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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

(CANCELLED) (P58) White Bass Population Dynamics in a South Central Missouri Reservoir
AUTHORS. Joey Root, Southeast Missouri State University; Dave Knuth, Missouri Department of Conservation; Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; John Scheibe, Southeast Missouri State University

ABSTRACT. The White Bass (Morone chrysops) is an important sport fish species in Missouri’s large reservoirs. As a result of this, understanding White Bass population dynamics is critical for both developing and implementing appropriate management strategies. In recent years anglers have voiced concerns about declining White Bass catches at Wappapello Lake. Thus, we will be evaluating population dynamics of White Bass in a South Central Missouri reservoir. To collect a representative sample of the White Bass population, we will be setting experimental gill nets in the fall of 2018 and 2019. Sagittal otoliths will be removed from 200 White Bass each year. The age estimates will be used to determine which variables have an influence on white bass recruitment, growth, and mortality, such as reservoir hydrology, spring weather patterns, and exploitation.

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

6:00pm

(P51) A Comparative Analysis of Small Tributaries of Green Bay, Wisconsin: The Intersection of Water Quality, Habitat, and Fish Communities
AUTHORS. Amelia McReynolds, Chris Houghton, Patrick Forsythe – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

ABSTRACT. Small tributaries in the Laurentian Great Lakes serve as important links between their watersheds and nearshore habitats. Lower-order streams process and transport nutrient and sediment inputs from upland areas, and serve as critical spawning and nursery habitat for stream-resident and migratory fish. These traits make them strong candidates for restoration, especially in historically degraded areas such as lower Green Bay, Lake Michigan. Small tributaries across a gradient of land use were monitored over two years of contrasting hydrology. Continuous records of temperature and water stage were paired with water quality sampling from May to October. Fish community and habitat surveys illustrated variation in structure within and between streams. By characterizing water quality and fish communities in these understudied habitats, this study may inform future conservation and restoration actions in the lower Green Bay-Fox River Area of Concern. 

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

6:00pm

(P52) Assessing Upstream Fish Migration Patterns Using a Prototype Fish Ladder Around a Low-Head Dam in Northern Indiana
AUTHORS. Cassandra Root, Kevin Pangle – Department of Biology, Central Michigan University; Brian Kynard, Boyd Kynard – B-K Riverfish LLC; Herb Manifold, Jerry Sweeten– Ecosystems Connections Institute LLC

ABSTRACT. Low-head dams inhibit the upstream migration of fish and other aquatic organisms, effectively segmenting riverine fish populations by preventing upstream migration by fish but allowing downstream migration past the dam. In order to reconnect segmented populations and allow natural upstream fish migrations, some low-head dams can be removed, and when this is not possible, an upstream fishway can be installed at the dam. The Stockdale Mill dam, built in 1857 and restored to working condition in 2003, is located on the Eel River near Roann, Indiana. Because the mill has historical designation, the dam will not be removed. To allow fish migration upstream, a one-of-a kind steel fish ladder with multiple side-baffles was designed to allow the ascent of diverse fish species from 2-24 inches. The fish ladder was installed in August 2017. After installation, fish were tagged using passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags at multiple locations within the river. An antenna system was installed to track the movement of PIT-tagged fish that approach the ladder and successfully completes ladder. The fish ladder began operation in November 2017 to allow fish to migrate upstream for the first time in over 150 years. A fish trap was deployed on 1 May 2018 at the upstream exit of the fish ladder and operates for 72 hours each week. Fish as small as 40 millimeters (mm) have been captured with sand shiners (Notropis stramineus) and rosyfaceshiners (Notropis rubellus) being most common. While there is a lack of information on the current migration patterns of riverine Midwest fish species, this prototype fish ladder at Stockdale Mill dam can provide a better understanding of fish migration in Midwest streams, and provide a fishway at mid-west dams for diverse migratory fishes.

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

6:00pm

(P53) Bluegill Habitat Use in the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Ethan Rutledge, Colby Gainer, Hae Kim, Quinton Phelps – West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Melvin Bowler, Iowa Department of Natural Resources;

ABSTRACT. Anthropogenic modifications to the environment have had damaging effects on the wildlife that depend on those natural ecosystems. Specific to Upper Mississippi River fishes, channelization, dams, and loss of floodplain connectivity have all been purported as deleterious. In the face of these habitat modifications, understanding habitat requirements of individual species is needed in order to help guide management and restoration efforts. Furthermore, bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) are an important indicator species that may provide insight to habitat needs of the broader fish community (e.g., “canary in a coal mine”). Prior research suggests bluegill require a mosaic of habitats throughout all life stages (e.g., main channel to backwater connection). As such, the objective of this study was to identify the habitat needs of bluegill in the Upper Mississippi River. We evaluated bluegill habitat use via electrofishing conducted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Long-Term Resource Monitoring element. Electrofishing events (n=2,000) were conducted at three field sites (Pool 4 in Lake City, MN, Pool 8 in Onalaska, WI, and Pool 13 in Bellevue, IA) throughout the Upper Mississippi River from 1993 to 2017. Our results suggest that bluegill prefer backwater channels with shallow water (0.5-1.5m), low flows (.01-.19m/s), sandy substrates, and areas with woody debris. Management efforts that focus on the preservation of backwater habitat and connectivity to main channel should help to sustain bluegill populations in the Upper Mississippi River. The information garnered in this study can be used to help direct management efforts that not only favor bluegill, but also other members of the Upper Mississippi River fish community.

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

6:00pm

(P54) Characterizing Wisconsin Angler Preferences for Inland Lake Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Walleye Fisheries
AUTHORS. Ralph W. Tingley III, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jonathan Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Dan Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; David Fulton, U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Andrea Musch, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT. Understanding angler preference is central to managing fish populations and can aid in predicting shifts in angler behavior if fisheries change. Species-specific angler surveys fail to incorporate tradeoffs inherent in multi-species fisheries, limiting their application to real-world management. We administered a survey of Wisconsin anglers that included questions requiring anglers to choose between different lake fisheries to better understand angler preferences when considering realistic tradeoffs. We used a site-choice model to quantify the importance of three components of angler preferences associated with bluegill, largemouth bass, and walleye: 1) expectations of catch 2) tradeoffs within species-specific fisheries and 3) species tradeoffs. Next, we conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) to identify and examine differences among previously unobserved angler subgroups. Finally, we assessed the sensitivity of angler choice within subgroups to changes in fishing opportunities, with an emphasis on projected climate-driven changes. Results of the site-choice model indicated that both residents and non-residents prefer “quality” (i.e., moderate catch rate and size-structure) over “action” or “trophy” fisheries, and that characteristics of largemouth bass fisheries are more important to non-residents than residents. Surprisingly, results of the site-choice model and subgroup analysis both indicated that for a large number of anglers (>50%), characteristics of bluegill fisheries are a major driver of where anglers choose to fish. In addition, “what-if” simulations of projected changes in walleye, bass and bluegill fisheries indicate that the maintenance of quality bluegill fisheries is essential to ensuring angler participation, but the retention of high-yield walleye fisheries (i.e., flowages, large-lakes) is also likely important for certain angler subgroups. Our results offer insight into what anglers desire across the lake-rich landscape of Wisconsin and how behavior may shift if fisheries change, which is particularly relevant as lakes experience habitat changes across the upper Midwest of the US.

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

6:00pm

(P55) Distribution and Abundance of Larval Yellow Perch in Lake St. Clair and Adjoining Waters
AUTHORS. Clara Lloyd, Celia Evans – Paul Smith’s College; Robin DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Andrew Briggs, Jan-Michael Hessenauer, Todd Wills – Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Ed Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT. Spatial and temporal dynamics of fish larvae play an important role in determining year-class strength. These dynamics are affected by variation in habitat quality and food resources that influence larval growth, development, and survival rates. Ichthyoplankton surveys conducted during the past decade in the Detroit River revealed a high abundance of larval yellow perch originating from Lake St Clair and drifting through the river to Lake Erie. Genetic and microchemistry analyses showed that these fish make a substantial contribution to the yellow perch stock in western Lake Erie. Our study examines the spatial and temporal distributions of larval yellow perch in Lake St. Clair in order to identify important spawning and nursery areas and other ecological factors influencing their early life history. We employed a lake-wide daytime sampling program using paired bongo nets to sample pelagic larvae beginning in early spring before yellow perch had hatched and continued through mid-summer when larvae were absent from samples. Based on preliminary sample analysis, yellow perch first appeared in samples on 08 May 2018, quickly increased in abundance, and were no longer vulnerable to our sampling gear by the fourth week in July.  Densities were highest at sample sites along the Canadian shore and near the Clinton River outlet.  Spatial overlap and abundance of larvae will be compared with older age-0 and juvenile yellow perch bottom trawl survey data to explore relationships between life stages. Results from this study will reveal important locations for yellow perch spawning and nursery areas in Lake St. Clair and provide insight to ecological interactions that influence year-class formation.     

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

6:00pm

(P56) Evaluation of Sampling Gears and Population Characteristics of Catfish in the Monongahela River, WV
AUTHORS. Kristen Chestnut, Quinton Phelps – West Virginia University Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Dustin Smith, David Wellman – West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Angler interest in catfishing has increased in West Virginia, specifically in larger rivers such as the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. Given the increased interest for catfish, special regulations were recently imposed to enhance and conserve catfish fisheries on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. A large tributary to the Ohio River, the Monongahela River, is a popular fishing destination and is targeted by anglers for catfish. However, catfish populations have not been thoroughly evaluated on the Monongahela River, and little is known about the population. The primary objective of our study was to gain knowledge on catfish population characteristics in the Monongahela River to aid in future management of this fishery. Secondarily, we sought to develop long-term sampling protocols for channel and flathead catfish in riverine systems of West Virginia. During 2018, we sampled seasonally using hoopnets, trotlines, and low frequency electrofishing. In total, 382 catfish were collected, in which 307 were channel catfish and 75 were flathead catfish. Length, weight, sex, and age data were obtained from collected individuals. Additionally, sampling will again be conducted seasonally in 2019. Population characteristics (e.g., relative abundance, size structure, age structure, growth, etc.) will be modeled to aid future management decisions and differences in gear success will be evaluated and used to develop sampling protocols. Data collected will be valuable in guiding future monitoring and management of this and other riverine catfish populations in West Virginia.

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

6:00pm

(P57) Movements and Habitat Use of Muskellunge in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
AUTHORS. Robert Sheffer, Daniel Dembkowski – Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Steven Hogler, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Joshua Raabe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

ABSTRACT. Green Bay and its tributaries support a world-class fishery for trophy muskellunge that attracts anglers from across North America. The Lower Fox River and Green Bay muskellunge population is largely supported by stocking because natural recruitment is limited, possibly due to habitat limitations. While previous work has identified potential spawning locations, it is unknown whether muskellunge hatch at these locations and habitat attributes associated with successful hatching have not been determined. Our objectives are to: 1) determine the proportion of muskellunge spawning in tributaries to lower Green Bay or in Green Bay proper; 2) determine the proportion of adults that return to stocking locations to spawn; 3) determine if muskellunge return to the same spawning locations in consecutive year; 4) define habitat conditions that result in successful hatching and 5) characterize general movement patterns of muskellunge. We will identify spawning sites of tagged muskellunge (N = 60) using radio and acoustic telemetry and conduct spawning habitat surveys. Presence or absence of eggs and larvae at spawning sites will be used to develop predictive maps of suitable habitat throughout the Green Bay ecosystem.

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

6:00pm

(P59) Preliminary Genetic Evidence of Predation on an Imperiled Minnow from an Intentionally Introduced Apex Predator in a Western Ohio Stream
AUTHORS. Kenneth J. Oswald, Ohio Northern University

ABSTRACT. Intentional introductions of non-native fishes into inland waters has been a cornerstone of North American freshwater fisheries management for well over a century. These introductions are often done to satisfy intense demand from recreational angling. Sport fishers tend to value large-bodied species that display aggressive behaviors, two life history characteristics of apex predators. Tonguetied minnow (Exoglossum laurae) is an Endangered species in Ohio where a single population is confined to a ~60 km segment of the Upper Mad River. Approximately 11,500 non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta) are stocked into the Upper Mad River annually to sustain a popular sport fishery. For this study, 27 brown trout were collected from the Upper Mad River. Individuals were euthanized on dry ice and transported to the laboratory where weight and total length were recorded. Total genomic DNA (gDNA) was extracted from the gut contents of each brown trout, and all gDNAs were amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for a portion of the 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene. Next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons identified several common fishes of the Upper Mad River. The gut contents of several brown trout also yielded the genetic signature of tonguetied minnow, a result that provides extremely strong support for predation by brown trout. Introductions of brown trout should be halted immediately to preserve Ohio's imperiled population of tonguetied minnow despite the high recreational and financial costs associated with this recommendation.

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