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S07: Use of Acoustic Telemetry to Inform Fisheries Management Across Midwestern US and Canada [clear filter]
Tuesday, January 29

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Using Acoustic Telemetry to Re-establish Historic Fisheries
AUTHORS: Cameron Goble, Hilary Meyer, Mark Fincel, Chelsey Pasbrig – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks; Dylan Turner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Acoustic telemetry is often used to document fish behavior including survival, movement and habitat use. We used information from a combination of a passive acoustic receiver arrays, active tracking, and fisheries assessments to evaluate the potential to reestablish historic Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) and Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) fisheries in Lake Sharpe, a Missouri River impoundment in central South Dakota.  In 2015, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began stocking paddlefish into Lake Sharpe to reestablish a sport fishery last open in 1964. We used acoustic telemetry to document movement patterns and habitat use of translocated adult paddlefish (n =40) and determine post-stocking dispersal and survival of age-0 paddlefish (n = 50). We used information from seasonal movement patterns of translocated adult paddlefish to assess the feasibility of creating a shore based recreational fishery.  Post-stocking dispersal rates of age-0 paddlefish was used to prioritize future stocking locations. We also used acoustic telemetry to document movement and population dynamics (recruitment, growth, mortality) of a remnant Shovelnose Sturgeon (n = 50) population in Lake Sharpe. A combination of acoustic telemetry and a mark-recapture study will provide information on basic population demographics of Shovelnose Sturgeon in Lake Sharpe.  We will incorporate Shovelnose Sturgeon population dynamics into modeling software (e.g. FAMS) to set appropriate harvest regulations for Shovelnose Sturgeon.  Here, we provide a case study of using acoustic telemetry paired with traditional fisheries assessment tools as important components of fisheries management decision making in South Dakota.

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

10:40am EST

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

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

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

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Assessing Walleye Habitat Use with Species Distribution Models
AUTHORS: Andrew Carlson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: The science of evaluating species distributions against environmental conditions has advanced tremendously in the past decade following technological improvements in tagging and monitoring systems. Using data collected from acoustically tagged adult Walleye, generalized linear mixed models were developed to predict the probability of occurrence at depth given temperature and oxygen within stratified lakes. Following, using data from a survey-specific temperature and oxygen profile, the relative odds of occurrence for Walleye was calculated throughout the water column and at the depths of the gillnet sites. Comparisons between modeled probability of occurrence and observed catch rates at specific sites were made to evaluate the degree to which site-level patterns can be explained by the habitat sampled. Integrating and accounting for known measures of environmental variability that systematically influence catch statistics will improve the quality and subsequent interpretation fisheries data to support management decisions.

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

11:20am EST

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

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

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

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-07) Spawning Site Contribution and Movements of Lake Whitefish in Northwestern Lake Michigan
AUTHORS: Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Tom Binder, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University-Hammond Bay Biological Station; Scott Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; David Caroffino, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Daniel Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Charles Krueger, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Christopher Vandergoot, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Erie Biological Station; Wesley Larson, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Lake whitefish support important commercial and recreational fisheries on Lake Michigan, with the northern third of the lake supporting the majority of harvest. Previous genetic analyses indicated lake whitefish harvest in northwest Lake Michigan was largely supported (˜ 75%) by fish assigned to Big Bay de Noc (BBDN) and North and Moonlight bays (NMB) genetic stocks. Previous tagging suggested the BBDN stock spawned on reefs within BBDN and were usually recovered by the fishery in Green Bay north of Chambers Island or along the lake side of the Door Peninsula. Most fish from the NMB stock were thought to spawn on reefs along the lake side of Door Peninsula and the majority of tags were recovered along both sides of the Door Peninsula. While these previous studies suggested lake whitefish show relatively high spawning site fidelity, determining whether these two stocks are functionally discrete remains an important question for fishery managers. Additionally, lake whitefish assigning to multiple stocks now spawn in tributaries to Green Bay (primarily the Fox and Menominee rivers) where spawning had not been observed for nearly a century; the movements of these fish are largely unknown. We implanted acoustic transmitters in 400 lake whitefish at four different spawning locations (BBDN, NMB, Fox and Menominee rivers) during November 2017. Use of acoustic telemetry coupled with genomics will allow us to test current understanding of lake whitefish stock structure and describe stock-specific movements and spatial distribution relative to fishing effort. We will present preliminary results from the first year of our assessment.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Paddlefish Migration: Evidence to Support Need for Interjurisdictional Management
AUTHORS: Sara Tripp, Missouri Department of Conservation; Dr. Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University; David Herzog, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT: The scale of policy required to effectively manage or restore species that cross jurisdictional boundaries is a critical component for sustainability across a species’ range. Many riverine fish species (i.e., Paddlefish) range far beyond state boundaries; which makes existing state-by state management strategies null when conservation and sustainability goals differ widely. Before management strategies can be implemented, quantifying movement patterns is necessary to determine the appropriate spatial scale for management. Prior information collected using tag return data, has shown long-range movements for Paddlefish, but the proportion of the population making these movements is often underestimated from this type of data. Because of this, we investigated broad scale movement patterns of Paddlefish in the Mississippi River using acoustic telemetry. With the increasing use of this technology, researchers throughout the Mississippi River Basin now have access to a stationary receiver array that spans from Minnesota down to Louisiana and includes all major tributaries and many other locations. Without, the sharing of data among states and agencies, this type of data collection and analysis is not feasible. After summarizing more than a million detections from over 200 Paddlefish implanted with transmitters throughout the Mississippi Rivers, the data suggests that over 50% of the paddlefish tagged are migratory and moving freely among rivers (e.g., Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio rivers) across many political boundaries and encompassing multiple regulatory agencies. This type of information regarding spatial bounds is now being incorporated with population demographic information to develop a basin wide management plan that could be implemented in portions of the Paddlefish range.

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

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Acoustic Telemetry and Management of Behaviorally Diverse Lake Sturgeon in the Huron-Erie Corridor
AUTHORS: Scott Colborne, Michigan State University; Darryl Hondorp, US Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center; Charles Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Effective management of fishes requires basic understanding of species movements and habitat use at biologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Conceptualizing the spatial ecology of sturgeon species has proven challenging due to life history characteristics of these species such as long-life, intermittent spawning, and long-distance movements. Through the use of acoustic telemetry individuals can be tracked in aquatic environments over extended time periods and spatial distributions to document broad-scale patterns of habitat use and temporal variation across seasons and years. Within the Huron-Erie Corridor (HEC) of the Great Lakes, the habitat use of 283 Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens has been monitored 2011-2018 with 10-year tags (V16, Vemco Ltd.). The extensive spatial coverage of acoustic receivers in the HEC has made it possible to document movement patterns of adult lake sturgeon across multiple years to examine seasonal patterns of habitat use and movement between multiple habitat types within the region. Lake sturgeon were present throughout all riverine and lacustrine areas of the HEC but showed preference for Lake St. Clair over either Lake Huron or Lake Erie. In addition, movements differed between fish tagged in the St. Clair River vs. Detroit River from their Lake St. Clair overwintering areas just prior to the spring spawning period. Lake sturgeon activity within sections of both the Detroit and St. Clair rivers extended beyond the spawning period and included overwinter residence of some individuals. This research directly contributes to ongoing lake sturgeon management efforts in the HEC for sustainable populations, but also furthers knowledge about the general movement ecology of sturgeon applicable to populations in other regions.

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

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Lake Sturgeon Movements in the Missouri River Basin Call Attention to the Importance of Tributaries in Large River Fish Conservation
AUTHORS: Michael Moore, Craig Paukert – University of Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: Large river tributaries often provide spawning and nursery habitat for large river fishes and may be less altered than the mainstem large rivers.  We used telemetry to identify tributary use and habitat selection of Lake Sturgeon, a threatened species, in the Osage and Gasconade rivers, two tributaries of the Missouri River in Missouri USA near the southern edge of their range. We implanted 96 Lake Sturgeon with acoustic transmitters in the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from 2015 to 2018 and relocated fish by remote receivers in the tributaries and mainstem Missouri River and monthly manual tracking. Ninety Lake Sturgeon have spent 75% of their time in tributaries. However, 20 fish have not been detected for up to 10 months, suggesting they may leave the tributaries for extended periods.  Bayesian discrete choice models determined that Lake Sturgeon selected deeper habitats across all seasons. Lake Sturgeon also selected habitats closer to the main channel in all seasons except spring when they moved closer to the bank in faster flows. Lake Sturgeon did not select habitats based on substrate composition or cover. This information may help inform river conservation and the consideration of tributaries into conservation strategies for large river fishes. 

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

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Tracking the Movements and Interactions Among Salmonids in Lake Ontario
AUTHORS: Sarah Larocque, University of Windsor; Tim Johnson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Dimitry Gorsky, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Jon Midwood, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Aaron Fisk, University of Windsor

ABSTRACT: In Lake Ontario, five salmonid species are part of an economically important recreational fishery, with two native species undergoing bi-national restoration efforts. Understanding species distributions, movements, and habitat use can help management in maintaining a sustainable fishery as well as improve native species restoration. Thus, it is important to quantify the salmonid movements in relation to each other in Lake Ontario. Acoustic telemetry enables us to better understand the spatial habitat use of fish, particularly in large lakes where it is difficult to monitor. This endeavor is made possible through a large collaborative effort with academics and government on both sides of the border, unified by the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (GLATOS). In 2017, 40 individuals across five salmonid species have been tagged in western Lake Ontario, with an additional 50 individuals tagged in 2018. With the ever-expanding receiver array in the western and eastern basins, we are beginning to see lake-wide individual movements of some species, including Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Overall, telemetry data is informative on various levels including describing cross lake and overwintering movements which represents a gap in our understanding of Great Lakes salmonid ecology.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST

2:40pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-07) Do Growth Histories Determine Migration Patterns in Walleye?
AUTHORS: Richard T. Kraus, US Geological Survey - Lake Erie Biological Station; Michael J. Hansen, US Geological Survey - Hammond Bay Biological Station; Matthew D. Faust, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife; Graham D. Raby, University of Windsor; Christopher S. Vandergoot, US Geological Survey - Lake Erie Biological Station; Charles C. Krueger, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Migratory fish movement can be classified as partial or differential migration, contingent behaviors, or other types of alternative migratory tactics. Growing evidence suggests that multiple variables, including metabolic and growth trajectories, risk-reward tradeoffs, personality, social interactions, and current physiological state underpin such modalities. We combined acoustic telemetry with sclerochronology to investigate if and how growth was associated with seasonal habitat use of a migratory freshwater fish, Lake Erie Walleye Sander vitreum. Non-linear mixed-effects modeling of back-calculated length-at-age from fin spines revealed individual growth trajectories that varied among spawning locations. Further, logistic principal components analysis of acoustic telemetry detections revealed stock-specific patterns in seasonal habitat use. Our results highlighted that individuals and groups of individuals within a stock are likely subjected to varying levels of fishing mortality based upon their migration pattern. For managers, differences in growth associated with spatial modalities in movement may translate into overexploitation of population segments.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST

3:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-07) Numerical Analysis Method for Converting Telemetry Patterns into Engineering Design Guidance: Lessons from 20 Years of Government and Private Sector Projects
AUTHORS: R. Andrew Goodwin, U.S. Army Engineer R&D Center

ABSTRACT: Telemetry projects are often burdened with the need to convert measured fish movement patterns into actionable management guidance that can be quickly used for improving the engineering design of waterways infrastructure, water quality, and/or flowrate. With increasing attention on non-salmonids, one can assess in hindsight the methods that led to significant new insight of juvenile Pacific salmon and how these methods are presently being used to understand fish movement in the Midwest. I explain how interpretations of fish behavior through the lens of ELAM modeling analyses has changed over the past 20 years and how the ELAM is presently being applied to understand species in the Midwest. The ELAM model is a numerical analysis providing an independent viewpoint on fish movement behavior, uniquely separate from traditional statistical insights, which can serve as one of the pillars for informing future design and management of waterways and infrastructure. The ELAM model uses a non-trivial process for converting fish telemetry data into a mechanistic explanation for how/why animal movement patterns emerged the way they did. The ELAM method provides one of the strongest means for forecasting plausible fish response to future design and management actions, recognizing that all methods for predicting behavior are imperfect. The ELAM model is a cost-effective means for vetting future designs and management actions using fish telemetry as input in the early stages of water resource alternatives formulation.

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

3:40pm EST

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

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

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

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Incision Healing Rate of Shortnose Gars Using Novel Surgical Methods for Transmitter Implantation
AUTHORS: Sarah King, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jeffrey A. Stein, Illinois Natural History Survey/University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Knowledge regarding the movement of wild fishes provides valuable information of their spatial ecology, habitat use, and migration patterns. Telemetry methods utilizing either radio or acoustic signals require that a transmitter be affixed to the animal, introducing the potential for adverse effects on the natural movements of study animals. Intracoelemic transmitter implantation has been documented to have limited adverse effects and is considered the best method for long-term tracking relative to gastric insertion or external attachment. Surgical procedures describing transmitter implantation are well known in the literature, however, these methods cannot be used on more primitive fishes such as Lepisosteids due to the complexity of their armored, ganoid scales. External transmitter attachments have only been used on gars because it is not possible to breech ganoid scales using traditional surgical methods. Recently, Midwood et al. (2018) described a new procedure to implant transmitters in the body cavity of Longnose Gars in Lake Ontario. The surgical procedure was deemed successful based on detection rates of the majority of fish up to 3 months post tagging; however, individual post-surgery data was unavailable due to the lack of recaptured individuals over time. To further our knowledge on the survival and healing rate using these novel surgical techniques, we conducted a sham surgery study on Shortnose Gar in a controlled laboratory setting to monitor post-surgery impacts over time. Forty-seven gar were subjected to one of three treatment groups; control, sedation only, or sedation and sham surgery, and monitored over a period of 68 days. Results from our study provide insight to the expected healing rate and survival of gars using intracoelemic transmitter attachment methods in a field setting.

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

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-07) Using a Simplified Approach to Analyzing Acoustic Telemetry Data and Identifying Sea Lamprey Spawning Areas in the St. Clair Detroit River System
AUTHORS: Michael Lowe, Christopher Holbrook – USGS, Hammond Bay Biological Station; Darryl Hondorp, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Aaron Jubar, USFWS Ludington Biological Station; Jessica Barber, USFWS Marquette Biological Station; Kevin Tallon, DFO Canada Sea Lamprey Control Centre

ABSTRACT: Despite continued monitoring and control efforts, the invasive Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) population in Lake Erie during 2009 was the highest in the time series and has since remained above target levels set by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC).  It was hypothesized that Sea Lamprey production in the St. Clair and Detroit River system (SCDRS), which had undergone extensive restoration in recent years and was historically excluded from control efforts, has been under-estimated.  We present the results of a 2014 pilot study (n = 27 fish) and a larger study spanning 2016 (n = 125 fish) and 2017 (n = 125 fish) that used acoustic-tagged adult sea lamprey to identify potential spawning areas in the SCDRS.  In doing so, we introduce a new statistical method for summarizing and analyzing multidimensional fish movement data.  Our analysis of the 2014 pilot study data is congruent with a previous analysis of those same data using a more complex multinomial process model.  Both analyses show similar detection probabilities and behavioral aspects of sea lamprey movements, and ultimately reach the same conclusion: most Sea Lamprey spawning occurred in the lower half of the St. Clair River.  The 2016 and 2017 study, which had more fish and a more extensive array of acoustic receivers, further reduced the potential spawning area down to the middle St. Clair River between the mouth of the Belle River and Stag Island. The combined results of these studies address several needs identified by the GLFC and are expected to inform and guide alternative assessment and control strategies in the SCDRS.

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