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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! Please note, this event has passed. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

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Poster [clear filter]
Tuesday, January 29
 

6:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (P23) Conserving Yukon Caribou: Use of Genetics to Inform Herd Assignment and Conservation Designations
AUTHORS. My H. Hoang, Khoa T. Nguyen, Dominic H. Saidu, Karen H. Mager – Earlham College

ABSTRACT. The Yukon Territories, Canada is home to multiple caribou herds with overlapping ranges and great variation in size and migratory behavior. While many populations have been declining, others are stable, increasing, or not yet assessed. Many smalll herds’ ranges overlap with the territories of large or increasing herds. Recent conservation efforts in Canada rely heavily on ecotype designation, which can group the threatened herds with stable and increasing herds. A herd’s designatable unit can influence the conservation activities for a particular herd, regardless of its population trend. Given such challenges, the use of genetic tools to differentiate between caribou herds is crucial for contributing to conservation assessment. Previous literature has begun to characterize these herds using a population genetics approach; however, a more comprehensive study with increased sample sizes and number of loci would increase confidence in results. Therefore, our research goals are: 1) to distinguish Yukon caribou herds based on genetic patterns; 2) to construct a reliable genetic assignment method for herd identification of unknown captured caribou and 3) to compare Alaskan and Canadian caribou. Here, we extracted DNA from more than 150 samples of three specimen types: whole blood, fecal pellets, and dried blood on filter paper, and amplified them using PCR at 18 microsatellite loci. These data were combined with an existing dataset of 655 Alaskan caribou. Our ongoing research is using the STRUCTURE clustering approach and pairwise Jost’s D, along with other tools, to determine the genetic population structure within and among herds. This research will help wildlife managers to determine which designatable unit each caribou herd should belong to, especially the Fortymile and Nelchina herds which are yet to be classified. It will also aid wildlife managers faced with unknown harvest in determining whether genetic assignment is a viable approach.

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

6:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (P27) Testing of a Respiration Model for Hybridized Coregonines
AUTHORS. Kevin Keeler, Five Rivers Services LLC; Zach Rekowski, Eastern Michigan University; Ellen George, Cornell University; Chuck Madenjian, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Wendy Stott, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT. Hybridization is fairly common among some fish genera, yet it has been uncommon to create bioenergetics models for hybridized species. Coregonines utilize a wide range of habitats across the Great Lakes, and have undergone numerous historical perturbations but also recent restoration efforts. Two species with restoration interest, lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and cisco (Coregonus artedi), contrast one another in habitat preference, population levels across lakes, and commercial availability, also hybridize. If each of these species populations continue to increase with population and habitat restoration efforts, then it is likely that additional individuals and habitat overlap will further allow for hybridization. While there are bioenergetics models for lake whitefish, and the deepwater coregonine bloater (Coregonus hoyi), there is no developed cisco bioenergetics model, let alone a hybridized model. A generalized coregonid model does exist, but still utilizes the same respiration components as bloater. Herein, we used a laboratory study to determine a new respiration model for hybridized cisco and lake whitefish. Gametes were collected from fishes in the Les Cheneaux Islands of Lake Huron during the fall of 2015. After incubation, hatching, and rearing of larvae, it was determined there was a hybridization cross of these species. Age-2 individuals underwent respiration trials in a 185-L swim chamber to determine oxygen consumption rate. Results of these trials could be utilized for comparison with pure cisco individuals while also furthering studies if hybridization becomes more common with restoration.

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

6:00pm EST

(P22) Barotrauma in Lake Erie Yellow Perch: Take Pride in Your Perch!
AUTHORS. Jesse Lepak, New York Sea Grant

ABSTRACT. Yellow Perch are one of the primary fish species targeted by commercial and recreational anglers in the New York portion of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, based on catch data, the majority of Yellow Perch caught in this area are from depths where they suffer the effects of barotrauma when brought to the surface. These fish sustain tissue damage from the change in pressure and subsequent expansion of their gas bladders. When released at the surface, these fish often float, and either experience mortality directly or from predation by birds or other predators. Given that the majority of Lake Erie Yellow Perch captured in New York are from depths where they suffer from the effects of barotrauma, the seemingly sustainable and ethical practice of catch-and-release angling actually results in mortality and waste of improperly released fish. This situation provides an educational opportunity to encourage more sustainable behavior and reduce the practice of wasting resources that could provide much needed protein to consumers. Thus, harvest of fish suffering from barotrauma, or the proper release (with deep release recompression devices) of Yellow Perch would reduce unnecessary mortality and increase sustainable practices and ethical behavior.

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

6:00pm EST

(P24) Enhancing Management of Post-stocked Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) by Investigating Gear Detection
AUTHORS. Kevin Lambert, Southeast Missouri University

ABSTRACT. Alligator Gar were once considered very abundant throughout their range; however, due to issues such as the loss of floodplain habitat and overexploitation from eradication efforts, biologists have documented major declines in both the abundance and individual size of Alligator Gar populations. In Missouri, Alligator Gar were ranked as extirpated, which led to the development of the Alligator Gar Management and Restoration Plan and subsequent reintroduction efforts throughout Southeast Missouri. Despite stocking efforts, management decisions have been slowed due to the inability to efficiently sample the species. Low capture success rates due to inefficient sampling gears, leave fisheries management biologists without the information needed for informed decision making and evaluation of the population characteristics needed for management and conservation of Alligator Gar. Assessment of gear efficiency is necessary for effective population monitoring in both juvenile and adult Alligator Gar.  The objective of this research is to evaluate which gear seasonally should be used to maximize Alligator Gar capture success within the reintroduction sites. We plan to sample both active and passive gears throughout the year to determine the most effective timing and best gear(s) to sample Alligator Gar of all sizes.   After polling the Alligator Gar Technical Committee, we selected 5 standardized gears (experimental gill net, trammel net, electrofishing, juglines, mini-fyke nets) to employ in Marquette  Lake. This research will be used to develop a standardized sampling protocol to enhance management of post-stocked Alligator Gar and guide biologists in management decisions to build a self-sustaining population and a unique trophy fishery. 

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

6:00pm EST

(P25) Enhancing Management of Post-Stocked Alligator Gar by Investigating Habitat Selection
AUTHORS. James Studdard, Southeast Missouri State University

ABSTRACT. Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) are declining throughout their native range. In recent decades, conservation agencies including the Missouri Department of Conservation, have been working on recovering Alligator Gar populations to self-sustaining levels. In many areas of the native range, disconnection of floodplain habitat due to river channelization and flood control have greatly reduced alligator gar habitat diversity and availability. To better manage stocked alligator gar in Missouri, Vemco V16 ultrasonic transmitters are being implanted in hatchery reared juvenile and wild-caught adult alligator gar. The fish implanted with transmitters will be used to track movement and habitat use in four floodplain habitats selected for this study, based on previous stocking abundance. Sidescan sonar was used to collect habitat data and determination of habitat type is based on a 10m X 10m grid. Habitat assessed will be submerged log, log complex (two or more logs), submerged tree limbs, open water, open shoreline, submerged vegetation, standing trees, and tree roots. Depth, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity is also being factored into the habitat selection. The information gathered in this study is important to determine seasonal habitat selection and help form potential future management actions, including habitat restoration efforts and identification of additional reintroduction sites within Missouri.

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

6:00pm EST

(P26) Scent Marking in Sunda Clouded Leopards (Neofelis diardi): Novel Observations Close a Key Gap in Understanding Felid Communication Behaviours
AUTHORS. Maximilian L. Allen, Heiko U. Wittmer, Endro Setiawan, Sarah Jaffe, Andrew J. Marshall – University of Illinois - Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT. Intraspecific communication is integral to the behavioural ecology of solitary carnivores, but observing and quantifying their communication behaviours in natural environments is difficult. Our systematic literature review found that basic information on scent marking is completely lacking for 23% of all felid species, and information on 21% of other felid species comes solely from one study of captive animals. Here we present results of the first systematic investigation of the scent marking behaviours of Sunda clouded leopards in the wild. Our observations using motion-triggered video cameras in Indonesian Borneo are novel for clouded leopards, and contrary to previous descriptions of their behaviour. We found that clouded leopards displayed 10 distinct communication behaviours, with olfaction, scraping, and cheek rubbing the most frequently recorded. We also showed that males make repeated visits to areas they previously used for marking and that multiple males advertise and receive information at the same sites, potentially enhancing our ability to document and monitor clouded leopard populations. The behaviours we recorded are remarkably similar to those described in other solitary felids, despite tremendous variation in the environments they inhabit, and close a key gap in understanding and interpreting communication behaviours of clouded leopards and other solitary felids.

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