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). 
Monday, January 28

10:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) Aspects of Municipalities Associated with Occupancy and Abundance of Chimney Swifts in Illinois
AUTHORS: Maureen L. Hurd, Thomas J. Benson – Illinois Natural History Survey and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Michael P. Ward, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: The Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) is a bird species of conservation concern in Illinois and one of many aerial insectivores experiencing population declines across North America. While causes of declines are unknown, habitat availability and changes in insect populations are likely contributing factors. Chimney Swifts historically nested in tree cavities, but switched to nesting primarily in masonry chimneys as North American settlements expanded. With the growing trends of chimney caps and gas/electric heating, available chimneys are disappearing, and the loss of available nest sites may be driving Chimney Swift declines. Like other aerial insectivores, Chimney Swifts may also provide valuable pest control services and action may be needed to maintain this benefit. To investigate potential causes of declines in Illinois, we examined the influence of habitat and landscape factors on Chimney Swift abundance. We conducted surveys for swifts in 126 municipalities throughout Illinois and recorded the number of uncapped masonry chimneys at each survey point. We used these data along with landscape-level data such as composition of land cover surrounding points, areal extent of municipality, and age distribution of buildings. We found that 97% of municipalities were occupied by Chimney Swifts, but abundance varied considerably. Swifts were detected at 72.5% of survey points. Chimney Swift abundance was most heavily influenced by the number of uncapped masonry chimneys at survey points. Our results suggest that although Chimney Swifts are still widespread, contemporary building practices will continue to drive population declines and management should focus on approaches for providing and preserving suitable nesting sites.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST

11:00am EST

(CANCELLED) (WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) The FAA Wildlife Strike Database: An Untapped Source of Avian Movement Data
AUTHORS: Bradley F. Blackwell, Morgan B. Pfeiffer, Travis L. DeVault, Thomas W. Seamans – USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center

ABSTRACT: Bird movements, particularly during migration, provide information on timing and species composition relative to climate change and population dynamics.  Movement data have been traditionally gleaned from observers for the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and via band returns.  More recently, weather and avian radars are contributing movement data (not necessarily specie-specific), and citizen science is providing observation data via Ebird.  An untapped and publically available source of species-specific movement data is the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Wildlife Strike Database.  From 1990–2016, 183,296 wildlife-aircraft collisions (strikes) were reported (179,542 in USA and 3,754 strikes by US-registered aircraft in foreign countries) to the FAA. Birds compose approximately 96% of reported strikes, and aircraft “sample” intensively a broad spectrum of altitudes and geography seasonally.  Approximately 529 bird species have been struck over the 27-year period.  Our purpose is to introduce this novel source of avian survey data as a potential compliment to current information on avian movements.  As such, we will discuss how strike data are collected, identified, reported, and inherent biases.  We will provide trends for March through July over the last ten years in reported strikes for six species (including a warbler, blackbird, shorebird, waterfowl, wading bird, and raptor) struck in the Mississippi Flyway and species relative strike frequency per the respective year.  We will relate these trends to the known spring migration movement timing and Ebird population trends for each species for the same region and period.  

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST

11:20am EST

(CANCELLED) (WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) Efficacy of Avian Radar Systems for Tracking Birds on the Airfield of a Large International Airport
AUTHORS: Brian Washburn, USDA Wildlife Services; Adam Phillips, USDA Wildlife Services; Siddhartha Majumdar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; David Mayer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ryan M. Swearingin, USDA Wildlife Services; Edwin Herricks, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Travis L. Guerrant, USDA Wildlife Services; Scott Beckerman, USDA Wildlife Services; Craig Pullins, USDA Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Avian radar technologies have the potential to serve an important role in the quantification of bird movements and determining patterns of bird use in areas where human–wildlife conflicts might occur (e.g., airports, wind energy facilities). However, capabilities and limitations of these technologies are relatively unknown and ground-truthing studies are needed to help wildlife managers understand the biological meaning of radar information. We evaluated the efficacy of 3 X-band marine radar sensors for tracking birds and flocks of birds observed on the airfield at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, USA, during March 2011−November 2012. Specific information regarding field observations of birds or flocks was used to determine how frequently the 3 radar sensors provided corresponding tracks of these avian targets. In addition, various factors were examined to determine if they had any influence on the frequency of correspondence between visual observations and radar tracks. Of the 972 sightings of individual birds (49%) or flocks of birds (51%) by observers on the airfield that had the potential to be observed by the radar, 141 (15%) were tracked by at least one radar sensor. All confirmed tracks of bird/flocks were ≤4.8 km from these radars. Among the 3 radar sensors, larger-bodied bird species, bird/flocks flying at higher altitudes, and bird/flocks closer to the radars increased the ability of those units to track avian targets. This study provides new information regarding the performance of radar systems for tracking birds on the airfield of one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST

11:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) Effects of Harassment on Behavior and Movement of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in an Urban Park
AUTHORS: Ryan Askren, Mike Ward – Illinois Natural History Survey; Scott Beckerman, Craig Pullins – USDA Wildlife Services

ABSTRACT: Increasing abundances of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) wintering in urban areas have led to a host of human-wildlife conflicts including feces deposition, human health risks, and aircraft collisions. Harassment is the primary tool wildlife managers use to deal with nuisance goose abundances yet has been deemed ineffective at changing goose abundances in an area or reducing issues in longer time periods. However, the effects of harassment at the individual level are poorly studied, especially in winter when harassment may have more dire consequences. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of targeted harassment on 1) average daily movement distances, 2) habitat use, and 3) overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) as an index of energetic expenditure. To examine effects of harassment on individual Canada geese we used data from 41 geese marked with GPS transmitters in the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Harassment efforts were conducted December 2017- February 2018 by US Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services personnel at an urban park near Midway International Airport as part of ongoing efforts to reduce risk to air traffic. We compared average daily movement distance and ODBA of geese that in and out of harassment areas. In addition, we quantified differences in proportional habitat use of geese between treatments. Canada geese subjected to harassment moved more than unharassed geese in December (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 338.2 ± 19.3 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 211.3 ± 8.4 SE), January (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 409.0 ± 2.5 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 269.0 ± 11.0 SE), and February (x¯<sub>harassed </sub>= 447.0 ± 36.4 SE, x¯<sub>unharassed </sub>= 232.8 ± 13.5 SE). Results of this study suggest that winter harassment of Canada geese in winter has effects on the behavior and energetic expenditure that could result in lower survival and reduced conflicts in urban parks where targeted harassment is conducted.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) It Takes a Village: A Collaborative Approach to Bird Conservation
AUTHORS: Matthew B. Shumar, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative

ABSTRACT: Many species of birds migrate at night, guided in part by starfields and lunar paths. However, artificial lighting is becoming increasingly abundant on the landscape. This source of pollution has the ability to disrupt migratory cues and cause substantial mortality; birds attracted to bright lighting often fatally collide with buildings, and it is estimated that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed by collisions each year in the United States. Collaborative conservation programs designed to address bird-building collisions have been successful in a number of cities across North America—including Toronto, Chicago, and New York—by combining elements of public outreach, conservation, and research in a campaign to reduce the dangers of nighttime lighting for migrating birds. With support from a wide range of partners, including state wildlife agencies, local government, universities, and non-profit conservation organizations, Ohio’s first “Lights Out” campaign was launched in Columbus in 2012. In 2013, we initiated a study to assess the relative influence of light intensity and building height on collision rates. Results strongly suggested that minimizing lighting on tall buildings would effectively reduce collision rates. In recent years, this partnership has expanded “Lights Out” into a statewide network, with focused efforts in Ohio’s major urban centers. To date, regional branches of Ohio Lights Out have been established in seven cities. The magnitude of this conservation issue is likely greater than currently understood (e.g., more than 2,100 dead and injured birds were salvaged by volunteers in Cleveland during 2017 alone), and each city presents unique social and political challenges. There is great potential for programs such as “Lights Out,” but success will ultimately depend on cooperation among wildlife agencies, academic institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, natural history museums, building owners, city officials, and the general public.

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

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) The Effect of Weather on Bird-building Collisions in Downtown Minneapolis
AUTHORS: Sirena Lao, Oklahoma State University; Abigail W. Anderson, University of Minnesota; Robert B. Blair, University of Minnesota; Joanna W. Eckles, Audubon Minnesota; Reed J. Turner, Audubon Minnesota; Scott R. Loss, Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT: Collisions with buildings are a major source of human-caused bird mortality, especially for migratory species. Most bird-building collision studies have assessed building or landscape-related factors that correlate with mortality, such as glass area, the proximity of glass to vegetation, and the amount of surrounding greenspace. However, very little research has investigated factors causing temporal variation in bird-building collisions, and there is no published research that rigorously quantifies the influence of weather conditions on collision rates of migrating birds. During spring and fall migration, we hypothesize that more collisions occur under two scenarios: when conditions for migration are favorable (e.g., clear conditions, favorable tailwinds, and/or after the passage of a fall cold front), and hence more birds are moving; and when visibility is poor (e.g., fog, storms, or low cloud ceiling), causing migrating birds to potentially “fall out” in urban areas where they may be attracted to artificial light at night. To assess the effect of weather on collisions, we used counts from daily carcass surveys conducted during spring and fall migration of 2017 and 2018 at 21 buildings in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we compiled hourly weather data from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul weather station for each night from sunset to sunrise. We found that variables associated with favorable migration conditions, including wind direction and temperature, had the largest effect on collision mortality. We also found that weather conditions during certain times of night are especially important, and that collisions can be associated with weather conditions from one or two days prior to the night they occur. Understanding the effect of specific weather conditions on bird-building collisions will allow for the use of weather forecasts to better predict when major collision events will occur, and will therefore allow preemptive actions to be taken to reduce collision mortality.

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

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Using Citizen Scientist Data to Elucidate Drivers of Urban Bird-window Collisions
AUTHORS: Jonathan Rice, Luke DeGroote, Matt Webb, Jake Slyder – Carnegie Museum of Natural History

ABSTRACT: Throughout the spring (April-May) and fall (Sept-Aug) migrations of 2014 – 2016, citizen scientists searched for birds that had collided with buildings in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, USA.  These volunteers spent 965 hours searching an area encompassing 217.7 ha comprised of skyscrapers, low commercial buildings, apartment buildings, and city parks.  Volunteers found 705 dead or injured birds, 218 in the spring and 487 in the fall. We delineated building sides for all buildings with collisions (n=278), and for randomly selected buildings without collisions (n=65).  We quantified physical characteristics of the building and adjacent land cover using GIS and field visits (presences and extent of overhangs, percentage of windows, reflectivity of windows, rugosity, and presence of landscaping).  Bird-window collisions were more frequent at larger, structurally complex buildings with nearby vegetative cover.  Our results demonstrate that not all buildings are equally dangerous for birds.  Furthermore, future bird-window collisions could be mitigated if architects and urban planners design buildings with less glass, fewer alcoves, and less nearby vegetation.

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

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Lights out Cleveland: Methodology and Collision Patterns
AUTHORS: Andrew W. Jones, Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Tim Jasinski, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center; Courtney L. Brennan, Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Sylvie F. Crowell, Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Gary Fowler, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center; Laura Gooch, Cleveland Museum of Natural History; Moira Meehan, Ohio Wesleyan University; Stephanie Secic, Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: In 2017, we initiated a collaboration among six organizations to monitor bird-building collisions in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Field monitoring is carried out entirely by volunteers, starting at dawn on every day in spring and fall migration. Social media has been a key tool to recruit new volunteers as well as to coordinate daily monitoring schedules. During daily surveys, injured birds are placed in paper bags and then transported to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center for rehabilitation. Most injuries are related to cranial swelling. We report several approaches that have been successful in rehabilitating species that do not typically recover well in captivity, including American Woodcock. Birds are then banded before release. Birds that are found dead, or die during rehabilitation, are frozen and later prepared as museum research specimens at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. In Fall 2017, over 1,800 collisions were detected in downtown Cleveland. Over 1,200 of these collisions were fatal. We reviewed collision data, comparing collision sites to the adjacent landscape, finding that building facades that face large green spaces are responsible for significantly larger numbers of collisions. We compared collision rates, per species, to local abundances from citizen science efforts, finding that collision rates are not proportional to abundance.

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

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Opening the Black Box of Post Bird-window Collision Survival and Behavior with New Technology, Citizen Scientists, and Diverse Collaborations
AUTHORS: Lucas W. DeGroote, Jonathan Rice – Carnegie Museum of Natural History

ABSTRACT: It is often asserted that “half” or “many” birds that hit windows and live to fly away will later die of internal injuries.  Yet our knowledge of these injuries is limited to a small number of birds that were sacrificed to compare their injuries to birds that did not survive a window collision.  Only recently are we able to track small post-collision migrants over large distances thanks to a collaborative array of automated receiving stations (Motus Wildlife Tracking System) that are able to detect VHF transmitters operating on the same frequency (i.e. nanotags).  We utilized the Motus WTS and nanotags to study the long-term effects of bird-window collision on 29 migrant landbirds found by citizen science volunteers in Pittsburgh and Cleveland the spring of 2017.  We will compare their survival and migratory behavior to 21 birds captured via mist nets at Presque Isle Bird Observatory (NW PA) and Powdermill Avian Research Center (SW PA). In addition, we will utilize data collected by rehabilitators to quantify short term survival of birds found by citizen scientists.  With this data we will gain insight not only on the long-term effects of bird-window collisions on individuals but also population level consequences that as of yet have been unquantified through traditional citizen science based collision monitoring programs.

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

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Forty Years of Bird-building Collisions Shed Light on the Evolutionary Dynamics of Bird Migration in a Rapidly Changing World
AUTHORS: Benjamin Winger, University of Michigan; Brian Weeks, University of Michigan; David Willard, The Field Museum

ABSTRACT: Global warming is hypothesized to cause reductions in animal body size. Migratory birds are particularly vulnerable to change because they breed at high latitudes where temperatures are changing most rapidly, their morphologies are constrained by the demands of migration, and they are dependent on fluctuating seasonal resources and climatic conditions throughout their annual cycles. We analyzed morphological change for 52 species of migratory birds from 1978-2016, using measurements of 70,000 specimens that died from building collisions during migratory passage through Chicago, IL. Across species, we found a consistent decline in body size and consistent increase in wing length. Body size declines are linked to increasing summer temperatures on the breeding grounds: years with high summer temperature yielded birds with smaller body size. Increases in wing length are driven by selection during the migratory period, which we hypothesize is due to compensatory selection for efficient flight to maintain migratory journeys in the face of shrinking body size. The species composition of the Chicago collision data we analyzed also yielded insights into the relevance of avian social behavior for understanding the negative impacts of artificial light on birds during nocturnal migration.

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

3:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) “Big Data” Approach to Understanding Wildlife Collision Risk at Wind Farms
AUTHORS: Ryan Butryn, Taber Allison – American Wind Wildlife Institute

ABSTRACT: The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) has developed a database of post-construction fatality monitoring data containing hundreds of studies, many of which have been unavailable for analysis.  We present the results from our first analysis of more than 200 studies at 140 projects from across the U.S.  The size of our data set enables us to evaluate fatality rates and incident data on a biologically relevant regional scale (e.g., avian migration flyways, bird conservation regions). Bird and bat fatalities have been observed at almost all wind facilities; however, the species composition and number of fatalities varies greatly among these facilities. Our results show substantial differences in regional variation in bird and bat fatality estimates indicating different underlying patterns affecting collision risk in these two groups.  We also found bird and bat species assemblages detected by post construction surveys also varied substantially by region.  We will provide examples of how increased data availability provided by AWWI can help reduce uncertainties in risk and impact assessment and inform focused and effective fatality reduction measures.  

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

4:00pm EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-05) Is Mortality Data Proprietary? Accessing Bird and Bat Collision Data from Wind Projects
AUTHORS: Megan Seymour, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Bird and bat collisions at wind turbines are well documented and of concern to wildlife management agencies and the public. Data is typically collected by consultants funded by the wind project owner, and is often deemed to be proprietary even though it is collected under state or federal collection permits. This presentation will discuss the how some mortality data can be accessed, what state and federal agencies can share, and what the concerns are with making data public. When collision data is not shared, our ability to conserve birds and bats proactively is limited, however given available information we can infer certain mortality patterns and risk factors. These, along with management implications will be discussed.

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

4:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-05) Regulation of Single Turbines and Small-Scale Wind Facilities in Ohio
AUTHORS: Donald Bauman, Ken Mauer, Kimberly Kaufman – Black Swamp Bird Observatory

ABSTRACT: Current Ohio law is gravely deficient in providing any review of the biological resource impacts caused by the construction of single commercial-size wind turbines or small-scale multi-turbine wind farms.  This oversight is especially problematic when such turbines are constructed in environmentally sensitive areas, such as the southern shore of Lake Erie and the major migratory flyways associated with the Lake.  As pressure for renewable energy increases it is likely that exploitation of this large regulatory deficiency will increasingly be utilized to the detriment of Ohio’s public trust biological resources.  As such projects are often not publicized in advance of construction and it is very difficult to raise concerns about them in a meaningful way, a systematic means of controlling such wind turbine projects appeared to be necessary.  Accordingly, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and its Conservation Committee have developed proposed legislation which would provide a mandatory, scientifically-based review process to be implemented in defined geographic areas for construction of commercial-size wind turbines falling below the current 5MW Ohio Power Siting Board review threshold.  Favorable reaction to the proposal has been received from interested legislators and key Ohio government agencies.

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

4:40pm EST

Tuesday, January 29

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Something Fishy or Something Wild? Comparing the Progression, Status, and Needs of Social Science Integration in Fisheries and Wildlife Sides of Conservation
AUTHORS: Abigail Bennett, Shawn Riley – Michigan State University

ABSTRACT: This paper assesses the status and needs for social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance in Michigan. While the use of social science data and the participation of social scientists in fish and wildlife management has expanded over time, significant knowledge gaps remain. In general, there is a need for increased knowledge of stakeholder characteristics, perceptions, and behavior, rigorous analysis of the policy process, and more robust and nuanced understandings of the social, economic, and political implications of policy decisions. A thorough assessment of the context-specific social science research needs and a deeper engagement with theory and methods available for producing the knowledge to meet those needs can support more effective integration of social science into fish and wildlife governance. This study seeks to identify the current gaps in social science knowledge, data, and expertise in the context of Michigan fish and wildlife governance, drawing on interviews with managers, scientists, and other stakeholders. Using the interview data and a literature review, the paper traces the recent evolution of social science engagement in fish and wildlife governance in Michigan. In doing so, the analysis contrasts fisheries and wildlife with respect to how social science integration in management and decision-making has proceeded, highlighting lessons from each. The paper then analyzes interview respondents’ perceptions of the most pressing social science and human dimensions knowledge and information gaps in both sectors, as well as current barriers to closing those gaps. Distilling the major themes emerging from the interview data, the discussion synthesizes relevant social science theories, frameworks, and approaches from multiple disciplines that can guide efforts to rigorously and cohesively advance the integration of social science research in fisheries and wildlife governance. The paper concludes by outlining a research agenda and identifying practical steps toward incorporating the research into policy decision-making.

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

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) What Should a Baccalaureate Program in Conservation Law Enforcement Emphasize?
AUTHORS: Michael Rader, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: Law enforcement is critical to natural resource protection and conservation. Increasingly, the job duties of a conservation law enforcement (CLE) officer have been expanding and getting more complex as natural resource agencies interact with an increasing number of non-traditional stakeholders and issues. Many colleges and universities now offer baccalaureate programs in conservation law enforcement, but it has been 30 years since research has examined what curricular components to emphasize in such a program. This study surveyed all full-time, non-probationary conservation wardens in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to determine their opinions on probationary officer strengths & weaknesses, preparedness for entry-level training, relative importance of academic subject areas, relative importance of modes of instruction, and officer demographics. Results (65% response rate; n = 108) indicated that probationary officers were weakest in CLE field techniques, written communication, and natural resource law and policy; officers were strongest in technology/computer applications, physical fitness and basic law enforcement skills; the top three skills to develop in a baccalaureate program were CLE field techniques, natural resource sciences, and basic law enforcement skills. Specific courses rated extremely/very important included oral/written communication, CLE fundamentals/field skills, criminal justice investigation, law enforcement academy, resource policy and law, English, human dimensions, internship, and natural resource field skills. Courses rated relatively low in importance included philosophy, economics, arts, history, and math/statistics. The top three instructional methods were practical exercises/application, role playing/scenarios, and case studies. Observations about how to incorporate the results into a CLE baccalaureate curriculum are made as are recommendations for future research.

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

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Volunteer Stream Quality Monitoring: Fostering Community Engagement in Ohio’s Scenic Rivers
AUTHORS: Robert Gable, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Scenic Rivers Program Manager ABSTRACT: For over 50 years, the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program has had great success partnering with local communities, landowners, government agencies, conservation organizations, businesses and individuals in the protection of fourteen of the state’s outstanding river ecosystems. Conservation goals have been achieved through public outreach and education, implementation of innovative conservation measures, enhancing recreational opportunities, and emphasis on the protection of sensitive areas critical to high-quality stream ecosystems. One of the most important tools to the success of the Scenic Rivers Program has been education and outreach through the Volunteer Stream Quality Monitoring (SQM) Project. SQM focuses on the basic study of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities in Ohio’s fourteen designated state wild, scenic and recreational rivers to evaluate overall stream health. Introducing individuals to their first crayfish, mayfly or leech sparks an interest in the stream ecosystem. Participants become empowered with information and understanding; qualities that drive advocacy and conservation action. Since the inception of the Volunteer SQM Project in 1983, more than 150,000 individuals and groups have monitored over 150 locations in Ohio’s wild, scenic and recreational rivers. In 2017 alone, the Scenic Rivers Program had over 7,600 individuals participate state wide creating an integral component to the overall success of the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program. Sharing the methods behind our success may be valuable to other conservation organizations looking to grow voices for their waterways and support for conservation of high-quality river and stream resources.

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

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: POLICY & ENGAGEMENT) Investigating Perceptions of Wildlife and Vegetation in Urban Vacant Lots
AUTHORS: Andrew Mallinak, Charles Nilon, Robert Pierce – University of Missouri

ABSTRACT: Vacant lots are a prevalent issue in many urban, residential areas nationwide, causing property value declines and further neighborhood blight. These lots are often targeted by city officials to become planned greenspaces, though nearby, marginalized residents may not adequately be involved in the process. This exclusion disempowers residents and provides greenspace that while ecologically useful, may not benefit residents. St. Louis, Missouri is one of /many Midwest cities dealing with a large number of vacant lots, with most of the vacancy concentrated in the predominantly low-income, African-American north side. The city has selected several lots in two north side neighborhoods to implement various management strategies for storm water control and biodiversity conservation. To understand residents’ management preferences for the lots, I administered semi-structured interviews combined with vacant lot photo-evaluation surveys to residents in both neighborhoods. I created themes from the interview transcripts and photograph scores that explain how residents perceive the wildlife and vegetation in their neighborhood vacant lots and how that perception affects their preferred lot management and use. Top ranked photograph scenes exhibited a clear line of sight and signs of care such as mowing, fencing and litter absence. Bottom ranked photographs exhibited blocked line of sight and signs of neglect such as litter, patchy vegetation, and unmown or untrimmed vegetation. Themes surrounding management perception and preference included sense of safety, maintenance effort, and community needs. While wildlife was sometimes seen as tolerable or appreciated, most wildlife was viewed negatively as a form of nuisance or danger. Vegetation was pivotal in how residents felt an area was cared for and whether a vacant lot was seen as being safe and usable, with low, uniform vegetation preferred.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Wednesday, January 30

10:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Review of Fishing Pressure and Harvest on Southern Indiana Waterbodies 1983-2017
AUTHORS: Sandy Clark-Kolaks, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Creel surveys provide estimates of angler effort, catch rate, and angler preference that can assist biologists in better managing fish populations. Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR) has been conducting creel surveys since the 1960s on selected waterbodies using either two-stage cluster non-uniform probability or roving access designs. Creels typically ran from early spring through late fall and expansion factors were applied to the daily observations totals for each observed category to provide projections of monthly lake-wide fishing pressure and harvest. Information collected during creels is used for individual waterbody evaluations but no landscape level review of creels has been conducted. From 1983 to 2017, over 50 waterbodies have had creel surveys conducted, ranging in size from 1 to 10,750 acres. Creel survey frequencies were highly variable ranging from 16 to 1 times. The majority of anglers were targeting Largemouth Bass; however, in urban areas anglers tended to be less species specific and were most likely fishing for anything. Larger reservoirs had the greatest number of angler trips, number of fish harvested, and fishing hours. However, when normalizing metrics by lake size; smaller urban lakes had the greatest trips per acre, fish harvested per acre, fishing hours per acre, and economic impact. A major focus of the INDNR is recruiting and retaining new anglers. Urban areas contain the largest group of potential angler recruits; however, counties with the greatest population densities had very low public water available to anglers and in seven counties no public waterbodies are available to anglers. This landscape level evaluation of creel surveys provides direction to managers about where efforts should be made to increase the availability of public waters to recruit and maintain new anglers.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST

10:40am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) An Estimation of Harvest and Angler Habits at Bowfishing Tournaments in Illinois
AUTHORS: Sarah A Molinaro, Jeffrey A Stein – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: Previous efforts to study and manage freshwater recreational sport fishing have largely focused on rod-and-reel anglers targeting black bass, catfish and panfish, while bowfishing – the use of archery equipment to capture fish – has received little attention despite the obligatory lethality and increasing popularity of the angling method. Furthermore, bow anglers in the Midwest primarily harvest species not traditionally targeted by recreational anglers, such as gar, buffalo and carp, which oftentimes may be taken in unlimited numbers. The limited information available on bowfishing harvest suggests that bowfishing tournaments harvest large numbers of fish at higher rates than those reported from rod-and-reel tournaments, which may leave populations vulnerable to over-exploitation. To better understand the habits and preferences of bow anglers, to characterize species-specific bowfishing harvest rates, and to estimate size-specific bowfishing mortality of gars, we conducted point-access creel surveys at bowfishing tournaments throughout Illinois from June 2017 to August 2018 (n = 16).  Creel clerks recorded fishing effort, the count of each species harvested, and individual size metrics of gars from each participating team (n = 147), and a subsample of anglers were surveyed about their bowfishing experiences, recreational angling habits, and bowfishing target species preferences (n = 147). Across all tournaments, the 456 participants bowfished for approximately 3,390 hours and harvested fish at a rate of 1.73 fish angler-hour<sup>-1</sup>, with carps accounting for 86% of the harvested fish, buffaloes for 9% and gars for 4%. Tournament anglers reported a wide range of lifetime experience with bowfishing and bowhunting, and that tournament participation is important to their overall fishing activity. The results and conclusions of this study will inform management decisions that promote sustainable harvest of novel recreational fisheries and provide quality recreational opportunities to bow anglers, and have implications in the management of invasive carp species.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST

11:00am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Role of Environmental Context and Individual Behavioral Type on Angling Vulnerability
AUTHORS: Toniann D. Keiling, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Michael J. Louison, McKendree University; Cory D. Suski, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: Global recreational fishing involves millions of anglers capturing millions of fish, and has the potential to negatively impact fish populations either through direct means (i.e. through incidental mortality or harvest), or through indirect means, such as the removal of specific behavioral types. At present, the specific mechanism(s) that define why fish strike fishing lures are unknown, as are how environmental factors influence catch rates. Understanding the factors that motivate fish to strike a lure will not only help predict catch rates, but will also help define how fisheries mortality and harvest can shape populations. The goal of this study was to define how behavioral type and prey availability interact to influence angling vulnerability, using largemouth bass as a model. To accomplish this goal, we first performed behavior assays on largemouth bass to place them along a ‘bold’ vs. ‘shy’ continuum, and then transferred fish to one of two ponds, one with a generous supply of prey (fathead minnows) and the other with no prey. Largemouth bass in the ponds were then angled for 8 days. Results indicated that prey availability only weakly influenced capture success in ponds. Rather, size (total length) was the strongest predictor of fish capture with larger fish more likely to strike lures, despite the fact that mean size varied by only 1.2 cm across captured and uncaptured individuals. Results are further discussed in the context of angling vulnerability, and how selective harvest may shape fish populations and aquatic ecosystems.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST

11:20am EST

(HUMAN DIMENSIONS: FISHERIES 2) Successes and Limitations of a Roving-access Angler Survey Design to Increase Numbers and Frequency of Reservoirs Surveyed in Ohio
AUTHORS: Kevin S. Page, Ohio Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT: Reservoirs in Ohio are surveyed annually by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) to collect fishery-relevant information on angler effort, catch, and harvest. Historically, the ODOW conducted roving-access site angler creel surveys on weekdays and weekends during the months of April–September. However, the costs associated with conducting these intensive surveys limited the number of locations surveyed annually (0–5). In 2004, a new angler survey design was implemented that only targeted periods of greatest overall and directed angler effort (May–July, weekends), thereby decreasing the number of surveys at any one reservoir but increasing the number of reservoirs surveyed. This design has been instrumental in increasing the spatial and temporal extent of angler surveys. As of 2016, more than 300 angler surveys have been conducted at more than 100 reservoirs. To validate that the “targeted” survey design continues to provide useful fishery metrics, intensive angler surveys (March–November, weekdays and weekends) were conducted at four reservoirs during 2017. This full extensive dataset was compared to a subset representing the typical high-use survey. Overall, the “targeted” strategy continues to effectively monitor overall angler effort and catch, but may miss the peak periods (spring and fall) for certain fisheries.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST

Filter sessions
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  • 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