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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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Technical Presentation: Fisheries [clear filter]
Monday, January 28
 

10:20am EST

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

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

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

10:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: BEHAVIOR & PHYSIOLOGY) Metabolism and Movement: A Link to Partial Migration in Brook Trout
AUTHORS: Jacob E. Bowman, Jill B.K. Leonard – Northern Michigan University.

ABSTRACT: Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) express variability in movement strategies, including partial migration. Partial migration has gained attention because individuals that migrate can express polymorphism, growing larger than their stream counterparts. Partial migration and life history-related movement strategies may be related to individual variability in metabolic parameters; however, this has not been well documented in the field. We performed field metabolic rate determination on native brook trout in the Rock River in Alger County Michigan during spring and summer 2018, including both resting and active metrics. Brook trout were then tracked using PIT tags with stationary and backpack telemetry throughout the summer with a 46% recapture rate. Movement patterns were compared to metabolic rate rankings within fish. Each fish’s metabolic status was ranked relative to other individuals measured. The continuous field resting and field maximum measures were positively related (p<0.0001). The ranking sytem held this same correlation (p<0.0001). This relationship in metabolic parameters follows what is expected in individual variation of metabolism. Our work will allow us to understand at what level individual variation in metabolic phenotypes and associated movement phenotypes are related. This research will contribute to understanding the resiliency of valued life history strategies and morphotypes such as migration.

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

10:40am EST

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

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

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

10:40am EST

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

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

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:20am 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

11:20am EST

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

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

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

11:40am EST

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

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

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

1:20pm EST

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

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

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

1:40pm EST

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

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

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

2:00pm EST

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

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

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

2:20pm EST

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

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

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

2:40pm EST

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

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

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

3:20pm EST

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

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

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

3:20pm EST

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

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

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

3:20pm EST

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

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

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

(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

4:00pm EST

(FISHERIES: HABITAT) Comparing the Effects of Artificial Habitat and Coarse Woody Habitat on Macroinvertebrate Communities and Largemouth Bass Growth
AUTHORS: Eric J. Gates, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Anthony Porreca, Illinois Natural History Survey; Joseph Parkos III, Illinois Natural History Survey; David H. Wahl, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

ABSTRACT: Lentic ecosystems are negatively affected by habitat degradation due to reservoir senescence and riparian zone development. The addition of coarse woody habitat (CWH) and artificial habitat (e.g., plastic fish attractors) is a popular management strategy used to enhance systems that have experienced declines in habitat availability. However, the mechanisms by which CWH and artificial habitat additions influence aquatic food webs remain understudied. We introduced either artificial habitat structures or CWH (Quercus alba) into ten 0.04-ha experimental ponds to test whether macroinvertebrate communities and largemouth bass growth differed between introduced habitats. The experiment ran for three months and structures were allowed to condition for one month prior to stocking juvenile largemouth bass. Macroinvertebrate communities were similar between habitat types. However, more taxa were found on the artificial structures and macroinvertebrate communities colonizing CWH appeared to increase relative to artificial habitat by the end of experiment. Largemouth bass growth did not differ between CWH and artificial habitat. Although not specifically tested, macroinvertebrate communities appeared to be influenced by the presence and amount of periphyton colonizing habitat structures. Our results indicate that habitat material itself was not as important as providing a stable substrate for primary production and subsequent macroinvertebrate colonization. Longer experiments may be necessary to determine the maximum influence of these habitats on primary and secondary productivity, particularly as CWH conditions.

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

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

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

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

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

4:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: HABITAT) The Influence of Season and Streamflow on Habitat Selection of Spotted Bass and Shorthead Redhorse Downstream of a Hydropeaking Dam in Central Missouri, USA
AUTHORS: Elisa Baebler, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, The School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, The School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri

ABSTRACT: Downstream of hydropeaking dams, water depth and velocity fluctuate rapidly, which leads to short-term changes in physical habitat supporting aquatic organisms. While some fish species have been extirpated from flow-regulated systems, other species flourish, which may be related to the persistence of critical habitats complementary to these life histories. We used radio telemetry to evaluate the influence of season and streamflow on the habitat selection of two common, native fishes downstream of Bagnell Dam in central Missouri from April 2016 to June 2017. We studied Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus), nest-guarding, sight feeding, habitat generalists and Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum), fluvial dependent, migratory, benthic feeders. Spotted Bass selected moderate depths near submerged cover in all seasons and slow velocities during spring and summer. Conversely, Shorthead Redhorse preferred moderately deep and faster flowing habitats during spring and summer and used slow velocities and shallow depths during winter. Spotted Bass and Shorthead Redhorse selected velocity, depth, submerged cover, and distance to shore during stable and/or fluctuating flows, suggesting that fish may respond to streamflow over short time periods (daily). Spotted Bass used slow velocities (less than 0.4 m/s) in both fluctuating and stable flows, whereas, Shorthead Redhorse preferred fast velocities (greater than 1.0 m/s) in stable flows but did not select velocity during fluctuating flows. Shorthead Redhorse and Spotted Bass habitat selection illustrates that even native fish that prosper in regulated rivers have habitat requirements which may be better met through managing flow releases to maintain river habitats that support native fish of multiple guilds.

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

4:40pm EST

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

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

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

4:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: FISH CONSERVATION) Fisheries Evaluation of the Frankenmuth Rock Ramp in Frankenmuth, MI
AUTHORS: Paige Wigren, Justin Chiotti, and James Boase – United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office – Detroit River Substation; Joseph Leonardi, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Bay City Field Office; Tracy Galarowicz, Central Michigan University, Department of Biology

ABSTRACT: The installment of rock ramps to replace failing dams is a fairly new technique in the Midwest and little research has been done to assess the success of fish passage. In 2004, the structural condition of the Frankenmuth Dam was assessed and deemed to be in fair condition, but no longer functional, prompting officials to pursue dam removal. In order to maintain historic water levels in the impounded area above the dam, a thirteen-tier rock ramp was constructed in the fall of 2015 aimed at improving the connectivity and ecology of the Cass River watershed, a tributary to Saginaw Bay, MI. Prior to dam removal, electrofishing surveys were conducted in the spring and summer between 2010 – 2012 to record fish species composition above and below the existing dam. Post removal electrofishing surveys were conducted in the spring and summer between 2016 – 2018 with the goal of tagging fish downstream of the rock ramp and documenting changes in fish community composition. A total of 2,605 fish were tagged and 30 of these fish were recaptured upstream of the rock ramp. Since the construction of the rock ramp, 12 fish species not previously detected upstream have been captured, including freshwater drum, walleye, gizzard shad, flathead catfish, and round goby. Results indicate the rock ramp allows fish to access habitat upstream of the former dam, however passage is likely dependent upon river discharge during migration periods.

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

4:40pm EST

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

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

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

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) Evaluating the Influence of Past and Current Environments on Lake Erie Walleye Growth Rates
AUTHORS: L. Zoe Almeida, Ohio State University; Matthew D. Faust, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife; Stuart A. Ludsin, Ohio State University; Elizabeth A. Marschall, Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Growth rates of animals are often assumed to be a response to recent environmental conditions; however, there is increasing evidence from numerous organisms that growth in one year may also be reflective of environmental conditions experienced earlier in life. Therefore, large-scale stressors, such as eutrophication and climate change may affect individuals immediately and latently, which is rarely considered in the management of exploited populations. Herein, we examined the factors that may influence growth rates of Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreus), a system exposed to eutrophication and climate change. We used data from annual fall gillnet surveys (1978-2015) to characterize median size-at-age of individual annual cohorts in response to changes in physical conditions (e.g., temperature) and the food web (e.g., prey availability) during early life (= age-2), which may have arisen due to eutrophication and climate change (i.e., warming and increased precipitation). We hypothesized that environmental conditions in the current year, growth rates during early-life (as a reflection of early-life environmental conditions), and growth rates in the previous year (as a reflection of recent growth) would affect age-specific annual growth rates. We performed preliminary linear mixed model analyses with the median size within cohorts at age-2 representing early life growth, median growth rate in the previous year, and annual average temperatures. Using a model selection approach, no combination of these factors was better able to predict growth rates than the null model. However, we still need to test for effects of age-0 growth on growth rates later in life and for other environmental effects on growth, including annual cumulative degree days, prey-fish availability, and walleye population size. Our analyses will assist Lake Erie fisheries managers by assessing the relative importance of early-life versus contemporary growth conditions on recent growth performance.

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

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

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

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

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

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) Density-Dependent and Independent Effects on Walleye Harvest in Lake Erie
AUTHORS: David Dippold, The Ohio State University; Grant Adams, University of Washington; Stuart Ludsin, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Both density-dependent and density-independent factors can affect the harvest of exploited fish populations. For instance, inter-annual variation in temperature could modify the timing and spatial extent of fish migrations, and in turn, fishery catches. However, this relationship could be mediated by density-dependent factors, if for example, high fish abundance leads to widespread habitat use that reduces the effects of temperature on migration and subsequent harvest. Toward understanding the relative influence of these factors on fishery harvest, we quantified the relationship among temperature, population size, and the temporal and spatial distribution of walleye (Sander vitreus) recreational harvest in Lake Erie during 1990-2015. Knowing that adult walleye migrate eastward from the western basin during spring and summer towards cooler temperatures, we hypothesized that: 1) years with higher spring and summer temperatures would be accompanied by reduced catches in the western basin relative to the deeper, cooler central and east basins; 2) walleye catches in the central and eastern basins would occur earlier during the spring/summer in warmer (relative to cooler) years; and 3) these relationships would be more apparent in years of low population size because in years of high abundance, walleye (especially young adults) would continue to reside in the west basin throughout the summer. To test our hypotheses, we constructed and compared variable coefficient generalized additive models, which used spatially-explicit (10x10 min grids) recreational catch and effort information, as well as temperature, bathymetric, and lake-wide abundance data. Beyond discussing the role of temperature and total abundance in driving spatiotemporal patterns in walleye harvest, we discuss the implications for fisheries management under a changing climate.

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

10:40am EST

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

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

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

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: INVERTEBRATES) Comparisons of Enzymatic Thermal Optima Among Native and Invasive Crayfish Species
AUTHORS: Hisham Abdelrahman, James Stoeckel – School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Auburn University; Jacob Westhoff, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: Previous researchers have shown that extraregional invasive crayfish possess certain life-history and ecological traits that facilitate their ability to successfully invade large areas in distant regions, whereas extralimital invaders tend to remain localized and occupy smaller ranges.  Physiological traits may provide additional explanatory power for realized and potential range of crayfish species. In this study, we tested for thermal performance differences related to respiratory physiology among multiple crayfish species with narrow to broad native and invasive ranges. We hypothesized that species with broad ranges would be thermal generalists relative to species confined to limited ranges. To test this hypothesis, we generated thermal performance curves of respiratory enzymes in the electron transport system (ETS) for 12 individuals from each of five species. Optimal thermal range was defined as the temperature range within which ETS enzyme activity was within 10% of the maximum observed value.  Contrary to our original hypothesis, optimal thermal range of respiratory enzymes was not correlated with geographic range, but was lowest in the most widespread species (Procambarus clarkii) which was also the only species with a strong propensity to burrow.  We also found that the two extraregional invaders (Faxonius virilis and P. clarkii) had significantly lower enzymatic activity levels at optimal temperatures than did the extralimital invader (F. neglectus) or the two native species with restricted ranges (F. eupunctus and F. marchandi).  Results thus far suggest that enzymatic thermal breadth may be more closely tied to habitat plasticity whereas enzyme activity level may be a more useful predictor of geographic range. Additional species are currently being analyzed to better assess the robustness of these conclusions.

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

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) You Can't Just Use Gold: The Effects of Elevated Algal and Sedimentary Turbidity on Lure Success for Walleye (Sander vitreus)
AUTHORS: Chelsey L. Nieman, Suzanne M. Gray – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Increasing anthropogenic turbidity changes underwater visual environments, leading to altered perception of visual cues. This alteration may have a variety of consequences, such as movement to other localities, a shift in diet or preferred prey, and reduced consumption of prey items. Lures are known to be perceived by fish as a potential prey item, therefore lure color/type can be utilized as a relative proxy for prey items that fish are capable of visually perceiving in turbid water. The objective of this study was to understand how shifts in visual environments may influence predatory success of Walleye (Sander vitreus) in Lake Erie using both local knowledge of altered fishing practices as well as lure success. Charter boat captains on Lake Erie are experienced in fishing in and around algal blooms and as such their knowledge and real-time lure success data allowed us to monitor color of lures that were successful in attracting Walleye under differing conditions. A survey of Lake Erie charter captains (N=37, 38% response rate) was used to determine how altered water quality (i.e. algal blooms) affected fishing practices and lure usage over the long term, with results indicating that lure color success changed in highly turbid water. Additionally, a mobile phone application, Walleye Tracker, was used by 19 charter captains over two years to gather real time data on lure successes. The use of photographs of lures and water conditions allowed for quantitative, in situ, analysis of lure successes in differing water clarity conditions. The results of this study indicate that increases in both sedimentary and algal turbidity that are altering the underwater visual environment are not only changing visual perceptions of Walleye, but also indicate that this is likely to have long-term consequences, not only for the ecosystem, but also for recreational anglers within these altered systems.

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: GREAT LAKES 2) Smallmouth Bass Population Characteristics in Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior Under a Unique 22-inch Size Limit
AUTHORS: Dray Carl, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Minimum length limits are the most commonly used regulation for protecting, enhancing, or manipulating black bass recreational fisheries, and most limits are generally set at appropriate lengths to provide harvest opportunities of larger individuals. However, in 1994, growth overfishing and angler outcry led fishery managers from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to enact a 22-inch (559-mm) minimum size restriction on Smallmouth Bass in Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior. This regulation has essentially created a complete catch-and-release fishery for Smallmouth Bass, as no bass greater than 559 mm have been sampled in the field or observed in creel surveys during the 24-year period. Within Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior, Smallmouth Bass are largely localized to Chequamegon Bay, a 13,750-ha shallow (mean depth 8.5-m) embayment adjacent the Apostle Islands. I used time series data from standardized gillnet samples (3600’, graded mesh) and annual hook-and-line sampling to evaluate trends in population dynamics before and after the regulation change. I also evaluated Smallmouth Bass seasonal movement patterns in Chequamegon Bay using floy tag recapture histories. Immediately following the regulation, Smallmouth Bass size structure and abundance increased dramatically, presumably due to a large decrease in mortality. Overall, annual mortality is now 2.5 times lower than before the regulation change. However, growth remained constant throughout the time series data, suggesting adequate resources to support increased abundance of Smallmouth Bass in Chequamegon Bay. Results from this study provide an example of Smallmouth Bass population dynamic rates from a population suited for a “trophy” minimum length limit, information for adaptive management of Smallmouth Bass in northern climates, and numerous new questions for additional research. Potential community-level effects of increased Smallmouth Bass abundance in combination with an overall warming Lake Superior should be investigated.

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

11:20am EST

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

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

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

11:20am EST

(FISHERIES: INVERTEBRATES) Evaluating Impacts of Rainbow Trout Farming on Macroinvertebrates in Neotropical Streams in Ecuador
AUTHORS: Dana G. Wessels, Biology Department, Grand Valley State University; Dr. Katherine Krynak, Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Ohio Northern University; Dr. Ed Krynak, Department of Geography, Western University; Andrea Encalada, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; Dr. Eric Snyder, Biology Department, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT: Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) aquaculture has increased to accommodate growing human populations, but streams throughout the world are being adversely affected in the process. Understanding how stream ecosystems respond to trout farm effluent is necessary to propose well-informed management practices before habitat and biotic loss become unrecoverable. Our research compared macroinvertebrate communities and environmental parameters along two streams in the Pichincha region of Ecuador; one stream with five non-native rainbow trout farms, and the other stream without trout farms. Macroinvertebrates collected in non-trout farm and headwater (control) sites were compared to those collected at the outflow of the five trout farms. An analysis of similarity based on the non-metric multidimensional scaling analyses (NMDS) of the macroinvertebrate families in qualitative kick samples as well as the EPT genera from the Surber samples showed a significant difference between the three sampling groups (Global R = 0.536, p = 0.004 and Global R = 0.639, p = 0.001 respectively). SIMPER analyses determined the families and genera that contributed the greatest proportion of dissimilarity between the trout farm, non-trout farm, and headwater groups. The Andean Biotic Index pollution tolerance values and functional feeding groups of the most influential families were examined. AICc model selection and model averaging was used to evaluate potential environmental influence on macroinvertebrate community similarity. Model averaged parameter estimates of the interaction between specific conductivity (SC) and percent organic matter (OM) was predictive of the macroinvertebrate community differences between sampling sites from the kick samples. Our results indicated reduced water quality due to the effects of rainbow trout farm effluent. However, treatment methods are limited in this mountainous terrain. Therefore, we would suggest feeding efficiency and utilization of trout farm sludge as fertilizer to minimize the impact of these farms on the neotropical streams.

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

11:40am EST

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

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

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

11:40am EST

(FISHERIES: LAKES & RESERVOIRS) Quantifying Fish Habitat Impairment in Iowa's Lakes and Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Erin Haws, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Freshwater ecosystems provide a diverse and extensive supply of resources to fauna and flora living within, to surrounding ecosystems, and human economies. As bodies of water evolve, so do the methods used to protect and restore them. Over the past decade, emphasis on sustaining freshwater ecosystems has led to a large expansion in the development of protective policies and restoration programs aiming to improve aquatic habitat. A recurring challenge to fish habitat restoration lies in defining impairment factors, their scale and the rate at which they are occurring in a system. Comprehensive assessments are therefore needed to identify impairments, prioritize waterbodies in need of restoration, and provide improved methods to measure local fish habitat using feasible metrics. This study provides an expansive look into lake and reservoir fish habitat in Iowa based on a survey reporting on all significant publicly owned lakes recognized by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The survey asked Iowa DNR Fisheries Biologists to report the degree of impairment of a set of variables for each individual waterbody in their management area. Multivariate factors were classified using the methods of Krogman and Miranda (2016), characterizing twelve broad constructs of fish habitat impairment. Study objectives include describing fish habitat impairment trends and identifying differences across lake type, watershed location, and status in the Lake Restoration Program. Future research plans aim to quantify relationships between fish habitat impairment constructs and measured water quality, physical, and biological parameters within existing datasets to evaluate the resources available to adequately measure fish habitat.

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

1:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: EARLY LIFE HISTORY) Effects of Winter Stream Habitat Conditions on Larval Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) Morphology at Swim up in Northern Michigan Streams
AUTHORS: Eric Miltz-Miller, Dr. Jill B.K. Leonard – Northern Michigan University

ABSTRACT: Several species of larval stream salmonids dwell in winter stream conditions from spawning through their early larval stages, yet relatively little is known about the effect of winter habitat variability on these fish. Three Northern Michigan streams were selected based on winter conditions: No ice (stable/unfrozen), dynamic/intermittent ice formation, or constant ice throughout the winter (stable/frozen). Streams had two study sites, each with two artificial redds, two incubation boxes, and two natural redds. Wild brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) were field spawned and the resulting embryos stocked into artificial redds/boxes in the stream from which the parent fish originated. Larvae were collected at swim up and evaluated for stage/morphology. Our results show that embryos transplanted to non-natal stream sites, with lower average winter temperatures than their natal streams, resulted in longer intra-gravel periods, and larvae swam up at a less developed stage than in their natal sites. These results are important since all the streams in the study are currently managed as a single population, yet considerable variability in larval characteristics was generated by small-scale winter habitat variability.  Further, these results allow us to consider effects on brook trout of predicted climate changes in small streams based on winter conditions.

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

1:40pm EST

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

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

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

2:00pm EST

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

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

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

2:20pm EST

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

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

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

2:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: EARLY LIFE HISTORY) Maturation of Artificial Fish Spawning Reefs in the St. Clair-Detroit River System
AUTHORS: Jason L. Fischer, University of Toledo, Lake Erie Center; Edward Roseman, US Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Christine Mayer, University of Toledo, Lake Erie Center; Todd Wills, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station

ABSTRACT: Artificial rock reefs have been used to remediate spawning substrates for lithophilic spawning fishes (e.g., Lake Sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens;Lake Whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis; and Walleye, Sander vitreus) in the St. Clair-Detroit River System. Early projects used species specific metrics (e.g., proximity to historic spawning locations) to guide reef placement. However, long-term success of some of the initial reefs was compromised by accumulation of fine sediments. Therefore, to improve the likelihood of successful reef function, project managers incorporated geomorphological criteria in 2013 to avoid placing reefs in areas near sediment sources and depositional zones. To evaluate the effectiveness of the revised placement process, we quantified physical maturation of artificial reefs using 1) annual down-looking and side-scan sonar surveys beginning in 2014 to measure reef areas and bottom roughness and 2) underwater video surveys beginning in 2015 to quantity sediment composition. Roughness of reefs constructed after 2013 remained greater than bottom roughness in areas adjacent to the reefs thru 2017, however, roughness of the Hart’s Light Reef was significantly lower in 2017 than in 2014, indicating some sediment accumulation. Similarly, sediment composition of the reefs remained similar thru 2017 and prevalence of reef rock was high, except at Hart’s Light Reef, where dreissenid mussel shells composed 32% of the substrate by age three. However, in 2018 reef rock was less prevalent at all reefs, due to accumulation of shells, fine sediments, and gravel. Despite the use of geomorphic criteria to identify areas most suitable for reef construction, sediment composition of the reefs has changed and long-term evaluation is required to determine if the changes observed in 2018 are temporary or representative of a longer trend. Nevertheless, our evaluation indicates future reef restoration projects could benefit by incorporating methods for maintenance, in addition to using geomorphic criteria to identify restoration sites.

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

3:20pm EST

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

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

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

3:20pm EST

(FISHERIES: BIG RIVERS) Identifying Catostomid Larvae Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to Better Understand Reproduction Within Large River Systems
AUTHORS: Kellie N. Hanser, Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Jordan Pesik – Eastern Illinois University; Dan Roth, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Aaron Schrey, Gerogia Southern University-Armstrong Campus; Anthony Porreca, Kaskaskia Biological Station: Illinois Natural History Survey; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Catostomidae, the third largest freshwater fish family, comprises a high percentage of fish biomass in river systems throughout North America. Despite their presence, there is little information on the reproductive life history for this family in large, midwestern rivers and their tributaries. To address this, we sampled larval fish in three tributaries of both the Illinois River and Wabash River in conjunction with environmental data collected on factors thought to be important for reproduction. Between 2016 and 2017, we collected 130 and 2626 catostomid larvae from the Illinois and Wabash River tributaries, respectively. Due to the morphological difficulty of identifying catostomid larvae past family taxonomic level, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) was used to identify catostomid larvae to either genus or species. Results of larvae identification are still pending due to processing time. We expect Wabash River tributaries to have a higher abundance of Moxostoma(Redhorse) while the Illinois River tributaries will have a higher abundance in Ictiobus(Buffalo) due to differences in connectivity between the systems. Future research will examine the relationship between larval and adult catostomid abundance in the Illinois and Wabash River systems.   

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

3:40pm EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 2) Early Life History of Age-0 Silver Carp in the Mississippi River Basin
AUTHORS: Hae H. Kim, Quinton E. Phelps – West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; David Weyers, Sara J. Tripp – Missouri Department of Conservation Big Rivers Field Station.

ABSTRACT: Survival during early life history and recruitment adult structure population demographics. Numerous studies have demonstrated that riverine fishes are prone to variable early life survival and recruitment. High abundance of Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix in the upper Mississippi River basin suggests great spawning and recruitment success. Previous studies have largely focused on characterizing adult Silver Carp populations. However, early life history has not been evaluated. Thus, we examined relative abundance, growth rates, hatch timing, and mortality of age-0 Silver Carp. We used data collected in mini-fyke nets by the Long Term Resource Monitoring element in three river upper Mississippi River reaches. A total of 154,092 age-0 Silver Carp were captured, ranging from 7.5-170 mm. Catch per unit effort ranged from 0-107 fish/net with an overall average of 11.86 (0.4) fish/net. Growth rates ranged from 0.74 – 1.81 mm/day with a total mean growth rate of 1.25 mm/d (0.03) mm/day. Daily mortality (z) ranged from 0.74-0.94 and averaged 0.832 (0.09). Silver Carp hatched within a 115-day window between 22 May and 15 September, with hatch peaking between 21 June and 19 July. Baseline demographic knowledge will aid managers control and limit Asian Carp spread throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

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

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

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

4:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 2) Demographics of Bigheaded Carp in the Illinois River, IL
AUTHORS: Jeremy Hammen*, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Jahn Kallis, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Emily Pherigo, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Jason Goeckler, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office

ABSTRACT: Effective fisheries management requires representative data that can be collected in an efficient, reasonable timeframe. This can be difficult for invasive species, like Bigheaded carp, where conventional methods can be limited in their ability to assess populations. Recent gear development and evaluation efforts have provided crucial information on the advancements in sampling methods and tools for Bigheaded carp. Information gained from these studies could be used to give managers and researchers the ability to appropriately assess these Bigheaded carp populations over a temporal and spatial scale. A pool-wide Bigheaded carp monitoring design using one of these novel gears, the electrified dozer trawl, was developed to evaluate the population characteristic differences throughout the Illinois River. Preliminary (first year) results demonstrated that population demographics at the pool level differed throughout the Illinois River. Relative abundance and size structure change throughout the Illinois River and small fish (< 200mm) were absent from the upper two pools. Additionally, it appears that habitats (main channel border, side channel, backwater) may differ in Bigheaded carp demographics but results after the first year were not significant likely due to small sample size. Estimated sample sizes based on minimizing variation in relative abundance and size structure appear to be representative through one year. Early results suggests that management of Bigheaded carp in the Illinois River may be different from pool to pool. Additionally, further refinement of the sampling efforts may be possible (i.e., smaller sample size) to make monitoring these populations more efficient and effective. Maintaining successful management activities for Bigheaded carp will require cost-effective sampling efforts in a representative and effective matter. This work will benefit those management efforts in the Illinois River and this study could provide the framework to expand throughout their Mississippi River basin where Bigheaded carp are located.

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

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

(FISHERIES: TECHNIQUES) Using Measures of Precision and Catch to Estimate Sample Size Required to Meet Sampling Objectives for Standard Sport Fish Assessments
AUTHORS: Stephen M. Tyszko, Jeremy J. Pritt, Joseph D. Conroy –Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Using standard sampling methods for sport fish assessment allows powerful comparisons across time and space, if sample size is adequate. Biologists have begun evaluating precision and catch of sport fish surveys using North American standard methods (NASM) and have used resample methods to estimates sample sizes required to meet precision and catch objectives. The Ohio Division of Wildlife has collected standard sport fish surveys since 2003, providing an opportunity to further understand the performance of these methods. We evaluated relative standard error (RSE) and catch of stock-length individuals for NASM Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides electrofishing surveys  and NASM crappie (Pomoxis spp.) fyke net surveys in Ohio reservoirs 2003–2017.  We then used resampling methods to estimates sample sizes required to meet two sampling objectives: (1) for CPUE, achieve an RSE = 25; and, (2) collect at least 100 stock-length fish. We found that Largemouth Bass and crappie surveys generally met sampling objectives.  Resample analysis showed that the median number of samples required to meet objectives for Largemouth Bass surveys was 12 or fewer and the median for crappie surveys was 20 or fewer.  Our results support literature that shows NASM electrofishing can be used to obtain precise Largemouth Bass samples that meet catch objectives with a reasonable sample size.  Our crappie survey results contrasted literature that shows NASM fyke net methods required prohibitively large sample sizes to meet precision and catch objectives.  This analysis advances our understanding of sample size requirements for standard methods and highlights the importance of estimating sample size when designing standard surveys. Furthermore, we propose a standard resampling method for estimating sample size requirements.    

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

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 3) Silver Carp Population Genetics from Tributaries of a Large Midwestern River
AUTHORS: Samuel Schaick, Eastern Illinois University; Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Eastern Illinois University; Aaron Schrey, Georgia Southern University; Katie Miller, Georgia Southern University; David Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey; Robert Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Silver Carp are a non-native fish species that have deleterious effects on the ecosystems they invade. Because of their destructive nature, fisheries managers devote substantial time and effort to limit the spread of these fishes. Better understanding patterns of Silver Carp reproduction and dispersal can help to better manage this invader. To determine spawning locations, we used drift nets and larval push nets in three tributaries the Wabash River to capture larval Hypophthalmichthys (Silver and Bighead Carp) in 2016 and 2017. Further, we used microsatellite loci to determine if genetic differences existed between larval Hypophthalmichthys in our three study tributaries. In total, 1,246 Hypophthalmichthys were collected from three tributaries, with the Little Wabash River and Embarras River producing roughly 83% and 16% of larvae. Having large enough sample sizes at two sites on the Little Wabash River and one site on the Embarras River, we performed genetic analyses and found all three sites had high levels of genetic diversity. Additionally, we found minimal inbreeding or outbreeding present. The middle Little Wabash and lower Embarras River samples were found to be genetically different. We expect this research to improve our understanding of Asian carp reproduction and help fisheries professionals to better mediate their spread.

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

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

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 3) Genomic and In Vitro Changes of VHSv-IVb over the past Decade in the Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Megan Niner, University of Toledo; Dr. Carol Stepien, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab; Dr. Doug Leaman, Wright State University

ABSTRACT: The viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv) is a fish virus responsible for occasional fish kills in the Laurentian Great Lakes in the last fifteen years. Substrain IVb is a recently emerged pathogen with an unusually large host range of over 30 species of fish, both of native and non-native status. With new outbreaks once again occurring, more insight into the evolutionary trends of this fish pathogen could help predict future trends. This study provides a unique examination of a wildlife pathogen in a natural setting. We sequenced the full genome of multiple VHSv-IVb isolates collected in the fifteen years following its emergence to examine evolutionary trends. For these 30 isolates, we compare and contrast differences in nucleotides, amino acids, mutation sites, and the number of transvisions and transversions to elucidate possible patterns across time. To understand how observed changes in sequences may affect the course of infection, further testing of three selected full genomes from Lake Erie were used in a variety of cell culture studies. Our selected isolates were haplotypes “v” (H31, round goby, 2015), “w” (B09, gizzard shad, 2016), and “w4” (G61, smallmouth bass, 2016). Cell experiments included testing for differences in pathogenicity from the original isolate haplotype “a” (MI03GL, 2003), examining cytopathogenicity, virus production, and immune response stimulation. All three new isolates appeared to behave similarly to “a” despite being recovered more than a decade later.

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:00am EST

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

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

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

11:20am 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
CENTER STREET ROOM A

11:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 3) Implementing a Monitoring Program for Invasive Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Lake Superior
AUTHORS: Jason E. Ross, Mike Seider, Jared Myers – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Traditional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitoring and early detection programs in the Great Lakes target fish use multiple gears to maximize the number of species captured.  The measures of success has been measured by the proportion of the total expected species pool captured in a given period.  This same approach has been applied to aquatic macroinvertebrates, but the measures of success have not been reaching the same expectations as fish.  Aquatic macroinvertebrates are smaller, more numerous, less mobile, and far less studied than fish and, therefore, should not have the same expectations.  In this study, we evaluated our samples collected from 2014 to 2016 by taxonomic groups and gear types to determine whether sample designs were capturing taxonomic groups containing species at risk of invading Lake Superior (amphipods, bivalves, gastropods, and mysids).  We found that our gears (sweep nets, petite ponar, Hester-Dendy, Zebra Mussel Samplers) were not capturing taxonomic groups of interest with much success.  Missing taxon groups of interest in collections can greatly change accumulation curves and deprecate the success of a program.  During 2017, we added rock bags to target amphipods; Neuston nets, vertical plankton tows, and sweep nets at night to target mysids; and did not scrape the Hester-Dendy and Zebra Mussel Samplers to allow bivalves to mature for identification.  The modifications allowed us to capture two additional species of amphipods, successfully identified Zebra Mussels on samplers, and discovered Bloody Red Shrimp in the St. Louis River Estuary.  By changing the focus of the aquatic macroinvertebrates monitoring from “finding all of the species” to “targeting taxon of interest”, the measures of successes have changed to reasonable expectations while improving the monitoring of invasive species.

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

11:40am EST

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

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

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

11:40am EST

(FISHERIES: INVASIVE SPECIES 3) Rapid Expansion of Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanus Across Northern Illinois: Dramatic Recovery or Invasive Species?
AUTHORS: Jeremy S. Tiemann, Illinois Natural History Survey; Philip W. Willink, Field Museum; Tristan A. Widloe, Victor J. Santucci, Jr., Daniel Makauskas – Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Samantha D. Hertel, Loyola University Chicago; James T. Lamer, Western Illinois University; Joshua L. Sherwood, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: The distribution of the Illinois state-threatened Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanus remained largely unchanged in Illinois from 1880 to 2000, being restricted mainly to the northeastern corner of the state. One population has remained stable in the glacial lakes region along the southeastern Wisconsin – northeastern Illinois border. Individuals from this population are identified as the Western Banded Killifish F. d. menona. Starting in 2001, a second population began to spread and become more common along the Lake Michigan shoreline. From there, they expanded through the Chicago Area Waterway System, into the lower Des Plaines River, and eventually into the Illinois River. Historical museum specimens from this area are identified as the Western subspecies, but recent specimens are identified as hybrids between the Western subspecies and the non-native Eastern subspecies F. d. diaphanus. A third population appeared in the Mississippi River near the mouth of the Rock River in 2009, and has spread from there, including downstream to the St. Louis area. These individuals are identified as the Western subspecies. The rapid expansion of Banded Killifish from Lake Michigan into the Illinois River appears to be an invasion of the Eastern subspecies and the subsequent hybridization with the native Western subspecies. It is unknown where the Banded Killifish in the Mississippi River came from, but they might have originated from populations 160+ kilometers upstream or through human introductions. As the Illinois River and Mississippi River populations continue to expand their ranges, their ecological impacts are unknown at this time. Future work includes a genetic analysis to help determine how the non-native Eastern subspecies invaded the Midwest from the Atlantic Slope.

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