding reference points of sustainability. Recreational harvest regulations (daily possession limit and minimum length limits) were liberalized in 2015. Monitoring and evaluation has taken the form of creel survey and a fishery independent fish community netting survey. Besides indicators from those efforts, a stock assessment model is also used to gauge mortality rates and status relevant to sustainability thresholds. While walleye harvest has increased some, recreational effort has not changed greatly and that appears to limit the magnitude of the effect. The multiple survey and modeling approach to harvest regulation monitoring is effective, but costly and requires ongoing commitment to survey work and model updating.

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

4:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-05) Is Mortality Data Proprietary? Accessing Bird and Bat Collision Data from Wind Projects
AUTHORS: Megan Seymour, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Bird and bat collisions at wind turbines are well documented and of concern to wildlife management agencies and the public. Data is typically collected by consultants funded by the wind project owner, and is often deemed to be proprietary even though it is collected under state or federal collection permits. This presentation will discuss the how some mortality data can be accessed, what state and federal agencies can share, and what the concerns are with making data public. When collision data is not shared, our ability to conserve birds and bats proactively is limited, however given available information we can infer certain mortality patterns and risk factors. These, along with management implications will be discussed.

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

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

4:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: FISH CONSERVATION) Evaluating Remote Site Incubators: Implications for the Reintroduction of Arctic Grayling in Michigan
AUTHORS: Alan J. Mock, Carl R. Ruetz III – Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University; Dan Mays, Archie Martell – Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

ABSTRACT: The Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) was extirpated from Michigan by 1936, and subsequent efforts to reintroduce the species to Michigan have failed. However, efforts to restore the species in Montana have been successful through the use of remote site incubators (RSIs), which allow Arctic grayling to be reared and stocked at the site of introduction. Due to a renewed interest in reestablishing Arctic grayling in Michigan, we conducted a study using rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) eggs as surrogates for Arctic grayling to evaluate RSIs in three tributaries of the Manistee River to support the reintroduction effort. We installed eight single-tank RSIs (single 19-L bucket) and one stock-tank RSI (265-L trough) at each study stream. Our objectives were to: 1) test whether the removal of dead eggs and alevins from single-tank RSIs affected hatching success, and 2) compare hatching success between two different RSI designs (i.e., single-tank and stock-tank RSIs). Survival—our measure of hatching success that accounted for swim-out and alevins that remained in RSIs—ranged from 40.3% to 42.4% (mean=41.4%) across the three study streams. Mean survival in picked RSIs (45.6%) was not significantly different from unpicked RSIs (44.4%; p>0.1).  Mean survival in stock-tank RSIs was 37.2%. Survival between stock-tank and single-tank RSIs by stream differed from 1.8% to 10.3% (mean=5.3%). Our preliminary results suggests that differences in hatching success may not be biologically relevant between the two RSI designs we tested, and that removing dead individuals from RSIs during incubation did not significantly increase hatching success.

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

4:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 1) Examination of a Modular Electrical Barrier for Deterring Fish Movements
AUTHORS: Scott F Collins, Anthony Porreca, Michael Nannini, Joseph Parkos III, David Wahl – INHS

ABSTRACT: A modular electrical barrier (MEB) was developed as a tool to deter or disrupt the movement of fishes for the purposes of an adaptive approach to pest management.  The design required a non-physical barrier that would not impede boat traffic or floating debris, sufficient power to generate an electrical field at a diverse set of locations, modularity such that the MEB can be transported to logistically feasible locations, and be safely operable by fisheries professionals. The MEB system consists of generators which provide power to one or multiple 5-kW pulsers which modulate the electrical output to the electrodes (anode and cathode steel cables).  Individual pulsers can be linked to fit location dimensions (depth, width, conductivity). To test the effectiveness of the MEB, we conducted an experiment consisting of two trials in separate 0.4-ha ponds.  For each trial, we constructed a large RFID antenna (1 × 30 m) and PIT-tagged (23 × 3.85 mm HDX tags) individual fish from 8 species (4 invasive, 3 native) in order to track fish activity (total detections; average detections) in response to operation of the MEB.  When the MEB was off, ambient fish activity ranged from 500-1600 detections per day.  While the MEB was on, the number of fish detections dropped to only 7 total (6 or 0.05% of trial 1; 1 or 0.01% of trial 2), and most detections were associated with fish mortality.  After the MEB was turned off, fish detections increased after a few hours, and fish activity returned to peak numbers after 4.5 days.  Findings from this experiment indicate that the MEB can greatly deter fish movements; however, like all non-physical barriers, it may not be 100% effective at stopping fish.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

4:20pm EST

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

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

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

4:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-01) A Portfolio Approach to Integrated Assessment and Research Can Provide a Larger Context for the Successful Evaluation of Fisheries Harvest Regulations
AUTHORS: Martha E. Mather, U. S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; John M. Dettmers, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Roy A. Stein, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, The Ohio State University; Donna L. Parrish, U.S. Geological Survey, Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Vermont; David Glover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Harvest regulations are essential tools that fisheries managers use to alter fish populations and achieve angler satisfaction. Evaluation of regulations is essential but evaluating all regulations for all species in all systems across multiple time periods is not logistically feasible. Thus, a strategic plan that identifies what regulations need to be evaluated where, when, and how can assist effective decision-making. Specifically, an integrated framework of assessment and research (i.e., the portfolio approach) can provide a larger context in which to design, implement, and interpret harvest regulation evaluations. Using examples, we illustrate this multi-step approach. First, a shared vision for individual fisheries (species, system, individual population, goal) that is jointly created by a collaborative group of researchers and managers is essential. Second, using a series of linked questions, objectives, and goals, the collaborative team can conceptualize (a) desired outcomes of specific harvest regulations given population characteristics, (b) challenges to achieving those outcomes, and (c) data needed to differentiate among population responses to regulations. Third, by applying a portfolio of interacting data types (e.g., assessment, applied research, basic science, synthesis), researchers and managers can operationalize a pathway to achieve the desired angler outcome given existing population conditions. Fourth, by using rigorous scientific principles, the team can improve all aspects of assessment and research. Specifically, a strategic plan that considers multiple starting population conditions, a range of harvest regulations, and different angler outcomes can integrate all assessment and research data to better inform management decisions. Fifth, adhering to a set of agreed-upon, regularly-evaluated 10-year goals allows fisheries professionals to track progress and plan next steps. Although agencies face different challenges across species, systems, and populations, all can advance successful science-based management by utilizing components of this portfolio approach for harvest regulation evaluation.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM A
 
Tuesday, January 29
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-09) Using Carbon Dioxide to Control Aquatic Invasive Species
AUTHORS: Cory Suski, University of Illinois; Kim Fredricks, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

ABSTRACT: Carbon dioxide is a commonly occurring, natural compound that is found in aquatic environments. Recently there has been an interest in using zones of elevated carbon dioxide to act as a movement deterrent for both invasive fishes and invertebrates. Despite the promise of this tool to aid in the control of aquatic nuisance species, there are a number of questions and concerns that arise with its use, particularly related to impacts on non-target organisms and the receiving environment. The current talk will provide an overview of carbon dioxide in aquatic environments, and show how carbon dioxide can impact both invertebrates and vertebrates, ranging from physiological disturbances to ion disequilibrium to behavioral changes. The impacts of elevated carbon dioxide on the receiving environment will be discussed, along with summary of factors influencing individual variation to high CO<sub>2</sub>. Directions for future research and unanswered questions will also be outlined. Together, this presentation will provide an overview of how elevated carbon dioxide can impact aquatic ecosystems, and how it can function as a non-physical deterrent for aquatic invasive species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM C

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: LAKES & RESERVOIRS) Otolith Microchemistry as a Tool to Understand Contributions of Stocked Channel Catfish in Reservoir Populations
AUTHORS: Cory Becher, The Ohio State University, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, EEOB; Stephen M. Tyszko, Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife; Dr. John Olesik, The Ohio State University, Trace Elements Research Laboratory; Dr. Stuart A Ludsin, The Ohio State University, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, EEOB

ABSTRACT: Stocking is a key management tool used to establish or enhance fisheries in reservoir ecosystems. Quantifying the contribution that stocked individuals make to the fishable population should be an essential component of any stocking program. However, such post-stocking assessment is oftentimes neglected, likely owing to difficulties associated with using conventional (i.e., artificial) tags to discern stocked individuals from wild-produced ones. To help the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) better assess its Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) reservoir stocking program, we have been evaluating the use of otolith microchemistry—quantified using laser-ablation plasma-mass spectrometry—as a natural tag to discriminate between stocked and wild-produced individuals. Herein, we first present results from predictive quadratic discriminate function (QDF) models that were developed for three reservoirs, which we used to differentiate wild-produced individuals from hatchery-reared individuals. These models were built using known signatures from the hatchery and reservoirs. We used core and edge chemistry of hatchery-reared broodstock and juveniles, as well as the recent edge chemistry of individuals captured in the three reservoirs. Afterwards, we present findings from our predictive analyses, which used the QDF models to classify reservoir individuals unknown core signatures as either stocked (hatchery origin) or wild-produced. Our preliminary findings indicate that otolith microchemistry can be used as a tool to identify the natal origin of wild-caught fish in our study reservoirs, with stocked fish comprising less than half of the population at large in each reservoir. We ultimately discuss the value of this approach for helping management agencies such as the Ohio DOW assess the effectiveness of their channel catfish stocking programs.

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

10:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: MAMMALS) Managed Forests Provide Roosting Opportunities for Indiana Bats in South-central Indiana
AUTHORS: Scott Bergeson, Purdue University-Fort Wayne; Joy O'Keefe, Indiana State University

ABSTRACT: There is a growing interest in the effects of timber harvest on forest-dwelling bats due to the potential for timber harvest to reduce available habitat. We conducted a study to determine how endangered Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) select summer roosts within a Midwestern forest managed for timber. In the summers of 2012–2014, we tracked 4 male and 11 female Indiana bats to 49 roosts (n<sub>male </sub>= 24, n<sub>female </sub>= 25) in south-central Indiana, USA. We collected multi-scale data on roosts and associated available trees, randomly located throughout the same landscape. We generated 10 matched pairs conditional logistic regression models based on a priori hypotheses on roost selection and ranked them using Akaike’s Information Criteria. Plausible models explaining female roost selection included those coding for typical Indiana bat maternity roosts and typical tree-cavity bat roosts. Females selected roosts under exfoliating bark on large (17 ± 2 m in height and 34.8 ± 3.0 cm in diameter) standing dead trees and in bat boxes with high solar exposure (28.0 ± 6.0 % canopy closure above roosts). For males, the model coding for predator avoidance was the most plausible explanation of roost selection. Males selected for roosts under exfoliating bark on tall trees (23 ± 2 m; 71% snags) surrounded by snags (4.5 ± 0.7 snags/0.1 ha plot) and live trees (30.4 ± 2.7 live trees/0.1 ha plot). Females roosted in or 10 m from harvest openings and first-stage shelterwood cuts more than expected (15 of 25 roosts) based on their availability on the landscape. Males roosted in harvest openings as expected (3 of 24 roosts). Our results demonstrate that a managed Midwestern forest provides an array of roosts for Indiana bats and that Indiana bats do not actively avoid roosting near harvest openings in this forest.

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

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

(SYMPOSIA-07) Biotelemetry Informing Management: Case Studies Exploring Successful Integration of Biotelemetry Data into Fisheries and Habitat Management
AUTHORS: Jill L. Brooks, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Lab, Carleton University; Jacqueline M. Chapman, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Lab, Carleton University; Amanda N. Barkley, University of Windsor; Steven T. Kessel, Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, John G. Shedd Aquarium; Nigel E. Hussey, University of Windsor; Scott G. Hinch, Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, University of British Columbia; David A. Patterson, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Kevin J. Hedges, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Steven J. Cooke, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Lab, Carleton University; Aaron T. Fisk, University of Windsor; Samuel H. Gruber, Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation; Vivian M. Nguyen, Natural Resources Canada.

ABSTRACT: Biotelemetry data have been successfully incorporated into aspects of fishery and fish habitat management, however, the processes of knowledge mobilization are rarely published in peer-reviewed literature but are valuable and of interest to conservation scientists. Here, we explore case examples from the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS) and the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), ranging from Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) in BC, Canada, Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) in Cumberland Sound, Canada, and lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) in Florida, USA to document key processes for science-integration. Typical recommendations documented in the literature (e.g., co-production of knowledge, transdisciplinary methodologies, applied research questions) were recorded to have had successful fisheries management integration, although we documented some exceptions. In each case, it was early, active and ongoing communication outside of traditional science communication and the visual evidence of fish movement that were critical in engaging all parties with a vested interest. Networks offer forums for knowledge sharing on lessons learned and development of skills to engage in active communication. Greater investments and attention to develop these skills are needed to foster positive and active relationships that can impart real change in management and conservation.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) OBCP: An Agency Perspective
AUTHORS: Kate Parsons, ODNR-Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: The goal of the Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership is to conduct outstanding scientific research that directly benefits the citizens of Ohio by providing sound, scientifically-based advice for managing endangered species and other species of greatest conservation need in the state. From the state wildlife agency’s perspective, sound science is critical to management decisions. The OBCP research projects are used to focus on key information, whether it’s better understanding a species habitat needs or population structure. The faculty at OSU have the expertise to develop and conduct research that addresses current and emerging issues in wildlife conservation.

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

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Synthesizing the Science to Support Management of Invasive Plants
AUTHORS: Kurt P. Kowalski, U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT: The invasion of non-native wetland plants is one of the many stressors degrading Lake Erie and surrounding watersheds. Once established, invasive plants often outcompete native plants, impair fish and wildlife habitat, degrade recreational opportunities, increase fire hazard, and reduce property values. Resource managers and regional funding agencies (e.g., the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) invest a significant amount of resources to address this high priority issue. However, the conventional approaches to invasive plant management (e.g., herbicide, cutting, burning, flooding) often only provide temporary control, are difficult to maintain at the landscape scale, and are not species specific. Efforts to collaborate on a local scale (e.g., Cooperative Weed Management Areas) and at the basin-wide scale (e.g., Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative, Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework) are maximizing the impact of investments, but additional management options are desired by resource managers. Phragmites australis, Typha spp., Butomus umbellatus, Phalaris arundinacea, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, Hydrilla verticillata, and Myriophyllum spicatum are just a few of the many non-native plant species found in Lake Erie coastal habitats. Although all of these species are being managed at some level, a few widespread species (e.g., Phragmites) are very visible, of great concern to private and public landowners, and targeted for intensive research efforts into new management approaches that can be adapted to the other species. For example, recent advances have revealed the extensive suite of microbes (e.g., bacteria, fungi) that live symbiotically in and around non-native Phragmites. The relationship between microbes and the plant can enhance the plant’s ability to outcompete native plants and is a target for new control approaches (e.g., disrupting important mutualisms). Ongoing research focused on Phragmites is laying the groundwork for application to other undesirable non-native plants and enhancing the growth of desirable native or crop species.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

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

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) From the Boat to the Board Room: Communicating Lake Erie Walleye Movements and Population Dynamics to Decision Makers and the Public
AUTHORS: Christopher Vandergoot, US Geological Survey; Matthew Faust*, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Jason Robinson, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Andy Cook, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Tom MacDougall, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Charles Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Walleye support important commercial and recreational fisheries throughout Lake Erie.  To manage this fishery sustainably, a thorough understanding of the underlying biological and ecological processes regulating population dynamics is essential.  Recently, numerous acoustic telemetry studies have been undertaken to address key management uncertainties associated with movement patterns, spawning ecology and phenology, stock contributions, habitat use, and population dynamics. While these studies have resulted in an unprecedented amount of information, challenges ranging from determining best tagging practices, maintaining receiver networks, managing and analyzing large datasets, and communicating research findings to managers and constituents have occurred along the way.  This presentation will provide an overview of past and current Lake Erie walleye acoustic telemetry projects and summarize management uncertainties addressed to date.  Additionally, how results from completed and ongoing studies could be incorporated into current stock assessment practices will be presented.  Lastly, we’ll discuss how biologists and researchers communicate these scientific findings to a diversity of audiences, from fishery managers to resource users.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM A

11:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: MAMMALS) Evaluating Survival and Cause-specific Mortality of Bobcats in West-central Illinois
AUTHORS: Edward. D. Davis, Western Illinois University; Tim C. Swearingen, Western Illinois University; Robert W. Klaver, U.S. Geological Survey; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Increased understanding of mortality of bobcats (Lynx rufus) is a prerequisite to successful management programs, particularly as it relates to population dynamics and the role of population models in adaptive species management. Survival and cause-specific mortality of bobcats have been well documented in predominantly forested landscapes, but limited information has been collected in agriculturally-dominated Midwestern landscapes. Thus, our objective was to evaluate survival and cause-specific mortality rates of bobcats across agriculturally dominated landscapes of west-central Illinois. We captured and radio-collared 38 (20 males, 18 females) bobcats from January 2016 to September 2018. We used known fate models with the logit link function in Program MARK to estimate annual survival of bobcats, which accommodated staggered entry and exit times of radiocollared bobcats during our analysis interval. Because mortality events were limited, covariate modeling was not conducted. Nevertheless, we constructed a survival model in which survival was constant (S{<sub>constant</sub>}) between years and across sexes. We documented 11 deaths during our study; vehicle collisions was the leading cause of mortality and accounted for 5 (45%) mortality events. We attributed remaining deaths to harvest (n = 3; [1 legal, 1 illegal, 1 incidental harvest]), unknown (n = 1), other (n = 1), and capture-related factors (n = 1); we censored capture-related deaths from analyses. The estimated annual survival rate using model S{<sub>constant</sub>} was 0.74 (95% CI = 0.55–0.87). Bobcat survival monitoring is ongoing through 2019 and will evaluate potential effects of intrinsic and habitat variables on seasonal and annual survival rates.

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

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

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

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

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

1:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 1) Impacts of Neonicotinoids on Native Pollinators: Evaluating Wild Bee Guilds in Field-margins Surrounding Imidacloprid-treated Soybean Fields
AUTHORS: Anson R. Main, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri; Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Keith W. Goyne, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri; Robert Abney, School of Natural Resources, University of MIssouri; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: Unlike honeybees, numerous wild bee species nest belowground and in close proximity to cultivated fields and adjacent flowering field-margins. Although agricultural field-margins can serve as important bee foraging habitat, these areas may also accumulate neonicotinoid insecticides via runoff events and planter dust. Few field studies have evaluated neonicotinoid impacts on wild pollinator communities, including solitary, ground-nesting bees (e.g., sweat bees, longhorn bees). To assess effects of neonicotinoid exposure on native bee floral (diet specialization) and nesting guilds (e.g., soil, cavity), we sampled 30 soybean fields on five conservation areas in north-central Missouri from pre-seeding through harvest in 2017. Following baseline data collection in 2016, soybean fields were cultivated using one of three treatments: imidacloprid-treated fields (n=10); untreated fields (n=10); and previously treated (2016) to untreated fields (n=10). At each site, we collected field and field-margin soils, flower heads from wildflowers and soybean plants, and native pollinators every 28 days over five sampling periods (pre-seeding, post-seeding, growing, soybean flowering, and harvest). Neonicotinoid residues were detected in field soils during all sampling periods (frequency: pre-seeding, 7%; post-seeding, 33%; growing, 23%; soybean flowering, 53%; and, harvest, 33%). However, neonicotinoids were infrequently detected in margin soils (<8% frequency, overall) with no residues detected in flowers from field-margin or soybean plants. Overall, wild bee abundance was significantly less in fields with greater neonicotinoid concentrations (ß = -0.27 ± 0.09, P = 0.003) though this relationship became slightly positive over time (ß = 0.08 ± 0.02, P= <0.001). Soil-nesting bee richness was significantly greater in margins surrounding untreated fields compared to previously treated fields. Additionally, fewer floral diet specialist bees were collected in field-margins surrounding fields with greater soil concentrations. Here, we present our preliminary findings and discuss how this research improves our understanding of neonicotinoid seed-treatment use on non-target native pollinator communities within agroecosystems.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM D

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-09) Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide to Stimulate Emergence of Red Swamp Crayfish from Invaded Ponds
AUTHORS: Jim Stoeckel, Rebecca Tucker, Hisham Abdelrahman – Auburn University; Aaron Cupps, Ann Allert, Kim Fredricks – U.S. Geological Survey; Seth Herbst, Sara Thomas – Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Brian Roth, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Reduction of invasive crayfish is a major challenge facing natural resource managers.  We evaluated the ability of carbon dioxide to induce red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) to leave ponds, and the ability of terrestrial shelters to facilitate collection after emergence.  We placed 100 red swamp crayfish in ~14 x 14 m experimental ponds at Auburn University, Alabama.  Tanks equipped with regulators and diffusers were used to inject CO<sub>2</sub> into experimental ponds whereas control ponds received no CO<sub>2</sub>.  Silt fencing was installed around ponds such that the bottom 2 feet was folded on the ground to serve as shelter, whereas the upper foot was installed vertically on fence posts to serve as a barrier.  Carbon dioxide was elevated to =200 mg/L in experimental ponds while pH was depressed to ~5.5.  Dissolved oxygen remained > 5 mg/L.  Greater than 50% of crayfish emerged within 6 hours.  Of these, 95% remained in sheltered areas underneath the folded fencing. They did not burrow under the fencing and were easily collected.  When a small inflow of non-carbonated fresh water was provided to a pond to simulate an underwater spring, crayfish sought shelter within this small inflow area.  Only 6% exited the pond even though CO<sub>2</sub> quickly reached = 200 mg/L in the surrounding waters.  Results thus far show that carbon dioxide can cause a large proportion of crayfish to emerge from ponds and seek terrestrial shelter within a short time.  Small inflows of non-carbonated water from inlets or springs can provide refuges that may severely limit emergence.  However, if these refuge areas can be identified, they may facilitate removal via trapping or seining.  Results from an invaded retention-pond trial in Michigan are currently being analyzed and will also be presented.

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

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-11) Full Lake Eradication of Quagga Mussels Using Low Doses of EarthTec QZ Ionic Copper
AUTHORS: David Hammond, Ph.D., Earth Science Laboratories, Inc.;Gavin Ferris, M.S., Solitude Lake Management, Inc.

ABSTRACT: In 2017 Earth Science Labs, Inc. designed and supervised a treatment protocol to eradicate invasive quagga mussels from the lake at Billmeyer Quarry in Pennsylvania.  The treatment consisted of 3 separate applications of a liquid formulation of ionic copper called EarthTec QZ, delivered over a period of 37 days.  Mussel mortality was determined through use of caged adult mussels that were suspended at different locations and depths throughout the lake.  Mussels began to die within 3 days of the initiation of treatment, particularly in the top 20 feet of the water body.  The death of the last caged mussel was confirmed 40 days after the initiation of treatment, in a cage that had been placed at a depth of 30 feet below the surface.  Both biological and physicochemical data collected during the treatment period revealed that there was a pronounced thermocline at 25-35 foot depth.  Such stratification is historically typical for this lake.  The layer of water in the thermocline resisted mixing, which explains why mussels located above and below the thermocline were eradicated quickly, yet those within the thermocline required targeted treatment techniques and 40 days to succumb to 100% mortality.  Microscopic analysis of plankton tows and visual inspection of the shoreline after partial pump-down of the quarry in early November indicated that all veligers and adults were successfully exterminated.  Analysis of eDNA taken in December 2017 also suggests the eradication was complete.  The cumulative sum of copper applied throughout the entire course of treatment totaled 0.44 mg/L – noteworthy because it is less than half the concentration EPA allows (1.0 mg/L) in a single algaecide treatment.  The authors are cautiously optimistic that this is the first recorded instance of eradicating quagga mussels from an entire lake.

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

2:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-09) Effects of Carbon Dioxide on Dreissenid Mussels and Its Use a Management Tool
AUTHORS: Diane Waller, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Michelle Bartsch, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Eric Lord, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center.

ABSTRACT: Tools to control dreissenid mussel (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis) populations currently rely heavily on chemical molluscicides that can be both costly and have the potential to be environmentally harmful if misused. Carbon dioxide may be a more cost-effective and environmentally neutral option for controlling dreissenid mussel populations. Past studies have demonstrated that carbon dioxide is lethal to several species of invasive molluscs, including zebra mussels, Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea), and New Zealand mud snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). We evaluated the effects of various treatment regimens [i.e., exposure duration and pCO<sub>2 </sub>(partial pressure of carbon dioxide)] on mortality, byssal thread formation and attachment, and narcotization behavior of adult zebra mussels. Percent mortality and time to death were determined at three temperatures across a range of pCO<sub>2</sub> levels (70,000 – 250,000 µm). Our results indicated that elevated PCO<sub>2</sub> exposure induced narcotization and reduced attachment of zebra mussels within 24 h. Time to death was inversely correlated with water temperature and pCO<sub>2</sub> and ranged from 3 – 13 d. The potential application of carbon dioxide into an integrated pest management program for dreissenid mussels will be discussed.

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

2:00pm EST

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 1) Effects of Pipeline Right-of-Way Habitat Management on Early Successional Songbirds in Eastern Ohio
AUTHORS: Lewis M. Lolya, Gabriel Karns, Stephen N. Matthews –The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Early successional bird species have exhibited population declines across Ohio, coinciding with a state-wide loss in young forest and shrub-scrub habitats. Additionally, forest fragmentation and land use conversion has increased with accelerating shale gas development. Pipeline right-of-ways (ROWs), which represent the largest proportion of the shale gas footprint, hold potential for early successional habitat management. This potential has been demonstrated for analogous electric ROWs, but minimal research is available for corridors with underground infrastructure. Our goals are to assess early successional avian response to forest edge-cutback techniques along pipeline ROWs and to understand avian utilization of the pipeline-forest interface. Forest-edge plots (control=11, experimental=12) were established at 10 sites across four counties in Eastern Ohio. Avian point counts, nesting surveys, and vegetation sampling were conducted within each plot. A total of 93 nests of 13 species were monitored. The proportion of failed to fledged nests was 47%, with EATO showing low nest success across sites (Fail=62%). Overall incidence of nest parasitism was higher in edge treatment ROWs (n=9) than in control (n=6). 79 total species were observed across all sites during point counts. Several species showed increased occurrence in ROW plots compared to forest plots ([alpha codes] BHCO, COYE, EATO, FISP, INBU, and NOCA) while others were more prevalent in interior forest (ACFL, OVEN, and REVI). SCTA, EAWP, and ACFL were more prevalent in experimental ROW plots than control. The opposite trend was seen for INBU, potentially due to limited forest regrowth following recent treatments. These results may demonstrate that birds exhibit species-specific selectivity for habitat structure characteristics along pipeline corridors. Although pipeline edges may provide nesting habitat, high occurrence of nest parasitism may indicate the presence of habitat traps. Furthermore, as experimental cutback zones regrow, we hypothesize increased use over time of those edges by shrub-scrub dependent birds. 

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

2:20pm EST

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

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

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-11) Update on Zequanox® Molluscicide as Management Tool for Invasive Dreissenid Mussels
AUTHORS: Seth Donrovich, Marrone Bio Innovations

ABSTRACT: Zequanox molluscicide, a biological control for invasive dreissenid mussels, has been available for commercial use in enclosed and open water systems for approximately six years. During this time, the product has undergone development and been strategized for a variety of applications and markets. The product was recently trialed in Florida on Mytilopsis leucophaeata, with enough activity to warrant further experimentation. A biobox demonstration trial has been conducted at a hydroelectric generating station in Spain, the first trial of Zequanox in the EU. Furthermore, recently developments in fermentation has led to reduced product costs, and treatment strategies continue to be optimized with dose and hold and low dose maintenance programs being implemented. MBI looks forward to continuing collaboration on product development for use in enclosed water systems, as well as looking to optimize the product for open water applications, including development of a slow release granule or encapsulated formulation.   

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM A

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) The Power of Partnering with State Agencies to Achieve Conservation
AUTHORS: Matthew Perlik, Ohio Department of Transportation

ABSTRACT: Over the last 10 years, Ohio DOT has spent over $40 million on landscape conservation and restortation projects. This money provides an enormous contribution to protected and restored lands throughout the 34th smallest state (by area) in the US with less than 5% public lands. ODOT has developed a program that works with non-profits, for profits, universities, federal agencies, and fellow state agencies to deliver aquatic and terrestrial conseration that is lower cost, exceeds ecological improvement requirements, and is delivered faster than traditional methods. This process has expanded preserved lands, lands for recreation, and the holdings of entities dedicated to conservation. Using recent case studies, this paper will focus on the challenges and successes of working with a state DOT to deliver successful conservation within a highly developed state landscape.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM C

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

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 2) Does Land Management Have Detectable Effects on Species Richness?
AUTHORS: Jay Vecchiet, Richard B. King – Northern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Agencies across the United States rely on data driven management practices. Whether or not those practices are successful can be ambiguous because variables other than management also shape population and community responses. Here, we test whether the effects of preserve size, preserve land cover, surrounding land cover, habitat quality, and management history have a detectable effect on species richness. We focus on amphibians and reptiles in grassland-dominated preserves in northern Illinois.  Species lists were compiled for 15 preserves ranging in size from 7 ha to 1460 ha. Habitat quality and land cover (open water, wetland, grassland, wooded, agriculture) of all preserves were analyzed using ArcMap 10.4.1. Preserves were also classified by age, prior land use, and intensity of management actions (seeding, prescribed fire, chemical and mechanical controls). Across preserves, a total of 31 amphibian and reptile species were documented, including 8 frogs and toads, 2 salamanders, 2 lizards, 6 turtles, and 13 snakes. Of these, 7 are considered Endangered, Threatened, or Species in Greatest Conservation Need in Illinois. As management is carried out, there are obvious positive effects on the environment (soil composition, plant communities, water quality), but demonstrating a positive effect on organisms with cryptic life histories, such as amphibians and reptiles, is challenging.

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

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-11) Invasive Mussel Collaborative: Advancing Dreissenid Mussel Management and Control
AUTHORS: Erika Jensen, Great Lakes Commission; Sandra Morrison, U.S. Geological Survey; Ceci Weibert, Great Lakes Commission

ABSTRACT: The Invasive Mussel Collaborative is working to advance scientifically sound technology for invasive mussel control to produce measurable ecological and economic benefits. The Collaborative provides a framework for communication and coordination and is identifying the needs and objectives of resource managers; prioritizing the supporting science, implementing communication strategies; and aligning science and management goals into a common agenda for invasive mussel control. The founding members of the collaborative are the U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The Great Lakes Commission provides coordination and neutral backbone support for the collaborative. A broad membership base of states, provinces, tribal and other entities and a well-organized communication network facilitates the exchange of information between scientists, managers, and stakeholders. Strong connections with other regions outside the Great Lakes are in place to provide opportunities to share lessons learned. The Collaborative maintains a robust communication network to facilitate information-sharing on priority issues related to management and control of dreissenid mussels. The Collaborative also develops products and tools to support and advance management activities and will soon finalize a regional strategy to advance zebra and quagga mussel management for the Great Lakes region. This presentation will provide an update on these efforts.

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

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Demographic Response of a Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) Population to Multi-year Meso-predator Removal Efforts in a Northeast Ohio Fen
AUTHORS: Nicholas A. Smeenk, Gregory J. Lipps, Jr. – Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University; Caleb Wellman, USDA, Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Meso-predatorsare primary predators of turtles and may obtain unnaturally high densities due to human subsidies. Predation by such predators may be more prevalent for turtle nests, which can be especially detrimental when nesting sites are concentrated. Persistent nest predation often results in a skewed population structure dominated by large adults due to reduced recruitment. Meso-predator control efforts during the nesting season have occurred yearly since 2011 at several important turtle sites in northern Ohio. At a northeast Ohio fen, we compared size distribution and sex ratios of Spotted Turtles among survey efforts from 2007 to trapping efforts in 2017 – 2018 to assess the demographic response of Spotted Turtles to removal of meso-predators. We used a Lincoln-Peterson population estimate with a Chapman modifier to estimate the turtle population size and density in 2017 – 2018. From 2011-2016, 115 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 7 Virginia opposums (Didelphis virginiana) were removed along a railroad bed where turtles frequently nest. While the turtle sex ratio did not differ, we found a significant shift in the size distribution between the two time periods resulting from the capture of juveniles in 2017-2018, but not in 2007. A similar size distribution was observed in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). We estimated the population size to be 28 individuals (95% CI: 19 - 37), resulting in a density estimate of 22 individuals/hectare. The shift in size distribution and similarity to a conspecific turtle species, suggests that meso-predator control efforts have mitigated predation of nests and/or young, resulting in increased recruitment in the population examined in this study. Further, the estimated population density is high relative to other populations.  These results suggest a healthy population with yearly recruitment and evolutionarily stable sex distribution as a result of continued predator control efforts during the nesting season.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

4:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Can We Use Environmental DNA to Detect Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) at the Edge of Their Range?
AUTHORS: Ethan J. Kessler, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Kurt T. Ash, Samantha N. Barratt, Eric R. Larson – University of Illinois; Mark A. Davis, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Secretive aquatic animals are often particularly difficult to sample via traditional methodologies, especially when coupled with low population densities.  Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) are a fully aquatic chelonian endemic to the southeastern United States.  At the northern extent of their range (i.e. Illinois and Indiana) this species is rarely encountered, and many records are chance encounters reported by citizen scientists.  M. temminckii receive state-level protection throughout the bulk of their range and are currently under consideration for federal protection. As a consequence, documenting their occurrence across their range is a conservation imperative. Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques detect DNA shed by animals into the environment to determine whether a species inhabits an area of interest.  Due to their low detection probability at the edge of their range, eDNA may present a cost-effective method for M. temminckii surveys. We used an ongoing M. temminckii reintroduction in Illinois to test the efficacy of eDNA methods to determine detection limits using radio-telemetered individuals. Water samples were taken from known turtle locations, as well as random locations upstream and downstream from turtles.  M. temminckii eDNA detections were positively correlated with turtle presence but showed limited downstream transport. Results from the Illinois methods-testing were applied to an eDNA survey of M. temminckii in two watersheds in Indiana, identifying locations with potential M. temminckii presence. Our results demonstrate that eDNA may be a viable means of detecting M. temminckii and could be utilized to better target areas to focus traditional sampling efforts.

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

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

4:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: BIG RIVERS) Long-term Shovelnose Sturgeon Recapture and Population Data and Implications for Management Actions
AUTHORS: Craig Jansen, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The Wabash River sustains one of the few remaining commercial fisheries for Shovelnose Sturgeon (SNSG). Since a statewide minimum length limit (25 inches eye-to-fork) was implemented in 2007, there have been concerns that regulations are not offering sufficient protection for the population, specifically mature females. SNSG have been sampled throughout the Wabash River from 2005 to 2018. General demographic data was collected from all fish (length, weight, pectoral fin ray) and sex was identified if possible. All fish were tagged with a unique Floy tag. Linear regressions were used to identify trends in annual mean length of the entire sampled population and confirmed mature females. Average length of SNSG exhibited a general decreasing trend, peaking at 27.1 inches in 2007 and decreasing to 25.5 by 2017. The mean size of confirmed females decreased more dramatically from 28.4 inches in 2009 to 25.9 inches in 2018. Days at-large was calculated for recaptured fish, and individuals were grouped based on size at original tagging. Recaptured fish exhibited a strong homing behavior as most were captured less than 5 miles from the original tagging site. Several SNSG have been recaptured 10 to 13 years after tagging and exhibit little to no growth. Once maturity is reached growth becomes negligible, and individual fish do not follow a typical population growth curve. Results suggest regulations have allowed overharvest, and more specifically, the removal of fast-growing and large females from the population. Based on the unique life-history and lucrative market value of SNSG, traditional fisheries management tools, such as minimum length limits, may not adequately protect the population from overharvest. More restrictive regulations are needed to ensure the Wabash River SNSG do not collapse like other sturgeon populations throughout the world.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST
CENTER STREET ROOM B
 
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:20am EST

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

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

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

10:40am EST

(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

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-16) Phase 2 Wildlife Management: Addressing the Impacts of Invasive and Overabundant Wildlife: The White-tailed Deer Continuum and Invasive Wild Pig Example
AUTHORS: Kurt VerCauteren, Amy Davis, Kim Pepin – National Wildlife Research Center, USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Wildlife managers in many countries around the world are facing similar challenges, which include: a lack of means to address invasive species and locally overabundant native species issues particularly in the face of declining fiscal resources, reduced capacity to achieve management goals, and a need to garner public support in the wake of changing societal values and increasing human populations. Meeting these challenges requires building off the profession’s successes and developing new paradigms and strategies to curtail the negative impacts invasive and overabundant species are having on our natural and agricultural resources. Like our predecessors in conservation succeeded in developing our profession and initiating a movement that led to the recovery of many valued native species, now it is us who face a comparable albeit somewhat opposite mandate. Our charge is to curtail and reverse the further establishment and impacts of invasive and overabundant species. We must not fail, but with just existing methods and decision processes we cannot succeed. Using wild pigs as an example invasive species and white-tailed deer as a corollary locally overabundant native species, we begin to lay out why we believe we have entered a second herculean phase of our profession that is as crucial to the quality of our future as the initiation of conservation was a century ago.

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

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: TECHNIQUES) Use of Lake Michigan and Indiana Standard Trap Nets to Collect Crappie: A Comparison of Catch, Size Structure, and Cost Effectiveness
AUTHORS: Andrew Bueltmann, Sandra Clark-Kolaks – Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Two entrapment gears, the Indiana Standard trap net (INS) and the Small Lake Michigan trap net (LM), were compared to evaluate which was more efficient and more cost effective for collecting Crappie. Gears were deployed randomly at four total lakes, one in 2017 and three in 2018. Efficiency was measured by effort needed to collect a similar sample size between gears along with time required to run both nets. Further, cost effectiveness was measured by the individual cost of both nets and the number of cheap nets which could be purchased for the more expensive net. Specifically, a single LM costs ~$4,500 and a single INS costs ~$500; therefore, nine INS could be purchased for one LM. Cost effectiveness was then calculated as the ratio of estimated catch:estimated labor time to run the necessary number of nets so that individual costs were equivalent (i.e., one LM to nine INS). The larger the ratio, the more cost effective the gear type. All lake data were pooled for analysis and indicate that size distribution between nets does not differ and mean overnight catch rates were nearly triple the amount higher for LM (14.8) than INS (5.6). Further, labor time required to achieve equivalent catch rates were as follows: one LM net (~9.8 to 60.4 mins to run) to three INS nets (~10.5 to 58.8 mins to run). Although mean overnight catch rate was higher for LM, cost effectiveness indicates little to no difference between the gears with INS (0.7) being slightly more cost effective than LM (0.5).

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

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

11:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Estimating Abundance and Demographic Parameters of Canada Geese from Banding and Recovery Data
AUTHORS: Tim Lyons, Larkin Powell – University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Mark Vrtiska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

ABSTRACT: Bird banding is a basic but important form of population monitoring that is vital to waterfowl management in the U.S. Most often, the data derived from state and federal banding programs are used to estimate survival and harvest rates and distributions across broad geographic regions, but they can also be used to estimate abundance at more local scales. However, absent or limited population surveys, banding efforts, or recoveries, from neighboring states or provinces complicates efforts, leading to ad hoc approaches to deal with these problems during analysis. Here, we use banding and recovery data of Canada geese in Nebraska 2006-2017 to assess the effects of changing harvest regulations on Canada goose demography and estimate abundance. We demonstrate a modified harvest derivation analysis and Lincoln-Peterson estimator to address pitfalls common to these approaches when estimating abundance. Finally, we discuss Jolly-Seber models as an alternative approach to estimating demographic parameters and abundance that circumvents the need for banding or population monitoring programs out-of-state and provides greater detail about the mechanisms responsible for population changes.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:30am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM A/B

11:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-16) Identifying and Managing Wildlife Damage to Forests
AUTHORS: Jimmy Taylor, USDA National Wildlife Research Center

ABSTRACT: Forests are integral components of the global climate, yet the material products that trees provide are essential to sustain human quality of life (e.g., paper, fuel, lumber, poles, fruit, etc.). Growing healthy forests requires years of planning, investment, and adaptive management. Wildlife impacts on regenerating forests following wildfire or harvesting can be extensive. Wildlife damage by ungulates, rodents, and rabbits during the first five years of tree growth greatly hinder reforestation efforts following wildfire or harvest, while foraging by other mammals such as bears, beavers, and porcupines damage mature trees after stands have gained significant economic value. The costs associated with silvicultural applications are highly variable as are the costs of preventing wildlife damage to trees. Furthermore the cumulative effects of combined management techniques are unknown in forestry management. Allowing wildlife damage can result in 1) decreased volume and revenue at harvest, or 2) extending harvest rotation lengths of stands, simultaneously extending long-term interest payments and decreasing net returns. We will describe methods to identify species-specific damage to trees and methods to reduce damage, including repellents, exclusion, and behavioral modification. We also will describe pros and cons of these methods. Applying appropriate techniques and improving cost-benefit analyses will provide forest managers with knowledge to refine forest management strategies.

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

11:20am EST

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

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

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

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Successes and Limitations of a Roving-access Angler Survey Design to Increase Numbers and Frequency of Reservoirs Surveyed in Ohio
AUTHORS: Kevin S. Page, Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Reservoirs in Ohio are surveyed annually by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) to collect fishery-relevant information on angler effort, catch, and harvest. Historically, the ODOW conducted roving-access site angler creel surveys on weekdays and weekends during the months of April–September. However, the costs associated with conducting these intensive surveys limited the number of locations surveyed annually (0–5). In 2004, a new angler survey design was implemented that only targeted periods of greatest overall and directed angler effort (May–July, weekends), thereby decreasing the number of surveys at any one reservoir but increasing the number of reservoirs surveyed. This design has been instrumental in increasing the spatial and temporal extent of angler surveys. As of 2016, more than 300 angler surveys have been conducted at more than 100 reservoirs. To validate that the “targeted” survey design continues to provide useful fishery metrics, intensive angler surveys (March–November, weekdays and weekends) were conducted at four reservoirs during 2017. This full extensive dataset was compared to a subset representing the typical high-use survey. Overall, the “targeted” strategy continues to effectively monitor overall angler effort and catch, but may miss the peak periods (spring and fall) for certain fisheries.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-16) Nonlethal Tools for Managing Wolf Predation on Livestock
AUTHORS: Eric M. Gese, Julie K. Young, Stewart W. Breck – USDA-WS-National Wildlife Research Center

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Predation on livestock by wolves (Canis lupus) is a growing issue as wolf populations continue to recover in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes region. Nonlethal methods to mitigate depredation events are more publicly acceptable than lethal removal and promotes local community support. In addition, nonlethal techniques recognize the value of individual animals and maintains stability of the social system within a wolf pack. We describe various nonlethal tools and methods being evaluated and utilized to reduce wolf predation on livestock. Advantages and disadvantages of each technique are examined, and current research findings are presented. Management of depredations on livestock will be necessary for continued coexistence of wolves, humans, and livestock.

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