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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Technology/Geographic Information Systems [clear filter]
Monday, January 28

10:40am EST

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

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

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

2:00pm EST

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

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

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

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-02) Case Study: Using a Drone Mounted Thermal Camera to Detect Eastern Massasaugas at Jennings Environmental Education Center, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
AUTHORS: Christine Proctor, Albert Sarvis – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

ABSTRACT: Once a widespread and common snake, the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is protected in every state where it currently occurs and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The use of drones to count wildlife is increasing, however they are primarily used to quantify conspicuous endothermic species. This ongoing study is exploring the potential of drone mounted thermal imaging to increase detection of this cryptic reptile. We hypothesized that thermal imaging captured via a remotely controlled drone will increase our ability to accurately quantify eastern massasauga populations, as compared to more traditional methods. A thermal sensor mounted to a drone was manually flown over a 20-acre managed prairie with a confirmed population of eastern massasaugas in a systematic pattern at an elevation of 10 meters, providing a ground resolution of 1.85 centimeters. Two controllers were used, allowing one person to focus on flying the drone while the other closely monitored the imagery. A third person was directed to the location of a suspected snake for visual confirmation. Once visual confirmation was made, we collected temperature data for both the snake and the ambient environment using a laser thermometer. This allowed for an increased understanding of the minimal temperature difference between the snake and ground required for detection, helping to set target temperature ranges and improve overall detection. During this process we also collected data on thermal signatures of non-snake items such as small mammals, branches, ant hills, and water, helping to train observers on how to interpret the imagery at a higher accuracy. The results from this study have the potential to improve the accuracy of data collection, influencing the future of cryptic reptile detection.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
Tuesday, January 29

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) A New Software Tool for Processing VEMCO Positioning System (VPS) Study Data

ABSTRACT: The VEMCO Positioning System (VPS) uses acoustic telemetry transmitters and receivers to enable researchers to track the positions of aquatic animals with GPS-level precision or better using time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) methods.However, there are challenges that must be overcome to achieve high-quality results. Accurate 3D positions of the receivers must be obtained, but this is typically logistically challenging, and the receivers may move unexpectedly. The detection times of animal transmitters must be logged with millisecond-level accuracy, but autonomous receivers do not have precisely synchronized clocks.In this talk, we will demonstrate a new web-based software tool for processing data from VR2Tx- and VR2AR-based VPS studies, with a special focus on the methods used to calculate accurate 3D positions of the receivers and to synchronize their clocks.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Identify Aquatic Restoration Priorities Using GIS and the Watershed Approach
AUTHORS: August Froehlich, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio

ABSTRACT: Our current era of stream and wetland mitigation began with the publication in 2008 of “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources,” aka the 2008 Mitigation Rule. By publishing this document, the USEPA and the USACE established a new paradigm for the entire process of mitigating impacts to the nation’s streams and wetlands. One of the main concepts originally proposed was the watershed approach. The watershed approach is comprised of 5 elements to drive the strategic selection of compensatory mitigation and ensure the likelihood of a mitigation plan being both successful and sustainable. Each of the 5 elements are well suited for spatial analysis. From evaluating the landscape context of a HUC-6 watershed to identifying the potential project parcels, GIS analysis allows efficient implementation of all 5 of the elements. This presentation will use the identification of a stream restoration site to provide examples of the watershed approach. Data sources, analysis methods, and supporting documents will all be discussed.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
Wednesday, January 30

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: TECHNIQUES) Comparison of Hydroacoustic Survey Designs for Coldwater Forage Assessment in a Missouri River Reservoir
AUTHORS: Nicholas B. Kludt, South Dakota State University; Mark J. Fincel, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks; Brian D.S. Graeb, South Dakota State University

ABSTRACT: Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax and Cisco Coregonus artedi are the primary coldwater forage species in Lake Oahe, South Dakota. Understanding the dynamics of these species is an important aspect of Walleye Sander vitreus and Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha management. As these coldwater species are pelagic and heterogeneously distributed throughout the stratified reservoir zone, they have been historically surveyed using hydroacoustics. Hydroacoustics offers the ability to efficiently survey large areas, but can be time consuming. We compared the traditional cross-sectional transects (2.5 ± 0.8 km) with an abbreviated longitudinal transect (0.5 ± 0.0 km) survey, using a paired design replicated over three months and two years (n=97). We then analyzed the observed target densities of Rainbow Smelt and Lake Herring using a mean square error (MSE) approach. Observed densities were highly correlated for both Rainbow Smelt (r = 0.91) and Cisco (r = 0.94). Decomposing MSE revealed random error components of 67.3% and 99.7% of Rainbow Smelt and Cisco, respectively, indicating no systemic differences between the paired estimates. In either case, estimates were statistically comparable to a 1:1 line with a zero intercept, indicating high observational agreement. These results show no discernible difference between survey designs. While travel time between sites remains constant, the difference between longitudinal (6 min) and cross sectional (30 min) transect scanning times equates to an 80% time savings (1 hr, 42 mins vs. 8 hr, 38 mins). We therefore recommend the adoption of the longitudinal design for future standardized sampling of Lake Oahe coldwater stocks.

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