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.

For tips on navigating this schedule, click HELPFUL INFO below.

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). 

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

T07: Fisheries: Rivers & Streams [clear filter]
Monday, January 28

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

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

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

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

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