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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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S13: Sea Grant role in communicating needs to inform research and conservation [clear filter]
Tuesday, January 29
 

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Connecting Communities to Applied Science Across the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network
AUTHORS: Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe, Michigan Sea Grant

ABSTRACT: The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network plays a central role in supplying partners and communities with applied solutions and the science-based information needed to better understand, manage and conserve Great Lakes resources. Operating across eight Sea Grant programs, the network focuses on healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy. Sea Grant’s unique partnerships between state universities and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) allows for collaborative programming that resonates with a diverse suite of stakeholders. This overview will serve as an introduction to the regional network, demonstrate connection mechanisms, and inspire innovative partnerships to better serve end users of Great Lakes science.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Strengthening Ohio’s Lake Erie Fisheries Through Research, Education, and Extension
AUTHORS: Tory Gabriel, Kristen Fussell – The Ohio Sea Grant College Program and Stone Laboratory

ABSTRACT: Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory engage stakeholders and inform fisheries managers through research, education, and extension; often serving as a liaison between groups. This presentation will emphasize recent programs that have informed fisheries research and conservation, with a particular focus on programs carried out in partnership with resource managers. Ohio Sea Grant funded research and external grants secured by staff frequently focus on Lake Erie’s valuable fishery. Recent examples include examining Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) toxins in fish tissue and the effects of HAB turbidity on fish vision. Stone Laboratory serves as a base for research, but also the heart of our education program. Relevant courses and workshops include AIS-HACCP, Fish Sampling Techniques, and Lake Erie Sport Fishing. The Aquatic Visitors Center at Stone Laboratory, which is a former Ohio Division of Wildlife fish hatchery, is currently run as an education center by Ohio Sea Grant interacting with over 10,000 visitors each summer. Five Extension Educators, along with communicators and other staff, work with a variety of stakeholders and resource managers through various outreach and engagement programs. Examples include the annual Ohio Charter Captains Conference as well as a recent Lake Erie Sport Fish Summit, both carried out in partnership with Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries managers. Through research, education, and extension, Ohio Sea Grant plays an important role in informing and connecting stakeholders and managers, helping to strengthen Ohio’s Lake Erie fisheries.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Conserving and Enhancing Pennsylvania’s Fisheries Through Conservation, Education, and Research
AUTHORS: Sean Rafferty, Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program

ABSTRACT: The Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program (PASG) strives to conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s fisheries through extension, education, and research. Extension efforts focus on increasing recreational fishing access along streams in the Pennsylvania Lake Erie drainage through the implementation of the Pennsylvania Erie Access Improvement (EAI) program. Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie tributaries are highly prized for steelhead fishing for the recreational and economic benefits provided to the region. Through the EAI program, PASG has collaborated with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, to permanently conserve and provide public fishing access at 19 locations totaling 7.3 miles of Lake Erie tributary streams. Education efforts focus on providing kinesthetic learning opportunities for underserved youth through Project Fishing and Learning Youth (FLY). Project FLY introduces students in the Lake Erie and Delaware River watersheds to fly-tying techniques, fish identification, fish habitat, and fishing strategies for both fly-fishing and spin casting. Participants develop lifelong outdoor recreation skills and a greater sense of the importance of coastal stewardship. Through Project FLY, PASG has collaborated with the S.O.N.S of Lake Erie, to educate more than 2,800 students. Research efforts focus on understanding the health of fishes (e.g. intersex in smallmouth bass and young of year smallmouth bass mortality), the impact of invasive fishes on native fishes (e.g. flathead catfish), and the economic value of the Pennsylvania Lake Erie sport fishery. This presentation will provide an overview of the EAI program, Project FLY, and research projects PASG staff and collaborators are implementing to conserve and enhance Pennsylvania’s fisheries.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) New York Sea Grant and Great Lakes Fisheries: Past, Present, and Future
AUTHORS: Jesse Lepak, New York Sea Grant

ABSTRACT: New York Sea Grant (NY Sea Grant) has sought to protect, maintain, and enhance fisheries resources in the state of New York for almost 50 years. Through a combination of outreach, extension, and education, NY Sea Grant has communicated important messaging and information to recreational and commercial anglers, resource managers and policy makers, as well as coastal residents and business owners to help them make informed decisions. Another primary focus of NY Sea Grant is to support and facilitate research that contributes to addressing the needs of stakeholders. Support comes in many forms including funding from NY Sea Grant large and small grant programs, extension assistance and guidance from NY Sea Grant Extension Specialists, facilitation of synergistic interactions among researchers to enhance their individual work and its impact, connecting researchers and stakeholders to increase the applicability and value of research outcomes, developing networks of experts and communicators as well as other personnel to take research beyond publication to application, identifying funding opportunities and sometimes aiding in the development and execution of grant proposals with stakeholder groups, and much more. A broad overview will be provided describing previous and current NY Sea Grant activities and interests related to fish and fisheries in the Great Lakes. A case study describing a current NY Sea Grant program related to fisheries sustainability and ethics will also be presented with the objective of receiving useful feedback to increase the scope and relevance of the program. The presentation will end with some perspective on potential future initiatives and objectives for NY Sea Grant in the Great Lakes and possibilities for collaboration with other institutes and programs within the Great Lakes basin.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant-Funded Research to Support the Lake Michigan Fishery
AUTHORS: Tomas O. Hook, Carolyn J. Foley, J. Stuart Carlton – Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Purdue University

ABSTRACT: Southern Lake Michigan is home to a vibrant recreational fishery, where some of the most productive nursery habitats for key sport fishes are found along the heavily urbanized and industrialized Illinois and Indiana shorelines. Since the late 1990s, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG) has funded a variety of original research projects intended to support this fishery as it faces stressors that result in ecological change. This talk will review the results of Sea Grant-funded projects that assess the impact of aquatic invasive species, changing lower food webs, and habitat connectivity for Lake Michigan fishes, as well as projects that estimate the value of the Lake Michigan recreational fishery to Illinois and Indiana coastal communities. We will review how Sea Grant research, communications, and outreach activities helped these projects find new audiences and new collaborators, and discuss how we were able to leverage Sea Grant-funded activities with broader efforts to understand the Lake Michigan fishery.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Fisheries Extension in Southern Lake Michigan
AUTHORS: Mitchell Zischke, Jay Beugly, Leslie Dorworth, Carolyn Foley – Purdue University, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

ABSTRACT: Southern Lake Michigan is a complex ecosystem that supports highly valuable recreational fisheries. Located in one of the most heavily populated areas of the Great Lakes, these fisheries experience unique environmental, economic and social challenges. To meet these challenges, Purdue Extension and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) builds relationships among stakeholders to enable education, assessment and effaceable management of fisheries resources. Recreational fisheries extension includes hosting biannual workshops where scientists and managers present important updates and new research on key issues to anglers and other attendees. IISG also produces educational publications on complex issues such as food web dynamics, and develops interactive websites such as anglerarchive.org, fishatlas.org, and iiseagrant.org/tourism. Purdue and IISG deploy and manage two weather buoys that provide real-time data for lake users to determine safe boating and optimal fishing conditions. These buoys are supported by an easy-to-use website and an innovative Twitter account @TwoYellowBuoys. This presentation will summarize the extension and outreach program for anglers and other lake users in southern Lake Michigan and seek discussion on challenges and potential innovations for programs around the Great Lakes.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) A Professional Development Program for Community-Engaged Research
AUTHORS: Heather Triezenberg, Michigan Sea Grant, MSU Extension, Fisheries and Wildlife Department; Diane Doberneck, Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement; Rhett Register, Catherine Riseng – Michigan Sea Grant, University of Michigan

ABSTRACT: Gradaute students receive high-quality scientific training, and some receive excellent mentoring in working with state, federal and tribal partners, management agencies, community partners, or nongovernmental organizations. However, some students who have excellent practical experience might benefit from understanding foundations for community engagement.  In this presentation, we summarize professional development programs offered by Michigan Sea Grant and our partners to help increase competency in community-engaged appraoches needed to increase public understanding of and interest in conservation.  We present the foundations of our programs and recent evaluation results.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Communication and Outreach Lessons from a Unique Fish Spawning Habitat Restoration Project
AUTHORS: Rhett Register, Michigan Sea Grant

ABSTRACT: In 2001 Michigan Sea Grant began a project to restore fish spawning habitat in the St. Clair – Detroit River System. Rocky habitat needed by key species — including lake whitefish, lake sturgeon, and walleye — had been removed to increase the depth of the rivers for shipping, impacting fish populations.The restoration effort relied on a unique partnership between agencies, universities, and NGOs. Because of the scale, the multiple partners, and the adaptive management methods used on the project, communication (both internal and external) and outreach were key.Michigan Sea Grant was vital to keeping partners, stakeholders, and the general public informed, aware of activities, and involved. A Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator took leadership roles in river partnership and restoration groups, worked with fishing groups, gave numerous tours and interviews, contacted legislators, and worked with the news media to communicate about the project. Michigan Sea Grant Communications supported the project group, creating outreach and education materials, including news releases, web messaging, graphics, signage, and photos, and hosted public events.This presentation will give an overview of the activities and lessons learned regarding outreach and communications for a unique, long-running project that had multiple partners working together to restore fish spawning habitat in the St. Clair – Detroit River System.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-13) Michigan EnviroImpact Tool: Collaboration, Cultivation, and Communication to Support Farmers in Forecasting Manure Nutrient Runoff Risk
AUTHORS: Meaghan Gass, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Sea Grant; Erica Rogers, Michigan State University Extension

ABSTRACT: The Michigan EnviroImpact Tool is a decision support tool for short-term manure application planning that shows daily runoff risk across Michigan. Nutrient runoff from manure application is just one source of harmful algal blooms, but with proper planning, farmers can help keep applied manure nutrients on their fields and reduce nutrient runoff from entering the Great Lakes. The runoff risk forecast is derived from real-time National Weather Service hydrological models. These models rely on precipitation and temperature forecasts as well as simulated snow melt, soil moisture and temperature, and other landscape characteristics. Tool developers used regional testing from edge of field monitoring sites to validate the prediction models. The Michigan EnviroImpact Tool was developed in partnership with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension. This tool is part of a regional effort to improve runoff risk decision support tools in the Great Lakes basin supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and National Weather Service North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC). In this presentation, we will outline the Michigan EnviroImpact Tool’s modeling system, agricultural best management practices for manure nutrient application, the social marketing campaign to Michigan farmers, and lessons learned from stakeholder engagement strategies.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST
VETERANS MEETING ROOM C/D