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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Monday, January 28

10:20am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Using a Long-term Tagging Study to Evaluate Escapement, Survival, and Angler Catch of Stocked Muskellunge in Ohio Reservoirs
AUTHORS: Curtis P. Wagner, Kevin S. Page – Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Muskellunge fisheries in Ohio are maintained through stocking.  The Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) stocks approximately 20,000 advanced-fingerling (10–12 inches) Muskellunge annually among nine reservoirs (1 fish/acre).  Currently, voluntary angler reports of Muskellunge catches provide managers with information on the locations, numbers, sizes, and harvest of Muskellunge.  However, this voluntary reporting approach potentially misses critical information on population dynamics metrics such as survival, escapement, and the probability of catching a fish.  To provide additional information on which to evaluate Muskellunge population dynamics in Ohio, the ODOW initiated a long-term tagging study.  Starting in 2013, all Muskellunge stocked into four study reservoirs (>43,000) have been implanted with passive integrated transponders (PIT).  Escapement of Muskellunge is monitored using in-stream PIT detection systems stationed within dam spillways.  Anglers report in-reservoir recaptures using handheld PIT tag readers.  To date, more than 850 implanted Muskellunge have been detected or reported. Focusing on the escapement component of the study, we found that escapement of Muskellunge appears to vary seasonally and depend on the type of dam water control structure.  For one reservoir, the probability of escapement was 4 – 36%, annually.  Together, these estimates provide a more comprehensive picture of Muskellunge fisheries in Ohio reservoirs.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:20am - 10:30am EST

10:30am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Movements and Habitat Use of Muskellunge in Green Bay, Lake Michigan
AUTHORS: Robert Sheffer, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; 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.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:30am - 10:40am EST

10:40am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Influence of Mink Predation on Brown Trout Survival and Size-Structure in Rapid Creek, South Dakota
AUTHORS: Austin G. Galinat, South Dakota State University; Steven R. Chipps, USGS South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit ; Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University

ABSTRACT: In the early 2000’s, annual population surveys indicated that abundance of adult brown trout (Salmo trutta; >200 mm) in Rapid Creek, South Dakota had declined by approximately 70% and currently, the factors influencing survival are poorly understood. Recent studies show that growth and condition of brown trout in Rapid Creek are high compared to other Black Hills populations and diet analysis shows that food availability is an unlikely source of mortality. However, a recent study discovered that predation by mink (Mustela vison) accounted for 32% of brown trout mortality in Rapid Creek. Limited refuge habitat combined with high water clarity in Rapid Creek may enhance capture and foraging success by mink on adult trout. Moreover, the lack of stationary ice cover in tail water reaches, like that of our study area, has been linked to increased predation on trout by predators such as mink. Three experimental sites along Rapid Creek have been selected: (1) in-stream habitat improvement, (2) mink removal, and (3) control. Eight fish from each section were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and tracked for six months. Mortality has been observed at all study sites. 50% of predation in the habitat improvement site (n=4) and 25% of predation in the control site (n=2) is attributed to mink. 25% of predation in the mink removal site (n=2) is attributed to avian predators. Currently, another six month fish tracking period is underway. Survival estimates will be assessed between the three fish populations using mark-recapture survey techniques. Additionally, mink are being captured, implanted with radio transmitters, and tracked to determine movement and home ranges. Data gathered in this study will provide insight into the effectiveness of management techniques such as instream habitat improvements and predator block management on trout populations.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 10:50am EST

10:50am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Effects of Dam Removal on the Community Structure of Micropterus Species in Two Midwestern Rivers
AUTHORS: Reuben D. Frey, Eastern Illinois University; Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Eastern Illinois University; Shannon Cassandra Frary Smith, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Flow regimes have been altered by the construction of dams on many lotic systems in the United States. Physical habitat changes within these systems in response to changed hydrology have been observed to affect the community structures of fish species therein. Removal of dams may revert the physical habitat characteristics of an impounded reach towards that of a free-flowing river system and subsequently invite a fish community shift. I investigated the effects of two separate low-head dam removals on the Vermilion River and North Fork Vermilion River in eastern Illinois on the community structure of Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus), and Largemouth Bass (Mictropterus salmoides). Data were collected from 2012 to 2015 using multiple gear types at six study sites on each river; two sites in the below-dam reach, two sites within the impounded reach, and two sites upstream of the impounded reach. Proportional abundance (pa) of each study species was observed to differ between each reach. Smallmouth Bass in both rivers were observed to have lower proportional abundance within the impounded reaches (pa = 0.005382) and higher proportional abundance in the below-dam (pa = 0.006611) and upstream (pa = 0.007102) reaches. In contrast, Largemouth Bass showed higher proportional abundance in the impounded reaches (pa =0.018838) and lower proportional abundance in the below-dam (pa = 0.010105) and upstream (pa = 0.005356) reaches, with Spotted Bass showing a similar pattern in the Vermilion, but not in the North Fork Vermilion. Variation in proportional abundance of fish may be driven by physical habitat requirements of each species. Future research will investigate the effect of changed flow regime on available physical habitat and Micropterus species community structure following dam removal.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:50am - 11:00am EST

11:00am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) The Ancient Sport Fishes Project: Old Fish Emerging as a New Multimodal Recreational Fishery
AUTHORS: Jeffrey A. Stein, University of Illinois; Solomon R. David, Nicholls State University; Sarah M. King, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: Gars (Lepisosteidae) and Bowfin (Amiidae), collectively known as holosteans, are among the most ancient fish lineages native to North American waters. Understudied and historically disliked relative to other North American fisheries, many holostean populations have declined due to habitat loss, overfishing, and eradication efforts. Furthermore, knowledge regarding the basic biology and life history of these species is limited. As anglers’ perception of these ancient species begins to transform from “rough fish” to “sport fish,” the need for a better understanding of the ecology and conservation status of holostean populations is fundamental to their effective management. This lightning talk will provide an overview of the Ancient Sport Fishes Project, a collaboration among researcher at the University of Illinois and Nicholls State University that explores the spatial ecology, population dynamics, genetics, and human dimensions of Gars and Bowfin.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:10am EST

11:10am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Dietary Comparisons of Fishes in the US and Mongolian Mountain Steppe
AUTHORS: Mario Minder, Mark Pyron, Robert Shields – Ball State University; Emily Arsenault, Greg Matthews – University of Kansas; Bolortsetseg Erdenee, Drexel University

ABSTRACT: Compared the the United States, rivers in Monglolia are very minimally impacted by human development. As part of a larger macrosystems project we focused on the diets of fishes located in both the U.S. and Mongolian Mountain Steppe ecoregions. We analyzed gut contents from fishes collected across multiple sites on each continent to compare diets among species and funtional groups. Using the Manly-Chesson diet selectivity index we compared the contents of our stomachs to results of invertebrate surveys performed concurrently with our fish sampling.The results of this will be used in conjuction with future sampling efforts that will complete in the Summer of 2019 in the Mongolian Grassland.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:10am - 11:20am EST

11:20am EST

(UPDATED) (FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Demographics of a Population of Blue Suckers, Cycleptus elongatus, in an Un-impounded Midwestern River
AUTHORS: Dakota Radford, Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Robert Colombo – Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Blue Suckers, Cycleptus elongatus, in the Wabash River bounding southern Illinois from southern Indiana are one of few readily surveyable assemblages of this species. Understanding the demographics of this population is an important measure to inform the conservation of a species critically imperiled in parts of its range. We used nine years of  Blue Sucker samples (n=499) collected via randomized DC electrofish sampling for a long-term Wabash River fish monitoring program to draw conclusions about population density, size structure, and condition. We identified dominant size classes at 601-650mm total length (25.1%) and 651-700mm total length (27.6%) based on samples ranging from 66-775mm (mean 617.0mm).  In-progress research includes a comparison of conflicting methods and results for Blue Sucker aging, a morphological comparison and histological study of Blue Sucker gonads, and genetic analysis using microsatellite loci to compare heterogeneity against geographic distance. It is the goal of this research to inform Blue Sucker assessment methods and management of this declining species by enhancing our understanding of functional Blue Sucker populations, and to provide a snapshot of an assemblage of this species. 

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:30am EST

11:30am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Fish Assemblages in an Effluent Dominated Stream in Central Illinois
AUTHORS: Ryan W. Sparks, Cassi J. Moody-Carpenter, Scott Meiners, Robert E. Colombo – Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: The Sangamon River, a tributary to the Illinois River, stretches about 396 kilometers across Central Illinois. The river basin has a dam located in the city of Decatur, IL creating a lake to supply drinking water for the city. Roughly 5 miles downstream of Lake Decatur, the Sanitary District of Decatur releases treated wastewater into the Sangamon River. Furthermore, 2 combined sewer outflows are located above the effluent, they are not treated. Fish were sampled at sites above this point pollution, directly at the source, and several miles below using DC-pulse electrofishing for 3 years. Also, we collected water quality data from 1 site upstream and 5 sites downstream of the Sanitary District. Our results showed high numbers of forage fish, consisting of almost 35 percent of the family Clupeidae and 18 percent Cyprinidae. The next highest abundance was Catostomidae at 30 percent; which displayed a high proportion of abnormal fin morphology. All abnormal fish were found below the point pollution of the wastewater treatment plant. Using Pulse-DC electrofishing, we will continue sampling our sites as well as incorporating mark-recapture methods in different seasons to track movement of fish in relation to the effluent.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:30am - 11:40am EST

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Location, Location, Location: Identifying Preferential Drifting and Swimming Paths for Grass Carp Eggs and Larvae Under Different Flow Conditions
AUTHORS: Andres Prada, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Amy George, Ben Stahlschmidt, Duane Chapman – USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center; Rafael O. Tinoco, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: To monitor and control the spread of invasive fish species, such as grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), we need to know where to find them. Natural streams have complex cross sections with varied bed roughness and in-stream obstructions that alter flow conditions and influence the transport of grass carp during its early life stages. To identify how changes in mean velocity, vorticity, and turbulence levels affect the drifting and swimming patterns of eggs and larval grass carp, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments in a recirculating flume. Live diploid grass carp eggs were stocked and monitored for 80 consecutive hours. We investigated three scenarios: 1) a gravel bump, 2) vertical rigid pier, and 3) rigid submerged vegetation. We used quantitative imaging to track eggs and larvae throughout the duration of each test, obtaining their preferred spatial distribution, as well as drifting and swimming trajectories under each flow scenario. We found clear correlations between the larval spatial distributions and flow conditions characterized through particle image velocimetry. Differences between identified trajectories for eggs and larvae at various developmental stages show a clear active response to spatially heterogeneous flow fields, where larvae actively avoided areas of high shear, preferring zones of lower turbulence and low vorticity levels. Data show that there is not only a threshold mean velocity which exceeds the swimming ability of the larvae, but also thresholds for turbulence statistics that define whether the eggs or larvae can be found at specific zones in natural streams. Since the three chosen scenarios generate turbulence and coherent flow structures at multiple scales at various orientations, our findings can be applied to inform detection and capture methods in natural streams.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 11:50am EST

11:50am EST

(FISHERIES: LIGHTNING TALK) Assessment of a Post Fish Renovation Stocking Strategy of Adult Pre-Spawn Largemouth Bass in Two Southern Iowa Impoundments
AUTHORS: Andy Jansen, Iowa DNR's Mount Ayr Fish Management and Cold Springs Fish Management Stations

ABSTRACT: Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) abundance post-renovation and time for bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) to grow to 8 inches have varied in impoundments following complete fish renovations. This study evaluated a post-renovation stocking strategy to increase young of year (YOY) largemouth bass (LMB) abundance that utilized pre-spawn adult (> 12 inches) LMB at the rate of 1.0/acre, in addition to the traditional stocking strategy that uses 2-inch LMB fingerlings stocked in June, and time for bluegills (BLG) to reach 8 inches at Little River Watershed Lake and Prairie Rose Lake. First year post-renovation LMB fall electrofishing catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) for the two impoundments were 1084/hour and 430/hour, respectively. It was determined that a vast majority of the fall YOY LMB were from natural reproduction. Maximum lengths of BLG sampled in Little River Watershed Lake and Prairie Rose Lake in fall fyke nets exceeded 8 inches two years post fish renovation. It was determined that BLG did grow to 8 inches in two years with the development of a high LMB abundance the first year post-renovation. This evaluation has shown pre-spawn adult LMB stocking strategy in two renovated impoundments produced a high LMB abundance the first year post-renovation and 8-inch BLG in two years.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:50am - 12:00pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Do Beaver and Trout Really Get Along? Some Perspectives on a Long-Term Conflict Concerning Landscape Scale Riparian Management
AUTHORS: Gary E. Whelan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division

ABSTRACT: Concerns about the interactions between beavers and trout species in the Midwest have been with us for generations of fisheries and wildlife scientists.  The conflict usually centers on beavers along with riparian management that fosters their populations being a negative factor on trout populations.  While this conflict boiled in the 1990s and resulted in continuing beaver control efforts in many Midwestern states to enhance trout populations, no recent effort has been made to summarize the current knowledge about this issue and this symposium looks to address this void.   This presentation will set the stage for subsequent symposium speakers and will provide a brief overview of how beavers affect the landscape, generally positively for trout in high gradient stream systems and in a mixed way in low gradient systems.  Beavers that build dam complexes alter riparian forest types, change stream nutrient dynamics, and can alter system hydrology with resulting effects on stream fisheries which can be positive or negative for trout production depending on the landscape context.  The management of riparian zones to enhance beaver production, typically toward young succession forest types, has similar implications for trout production by changing shade and temperature dynamics.  Subsequent symposium speakers will elaborate on these points and provide attendees on the latest information on this long-term management issue.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Trout Stream Enhancement and Beaver Management Challenges: A Trout Angler-Conservationists Perspective
AUTHORS: Bryan Burroughs, Michigan Trout Unlimited

ABSTRACT: As other symposium presenters will address in detail, the role of beaver and riparian management along trout streams is multi-faceted, presenting both opportunities and threats; the latter of which are abundant when considering Midwest trout stream hydrology and fluvial geomorphology.  In recent times, recreational beaver trapping activities has become minimal, which has lead to long-term establishment of high abundance beaver colonies, and extensive beaver dam complexes.  In these situations, the negative impacts to trout stream management goals increase, and the resources required to ameliorate these impacts and restore trout streams dramatically increase.  Michigan Trout Unlimited is increasingly encountering these conditions, and has gained several recent experiences with addressing these restoration challenges.  The numerous stream temperature, aquatic organism connectivity, and stream morphology impacts will be overviewed.  Water temperature usually increases as the dam complexes cumulatively act to increase solar warming of the waters, upstream and downstream essential available fish habitats are disconnected, and sedimentation of the stream channel results from several mechanisms, leaving an overly wide and shallow river channel.  This talk will also overview the restoration efforts that must be undergone sequentially, to address these impacts.  These include active beaver trapping and removal, wood debris installation via brush bundling and strategic large wood placement, and sequential dam breaching done to manage fine sediment transport, sequestration and retention, as well as channel incision goals.  The case of well-established beaver colonies and beaver dam complexes, represents a common scenario that can result from diminished beaver trapping and riparian management strategies, and presents a high level of negative impact to trout streams and trout population management.  The effort required to ameliorate these conditions is extensive, and illustrates a specific important consideration in the balance of beaver, trout and riparian management.  

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Beaver as a Provider of Ecological Services for Fish and Wildlife
AUTHORS: Kerry Fitzpatrick, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Through their dam-building and feeding activities, beaver alter the hydrology, channel morphology, biogeochemical pathways, and community productivity of streams. The literature documents that streams with beaver are substantially different from those without beaver: • Beaver are a primary disturbance regime in northern hemisphere forests. They create wetlands, forest openings, and early successional patches in what would otherwise be mature forest.• Beaver ponds increase riparian habitat, create favorable conditions for aquatic plants, and sub-irrigate nearby vegetation. Riparian plant communities are biologically more diverse in the presence of beaver.• Beaver create conditions, favorable for an entire suite of wildlife species, that are in limited supply in streams without beaver. For some wildlife, beaver-created habitat is essential to maintain a large portion of their populations.• Beaver have been shown to reduce peak flood levels, maintain flow during droughts, and reduce the variability of flow compared to streams without beaver dams.• Water that flows out of beaver dams has lower turbidity and sediment levels than that entering ponds, resulting in cleaner substrates downstream than would occur without beaver.• The stair-step profile of streams with beaver have a lower kinetic gradient, which reduces scouring and erosion. Streams with a history of beaver are more braided, wider, and have larger and deeper pools.• Streams with beaver capture and process organic matter more efficiently and closer to its source than streams without beaver. High nutrient levels and solar exposure yield the high productivity associated with beaver ponds and meadows.• Water passing through beaver ponds has an elevated acid neutralizing capacity, which can modify the pH of water originating from acidic sources such as peat bogs, conifer forests, or tannic streams.Beaver are increasingly being used as an economical stream restoration tool. This presentation outlines the rationale for maintaining or re-introducing beaver for the ecological services they provide.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Early Successional Habitats in Riparian Zones
AUTHORS: Brent A. Rudolph, Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society

ABSTRACT: Optimal trout habitat consists of clear water with low silt and fine sediments, high dissolved oxygen, and cold, relatively stable temperatures, and well-vegetated, stable stream banks. Though sunlight can enhance stream productivity, small trout streams in particular are considered optimal at 50% to 75% midday shade. To maintain these conditions, fisheries and forestry managers often apply stream buffers within which many or all silvicultural treatments are restricted or entirely prohibited. These buffers may be universally applied regardless of stream geomorphology or potential trout production, and justified as necessary safeguards of any potential enhancement of fish production. This static application of constraints on forest management, however, may exacerbate the already considerable concern regarding recent declines of early successional habitat and associated disturbance-dependent wildlife species in the eastern United States. Some habitat types highly preferred by ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and American woodcock (Scolopax minor) are highly ephemeral, and providing a sufficient amount, size, and distribution of habitat patches depends upon well-planned and sustainable rotational cutting to provide the necessary disturbance. In this presentation, I will describe the increasing obstacles forestry and wildlife managers face when attempting to apply the even-aged management most effective at producing grouse and woodcock habitat on both private and public land, and demonstrate why riparian habitats in particular are important for grouse and especially woodcock. I will then review the variable management policies regarding application of stream buffers by land management agencies in the upper Midwest/Great Lakes region, and demonstrate how different riparian buffers intersect with key forest types and restrict opportunities to create habitat. I will encourage managers to ensure that buffers are evaluated or at least objectively planned and implemented to consider such management implications in addition to promoting high quality fisheries.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Science to Action: Decision-Support to Advance Stream Trout Management in a Changing Climate
AUTHORS: Andrew K. Carlson, William W. Taylor – Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University; Zeenatul Basher, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; T. Douglas Beard Jr., National Climate Adaptation Science Center, USGS; Dana M. Infante, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: Decision-making with limited information is commonplace in fisheries management, stemming from the need to sustain fisheries ecosystems in the face of changing environmental and human conditions. Decision support tools (DSTs) facilitate decision-making by systematically integrating environmental and socioeconomic information and accounting for variability in human and natural systems, yet they have not been widely applied in freshwater recreational fisheries management. As such, we collaborated with fisheries research and management professionals to develop a DST – specifically, a stream prioritization tool (SPT) – to inform fisheries management amid climate change in Michigan coldwater streams inhabited Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis, Brown Trout Salmo trutta, and Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. The SPT ranked streams by synthesizing management decision-making criteria that affect trout thermal habitat quality (e.g., current and future stream temperature, relative abundance of trout, groundwater input). Productive, socioeconomically important trout streams with high thermal habitat quality such as the Au Sable and Manistee rivers were predictably the highest-ranked streams by the SPT and thus warrant continued trout population and thermal habitat management (e.g., groundwater conservation). However, certain streams currently important for recreational fishing (e.g., Muskegon River, Pere Marquette River) were projected to have relatively low thermal habitat quality by 2056, whereas other streams without top-tier fisheries (e.g., Rapid River, Davenport Creek) were predicted to have high-quality thermal habitats, suggesting they merit increased management efforts. Revealing unexpected yet management-relevant findings under different scenarios of climate change, the SPT is a flexible instrument to help sustain thermally resilient trout populations and streamline fisheries management decision-making amid climate change.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST

3:20pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-06) River Restoration in Iowa ... Is There Anything Fishy Going on Here?
AUTHORS: Jeff Kopaska, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Historical accounts of Iowa’s aquatic resources paint a picture of what Iowa’s rivers, streams and lakes were like at the time of settlement. Unfortunately, the physical and biological components of these aquatic systems had already been degraded by the time of the first scientific surveys in the late 1800s. Erosion and sedimentation issues that began in the 1800s still plague Iowa’s rivers and streams today, in the form of streamside alluvial deposits that are phosphorus laden and subject to streambank erosion. Iowa currently is undertaking efforts to reduce nutrient flux out of the state via our streams and rivers, but restoration of other components of stream ecosystems such as hydrology, geomorphology and biology is lacking. Including nutrient reduction/stream restoration practices that enhance fish populations and fish habitat can provide short term and long term measureable improvements to Iowa’s aquatic resources, as well as those downstream.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) How Do Beavers Affect Trout Populations? Well, it depends…
AUTHORS: Troy Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division

ABSTRACT: Most published studies do not provide a complete understanding of the effects of beavers on trout populations and streams.  Results often vary by location, with some studies characterizing beavers as beneficial to trout populations and others indicating beavers are harmful.  Drawing on case studies throughout the Midwest and North America, I will attempt to explain what underlies these seemingly contradictory findings.  For example, groundwater availability and inputs drive many Midwestern trout streams, and a thorough understanding of these processes is critical for understanding how beaver dams will affect trout populations.  Understanding the factors that shape trout streams in other regions will provide the context needed for interpreting an array of studies examining beaver-trout relationships and will enable managers to better predict how beavers might affect trout streams in their region.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST

4:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Minnesota’s Stream Conservation Easements and New Perennial Vegetation Buffer Law Overlap to Improve Riparian Habitat
AUTHORS: Jennifer A. Olson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish & Wildlife

ABSTRACT: This presentation will highlight the success of Minnesota’s stream conservation easements, a new perennial vegetation buffer law, and how the MN DNR Fisheries Section manages beaver on private land under stream easements across the state. Beaver management is targeted on high priority streams based on expected benefits and available resources. There is pressure to do both more and less beaver control depending upon location.Conservation easements are interests in real property that place certain restriction on the use of the property for conservation benefit. The easements are an agreement between the original landowner and State of Minnesota. Easements are recorded with the county government and stay with the land. Minimum requirements to hold conservation easements include completing baseline property reports, maintaining relationships with original and successive landowners, monitoring the easement on a regular basis, and enforcement of easement terms when needed.Stream conservation easements are most commonly found on trout streams in southeast and northeast Minnesota. The original landowner is compensated using a standardized formula for relinquishing certain land use rights within the stream corridor. Typical stream conservation easement terms allow public angling, the development of fish habitat, access to the stream for management activities, along with the prohibition of new buildings or structures, excavating, filling, dumping, tree cutting, etc. In some regions (southern MN), agricultural tillage setbacks are also established.Minnesota established a new perennial vegetation buffer law protecting up to 50 feet along all public waters including lakes, rivers and streams, and buffers of 16.5 feet along public ditches. The purpose is to help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment. Additional benefits exist which overlap and impact stream conservation easements. The deadline for implementation of the new buffers along all public waters was November 1, 2017. The deadline for public ditches is November 1, 2018.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Effect of Beaver on Brook Trout Habitat in North Shore Lake Superior Streams
AUTHORS: Dr. Andrew Hafs, Kathryn Renik – Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT: In Minnesota, Beaver Castor canadensis are considered to have an overall negative affect on native Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Brook trout provide a valued and productive sport fishery to the North Shore streams of Lake Superior and since revival of the Beaver population from past trapping and timber harvest, a need emerges to examine the complex ecological relationship where the two taxa interact. Suitable Brook Trout habitat is characterized by cold, spring-fed water with silt-free rocky substrate and abundant cover, all of which Beaver may directly, or indirectly, affect. Data collection occurred on 80 (200 m) stream sections and 22 beaver ponds spanning the North Shore during summers 2017 and 2018. A habitat suitability index (HSI) model was employed, and through interpolation in geographic information systems (GIS), maps depicting Brook Trout habitat of sampled stream sections were produced. The average HSI and suitable area (m<sup>2</sup>/100 m<sup>2</sup>) of each sampled reach were compared to Beaver related activity, including reach slope, distance to nearest Beaver pond, and number of dams upstream of sampled sites. Classification regression trees were used to identify significant thresholds in which Beaver activity influenced the amount or quality of Brook Trout habitat. Preliminary results from 2017 data indicated that a greater area of suitable Brook Trout habitat in North Shore streams was achieved when the maximum tree line width of the nearest upstream Beaver pond was = 71.23 m.  Anticipated results from 2018 will be presented contingent on completion of data analysis. Since the effect of Beaver on Brook Trout varies regionally, this study will provide a simple decision-making flow chart to aid in the development of management strategies pertaining to these two species in North Shore, Lake Superior streams.

Monday January 28, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm EST

5:00pm EST

Tuesday, January 29

10:20am EST

(NEW) (SYMPOSIA-10) The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership: An Innovative University-State Agency Partnership for Conservation in Ohio
AUTHORS: H. Lisle Gibbs

ABSTRACT: The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership (OBCP) is a unique partnership between Ohio State University and the Ohio Division of Wildlife that was established in 2011. It leverages strengths of each organization to conduct outstanding scientific research that informs management and conservation of Ohio’s rare and endangered species. This talk and the associated symposium will highlight the advantages and challenges of this partnership from administrative and scientific perspectives and feature talks that describe the scientific achievements and conservation implications of OBCP-sponsored research on Ohio’s State-listed species. The goal is to provide an example of an alternative way in which funding through State Wildlife Grants can be effectively used for conservation and management activities.

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

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) OBCP: An Agency Perspective
AUTHORS: Kate Parsons, ODNR-Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: The goal of the Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership is to conduct outstanding scientific research that directly benefits the citizens of Ohio by providing sound, scientifically-based advice for managing endangered species and other species of greatest conservation need in the state. From the state wildlife agency’s perspective, sound science is critical to management decisions. The OBCP research projects are used to focus on key information, whether it’s better understanding a species habitat needs or population structure. The faculty at OSU have the expertise to develop and conduct research that addresses current and emerging issues in wildlife conservation.

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

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Timber Rattlesnake Habitat Use: A Thermal Landscape Perspective
AUTHORS: William Peterman, Andrew Hoffman, Annalee Tutterow – Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Temperature is of paramount consideration for ectothermic animals. Numerous studies have previously described multiscale habitat selection and use in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus). However, there is currently limited understanding of how habitat use and selection are related to the thermal landscape. The primary objectives of this study are to understand how the thermal landscape is affected by land use and forest management, and how spatial and temporal habitat use by timber rattlesnakes relates to the thermal landscape. To create a down-scaled near-surface air temperature model, we deployed remote temperature loggers across our focal landscape in Southeast Ohio. We then used fine-scale LiDAR data to derive spatial topographic surfaces as well as surfaces describing forest structure. Using these models, we related the predicted spatial-temporal air temperatures to field observations of radio telemetered snake locations, as well to snake body temperature data collected using internal temperature data loggers.Our near-surface air temperature and snake body temperature models both fit the data well with high predictive power. Unsurprisingly, we found that gravid females, on average, occupied areas of the landscape with higher temperatures than non-gravid snakes. We have observed large differences in parturition dates in our population. Females that give birth earlier in the summer are occupying areas that are warmer than areas occupied by females that give birth later in the summer. Our study provides a novel perspective of habitat use in timber rattlesnakes, and adds to the limited knowledge of timber rattlesnake ecology in the Midwest. A clear understanding of the landscape features affecting near-surface air temperatures and the spatial thermal ecology of timber rattlesnake has the potential to facilitate more effective and targeted habitat management.

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

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Look at 7 Years of Bat Acoustic Surveys in Ohio
AUTHORS: Bridget K.G. Brown, Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: White-nose Syndrome (WNS) was discovered in the United States in New York in 2006. It slowly made its way across the country and was found in Ohio in 2011. Substantial declines were reported starting in 2012 in Ohio's two largest hibernacula, the Preble and Lawrence County mines. However, there was little information on the impact WNS was having on Ohio’s summer populations. In order to determine this, the Ohio Division of Wildlife instigated a mobile bat acoustic survey. The goal of this project was to noninvasively monitor the summer bat populations in Ohio and determine the negative effects (e.g. population declines and loss of species diversity) that WNS may be having statewide. This program has grown to include 44 acoustic routes with over 100 volunteers assisting. Survey results were compared annually to monitor changes in bat abundance along each route. There was evidence of declines, although not statistically significant, in state bat abundance overall from 2011 to 2017. This is likely as a result of WNS in combination with other various threats to bats (e.g. wind turbines and habitat loss). There was a significant increase in abundance between 2014 and 2017 (p=.014050). Increases from 2014 could represent beginning recoveries in Ohio’s bat populations or a change in species composition across the post-WNS landscape. Continuing this project into the future could allow for further understanding of the status of Ohio's bat populations.

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

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Adaptive Variation in Venom Genes in Small Isolated Populations of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes
AUTHORS: Alex Ochoa, Michael Broe, H. Lisle Gibbs – Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Small isolated populations of endangered species can experience genetic costs through the loss of adaptive variation and/or the accumulation of deleterious mutations through genetic drifts.  The endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) occurs in isolated populations with small effective sizes throughout its range in the U.S. and Canada, but little is known about the levels of adaptive genetic variation in existing populations.  Here, we used DNA capture probes and Next Generation Sequencing to assess the genetic diversity of venom genes in 93 Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes from 12 populations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and Ontario.  Specifically, we characterized the genetic diversity of genes encoding PLA2, BPP, CRISP, SVSP, and SVMP venom proteins, as well as an additional set of ~1400 non-toxin and neutral loci.  Within populations, we find that variation—defined as the presence of nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in venom genes—is common and not related to effective population sizes, as determined from neutral genetic markers.  This suggests that small populations of this species still retain high levels of adaptive genetic variation despite the impact of strong genetic drift. In contrast, levels of population divergence in toxin and non-toxin loci are similar, thus making the roles of selection versus genetic drift in maintaining population differences in venom gene alleles uncertain.  Broadly, we discuss the implications of our results for management activities for this endangered snake from a conservation genetics perspective.

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

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) The Ohio Dragonfly Survey: Citizen Science and INaturalist
AUTHORS: MaLisa Spring, Norman Johnson – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Dragonflies and damselflies are predatory arthropods that are reliant on aquatic habitats in both their immature and adult forms. Ohio is home to 170 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Of these, 23 are state-listed as endangered, threatened, or species of concern. The Ohio Dragonfly Survey is a citizen-science group documenting all species across the state to get a better understanding of the current distribution patterns and phenology. Thanks to the help of dedicated naturalists, we compiled over new 30,000 records in iNaturalist to incorporate into the survey. To date, 806 different users have contributed data via iNaturalist. Of these, 42 individuals contributed at least 100 observations to the survey. Odonata experts verify these observations, and a majority of the observations have reached research grade. Hundreds of new county records have been reported which have significantly expanded the known distribution of several species (Dythemis velox, Enallagma traviatum westfalli, Libellula incesta). Many species are still poorly documented, with several known from only a single county in Ohio: Aeshna interrupta, Calopteryx angustipennis, Enallagma anna, Enallagma doubledayi, Erithrodiplax miniscula, Hylogomphus abbreviatus, Leucorrhinia proxima, Libellula flavida, Somatochlora incurvata, Somatochlora kennedyi, and Tramea calverti.

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

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) River Rearing of in Vitro Mussels
AUTHORS: Jacqualyn Halmbacher, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Transformation of larval mussels and grow out of juveniles to a releasable size requires knowledge of the correct host, inoculations with the larvae, growing algae as a food source, supplementing water with proper nutrients and the lengthy process of rearing freshwater mussel juveniles in a laboratory setting. In vitro transformation with grow out in a natural setting streamlines this process. In this study, several batches of juveniles from various species of mussels were placed in concrete river grow out "silos" immediately after being taken out of the in vitro incubator. Two river sites in Ohio were used: Big Darby Creek and the Kokosing River. Growth measurements were taken every two weeks. Transforming mussels using in vitro techniques followed by river rearing surpassed any laboratory growth rates known to date.

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

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Fishes of Ohio Inventory and Distribution Project
AUTHORS: Brian J. Zimmerman, The Ohio State University; Dan Rice, (retired) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (ODNR); Marc R. Kibbey, The Ohio State University; Marymegan Daly, PhD, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Milton Trautman’s classic book, “The Fishes of Ohio,” was published in 1981 and did an excellent job presenting the distribution and status of Ohio’s fish fauna at the time. In subsequent decades, fish communities of Ohio have changed in composition and distribution. In 2011, we began an inventory of the current status of all fish species found in Ohio. Some of these changes we have documented are positive, including the large scale expansion of many species of riverine fish that have been characterized as sensitive to water quality. Other changes point towards declines, particularly in species reliant on wetland or glacial lake habitats. In addition to trends in distribution and abundance of native species, we see significant impact in the occurrence of non-indigenous species that were not documented by Trautman. The results of the 2011-2017 distribution surveys are summarized in our 2018 field guide “A Naturalist Guide to the Fishes of Ohio” by Dan Rice and Brian Zimmerman.

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

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) A Partnership to Recover Ohio’s Giant Salamander, the Eastern Hellbender
AUTHORS: Gregory Lipps, Jr., Nicholas Smeenk – Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: The Eastern Hellbender is a large, completely aquatic salamander that inhabits lotic waters, spending most of its life under large rocks.  Surveys from 2006-2009 found that the relative abundance of Hellbenders in Ohio declined by over 80% with most populations having reduced recruitment of young.  A diverse group of individuals representing state and federal wildlife and environmental agencies, zoos, soil and water conservation districts, and academic researchers have met regularly for the past decade under the umbrella of the Ohio Hellbender Partnership to develop and implement plans to recover the species and its habitat.  Since 2011, we have collected eggs from 27 nests for head-starting in biosecure facilities, resulting in the release of 960 individuals into Ohio waterways. While water quality in the state greatly improved after the passage of environmental legislation in the early 1970s, increases in sedimentation and conductivity still pose major impediments to maintaining suitable habitat and establishing self-sustaining populations, especially in areas of increased oil and gas exploration.  While the future of the Hellbender in Ohio is far from certain, the diverse partnership has become a model for addressing the multitude of challenges associated with the recovery of endangered species.

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation
AUTHORS: S. Mažeika P. Sullivan, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Ohio’s stream, river, and wetland ecosystems have been subjected to multiple environmental stressors (e.g., changes in climate and land-use; alterations in stream hydrogeomorphic processes; ecosystem contaminants and nutrient enrichment, etc.). These changes can affect aquatic communities and ecosystems in myriad and interactive ways, with rare and endangered species particularly susceptible. The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership (OBCP) has been an effective mechanism in supporting and catalyzing applied research that directly informs conservation, restoration, and management of rare fish species, aquatic communities, and ecosystem function. Here, I overview specific examples of linked research-conservation activities supported by OBCP and how they have contributed to improved aquatic ecosystem health (e.g., impacts of dam removal, linkages between fluvial geomorphology and aquatic communities, rare fish propagation and reintroduction). I also highlight additional advantages of OBCP in the context of aquatic resources including training and diversifying undergraduate and graduate students, leveraging for federal funding, and increasing science communication.

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

3:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Use of Headstarting Data to Estimate Age-Specific Survival Rates of Juvenile Blanding’s Turtles
AUTHORS: Callie Klatt Golba, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University; Gary Glowacki, 2Natural Resource Division, Lake County Forest Preserve District; Richard B. King, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University & Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, Northern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Blanding’s Turtles (IUCN Endangered) are long-lived reptiles with delayed sexual maturity. Population viability analyses (PVAs) are useful tools for such species because they allow the comparison of conservation strategies over time frames that would not be possible experimentally. Accurate demographic parameter estimates are essential for reliable projection of effects of management on populations. For Blanding’s Turtles, we lack accurate estimates of juvenile survival because younger age classes are infrequently encountered and recaptured. The Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) in northeastern Illinois initiated a long-term capture-mark-recapture (CMR) project in 2004. Since 2010, LCFPD has released 879 headstarted turtles, 316 of which have been recaptured in one or more successive years. These 14 years of intensive monitoring have provided us with a unique dataset from which we estimate the survival of juvenile turtles. Using encounter histories of headstarted animals, we estimate age-specific survival rates by employing Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) modelling techniques. Furthermore, by comparing size and growth trajectories of headstarted animals with those of known-age wild-born juveniles (93 unique individuals, 39 of which have been recaptured), we meaningfully apply age-specific survival estimates to wild animals. Together with other demographic information from this population (adult survival, fecundity), we anticipate more accurate population projections that will aid in evaluating conservation strategies for this population and potentially for Blanding’s Turtles elsewhere.

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

3:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Survivability of Head-Started Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) In Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park
AUTHORS: Katherine Wright, Crystal Robertson, Paul Yannuzzi, Shannon Ritchie, Andrew Lentini, Bob Johnson, Rick Vos – Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme, Toronto Zoo

ABSTRACT: A head-start program for Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) was launched in 2012 by Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme and partners in an effort to recover a local population in the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP). As per a Population Viability Analysis (PVA) in 2013, reaching a self-sustaining population required raising 50 turtles per year for two years each at a 60 female: 40 male ratio over 20 years. The head-start turtles are incubated and raised in a protected zoo environment, which includes a month in outdoor enclosures to acclimate to natural conditions. Then, a soft-release enclosure is used with half of the cohort for in-situ to acclimate to their new wetland prior to release into the wild, while a hard-release method is used for the other half (no in-situ acclimation). The release site is known habitat for Blanding’s turtles and is in close proximity to travel corridors, though many head-start turtles remain in the wetland area in which they were released. No significant difference has been observed between home ranges of soft- and hard-release turtles. The number of turtles released per cohort has increased each year (2014: 10, 2015: 21, 2016: 36, 2017: 49, and 2018: 49), as have cumulative survival rates (2018 data is still being incorporated). Survival, movement, and habitat use patterns are monitored by radio tracking a subset of turtles from each release cohort, which occurs three times per week from May-August and once per month from December-April. The number of tracked turtles from each cohort changes yearly as more turtles are released. In 2018, a total of 48 turtles were tracked out of the 165 that have been released to date. This long-term project will use adaptive management to improve husbandry, field research, habitat restoration and community outreach as the project progresses.

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

4:00pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Demographic Response of a Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) Population to Multi-year Meso-predator Removal Efforts in a Northeast Ohio Fen
AUTHORS: Nicholas A. Smeenk, Gregory J. Lipps, Jr. – Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, The Ohio State University; Caleb Wellman, USDA, Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Meso-predatorsare primary predators of turtles and may obtain unnaturally high densities due to human subsidies. Predation by such predators may be more prevalent for turtle nests, which can be especially detrimental when nesting sites are concentrated. Persistent nest predation often results in a skewed population structure dominated by large adults due to reduced recruitment. Meso-predator control efforts during the nesting season have occurred yearly since 2011 at several important turtle sites in northern Ohio. At a northeast Ohio fen, we compared size distribution and sex ratios of Spotted Turtles among survey efforts from 2007 to trapping efforts in 2017 – 2018 to assess the demographic response of Spotted Turtles to removal of meso-predators. We used a Lincoln-Peterson population estimate with a Chapman modifier to estimate the turtle population size and density in 2017 – 2018. From 2011-2016, 115 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 7 Virginia opposums (Didelphis virginiana) were removed along a railroad bed where turtles frequently nest. While the turtle sex ratio did not differ, we found a significant shift in the size distribution between the two time periods resulting from the capture of juveniles in 2017-2018, but not in 2007. A similar size distribution was observed in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). We estimated the population size to be 28 individuals (95% CI: 19 - 37), resulting in a density estimate of 22 individuals/hectare. The shift in size distribution and similarity to a conspecific turtle species, suggests that meso-predator control efforts have mitigated predation of nests and/or young, resulting in increased recruitment in the population examined in this study. Further, the estimated population density is high relative to other populations.  These results suggest a healthy population with yearly recruitment and evolutionarily stable sex distribution as a result of continued predator control efforts during the nesting season.

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

4:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Can We Use Environmental DNA to Detect Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) at the Edge of Their Range?
AUTHORS: Ethan J. Kessler, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Kurt T. Ash, Samantha N. Barratt, Eric R. Larson – University of Illinois; Mark A. Davis, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Secretive aquatic animals are often particularly difficult to sample via traditional methodologies, especially when coupled with low population densities.  Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) are a fully aquatic chelonian endemic to the southeastern United States.  At the northern extent of their range (i.e. Illinois and Indiana) this species is rarely encountered, and many records are chance encounters reported by citizen scientists.  M. temminckii receive state-level protection throughout the bulk of their range and are currently under consideration for federal protection. As a consequence, documenting their occurrence across their range is a conservation imperative. Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques detect DNA shed by animals into the environment to determine whether a species inhabits an area of interest.  Due to their low detection probability at the edge of their range, eDNA may present a cost-effective method for M. temminckii surveys. We used an ongoing M. temminckii reintroduction in Illinois to test the efficacy of eDNA methods to determine detection limits using radio-telemetered individuals. Water samples were taken from known turtle locations, as well as random locations upstream and downstream from turtles.  M. temminckii eDNA detections were positively correlated with turtle presence but showed limited downstream transport. Results from the Illinois methods-testing were applied to an eDNA survey of M. temminckii in two watersheds in Indiana, identifying locations with potential M. temminckii presence. Our results demonstrate that eDNA may be a viable means of detecting M. temminckii and could be utilized to better target areas to focus traditional sampling efforts.

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

4:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Spatiotemporal Investigation of Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) Hematology and Pathogen Detection Through a Longitudinal Study in Central Illinois
AUTHORS: Jeremy M. Rayl, Marta Kelly, Michelle Beermann, Matthew C. Allender – Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), a declining species across most of its range, are threatened by disease events including ranaviral disease, mycoplasmosis, and herpesviral infections, but individual host hematologic responses are largely unknown. At a site with known amphibian and box turtle ranavirus outbreaks, a cohort of eastern box turtles (N=36) was investigated using radio telemetry. Location and temperature data were collected over two active seasons and brumation periods (2016-2018). Bi-weekly, turtles were sampled for blood and oral-cloacal swabs for hematology and pathogen detection. All turtles were negative for ranavirus over the study period. Total white blood cells, heterophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, and monocytes were greater in females compared to males. Total solids, total white blood cells, heterophils, and lymphocytes showed decreasing patterns in both sexes during the active season. Home ranges and average daily movement were not significantly predicted by hematology or pathogen detection. These data add to the long-term health monitoring of eastern box turtle populations in central Illinois. With repeated measures, we have an increased ability to find complex spatiotemporal relationships between box turtle movement, hematology, and pathogens. In conjunction with long-term cross sectional surveys, a more complete picture of box turtle health related to these variables can be developed with this site as an example within central Illinois. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST

5:00pm EST

Wednesday, January 30

10:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Trends in Arthropod Abundance Over 21 Years in Illinois
AUTHORS: Bryan M. Reiley, T.J. Benson, David Zaya, Brenda Molano-Flores, Greg Spyreas, Eric Janssen – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Arthropods play an important role in providing ecosystem services and are integral to terrestrial food webs. Given their importance, recent evidence suggesting widespread declines in arthropod populations has received considerable attention from scientists, politicians, and the public. While pollinator declines have been documented in North America, most evidence of declines has come from international studies. We are examining long-term changes in arthropod populations in Illinois using a 21-year data set of standardized sweep net samples taken in >500 randomly selected forest, grassland, and wetland sites. In addition to temporal trends, we are investigating the importance of weather variables, landscape context, and plant-community composition for influencing arthropod populations. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:30am EST

10:30am EST

(CANCELLED) (WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Salamanders & Strip Mines: Effects of Extreme Habitat Disturbance on Genetic Diversity of Terrestrial Salamanders in Eastern Ohio
AUTHORS: Kate C Donlon, William E Peterman – School of the Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: A leading contributor to the global decline of amphibians is habitat loss and alteration. While it is clear habitat alterationcan negatively impact the persistence of an organism on the landscape, many studies do not offer insight into population-level implications. Disturbed systems provide the opportunity to investigate the response of populations to habitat alteration post-disturbance. Industrial surface mining, also known as strip mining,is an example of extreme anthropogenic disturbance. The initial disturbance from surface mining can cause direct wildlife mortality and the displacement of species capable of moving away from the impacted area. Long-term effects are associated with changes to the vegetation and contour of the landscape. Prior to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 restoration requirements were minimal and infrequently enforced. Historically, strip mined land was often abandoned or only partially restored through the planting of trees on soil banks. Despite the extensive habitat destruction caused by the removal of layers of soil and rock to expose seams of coal for extraction, plethodontid salamanders have been found occupying reforested mine land that was abandoned prior to 1977 in Ohio. These populations provide an opportunity to study the long-term response of terrestrial salamanders to extreme anthropogenic disturbance. The goal of this project is to study the population genetics of terrestrial Northern Ravine salamander, Plethodon electropmorphus, across a heterogeneous landscape disturbed by strip mining. Comparisons between mined and un-mined sites will be made to infer the long-term impact strip mining has had on sensitive species’ ability to recoverfrom habitat disturbance. Population genetic parameters will be generated from microsatellite data from individuals sampled onmined and undisturbed reference sitesin Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Population genetic parameters will provide insight into population level implications ofextreme habitat disturbance.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:30am - 10:40am EST

10:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Habitat Use of Migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls in Delaware and Henry Counties, Indiana
AUTHORS: Kaitlin Gavenda, Kamal Islam, Clayton Delancey – Ball State University

ABSTRACT: This study aims to test if Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) exhibit a preference between two potential habitat types in Indiana, an old growth deciduous forest and a Christmas tree farm, during migration. Previous studies have documented the use of old growth deciduous forest. Christmas tree farms contain the coniferous trees preferred by these owls in their breeding habitat; however, it is an artificial environment that may not contain the cover that Northern Saw-whet Owls favor. This study examines if there are any differences in capture rates between these two habitat types based on season and gender. Two mist-netting stations have been established to monitor fall and spring migration periods: one at Ginn Woods (Ball State University property) in Delaware County, and the other at Whitetail Tree Farm in Henry County, both in Indiana. Each station uses six mist-nets: a line of four nets, with one net on either side of the middle to form a cross. A recording of a Northern Saw-whet Owl call is played at the center of the cross to increase owl capture rates. During last year’s banding, we caught 10 owls at Ginn Woods and 10 owls at Whitetail Tree Farm during the fall, and two more owls at Whitetail Tree Farm during the spring. Of these owls, 9 were hatch year, 6 were second year, and 5 were after second year. Only one male and one unknown sex were captured. We also had two foreign recaptures, one banded in Ontario, 2016, and one banded in Quebec, 2017. Analysis of fall 2018 migration captures will also be included.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 10:50am EST

10:50am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Using Environmental DNA to Determine Rail Occupancy and Track Migration
AUTHORS: Anastasia Rahlin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Mark Davis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Matthew Niemiller, University of Alabama in Huntsville

ABSTRACT: Wetland fragments in Illinois support over 100 bird species, 15 of which are state threatened and endangered. Wetland birds are of particular concern under the Illinois State Wildlife Action Plan due to the lack of information about their population sizes and distributions. Traditional playback methods fall short in elucidating cryptic wetland bird occupancy due to small body sizes, infrequent vocalizations, and unique habitat requirements. In this study, we investigated whether environmental DNA (eDNA) methods could be used to detect multiple rail species, and also hypothesized that taking environmental DNA samples over time would allow us to temporally track rail migration. We collected and filtered water samples from four sites from northern Illinois. We collected and purified DNA from filters using a Qiagen DNeasy kit, and quantified extracts on a Qubit 3.0 fluorometer. We amplified a short fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 locus using newly designed degenerate bird primers. We positively detected eDNA in our samples, with Qubit concentrations ranging from 1.30 ng/ml to 80.3 ng/ml. As expected, negative control samples collected in the field yielded no eDNA. Degenerate primers positively detected GBHE and SORA DNA extracted from liver controls, with band fragment sizes of approximately 125 base pairs. Degenerate primers also yielded multiple ~125 bp bands, showing strong evidence for wetland bird DNA detection from eDNA samples. Samples were sequenced on a MiSeq using degenerate bird and vertebrate primers. We focused on analyzing Illumina sequencing data for four species: Sora, King Rail, Virginia Rail, and Least Bittern. Our analyses yielded positive detections for multiple rail species. Least Bitterns were not detected. Ongoing work focuses on adding sampling sites in northern Illinois, increasing sampling duration, and taking soil eDNA samples.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:50am - 11:00am EST

11:00am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Migration Chronology and Wintering Locations of King Rails (Rallus elegans) Captured in the Upper Midwest
AUTHORS: Michelle Kane, Thomas Gehring – Central Michigan University; Brendan Shirkey, John W. Simpson, Michael A. Picciuto – Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

ABSTRACT: King rails (Rallus elegans) are a secretive marshbird, and the migratory population is of high conservation concern due to declining numbers and loss of historic breeding habitat. In part due to their secretive nature, knowledge gaps exist for basic life history information, including migratory routes, migration chronology and wintering range. We placed satellite transmitters on nine king rails captured in Ohio to gather information about spring and autumn migration chronology and routes, wintering locations, and the potential exposure of migratory king rails to harvest. We received autumn migration data for four individuals and spring migration data for two individuals. Departure dates from the breeding range varied from 30 August to 20 October and spring arrival date to the Upper Midwest was 20 April. Autumn migration for all birds was completed in five days or less. During autumn migration, three individuals migrated from Ohio to the Gulf Coast, and one individual migrated from Pennsylvania to the Atlantic coast. Spring migration lasted longer than autumn migration for both individuals. During spring migration, one individual migrated from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Midwest, and one individual migrated from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf Coast. We found all king rails with migration data spent the winter in states with king rail hunting seasons during open hunting dates, and thus could potentially be exposed to harvest. This novel information provides critical insight into the migratory movements and wintering range of migratory king rails.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:10am EST

11:10am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Integrating Health, Disease, and Husbandry into Applied Wood Duck Research
AUTHORS: Jacob A. Shurba, Kali Rush, Jacob Straub – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Since September 2017, a study was conducted to examine hen and brood survival rates of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) in central Wisconsin. The capturing of wood ducks during the breeding season required use of decoy traps using captive wood duck hens. These captive ducks were purchased from two game farms in the Midwest. Captive decoy hens were placed in traps to attract breeding wood ducks. In March 2018, a small number of the decoy ducks began dying with no clinical signs to diagnose what was causing the mortality. In this study, we reviewed common diseases of waterfowl, the husbandry requirements for captive waterfowl species, and produced potential explanations as to what caused captive duck mortality, as well as recommendations for future studies. We collected data based on the differences in how our ducks were housed compared to recommendations in the literature. We also reviewed the inconclusive pathology reports from the deceased ducks and compared results to common diseases found in waterfowl. We found that the conditions our decoys ducks were kept in could be improved. A combination of living conditions and the adverse effects of being a decoy bird played a significant role in the mortality of these decoy ducks. Recommendations for future studies include a change of living condition to decrease the amount of stress placed on the decoys, and to lessen the amount of time a decoy duck is spending in the trap. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:10am - 11:20am EST

11:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Estimating Abundance and Demographic Parameters of Canada Geese from Banding and Recovery Data
AUTHORS: Tim Lyons, Larkin Powell – University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Mark Vrtiska, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

ABSTRACT: Bird banding is a basic but important form of population monitoring that is vital to waterfowl management in the U.S. Most often, the data derived from state and federal banding programs are used to estimate survival and harvest rates and distributions across broad geographic regions, but they can also be used to estimate abundance at more local scales. However, absent or limited population surveys, banding efforts, or recoveries, from neighboring states or provinces complicates efforts, leading to ad hoc approaches to deal with these problems during analysis. Here, we use banding and recovery data of Canada geese in Nebraska 2006-2017 to assess the effects of changing harvest regulations on Canada goose demography and estimate abundance. We demonstrate a modified harvest derivation analysis and Lincoln-Peterson estimator to address pitfalls common to these approaches when estimating abundance. Finally, we discuss Jolly-Seber models as an alternative approach to estimating demographic parameters and abundance that circumvents the need for banding or population monitoring programs out-of-state and provides greater detail about the mechanisms responsible for population changes.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:30am EST

Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.
  • Main Agenda Item
  • Poster
  • S01: Using Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations: Advancing Science-Based Fisheries Management
  • S02: Eastern Massasauga Conservation - Management - Recovery
  • S03: Application of environmental DNA-based tools for aquatic invasive species monitoring and management
  • S04: Great Lakes Trophic Structure: Innovations and ongoing studies of predatory fishes
  • S05: Migratory wildlife collisions with manmade structures: monitoring - prevention - patterns from collision data
  • S06: Considering New Paradigms in the Management of Beaver - Trout - Riparian Habitats
  • S07: Use of Acoustic Telemetry to Inform Fisheries Management Across Midwestern US and Canada
  • S08: Science in service to wetlands conservation and wildlife management in the lower Great Lakes region: history - status - state of the art
  • S09: Carbon Dioxide As An Aquatic Resource Management Tool
  • S10: The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership: An Innovative University-State Agency Partnership for Conservation in Ohio
  • S11: Dreissenid Mussels: Advancements in control - detection - management - biology
  • S12: Reading the aquatic landscape and connecting restoration design
  • S13: Sea Grant role in communicating needs to inform research and conservation
  • S14: Bridging the Gap between Fish and Wildlife: Discussions on Multi-Species Interactions and Ecosystem Stability
  • S15: Collaborating with community members: the human side of fish and wildlife management and research
  • S16: Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
  • Student Event
  • T01: Fisheries: Great Lakes I
  • T02: Wildlife: Urban-Wildlife Conflict
  • T03: Fisheries: Behavior & Physiology
  • T04: Wildlife: Wetland Conservation
  • T05: Lightning Talk Session: Fisheries
  • T06: Human Dimensions: Fisheries I
  • T07: Fisheries: Rivers & Streams
  • T08: Wildlife: Waterfowl
  • T09: Human Dimensions: Wildlife
  • T10: Fisheries: Invasive Species I
  • T11: Fisheries: Fish Conservation
  • T12: Wildlife: Cervids
  • T13: Fisheries: Habitat
  • T14: Fisheries: Great Lakes II
  • T15: Fisheries: Lakes & Reservoirs
  • T16: Fisheries: Invertebrates
  • T17: Wildlife: Mammals
  • T18: Human Dimensions: Policy & Engagement
  • T19: Fisheries: Early Life History
  • T20: Wildlife: Upland I
  • T21: Fisheries: Invasive Species II
  • T22: Wildlife: Turtles
  • T23: Fisheries: Big Rivers
  • T24: Wildlife: Upland II
  • T25: Fisheries: Techniques
  • T26: Fisheries: Invasive Species III
  • T27: Wildlife: Avian
  • T28: Lightning Talk Session: Wildlife
  • T29: Human Dimensions: Fisheries II
  • Workshop