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2021 Event Symposia Presentation Abstracts
Presentation abstracts in the Special Symposia are available here to read. All of these presentations were live presentations for registered conference attendees to watch during the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference, via the virtual event website.

Select a symposium title from the list below to jump to the abstracts within that symposium.
S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Symposium Introduction
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: SYMPOSIUM 1: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 1); TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 2); and WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 3)
Contact: Donald Schreiner, Fisheries Specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant
Co-Organizers: Randy Eshenroder - Great Lakes Fishery Commission (randye@glfc.org); Peter Jacobson - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Retired) (pejacobs58@gmail.com); Owen Gorman - U.S. Geological Survey, Lake Superior Biological Station (otgorman@usgs.gov)
Overview: The theme of this symposium is focused on the coregonid fishes in the Great Lakes region. Potential topics include the resiliency of Lake Whitefish in the Great Lakes, rehabilitation plans for coregonids in the lower Great Lakes, how climate change effects inland Cisco populations and what effects changes in Cisco populations may be on the overall fish community. The symposium will highlight recent declines in Lake Whitefish recruitment and harvest in the lower Great Lakes, how changes in the lower food-web may be affecting coregonid recruitment in the Great Lakes, new techniques for coregonid management, and causes/predictions for potential range reduction of coregonids in inland lakes. Presentations are invited on coregonid genetics, stock assessment, food-web dynamics, habitat use, management, and human dimensions. Theme: Resiliency of Lake Whitefish and restoration of Cisco in the Great Lakes; Affects of climate change on coregonids in inland lakes. Keywords: Coregonid, Great Lakes, Lake Whitefish, Cisco, climate change"
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Secondary Contacts and Divergence in Coregonus artedi
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:35 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Randy Eshenroder, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Peter Jacobson, retired
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Coregonus artedi is the most widespread cisco in North America, the southern edge of its range defined by the maximum extent of Wisconsinan ice. During deglaciation, C. artedi dispersed northward from southern refugia navigating meltwater rivers and outlet channels of proglacial lakes. Of 53 contemporary lakes reported to support sympatric forms of C. artedi, all occur in lakes formerly inundated by proglacial lakes and none occur in lakes not inundated. We propose that sympatric populations resulted from secondary contacts in proglacial lakes. Our review of glaciology and zoogeography suggests that secondary contacts were more common than indicated by mtDNA studies. It also suggests that pelagic waters of proglacial lakes were trophically unsuitable for ciscoes such that dispersal within and between these lakes involved small numbers hopscotching along shorelines between inlets. Although divergence was likely ongoing in the proglacial lakes, differentiation of deep-water forms was likely inhibited until towards the end of deglaciation, when lakes were free of meltwater. Lakes reported to support sympatric populations of C. artedi are rare in relation to the number of possibilities, except for those very large, suggesting that divergence occurs only under limited conditions and is favored in populations resulting from secondary contacts.
Tags: Behavior, Ecology, Genetics-Fish, Great Lakes, River/Stream
Genetic and Morphological Divergence in Ciscoes from Lake Superior
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Wendylee Stott, Michigan State University CESU; Dan Yule USGS-Great Lakes Science Center; Michael Seider, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Coregonines display a broad range of diversity in morphology, depth preference, trophic status, and spawning period. This makes it difficult to identify traits to define units for taxonomy and management, and ultimately there may not be a single set of traits that can be used across a species range. Since full body morphology is most often associated with variation in life history across taxa it is the most obvious place to start a search for markers. Morphological variation is a combination of genetic, environmental, and genotype-by-environment interactions and understanding the source of diversity can have implications for management and conservation. Advances in genomics have improved the tools available to associate regions of the genome with different phenotypes. We used genomic and morphometric data from Lake Superior ciscoes to search for associations between morphology and genetics. Examples of C. artedi, hoyi, kiyi, and zenithicus collected from Lake Superior exhibited little genetic population structure but some taxa displayed morphological differences which were associated with various regions in the coregonine genome.
Tags: Genetics-Fish, Management, Restoration/Enhancement
Is Barotrauma a Factor for Survival of Stocked Bloater?
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:05 PM to 1:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Owen Gorman and Joshua Lyons - U.S. Geological Survey; Tim Johnson and Kevin Loftus - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Roger Gordon - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Aaron Fisk - University of Windsor
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Efforts to restore Bloater (Coregonus hoyi), a deepwater cisco once common in the Great Lakes, began in 2012 with the stocking of 1,200 fingerlings into Lake Ontario. As of 2020 more than 2 million hatchery-reared Bloater have been stocked into Lake Ontario but only 10 have been captured in annual bottom trawl surveys. Recent studies of Bloater with implanted acoustic tags have shown that when released into offshore waters of Lake Ontario, they quickly descend to the lake bottom, reaching 50-65 meters in less than five minutes. Up to 40% of the tagged fish appear to die within days of release. The rapid increase in barometric pressure could potentially impact their behavior, physical condition, and survival. To address these concerns, the USGS and USFWS came together in November 2020 at the Jordan River National Fish Hatchery in Michigan to study the effects of “compression barotrauma” on released bloaters using a hyperbaric device designed by the USGS. In a series of trials, we pressurized adult Bloater in a 200-liter vessel, simulating their descent upon release in the wild. Results indicated that compression barotrauma had a significant impact on behavior, physical condition, and survival; 44% of fish became disabled during the trials, 20% died within 24 hours and 25% died within seven days following the trials. These findings are consistent with field observations and may lead to changes in the way fishery managers release hatchery-reared Bloater in the wild. Future research will address effects of compression barotrauma juvenile stages of Bloater and on hatchery-reared Cisco (C. artedi) and Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush).
Tags: Conservation Biology, Fisheries Techniques, Freshwater Fish-Other
Allometry in Cisco Morphology
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:20 PM to 1:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Katherine Skubik, Central Michigan University; Tracy Galarowicz, Central Michigan University; Jason Smith, Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Kevin Pangle, Central Michigan University; Jory Jonas, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Kevin Donner, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Cisco (Coregonus artedi) are a highly plastic species with diverse morphology. A variety of morphometric techniques have been used in attempt to describe Cisco morphology including the use of meristics, linear measures, as well as truss based and geometric morphology. These past efforts to describe Cisco morphology did not evaluate Cisco for potential allometric growth effects. Allometric growth is an important factor to consider before drawing conclusions about morphology. If allometry exists but is not accounted for it is possible to conflate true morphological differences with size. This is a particularly important consideration due to the large size disparity observed between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan Cisco. Our goal is not to describe Cisco morphology but rather to determine if Cisco exhibit allometric growth. We will digitize photographs of thirty Cisco each from Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior using 16 homologous landmarks to determine if allometry exists in Great Lakes Cisco.  We will perform a pooled within group regression of shape on size and use the residuals to remove effect of size variation on shape. The presence of allometry is indicated if the regression line has a non-zero slope. If Cisco exhibit allometric growth, it must be explicitly accounted for before comparing Cisco morphology across systems.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes
Symposium Q&A 1
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:35 PM to 1:55 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 1 for Great Lakes Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Ongoing Lake Superior Coregonine Research: Answering Challenging Questions with New Tools to Support Future Management
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:55 PM to 2:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Daniel Yule, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Wendylee Stott, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Trevor Krabbenhoft, University of Buffalo; Moises Bernal, Auburn University; Scott Koenigbauer, Purdue University; Amanda Ackiss, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Lake Superior is the least disturbed Laurentian Great Lake and is home to the most intact native coregonine (Coregonus spp.) flock. The system offers unique opportunities to acquire knowledge about coregonine life history, population structure and ecology with implications for rehabilitation efforts in the lower lakes. Unfortunately, recent assessments suggest many Lake Superior populations are trending downward, which is of concern for the ecology of the lake and the sustainability of coregonine fisheries. We believe we’ve entered a “Coregonine Understanding Renaissance” with new knowledge being rapidly acquired to inform both management and rehabilitation. To support this notion, we will describe the status of the species flock and then share the results of recent cross-lake studies  on cisco (C. artedi) that filled knowledge gaps related to  assessment methods, their population structure, and life history attributes including egg overwintering, fecundity, and egg size. The inability to reliably identify all life stages of deep-water ciscoes (i.e., bloater C. hoyi, shortjaw cisco C. zenithicus, and kiyi C. kiyi.) has slowed the acquisition of new knowledge. This is especially challenging for early life stages (eggs, larvae, and recruits up to age-1) as they are morphologically cryptic. New genomic approaches, such as identification of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are being applied to find functional differences between species and develop affordable tools for species identification across all life stages. SNPs are being combined with stable isotope and morphological analyses to understand the significance of traits that vary across species. Integrating these technologies will allow reliable study of life history and ecology of the coregonine flock, opening new avenues for research needed to provide sound advice to management agencies.
Tags: Ecology, Fisheries Techniques, Freshwater Fish-Other, Genetics-Fish, Great Lakes, Management, Population Dynamics, Restoration/Enhancement, Survey Methods
A Multi-jurisdictional Strategy to Restore Native Coregonine Fishes in the Great Lakes
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:10 PM to 2:25 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: David B. Bunnell, U.S. Geological Survey; John M. Dettmers, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Russell Strach, U.S. Geological Survey; Andrew Muir, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Kurt Newman, U.S. Geological Survey; Charles Bronte U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Mike Millard, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Steven R. LaPan, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Restoration of native coregonines is a growing priority for fisheries managers in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Since the early 1900s, within and between species biodiversity has been reduced, extant populations have become isolated, and some forms are extinct.  Successful coregonine restoration would improve ecologically important energy and nutrient pathways, increase biological resilience, and contribute to economically important fisheries.  Recently, resource management agencies forged a multi-agency, bi-national consensus that restoration of coregonines is important.  Using principles of restoration and conservation sciences, Great Lakes resource agencies have adopted a 21st century, adaptive science-based framework at the outset, designed to minimize false starts and inform priority actions at appropriate scales.  Implemented at the lake level, the framework is designed to use “best available information” to provide essential steps for planning and conducting science, as well as developing a suite of thoughtfully informed restoration options designed at the “ecological unit” level.  Multiagency teams of experts are currently developing consensus approaches to inform the framework in four key areas of needed information (delineating units, identifying key losses in habitats and populations, conducting population viability analyses, and threats assessment).  In some lakes, where species are extinct or extirpated, fishery managers have already initiated restoration priorities. 
Tags: Conservation Biology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes
Describing Historical Habitat Use of Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in the Upper Great Lakes
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:25 PM to 2:40 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Yu-Chun Kao, David "Bo" Bunnell, Owen T. Gorman, Gary J. E. Michaud, Brendan Nee, Lynn M. Ogilvie - US Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center; Randy L. Eshenroder, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The restoration of the once abundant cisco (Coregonus artedi) has been a management interest across the Laurentian Great Lakes as its abundance has been proliferating in recent years in Lakes Michigan and Huron. To inform the restoration, we describe historical habitat use of Cisco in the Upper Great Lakes (i.e., Superior, Michigan, Huron) by analyzing a large dataset collected in 1952–1962 by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's research vessel R/V Cisco, together with commercial catch data reported by fishery statistical district. Our previous analyses on 1930–1932 datasets showed that Cisco in Lake Michigan was most abundant in the two major embayments—Green Bay and Grand Traverse Bay, and stayed in nearshore waters in spring, migrated to offshore waters in summer, and then migrated back to nearshore waters in fall. Here we hypothesize that embayments were important habitats and the seasonal migration pattern was consistent across the Upper Great Lakes. Results from this study will inform managers in Lakes Michigan and Huron who are interested in the restoration of Cisco to diversify and replenish the shrinking prey fish communities.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Q&A 2
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:40 PM to 2:55 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 2 for Great Lakes Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Identification of Variables and Their Thresholds Affecting the Success of a Cisco Reintroduction for Reestablishing Natural Reproduction in Lake Huron
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: David G. Fielder, Ph.D., Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Christopher Olds, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Examined were 9 factors affecting the ability of stocked Cisco fingerlings to survive, mature and reproduce and for their progeny to survive and also reproduce. Factors included number stocked, fecundity, rate of egg successful hatch, and survival from fry to summer fingerling, summer fingerling to the following summer, survival of age-2 juvenile Cisco and survival of adult cisco age-3+. Also incorporated was rates of imprinting for both stocked fish and wild fish as a probability that a novel population would be able to find mates for reproduction. These values were applied to a Leslie Matrix model and projected forward 30 years. The terminal model dominant eigenvalue (Λ) was used to indicate if the resulting wild population would continue to increase or decrease and thresholds for each variable was assigned at a Λ of 1.0 (level sustainability). Number stocked and the rate of imprinting of hatchery fish only affected the magnitude of the resulting population, and while not irrelevant in the real world, these values were not drivers of success or failure. Natural reproduction was highly sensitive to the rate of hatching of eggs and the degree to which wild fish imprinted and could find each other as adults for spawning. All survival rates were applied across cohorts as various life stages and as such affected each other. Adult survival as coded at 50% annually for the baseline scenario and if adjusted up, helped compensate for many of the earlier life stages lower survival rates. Concluded is that reintroduction of Cisco via stocking in Lake Huron has a reasonable likelihood of success. The exercise could be improved by using empirical input values and incorporating stochasticity in the model, if the requisite values and rates were available.
Tags: Great Lakes, Population Dynamics, Restoration/Enhancement
Improved Culture Techniques for Coregonine Restoration in the Great Lakes
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Gregory J. Fischer, Christopher Hartleb, Kendall Holmes - University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; Nathan Tintle, Dordt University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: A decline of both non-native Rainbow Smelt Osmerus mordax and Alewive Alosa psuedoharengus in the Great Lakes has generated broad interagency and international interest and urgency in re-establishing native species such as Cisco Coregonus artedi and deepwater ciscoes C. spp. Because many remaining species are extirpated or at very low numbers, restoration will likely require the culture of large numbers of fish of advanced size for stocking and likely involve developing captive broodstocks for some species.  Previous attempts to rehabilitate coregonines were unsuccessful due to the reliance on fry and stocking on top of existing populations made evaluations difficult.  In order to develop realistic rehabilitation plans and employ culture and stocking techniques that would offer the best chance for success several research projects were undertaken to quantify and identify the best management practices examining the incubation, fry culture, and growout stages of cisco in a controlled setting.  Results from these studies will be shared.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Fish Culture
Distribution of Larval Coregonids Along Southern Lake Erie During 2019 CSMI Sampling
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:45 PM to 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Brendan Nee, USGS; Stacy Provo, University of Toledo; Dustin Bowser, USGS; Steve Ciaramella, University of Toledo; Robin DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Stacey Ireland, USGS; April Majerus, USGS; Hannah Schaefer, University of Toledo; Eric Weimer, OH DNR; Edward Roseman, USGS
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Coregonids in Lake Erie historically supported a robust commercial fishery. This fishery declined and closed due to overfishing, habitat degradation, and negative effects from invasive species. Restoration efforts and fishery closures allowed lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) stocks to recover by the 1980s, though no cisco (Coregonus spp.) recovery was evident. Increased interest in coregonine population restoration led to intensive sampling for larval coregonids in the central and eastern basins of Lake Erie during 2019. Sampling efforts occurred weekly from mid-March to mid-September using 500µm paired bongo nets towed at the surface at 6 ports along the southern shore, which included 38 sites. In all, 1352 ichthyoplankton samples were collected. Coregonines (n=90 lake whitefish, n=42 Coregonus spp.) were detected from April 10 to May 13, with densities peaking on April 22. Sites near Sandusky, OH, had the highest combined coregonine catch numbers and larval densities (~80% of larval coregonine catch), followed by sites near Dunkirk, NY, and Cleveland, OH. Mean coregonine densities generally decreased from the western to eastern ports. No larval coregonine were captured in the central ports of Conneaut, OH, and Erie, PA. All larval coregonines were captured in water depths coregonine larvae in Sandusky may be attributed to local production or from larval drift originating in the western basin. Additional coregonine spawning is likely occurring in the eastern basin (Dunkirk). These abundance and distribution data, combined with physical and environmental characteristics of the sites(depth, water temperature, water clarity), can be used in habitat suitability modeling to highlight important areas for early life stages of coregonines in southern Lake Erie. 
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Habitat, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Q&A 3
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 4:00 PM to 4:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 3 for Great Lakes Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Discussion
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 4:15 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 1)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Moderated discussion for the Great Lakes Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
 
S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Symposium Introduction (Part 2)
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: SYMPOSIUM 1: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 1); TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 2); and WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 3)
ntroductory remarks for Part 2 of the Coregonids Symposium. Part 2 will focus on Inland Cisco
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
A Decade of Cisco Pelagic Surveys on Three Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:35 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Beth Holbrook, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Will French, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Tyler Ahrenstorff, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Cisco Corgeonus artedi are the most commonly distributed coldwater species in Minnesota lakes and an important forage species for Walleye Sander vitreus, Muskellunge Esox masquinongy, and Lake Trout Salvelinus namaychush. Similar to other coldwater species, Cisco are vulnerable to the effects of eutrophication, climate change, and invasive species that disrupt pelagic food resources. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been assessing Cisco in three long-term monitoring lakes that vary in geographic location, size, and maximum depth. Pelagic surveys, which included multi-mesh vertical gill nets and mobile hydroacoustic surveys, were conducted annually beginning in 2010 using standardized protocols developed specifically for inland lakes. Prior to conducting pelagic surveys, Cisco were rarely sampled in two of the lakes even though population densities averaged greater than 500 fish ha-1. Inter-annual changes in population estimates were more variable than changes in biomass estimates, with the increased weight of older individuals compensating for decreased abundance. The lake with the least amount of oxygenated hypolimnetic coldwater habitat had the highest inter-annual variability, with abundance changing by an average of 34% between years and biomass changing by an average of 25%. The other two lakes had average inter-annual changes of less than 23% and 17% in abundance and biomass, respectively, but Cisco populations decreased in both lakes over the time series. Continued annual surveys of Cisco in these long-term monitoring lakes will provide information on population-level natural fluctuations and responses to changing lake conditions caused by eutrophication, climate change and invasive species introductions.
Tags: Fisheries Techniques, Freshwater Fish-Other, Population Dynamics
Cisco Population Characteristics in Wisconsin Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Daniel Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Daniel Isermann, USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Tim Parks, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Because of their dual roles as planktivores and as prey, cisco Coregonus artedi represent an important coolwater fish species in many northern Wisconsin lakes. Cisco are sensitive to changes in oxy-thermal habitat and projected changes in climate and continued landscape-level perturbations will likely affect the demographics and dynamics of cisco populations in the future. However, little is known about the population characteristics of cisco in inland Wisconsin lakes because standard annual fishery surveys are not designed to target these fish. Our objectives were to determine if growth and population demographics of cisco varied among Wisconsin lakes in relation to a suite of biotic and abiotic variables. Our analyses relied on cisco information (including otolith-based age estimates) obtained during vertical gill net surveys conducted by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources personnel across the state of Wisconsin during the summers of 2013-2015. Preliminary analyses incorporating data from 47 populations indicates that cisco population characteristics varied substantially across the state and in relation to broad-scale variables such as latitude, longitude, lake basin morphometry, and watershed land-use. Growth rates and average maximum total length (TL) were inversely related to cisco relative abundance. Furthermore, reductions in oxy-thermal habitat (i.e., shrinking cisco layer width) corresponded with fewer and larger cisco and reduced age-class diversity. Additional relationships between cisco population characteristics and limnological, climatic, watershed land-use, and lake habitat characteristics will be explored. Our findings provide important insight to the current status of cisco populations in Wisconsin and how they may change given projected changes in environmental conditions.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Population Dynamics
Predator-Prey Dynamics Mediate Long-term Production Trends of Cisco (Coregonus artedi) in a Northern Wisconsin Lake
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:05 PM to 1:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Timothy P. Parks, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Andrew L. Rypel, University of California - Davis
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: We quantified production, biomass, and production to biomass (P/B) ratios for cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Trout Lake, Wisconsin, USA (2001–2015), using a novel hydroacoustics approach to evaluate population trends. Across all years, annual production, biomass, and P/B were variable ranging 0.6–30.2 kg·ha-1·year-1, 1.2–39.7 kg·ha-1, and 0.4–0.9·year-1, respectively. Cisco production exhibited obvious decline. Although variable, neither biomass nor P/B exhibited consistent trends over time. Long-term patterns of environmental conditions remained relatively unchanged during the study and were unrelated to cisco production. However, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) relative abundance showed a strong inverse relationship with cisco production and biomass. Intense lake trout stocking has occurred in this lake over time to conserve a genetically unique strain of the species. These management efforts may have had the unintended consequence of amplifying top-down predation on cisco. Since cisco P/B has gone largely unchanged, cisco production would be predicted to rebound quickly to adaptive reductions in lake trout stocking. Further increases in lake trout numbers could place both populations at risk of collapse. This study provides a practical example of how secondary production can be used for understanding ecological patterns and conserving cold-water fisheries, especially in lakes dominated by ciscoes.
Tags: Other - Freshwater Fish-Coregonids
Symposium (Part 2) Q&A 1
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:20 PM to 1:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 1 for Inland Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
The Influence of Anthropogenic Disturbance on Cisco (Coregonus artedi) Population Characteristics in Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:35 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Tyler Ahrenstorff, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Derek Bahr, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Cisco are a pelagic species requiring cold, well-oxygenated water to survive.  Anthropogenic disturbance, such as eutrophication and climate change, threatens to reduce available oxythermal habitat in lakes for Cisco populations.  We used vertical gillnets and hydroacoustics to evaluate how Cisco relative weight, average size, density, and catch-per-unit-effort varied across a range of lakes (N=49) with differing amounts of disturbance (e.g., total phosphorous).  Cisco relative weight and average size were positively correlated with disturbance measures, while catch-per-unit-effort was negatively correlated.  Understanding how Cisco populations respond to anthropogenic disturbance is critical for understanding how future disturbance may influence Cisco populations and in designing effective restoration or protection strategies.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Population Dynamics
Review of Habitat Requirements, Distributions, and Protections of Cisco and Lake Whitefish in Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Derek Bahr, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; R. William Bouchard, Jr., Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Numerous lakes throughout Minnesota support populations of Cisco Coregonus artedi and Lake Whitefish C. clupeaformis. These species require cold, well-oxygenated water to survive; however, various anthropogenic stressors such as eutrophication and climate change threaten to reduce oxythermal habitat in these lakes, particularly during the summer months. Recognizing this, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency began a collaborative effort to review specific habitat requirements of these and other cold water species, inventory lakes where they have historically occurred or presently occur, and evaluate existing water quality standards to determine where additional protections may be warranted. Reviews of these components indicate that although hundreds of Minnesota lakes support at least one cold water species, existing water quality standards applied to these lakes may not sufficiently protect the oxythermal habitat necessary for each species’ persistence. This information, in addition to the development of cold water species-specific dissolved oxygen, temperature, and nutrient thresholds, will be critical to establishing a new framework to protect or restore lakes and their associated cold water communities.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Other, Habitat, Inland Lake/Reservoir
Development of Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature, and Nutrient Thresholds to Protect Coregonids in Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:05 PM to 2:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: R. William Bouchard, Jr., Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Derek Bahr, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Minnesota’s current water quality standards framework provides protections for lakes which support or are managed for trout, but these standards do not specifically protect other cold water fish species such as cisco (Coregonus artedi) and lake whitefish (C. clupeaformis). Many populations of cold water fish species in Minnesota are threatened by a warming climate and eutrophication because these species require cool, oxygenated water. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are collaborating to inventory lakes which support cisco and lake whitefish and to develop water quality standards which specifically protect these species. This effort includes the development of protective thresholds which address dissolved oxygen and temperature requirements (i.e., oxythermal habitat) for these fish species. In addition, thresholds for total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a have been determined which link to conditions needed to maintain protective levels of dissolved oxygen. These analyses and previous research has determined that Coregonus species have different requirements which necessitates species-specific standards. Designating Minnesota’s lakes that support coregonids and documenting which species occur in these lakes will allow the application of species-specific standards. The resulting framework provides standards which can be used to maintain populations of these threatened fish species and to protect or restore these important aquatic resources.
Tags: Other - Water quality standards
Symposium (Part 2) Q&A 2
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:20 PM to 2:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 2 for Inland Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Isotopic Niche of Cisco in Inland Lakes: The Importance of Mysis and Lake Depth as Key Factors in Cisco Diversity
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:55 PM to 3:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Mark Ridgway, Allan Bell, Trevor Middel - Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Aquatic Research and Monitoring Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Pro-glacial Lake Algonquin drained for a millennium through what is now known as Algonquin Park, Ontario.  Mysis diluviana is now found in lakes inundated by this drainage route while at higher elevations Chaoborus species are the dominant diel migrator. This natural experiment in food web structure allowed us to determine if the isotopic niche of cisco expanded with Mysis – an extension of a Mysis hypothesis 20 years ago for the Laurentian Great Lakes.  We found that this did indeed occur. Relative to Chaoborus food webs, cisco in Mysis food webs expanded their isotopic niche with further expansion corresponding to behavioral and phenotypic diversity. The presence of Mysis is essential for increasing isotopic niche size and likely cisco diversity in inland lakes. Because Mysis ecology depends on lake depth, we assembled published data (primary and grey literature sources) on cisco diversity in inland lakes and large lakes to assess the importance of lake maximum depth in accounting for cisco diversity. Using Bayesian ordinal regression models, we provide levels of certainty regarding the presence of cisco forms in lakes of different size across Canadian Shield landscapes. We predict that the number of known lakes with cisco form diversity could rise sharply.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir
Effects of Oxythermal Habitat on Cisco (Coregonus artedi) Habitat Use, Genetic Diversity, Ecological Niche, and Diets
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:10 PM to 3:25 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Ryan Grow, University of St. Thomas; Kyle D. Zimmer, University of St. Thomas; Simon Emms, University of St. Thomas; Jennifer Cruise, University of St. Thomas; Loren Miller, University of Minnesota; David Staples, Minnesota DNR; Brian Herwig, Minnesota DNR; Greta Gerdes, University of St. Thomas; Pete Jacobson, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Cisco (Coregonus artedi) are threatened by increasing water temperatures from climate change and declining oxygen levels due to eutrophication in lakes. In Minnesota, Cisco are found in lakes that fall along a productivity gradient from oligotrophic in the northeast to eutrophic in the state’s center. TDO3 is the water temperature at which dissolved oxygen equals 3 mg L-1 and is a useful a metric to assess oxythermal habitat for coldwater fish species in lakes. In 31 Minnesota lakes ranging from oligotrophic to eutrophic, we assessed the influence of TDO3 on Cisco habitat use, genetic diversity, diets, and stable isotope markers of their ecological niche. Results showed that as TDO3 increased Cisco were captured in a shallower, narrower band of the water column, and that band had higher minimum water temperatures and lower minimum dissolved oxygen. Moreover, average Cisco capture depth rose above the thermocline at TDO3 levels greater than 16°C. TDO3 effects on Cisco likely impacted their population genetic diversity, as allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were negatively related to TDO3, likely due to Cisco experiencing summer kill events in high TDO3 lakes. Effects of TDO3 on Cisco capture depth also influenced their ecological niche, as fish captured deeper were more depleted in d13C and more enriched in d15N stable isotopes compared to epilimnetic baselines. Lastly, TDO3 had significant effects on Cisco diets, as Cisco in high TDO3 lakes had diets dominated by Daphnia, were less likely to have empty stomachs, and achieved larger body size than Cisco in low TDO3 lakes, which fed heavily on cyclopoid copepods. Previous work has shown that Cisco are vulnerable to impacts of climate change and eutrophication via effects on oxythermal habitat in lakes, and this study identifies specific characteristics of Cisco populations that respond to changes in the oxythermal environment.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir
Symposium (Part 2) Q&A 3
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:25 PM to 3:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 3 for Inland Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Investigating Genomic and Environmental Factors Influencing Resilience in Marginal Inland Lake Cisco (Coregonus artedi) Populations
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:35 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Amanda S. Ackiss, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point & U.S. Geological Survey; Madeline R. Magee, University of Wisconsin Madison & Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Greg G. Sass; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Keith Turnquist, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; Peter B. McIntyre, Cornell University; Wesley A. Larson, U.S. Geological Survey & National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Small, isolated populations present a challenge for conservation. The dueling effects of selection and drift in a limited pool of genetic diversity make the responses of these populations to environmental perturbations such as climate change erratic and difficult to predict. This is particularly true at the edge of a species range, where populations often persist at the limits of their environmental tolerance. Inland lake cisco Coregonus artedi has experienced numerous extirpations along the southern edge of its species range in recent decades, which are widely assumed to be the result of environmental degradation and rising temperatures deteriorating the oxythermal habitat required by cisco. The loss of cisco lakes does not follow a clear latitudinal pattern, however, and this mosaic of extirpation suggests that declines may be driven by local factors. Here, we employed genomic tools to investigate the nature of this pattern of resilience. We used restriction site-associated DNA capture (Rapture) sequencing to survey genomic diversity, differentiation, and effective population sizes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan inland lake cisco populations and compare the frequency of fitness-impacting deleterious mutations across lakes. We also examined haplotype diversity in a region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) involved in stress and immune system response. We then correlated these Rapture and MHC metrics to environmental factors including lake size and measures of oxythermal habitat to examine the links between fine-scale habitat heterogeneity and genetic indicators of risk including decreased diversity, effective population size, and the presence of deleterious mutations. Our results shed light on the complex dynamics in play in these isolated populations and provide valuable information for their conservation.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Genetics-Fish, Inland Lake/Reservoir
Coalescence Methods Reconstruct Contributions of Natural Colonization and Stocking to Origins of Michigan Inland Cisco (Coregonus artedi)
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Jared J Homola, Michigan State University; John D Robinson, Michigan State University; Jeannette Kanefsky, Michigan State University; Wendylee Stott, CESU working for U.S. Geological Survey; Gary E Whelan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Kim T Scribner, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Fish population structure in previously glaciated regions is often influenced by natural colonization processes and human-mediated dispersal, such as fish stocking.  Endemic populations may be of conservation interest because they may contain rare genetic variation not present within other populations. Coregonids are native to certain Michigan inland lakes; however, stocking from Great Lakes sources occurred historically, calling into question the origin of extant populations. While most stocking targeted Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), an unknown number of Cisco (C. artedi) were moved from the Great Lakes to inland waterbodies. We used population genetic data (microsatellite genotypes and mitochondrial (mt)DNA sequences), coalescent modeling, and approximate Bayesian computation to investigate the origins of 12 inland Michigan Cisco populations. mtDNA confirmed that all analyzed samples were C. artedi rather than C. clupeaformis. The spatial distribution of mtDNA haplotypes suggests Michigan is an introgression zone for Cisco lineages from Mississippian and Atlantic glacial refugia. Low levels of genetic diversity and high levels of genetic divergence were observed for populations located well inland of the Great Lakes relative to populations occupying waterbodies near the Great Lakes. Point estimates of recent Great Lakes gene flow ranged from 27-48% for populations near the Great Lakes shoreline and under 8% for populations further inland. Inland lakes with elevated recent gene flow estimates may have been recipients of stocked coregonid fry, including Cisco. Low levels of genetic diversity paired with a high likelihood of endemism as indicated by strong genetic divergence and low Great Lakes population inputs suggest the analyzed Cisco populations occupying southern Michigan kettle lakes are of elevated conservation interest.
Tags: Genetics-Fish, Population Dynamics, Threatened and Endangered Species
Symposium (Part 2) Q&A 4
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 4:05 PM to 4:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 4 for Inland Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium (Part 2) Discussion
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 4:15 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 2)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Moderated discussion for the Inland Cisco section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
 
S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Symposium Introduction (Part 3)
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: SYMPOSIUM 1: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 1); TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 2); and WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 12:30 to 4:30 (Part 3)
Introductory remarks for Part 3 of the Coregonids Symposium. Part 3 will focus on Lake Whitefish and Other Species
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Indexing and Identifying Drivers of Lake Whitefish Year-class Strength in the Upper Great Lakes
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:35 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Andrew E. Honsey, USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Ted Treska, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jason Smith, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Kevin Donner, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; Adam Cottrill, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Dave Caroffino, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Steve Lenart, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Erik Olsen, Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians; Brad Silet, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Paul Ripple, Bay Mills Indian Community; Barry Weldon, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians; Tom Gorenflo, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority; Bo Bunnell, USGS Great Lakes Science Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Recruitment of lake whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis in the upper Laurentian Great Lakes has declined in recent decades, prompting concern from fishers and managers regarding the status and sustainability of these ecologically, economically, and culturally important populations. As with many fishes, lake whitefish recruitment is variable and appears to be driven by myriad factors; as such, recruitment drivers and dynamics are not well-understood. In addition, managers have indicated the need for an index of year-class strength that is comparable across space and time. Our goals were therefore to (1) generate a robust index of lake whitefish year-class strength, and (2) use a data-driven approach to identify important recruitment drivers and infer relationships between those drivers and recruitment. To accomplish these goals, we used a mixed modeling approach that incorporates data describing lake whitefish across multiple ages and accounts for potential changes in catchability over time to generate estimates of year-class strength. We then included these year-class strength estimates as a response variable in a random forest model, along with predictor variables describing many potential biotic and abiotic recruitment drivers. Our results augment our understanding of lake whitefish recruitment drivers and dynamics and will inform the management and conservation of these critical stocks.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Modeling, Population Dynamics
Spatial Variation in Age-0 Lake Whitefish Recruitment Across the 1836 Treaty-ceded Waters
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Samuel Day, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; Jason Smith, Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Chad LaFaver, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians; Serena Lake, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Under the 1836 Treaty of Washington, Michigan tribes retained hunting and fishing rights within the ceded territories. Within the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters tribes operate and manage several commercial fisheries, of which Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis is the dominant fishery (annual harvest~2 million pounds). Unfortunately, the Lake Whitefish fishery has undergone a precipitous decline since peaking in the late 1990s. This decline has been linked to many factors including invasive species, habitat degradation, and climate change. We hypothesize that these factors have led to a recruitment bottleneck at early life stages, particularly in the first year of life. In order to create an index of Lake Whitefish early year class strength, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians has coordinated an annual interagency beach seine survey throughout the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters targeting age-0 Lake Whitefish in critical nursery habitat. This effort has shown that age-0 whitefish recruitment is highly variable on both spatial and temporal scales. By pairing catch data from seine efforts with environmental data from the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework (GLAHF), we modeled age-0 Lake Whitefish recruitment strength at sites across the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters for 2014. Using Random Forest modeling we are able to rank the most important environmental and biological variables in predicting age-0 Lake Whitefish recruitment strength. Preliminary results suggest there are many variables important in explaining age-0 Lake Whitefish recruitment. By ranking variables, we can prioritize management of variables for stronger recruitment.
Tags: Other - Lake Whitefish
Abundance and Diet Selectivity of Northern Lake Michigan Larval Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) for a Five Year Period (2015-2019)
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:05 PM to 1:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Marissa Cubbage, Purdue University; Paris Collingsworth, Purdue University; Tomas Höök, Purdue University; Bo Bunnell, USGS
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Long term monitoring programs in Lake Michigan report decreasing zooplankton density and changing zooplankton community composition. Changes in zooplankton availability could be detrimental to larval fish survival, particularly during “critical periods”, such as the transition to exogenous feeding, when  starvation may be quite common. Mortality of larval fish is high compared to subsequent life stages, and small changes in larval survivorship can have great impacts on cohort adult abundances. Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) are a native species of commercial, cultural, and ecological importance in the Great Lakes, yet lake whitefish adult abundances in Lake Michigan remain at historically low levels. Analyzing trends in the early life history of larval lake whitefish is critical to understanding possible mechanisms that contribute to the declining abundance of this species. Diet selectivity of larvae is an indicator of prey preference that is calculated by comparing prey consumed to prey available in the environment. Most previously published descriptions of larval lake whitefish diets span 1-2 larval fish seasons, and small lake whitefish larvae (
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes
Symposium (Part 3) Q&A 1
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:20 PM to 1:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 1 for Lake Whitefish and Other Species section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Generalized Movements, Spawning Site Fidelity, and Thermal Ecology of Lake Whitefish in Northwestern Lake Michigan
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:35 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Daniel Isermann, USGS-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Tom Binder, Michigan State University-Hammond Bay Biological Station; Scott Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Todd Hayden, Michigan State University-Hammond Bay Biological Station; David Caroffino, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Wesley Larson, USGS-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Christopher Vandergoot, Michigan State University; Charles Krueger, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Understanding stock structure and fishery contributions of lake whitefish has become increasingly important because of observed recruitment declines in certain portions of the Great Lakes, including portions of Lake Michigan. We used a combination of acoustic telemetry, conventional tagging, genetics, and temperature loggers to evaluate the movements, spawning site fidelity, and thermal ecology of lake whitefish spawning at four different locations in northwestern Lake Michigan: the Fox and Menominee Rivers, Big Bay de Noc, and along the lakeside of the Door Peninsula near North and Moonlight Bays. Preliminary analyses indicate: 1) few lake whitefish tagged on the lakeside of the Door Peninsula enter Green Bay; 2) lake whitefish tagged in the Fox River typically do not venture north of Chambers Island; 3) lake whitefish tagged in Big Bay de Noc rarely go south of Chambers Island but do leave the Bay; 4) approximately two thirds of the lake whitefish tagged in the Menominee River remained south of Chambers Island; 5) spawning site fidelity of lake whitefish is low and varies among locations, and 6) lake whitefish spawning in tributaries to southern Green Bay are part of a genetically distinct stock, which is a new finding in terms of genetic stock structure. Recovery of non-reward loop tags that were applied to fish at the same time we implanted transmitters support movement patterns we have observed using telemetry. These findings have important implications for harvest management and we will also discuss the next phases of our research.  
Tags: Behavior, Great Lakes, Management
Harvest and Bycatch Associated with Bottom Trawling for Lake Whitefish in Lake Michigan from 2015 to 2018
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Titus Seilheimer, Wisconsin Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Understanding seasonal and spatial patterns of fish harvest and bycatch are important for guiding science-based fisheries management decisions for commercial fisheries. This study quantified catch rates of lake whitefish and non-target species (i.e., bycatch) in an experimental trawl fishery. From February 2015 to May 2018, a total of 1,441 experimental trawls were completed in the Two Rivers, Wisconsin area. Trawl drags were completed in depths from 61.8 to 327 feet during all seasons of the year. More than 245,000 lake whitefish were harvested during the study along with ten species that were captured as bycatch and represented 2.4% of the total catch. The most common bycatch species were returned (i.e., small or non-marketable due to condition) lake whitefish (1.3%) and lake trout (1.0%) to the lake. Depth was an important factor in lake whitefish distribution, with the highest harvested lake whitefish catch rate (fish per mile) was in the 100-149 foot depth contour, followed by the < 100 foot group. Although seasonal patterns were observed for bycatch, slightly more in winter and spring, the patterns were not consistent across all species. Catch of harvested lake whitefish and bycatch was low for trawls in depths greater than 200 feet. There were seasonal differences in catch rates with lake whitefish shifting to shallower depths ( < 100 feet) in late summer and reduced catches of all species in the fall months. This study describes lake whitefish harvest across depths and seasons through trawling in the zone 3 Lake Michigan Wisconsin fishery (Two Rivers area). Trawling had a low catch rates for bycatch species and would likely have few impacts on sportfish species.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Management
Symposium (Part 3) Q&A 2
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:05 PM to 2:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 2 for Lake Whitefish and Other Species section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Dynamics of an Unexploited Northern Minnesota Inland Lake Whitefish Population
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:35 PM to 2:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Will French, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Brian Herwig, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Kyle Zimmer, University of St. Thomas; Casey Schoenebeck, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Lake Whitefish Coregonus clupeaformis are a pelagic cold water species typically found in large deepwater lakes of the upper Midwest and Canada. While Lake Whitefish populations in the Great Lakes support intensively managed commercial fisheries, relatively less is known regarding population status and dynamics of Lake Whitefish in inland lakes. Lake Whitefish have been sampled during annual vertical gillnet surveys on Ten Mile Lake in north central Minnesota since 2008 as part of the Sentinel Lakes Program long term monitoring of the pelagic fish community. One of the programs primary goals is monitoring system change created by stressors including climate change and aquatic invasive species. Thus, when Zebra mussel veligers were discovered in Ten Mile Lake during 2019, targeted sampling for Lake Whitefish was conducted in 2020 with a goal of establishing baseline population dynamics before zebra mussels become established. A total of 224 Lake Whitefish were sampled during gillnet and vertical gillnet surveys, and were used for analyses of Ten Mile Lake Whitefish population dynamics. Analyses included size and age structure, growth, maturity and mortality estimates. Whitefish ages were estimated via sectioned sagittal otoliths, and individuals up to 62y old were sampled. In contrast to Great Lakes populations, preliminary results suggest that Ten Mile Lake supports a relatively unexploited Lake Whitefish population, characterized by an older top heavy age structure, late maturation, low recruitment, and low annual mortality.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Population Dynamics
Spawning Assessment of Lake Superior Kiyi to Inform Potential Restoration Efforts
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:50 PM to 3:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Matthew E. Herbert, The Nature Conservancy; Mark R. Vinson, Owen T. Gorman, Daniel L. Yule, Lori .L. Evrard, Caroline L. Rosinski - U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Kiyi (Coregonus kiyi) only occur in Lake Superior, after being extirpated from Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario in the 20th century.  There is growing interest in rehabilitation of Kiyi in the Great Lakes.  However, there are major gaps in our knowledge of Kiyi spawning timing and behavior.  Therefore, the feasibility for effectively being able to collect Kiyi during spawning for rehabilitation efforts is in question.  To help address this knowledge gap, we worked with a commercial fisher to collect Kiyi from late November through mid-January in Southeast Lake Superior over three years.  Catch-per-unit-effort was compared across depths and sampling times.  We evaluated the spawning status and the gonadosomatic index for these fish with Kiyi collected throughout the rest of the year in standard USGS monitoring efforts to better understand the timing of Kiyi spawning.  Kiyi were effectively collected at depths greater than 450 feet.  Our preliminary results suggest that Kiyi have a distinct spawning season that begins in mid-December.  Our results also indicate that Kiyi can be readily collected during spawning, but weather conditions may prohibit collection in some years.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium (Part 3) Q&A 3
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:05 PM to 3:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A session 3 for Lake Whitefish and Other Species section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium (Part 3) Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Moderated discussion for the Lake Whitefish and Other Species section of the symposium.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Closing Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-01: Coregonids in the Great Lakes Region: Resiliency, Rehabilitation, and Range Reduction (Part 3)
Authors: Donald R. Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Closing discussion for Coregonids Symposium
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Restoration/Enhancement
 
S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Effects of Ecosystem Change on Walleye and Yellow Perch Populations in North America
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Gretchen J.A. Hansen, University of Minnesota; Jenna Ruzich, University of Minnesota; Lawrence D. Eslinger, WIsconsin Department of Natural Resources; Daniel A Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens; Point; Dale E. Logsdon, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) are culturally, economically, and ecologically significant fish species in North American freshwater systems. Walleye and Yellow Perch populations are influenced by abiotic and biotic environmental conditions as well as by tribal, recreational, and commercial harvest. As freshwater ecosystems are transformed by drivers of global change, there is an increasing need to understand how Percid populations respond to ecosystem changes and how fisheries management can adapt to these changes while continuing to meet population-level objectives. Here, we introduce the special session and review the state of knowledge on the effects of ecosystem changes on Percid populations in North America. Our goal is to identify commonalities, differences, and remaining questions regarding the effects of climate change, species invasions, nutrient loading, and other drivers of environmental change on diverse populations of walleye and yellow perch in North America. The impacts of environmental changes on Percid populations vary spatially and temporally. For example, some walleye stocks experience increased recruitment under warmer conditions, while others are negatively affected. Similarly, species invasions can negatively affect the growth rates of yellow perch in some years and ecosystems while increasing growth rates in others. Some variability in responses may be due to differences in analytical methods, measures of impact, or starting conditions. We advocate for common metrics of impact and robust analytical approaches  to facilitate comparisons among systems and to provide a more holistic view on the responses of Percid populations to ecosystem change. Identifying factors that influence the sensitivity of ecosystems and populations to environmental change can facilitate the identification of management levers that can increase the resilience of populations. We conclude with management and research priorities for these species.
Tags: Climate, Ecology, Exotic/Invasive Species, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Freshwater Fish-Other, Habitat, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Management
System Change Effects on Percids in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: David G. Fielder, Ph.D., Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Jeffrey C. Jolley, Ph.D., Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Walleye and Yellow Perch populations of Saginaw Bay supported recreational and commercial fisheries and had historic annual yields in excess of 744 tonnes.  The Walleye stock collapsed in the mid Twentieth Century, and Yellow Perch populations declined due to pollution, habitat degradation, and effects of invasive species. After water quality improvements, Yellow Perch recovered but Walleye were dependent on stocking of fingerlings and remained depressed.  A foodweb paradigm shift took place in Lake Huron in 2003. Most evident was the collapse of the invasive Alewife population and declines of Rainbow Smelt. These changes are believed to trace back to a cascade of effects of Dreissenid mussel invasions which altered the planktonic invertebrate population in the lake disrupting the food web from the bottom up with an overall benthification of remaining production. Simultaneous was intense predation from predators (introduced Pacific Salmonids and native Lake Trout) on the pelagic prey fish populations stemming from heavy stocking and natural reproduction. It remains unclear if this top down or the bottom up forces tipped the food web or likely a combination of both. Regardless, the disappearance of Alewives and decline of Rainbow Smelt released Percids in Saginaw Bay from the deleterious effects of predation and competition on newly hatched larvae. Subsequent analysis indicated that the abundance (or lack of) Alewives most influenced Walleye recruitment and year-class strength. Walleye reproductive success greatly increased in 2003, remained high; the population reached recovery targets in 2009. Yellow Perch reproduction also increased but adult abundance has declined due to high juvenile mortality rates, attributed to Walleye predation. It is hypothesized that juvenile Alewives, and native Cisco before them, provided a forage buffer on Yellow Perch. The pelagic prey component of Lake Huron remains depressed but is the target of a Cisco reintroduction effort.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Restoration/Enhancement
Broad Shifts in Walleye Resource Use and Movement Correspond with Ecosystem Alteration Following Establishment of Dreissenid Mussels in Lake Michigan
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:10 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: J.A. Whitinger, Department of Biology, Northern Michigan University; T.G. Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division, Marquette Fisheries Research Station; P. Schneeberger, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division, Marquette Fisheries Research Station; B.S. Gerig, Department of Biology, Northern Michigan University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The widespread establishment of dreissenid mussels (Dreissena spp.) in Lake Michigan have strongly altered energy flow by sequestering nutrients in nearshore benthic habitats. Despite these ecosystem changes, little is known about their influence on resource partitioning in nearshore fish communities. Here we use stable isotope analysis to characterize the contemporary fish community and historic walleye (Sander vitreus) population of Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc. We found species-specific differences in the d15N and d13C values for 14 fish species. High degrees of niche overlap between walleye, northern pike (Esox lucius), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) possibly indicate convergence on a common prey item [e.g. round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)]. As length increased, northern pike and smallmouth bass increased their reliance on nearshore resources, while walleye increased reliance on pelagic resources. Isotope analysis over a 31-year time series coincident with the invasion of dreissenid mussels suggests that alterations in energy dynamics influencing walleye were dictated by varied responses from dominant prey items. Furthermore, sex-specific differences in walleye spawning movements indicated that females make significantly greater movements than males possibly driven by higher energetic and reproductive demands. This study improves our understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem by informing how whole-scale shifts in the ecosystem influence trends in important sport fish communities.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Great Lakes
Changes in Percid Populations, the Fish Community and Sport Fishery in Northern Green Bay, Lake Michigan over a 31-year Period
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:30 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Troy Zorn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division; Darren Kramer, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division; Philip Schneeberger, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division (retired)
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Percid populations and the fish communities of Big and Little bays de Noc in northern Green Bay, Lake Michigan have undergone considerable change since the late 1980’s when restored walleye populations reached peak abundance.  Over time the bays have been subject to substantial water quality and lake level changes, and invasions of non-native species including spiny water flea, dreissenid mussels, round goby, and Eurasian ruffe.  Changes in these waters have been documented since the 1980’s via gill net and trawl surveys at index locations, an angler-based creel survey, diet studies, and walleye jaw-tagging efforts.  Fish community and angler-based creel surveys have enabled documentation of changes in physical conditions, sport fishing effort and harvest, and abundance of walleyes, yellow perch, forage fishes, and other fish species.  Long-term walleye jaw-tagging and diet studies have shown considerable change in walleye movements and diets.  Broader-scale fish community efforts initiated in 2009 have enabled mapping of spatial patterns in species abundance and contributed to development of statistical catch-at-age models for both walleye and yellow perch.  Our long-term observations showing considerable change in seasonal use of these waters by walleyes and recent recruitment patterns for the species contribute to speculation about the role of walleye in the future fish community of these waters.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Great Lakes
Recovery of the Oneida Lake, New York Walleye Population Following Double-crested Cormorants, Zebra Mussels and White Perch Impacts in the 1990s
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: James R. Jackson, Cornell University Biological Field Station; Anthony J. VanDeValk, Cornell University Biological Field Station; Thomas E. Brooking, Cornell University Biological Field Station; Lars G. Rudstam, Cornell University Biological Field Station
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The walleye fishery of Oneida Lake, NY was supported by a population that averaged 700,000 adult fish through the 1980s.  In the 1990s, population declines resulted in a low of 206,000 adult fish in 2000.  Declines occurred concurrent with multiple changes in the lake.  Zebra mussel established, resulting in increases in water clarity, particularly during the larval stage of walleye.  A nesting colony of double-crested cormorants grew through the decade along with increased numbers of fall migrants.  Predation by cormorants resulted in increased mortality of subadult walleye.  White perch began to increase in the late 1990s and were often the most abundant species in gill net catches between 2005 and 2015.  Management of cormorants was initiated in 1998 and expanded to season long control by 2004.  Walleye harvest was reduced through more restrictive regulations in 2000.  These actions resulted in a rapid increase of walleye to 470,000 fish in 2005.  However, walleye population increases did not persist, and the population averaged 445,000 adult fish from 2005-2016.  A rapid expansion of the population was observed from 2016-2019, resulting in a 2020 population of 1,100,000 adult fish.  Establishment of round goby in the lake resulted in reduced walleye harvest in 2016 and 2017, but harvest had returned to previous levels by 2019.  Concurrent with the walleye increase was a decline in the population of white perch.  Analyses showed that white perch abundance was significantly and negatively correlated with survival of larval walleye, with larval predation presumably facilitated by clear water, and the declines in white perch allowed increased recruitment to subadult ages.  Our results indicate that both subadult predation by cormorants and larval predation by white perch contributed to the observed declines in the adult walleye population in the 1990s, and full recovery was not observed until both mortality sources were reduced.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management, Population Dynamics
A Brief History of Mille Lacs Walleye Management – Part 1: Overview of Change
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:30 PM to 2:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Melissa Treml, Minnesota DNR; Thomas S. Jones, Minnesota DNR; Patrick J. Schmalz, Minnesota DNR; Thomas Heinrich, Minnesota DNR; Eric T. Jensen, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This three part series of presentations on Mille Lacs Walleye management is a condensation and update of eight presentations given at the 2017 Walleye Technical Committee meeting in 2017.  Part 1 is an overview of changes that have occurred in Mille Lacs since the 1980s.  Changes include not just biological changes, but also socio-political changes, upgrades in angling technology, changes in angler behavior and composition, and the establishment of a shared fishery with Native Americans.  The management framework has evolved to accommodate changes, where safe harvest levels are determined through stock assessment and modelling, leading to allocations for State and Tribal fishers.  State regulations are determined with public input influencing the choice from a list of potentially successful regulation choices, and fisheries are monitored to stay within allocations, with mid-season corrections if necessary.  Assessment gears and assessment models have also evolved with social and environmental changes.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management
A Brief History of Mille Lacs Walleye Management – Part 2: Stressors
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:45 PM to 3:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Thomas S. Jones, Minnesota DNR; Patrick J. Schmalz, Minnesota DNR; Melissa Treml, Minnesota DNR; Thomas Heinrich, Minnesota DNR; Eric T. Jensen, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This is part two of a three part series of presentation on Mille Lacs Lake.  This presentation will look at changes in the lake due to external factors such as climate change and nutrient loading, as well as internal changes such as the introduction of invasive species.  Because many stressors have presented themselves in rapid succession, individual cause-effect relationships are unclear.  However, responses have been observed in measures of productivity, and in abundances of multiple species from zooplankton through forage fish through top predators.  Changes observed in walleye include poor condition, lower survival of younger walleye, and a decreased walleye population.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management
A Brief History of Mille Lacs Walleye Management – Part 3: Responses
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Thomas Heinrich, Minnesota DNR; Thomas S. Jones, Minnesota DNR; Patrick J. Schmalz, Minnesota DNR; Melissa Treml, Minnesota DNR; Eric T. Jensen, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This is part three of a three part series of presentation on Mille Lacs Lake.  This presentation will discuss challenges in management responses designed to address concerns brought about by stressors discussed in part 2.   Safe harvest levels and allocations were drastically reduced beginning in 2013 as the walleye population decline and future recruitment to spawning stock was threatened by four consecutive poor year classes.  State regulations became progressively tighter, such that current regulations include 1 walleye from a narrow slot in winter and catch-and-release only in the summer.  Despite lower effort and tight regulations, increased catch rates due to low forage have forced walleye closures to remain within allocations.  Managing perceptions of the fishery have been equally challenging as users perceive the population to be in different states, depending on experience.  A formal management plan is under development to help communicate data to anglers and create an environment to development management in coordination with users.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management
Long-term Juvenile Walleye Production Estimates in Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Heidi M. Rantala, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Patrick J. Schmalz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Eric Jensen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Tom Jones, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Melissa Treml, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: We leveraged long-term monitoring data (1987-2019) to examine details of age 4-6 Walleye population dynamics using secondary production methods.  Secondary production is the accumulation of biomass thorough time and reflects multiple measures of population success (e.g., density, growth, reproduction, biomass, and survivorship), making it a useful metric for understanding population dynamics.  We used the instantaneous growth method, calculating growth rates (females and males separately) from annually collected, aged Walleye.  We estimated error via bootstrapping.  Walleye production estimates ranged from 0.3 – 5.8 kg/ha/y (median 1.7 kg/ha/y) for the time series, consistent with Walleye production measured in other lakes in the Upper Midwest.  In Lake Mille Lacs, Walleye production is decreasing through time (p< 0.001, Mann-Kendall trend test), with a change-point identified in the time series in 2000 (p< 0.001, Pettitt’s test). We found that several other components of production decreased through time, including biomass at all three age classes, growth at ages 5 and 6 for both female and male Walleye, and annual P:B (p< 0.05 for all).  Additionally, water clarity is increasing in the lake (p< 0.01, change point 1993), while zooplankton production is decreasing (p< 0.05, change point 2011), potentially linking trends in Walleye production to habitat and food resources.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Population Dynamics
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 1)
Authors: Dale Logsdon, Fisheries Research Scientist, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A segment for the Mille Lacs symposium presentations
Tags: Other
 
S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Walleye Response to Gizzard Shad in a Reservoir Under Varying Walleye Densities: Management Tradeoffs in Big Creek Lake, Iowa
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Ben Dodd, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Big Creek Lake is a 329-ha reservoir located north of Des Moines, Iowa, that provides quality Walleye Sander vitreus angling opportunities to the central portion of the state. However, the reservoir's history has swung widely between states of overabundant Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum and scant Walleye, to elimination of shad and increasingly dense Walleye, to re-introduction of shad into a system with a hungry Walleye population. During the 1990s, Gizzard Shad were considered a nuisance species and were overabundant in Big Creek Lake, but a severe winter in 2000 led to a complete kill, leaving the reservoir with a drastically reduced forage base. Walleye stocking became more successful in establishing year-classes, so successful that the adult Walleye population began to experience density-dependent growth. When shad were re-introduced around 2015, Walleye growth recovered, yielding one of the premier Walleye fisheries in the state in both density and fish size. We evaluated this fascinating history using Gizzard Shad presence/absence, Walleye density and growth rate, recreational survey, and water quality data from several time periods in order to quantify and discuss the tradeoffs of Gizzard Shad presence in reservoir fishery management.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Population Dynamics
Do Diets of Age-0 Walleye Reflect Food Web Changes in Western Lake Erie?
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Touhue Yang, University of Toledo; Christine Mayer, University of Toledo; Robin DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Edward Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey; Mark DuFour, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreus) play an important ecological role as a top predator and support the local economy through recreational and commercial fishing. Introductions of aquatic invasive species (AIS) have contributed to environmental and food web changes affecting the diet of this top predator. The diet of this piscivorous fish is important because it can directly affect their growth, survival, and recruitment. To determine how the diet of age-0 walleye has changed in western Lake Erie, we compared diet composition from 2019 with historical diet data (1994-1995) during the summer and early fall. We found that large Cladoceran species and benthic invertebrates were the most common prey item (by number and biomass) for all months in 2019, which differed compared to 1994-1995 when fish were the most common prey item. Additionally, two of the recent AIS, Bythotrephes and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), were found in 2019 diets, confirming that age-0 walleye are adapting to the changing food web by incorporating new prey items into their diets. Our results suggest that zooplankton and benthic invertebrates are now important prey items for age-0 walleye in Lake Erie which could have implications for growth and recruitment at early life stages.
Tags: Ecology, Exotic/Invasive Species, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Great Lakes
Taxa and Size Selective Food Habits of age-0 Walleye and Timing and Size at Ontogenetic Shift to Piscivory
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:10 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Casey Schoenebeck, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Brian Peterson, University of Nebraska Kearney; Chris Uphoff, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Zach Woiak, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Brett Miller, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; Joshua Kreitman, University of Nebraska Kearney
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Ecological stressors (e.g., aquatic invasive species, climate change, and land use changes) influence the seasonal dynamics, density, and size of available prey for age-0 sport fish.  Understanding food habits and preferences pre- and post-ontogenetic diet shifts to piscivory for important game fish species can inform potential impacts to growth and survival.  This study evaluated the seasonal density and size of prey and the food habits, prey taxa and size electivity, and the length of age-0 walleye at the ontogenetic shift to piscivory for 4 years in a large Great Plains reservoir.  Zooplankton sampled in tows at 15 standardized stations collected biweekly from April through October were enumerated and measured to quantify taxa-specific zooplankton density and length.  Larval gizzard shad were sampled weekly using push nets at 24 standardized stations starting the last week of May for 8 weeks to quantify larval gizzard shad density and size.   Age-0 walleye (n = 987) were collected throughout the four growing seasons and stomach contents were identified, measured, and compared to zooplankton samples to calculate taxa and size selectivity.  Age-0 walleye largely consumed calanoid copepods before shifting to larval gizzard shad.  Zooplanktivorous age-0 walleye selected for calanoid copepods and they selected for the largest calanoid copepods available. In relation to other zooplankton taxa, calanoid copepods were one of the most abundant taxa groups available. Mean length of age-0 walleye ranged from 47 to 88 mm at the time of the ontogenetic shift to piscivory and roughly coincided with peak larval gizzard shad density that ranged from 0.7 to 2.1 shad/m3. Age-0 walleye were consistent in the selection of prey taxa and size so that stressor-driven disruptions in the timing of preferred prey availability, density, or size have the potential to affect first year growth.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Inland Lake/Reservoir
Evidence of Experiential Legacies of Early-life Diet Quality on Juvenile Walleye (Sander vitreus)
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:30 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: L. Zoe Almeida, John Grayson, Konrad Dabrowski, Stuart A. Ludsin, Elizabeth A. Marschall -The Ohio State University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Growth and size of larval and juvenile fishes is often linked to their recruitment success. Climate-induced shifts in plankton blooms may alter fish recruitment by altering the fatty acid composition of early-life diets and thus larval and juvenile growth rates. Altered early-life nutrition may have an immediate effect on survival but may also have lingering influence on size and growth via experiential legacies. We explored the short- and longer-term growth consequences of insufficient polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for larval Walleye (Sander vitreus). For the first 10 d of feeding, larvae (~15 mg) were provided (ad libitum, 21°C) Artemia enriched with: oleic acid (low PUFA), high docosahexaenoic acid and high eicosapentaenoic acid (high PUFA), or high PUFA and a form of vitamin E (high PUFA + E) (n=3 replicates/treatment). After ten days, all fish were fed a high-quality commercial feed (Otohime fish diet) and reared for an additional 27 d. Larvae fed either high PUFA diet were 1.15-fold larger (PUFA mean ± SD = 20.0 ± 3.3 mg; PUFA + E mean ± SD = 19.8 ± 3.3 mg) than those fed the low PUFA (17.3 ± 2.8 mg) diet (P P = 0.002). Our findings demonstrate that fatty acid composition of larval Walleye diets have immediate consequences to size as well as lingering effects. As changes in climate continue to alter lower trophic levels, Walleye management may need to consider how temporal or spatial differences in diet quality affect growth, survival, and recruitment.
Tags: Ecology, Great Lakes, Nutrition
Effects of Anthropogenic Stressors and Northern Pike (Esox lucius) on Walleye (Sander vitreus) Trophic Ecology, Niche Size, and Niche Overlap
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Mary A. Thelen, Environmental Science Program, University of St Thomas; Alexandra L. Morrison, Environmental Science Program, University of St Thomas; Sarah E. Howe, Environmental Science Program, University of St Thomas; Kyle D. Zimmer, Biology Department, University of St Thomas; Brian R. Herwig, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Research; David F. Staples; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Research; Jeff R. Reed, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Research
Student or Professional: Student-Undergrad
Abstract: Walleye (Sander vitreus) are threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic stressors, yet  effects of stressors on Walleye foraging ecology are understudied, as are effects of competitive species such as Northern Pike (Esox lucius). Stables isotopes d13C and d15N can estimate proportion of energy (carbon) derived from littoral versus pelagic habitats and trophic position, respectively. We studied seven Minnesota lakes and sampled d13C and d15N in pelagic zooplankton, littoral invertebrates, Walleye, and Northern Pike, and used mixing models to convert Walleye isotope values into proportion littoral carbon and trophic position. We subsequently tested for Walleye length*lake effects on both  littoral energy and trophic position and used the slope and marginal mean for each lake as response variables. We also estimated isotopic niche size of Walleye and niche overlap of Walleye on Northern Pike based on littoral energy use and trophic position. We then tested whether littoral energy slope and mean, trophic position slope and mean, niche size, and niche overlap for Walleye were related to presence/absence of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha), hypolimnetic dissolved oxygen, hypolimnetic temperature, and Northern Pike abundance. Results showed means and slopes for littoral energy use were both significantly higher in lakes with zebra mussels, indicating Walleye increase littoral energy use at smaller sizes when zebra mussels are present. Means and slopes for trophic position were both negatively related to Northern Pike abundance, indicating larger Walleye fed at lower trophic levels in lakes with high Northern Pike abundance. Lastly, Walleye niche size was positively related to abundance of Northern Pike, while Walleye niche overlap on Northern Pike was positively related to hypolimnetic water temperature. Overall, our results indicate zebra mussels, hypolimnetic water temperature, and abundance of Northern Pike influence Walleye trophic ecology, and these effects should be considered in Walleye management plans.    
Tags: Ecology, Exotic/Invasive Species, Freshwater Fish-Walleye
Extent of Spawning, Larval Export, Adult Population Demographics, and Other Characteristics of the Walleye (Sander vitreus) Fishery in the St. Clair-Detroit River System
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:30 PM to 2:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Robin L. DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Edward F. Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey; Corbin D. Hilling, University of Toledo; Justin A. Chiotti, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; James C. Boase, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Todd Wills, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Andrew Briggs, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Sara Thomas, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Richard Drouin, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The walleye (Sander vitreus) population in Lake Erie is a valuable recreational fishery, with multiple spawning stocks contributing to the closely managed population. The St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS) is an important spawning location for Lake Erie walleye and has an economically and culturally valuable walleye recreational fishery in an urbanized, navigable system. We describe the status of walleye population, extent of spawning, and characteristics of the fishery in the SCDRS. Historically, there was a productive resident walleye fishery in Lake St. Clair, but ecosystem changes related to dreissenid mussel invasions have resulted in fish community shifts. While a well-known targeted recreational walleye fishery occurs in the Detroit River during the spawning migration, substantial effort also occurs in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. In 2019, walleye comprised an estimated 89% of fish harvested during Michigan fishing charters in the SCDRS. Telemetry studies support that a small proportion of fish from both Lake Huron and Lake Erie use the SCDRS, possibly for spawning, foraging, and thermal refugia. Adults have been captured and eggs deposited throughout the Detroit River and in the lower St. Clair River on various substrates, including on restored spawning reef habitats. Extensive larval fish sampling verified successful hatching and provided evidence of larval export to western Lake Erie. However, genetics techniques have not distinguished all the spawning stocks in western Lake Erie, leaving uncertainty in the relative contribution of the SCDRS spawning stock to Lake Erie walleye biomass. Given the importance of the SCDRS as seasonal habitat for walleye, research efforts quantifying the contribution of (1) the number of adults using the SCDRS as spawning grounds or (2) the proportion of the Lake Erie population originating from the SCDRS could be beneficial to managers to ensure a healthy fishery.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Great Lakes, Population Dynamics
The Ebb and Flow of Walleye and Sauger in Two Large Midwestern Rivers
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:50 PM to 3:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Jason DeBoer, Illinois Natural History Survey; Andrya Whitten, Illinois Natural History Survey; James Lamer, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jeremiah Haas, Exelon Nuclear Corporation
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Large rivers are among the most productive ecosystems on earth, and the most affected by humans.  Multiple anthropogenic stressors have decreased the productivity and resilience of these ecosystems for centuries, negatively affecting fish populations.  Dam construction and downstream flow regulation have fragmented over 65% of the world's large river ecosystems, and dredging, riverbank protection, and leveeing have resulted in systemic simplification.  Once simplified, large rivers are also more susceptible to further stressors like species invasions and climate change.  In this presentation, we combine multiple long-term data sets and look back nearly 150 years to examine the consequences that a legacy of anthropogenic stressors has had on walleye and sauger populations in the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.  Stable isotope data provide insight into changes in walleye and sauger trophic status, while community monitoring data provide insight into changes in walleye and sauger relative abundance, and that of other influential species as well.  We then suggest potential rehabilitation efforts that may increase large river resilience to impending system change, and thus benefit walleye and sauger populations.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, River/Stream
Re-establishment of Walleye Populations and Current Population Demographics in Historically Acidified Central Appalachian Watersheds
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:10 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Dustin M. Smith, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; Corbin D. Hilling, University of Toledo, Dept. of Environmental Sciences; Stuart A. Welsh, U.S. Geological Survey, WV Coop. Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; David I. Wellman, Jr., West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Historically, the Monongahela River, Tygart River, and Cheat River watersheds in West Virginia were degraded by acidification from acid mine drainage and acid precipitation. Consequently, Walleye populations were believed to be extirpated from these watersheds. Due to extensive water quality improvements and subsequent stocking efforts, Walleye were re-established in in these watersheds. Despite successful re-establishment, Walleye management challenges still exist and comprehensive knowledge of population characteristics in these watersheds was lacking. We evaluated population characteristics of Walleye populations in the Monongahela River and two mainstem reservoirs in the Cheat River and Tygart River watersheds (Cheat and Tygart lakes) to better understand their biology and support fishery management decisions. Across all watersheds, Walleye relative abundance has generally increased over time with improving water quality. However, we found comparative differences across watersheds with respect to relative abundance, growth, size structure, recruitment, and mortality. Differences in population characteristics seemed largely tied to abiotic characteristics of each watershed, such as differences in available forage. Due to differences in recruitment, growth, and mortality, appropriate regulations and other management actions for each watershed greatly differ. In watersheds with high recruitment but slow growth, liberal harvest regulations were supported. In contrast, in watersheds with low recruitment but fast growth, more restrictive harvest regulations were recommended. These findings demonstrate the different trajectories Walleye populations may take after re-establishment and the need for watershed specific management. The re-establishment of Walleye in these watersheds serves as an ecosystem restoration success story and reflects the benefits of restoration efforts in acid-degraded watersheds.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Management
Exploitation as a Stressor in Walleye Populations: Biological Responses to Sustained, Elevated Harvest
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Greg G. Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Logan W. Sikora, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Mark Luehring, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission; Stephanie L. Shaw, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Exploitation can be a stressor on fish populations directly or indirectly through other exacerbating variables such as climate change, habitat loss, or species-interactions. Estimates of sustainable exploitation rates for walleye (Sander vitreus) have been highly variable (range 15-84%). The current limit reference point exploitation rate for Ceded Territory of Wisconsin (CTWI) adult walleye in the joint tribal and angling fisheries is 35%. To evaluate biological responses to elevated exploitation rates, the walleye population of Sherman Lake, Wisconsin was subjected to an experimental annual 50% exploitation rate for ten years during 2006-2015. To test for biological responses to sustained, elevated harvest, data during 1996-2005 were used as the pre-exploitation period. During the study, mean adult walleye density and male to female sex ratios did not differ between the pre- and 50%-exploitation periods. However, the proportion of males and females > 381 mm significantly declined and individual growth rates for both sexes significantly increased during the 50% exploitation period. Age-0 and age-1 walleye relative abundance and mean length did not differ between the pre- and 50%-exploitation periods. Our results suggest that the Sherman Lake walleye population was resilient to 50% annual exploitation in some respects, exhibited density-dependent biological responses to exploitation, but would not meet some CTWI walleye management criteria. The compensatory recruitment response of the Sherman Lake walleye population to elevated exploitation was strong; however, the low density of females may foreshadow recruitment overfishing. It is also unlikely that the compensatory recruitment response observed in the Sherman Lake walleye population under elevated exploitation would occur in other CTWI walleye populations with known, weak compensatory or depensatory stock-recruitment dynamics. Therefore, we caution that our results not be extrapolated beyond Sherman Lake for regional walleye management purposes in the CTWI.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Population Dynamics
Stocking Practices and Lake Characteristics Drive Probability of Walleye Stocking Success in Wisconsin’s Ceded Territory Lakes
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 2)
Authors: Zach Lawson, WI Department of Natural Resources; Alex Latzka, WI Department of Natural Resources; Lawrence Eslinger, WI Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: As culturally important walleye fisheries in Wisconsin’s Ceded Territory exhibit declining densities and reductions in natural recruitment, stocking has increased in popularity as a management tool. Walleye were stocked in an average of 160 lakes per year in the 1980s, compared to 223 lakes per year in the 2010s.  However, many walleye fingerling stocking events are unsuccessful, with zero or few fish being detected as yearlings in electrofishing surveys the following year. We integrated 31 years of statewide stocking and electrofishing data with lake habitat characteristics to assess drivers of stocking success, measured by the number of individuals stocked compared to those sampled in stocking evaluation surveys.  Notably, 21% of stocking events exhibited zero returns in the following year. To handle the prominence of zeros, we used a zero-inflated mixed effects model to test for effects of stocking practices and lake attributes along with lake-level random effects. Our results suggest that the average length and stocking density are important stocking practice-level characteristics, while temperature and clarity are important lake-level characteristics for predicting success. Managers should weigh these factors when determining whether stocking is worthwhile for the system in question, and if so, when selecting a stocking product. Although overall survival of stocked fingerlings is relatively low, better understanding stocking efficacy can help managers maximize utility of limited resources. Future work should assess stocking success in the context of recruitment to the fishery and induced natural reproduction. As lake characteristics identified here are also characteristic of systems most likely to support natural recruitment, future research should also differentiate between systems that may be most likely to only provide a stocked fishery from those that are most likely to provide a self-sustaining fishery.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management
 
S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Evidence for Synchrony Between Yellow Perch and Walleye Recruitment Dynamics and Temporal Trends in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:00 AM to 8:20 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Ethan J. Brandt, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Zachary S. Feiner, Office of Applied Science, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alexander W. Latzka, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Daniel A. Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Walleye recruitment in the Ceded Territory of Wisconsin (CTWI) has declined, potentially because of a bottleneck occurring in the first year of life and climate-induced changes in lake environments. Yellow Perch are an ecologically and culturally important fish species in this region, but mechanisms driving Yellow Perch recruitment are unclear because of a paucity of targeted sampling. Because of their similar thermal requirements, Walleye and Yellow Perch may share similar temporal patterns in recruitment, meaning observed declines in Walleye recruitment may be cause for concern about Yellow Perch populations as well. Consequently, our goals were to determine the environmental drivers of Yellow Perch recruitment and whether it was correlated with Walleye recruitment. We predicted the probability of Yellow Perch recruitment success using age-3 Yellow Perch caught in fyke net surveys as a recruitment index across the CTWI, and used historical data to test for differences in Yellow Perch abundance among lakes with sustained or declining Walleye recruitment. Additionally, two sampling seasons were completed during 2019 and 2020 using multiple gears to target small Yellow Perch (
Tags: Climate, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Freshwater Fish-Other, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Management, Modeling, Population Dynamics
Evaluation of Walleye Minimum Length Limits with Changing Water Regimes in the Great Plains
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:20 AM to 8:40 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Brian G. Blackwell, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; Todd M. Kaufman, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; Mark J. Ermer, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Precipitation patterns on the North American Great Plains are dynamic and unpredictable. Above normal precipitation in the 1990s resulted in high water conditions that allowed for the creation of new Walleye fisheries and elevated water levels in existing fisheries across northeast South Dakota. Walleye minimum-length limits which were already in use on many existing fisheries were enacted on several new fisheries. Following the initial filling, water levels in the new lakes have fluctuated similarly to previously existing lakes. We evaluated Walleye population changes and minimum-length limits under these variable water regimes. The evaluation was completed in two new lakes (Bitter Lake and Waubay Lake) and an existing lake (Lake Poinsett) in northeast South Dakota using long-term (1997–2019) annual gill net data. Angler use and harvest surveys during specific summers were also completed at each lake. As the water levels changed, the dynamics of the Walleye populations also changed. Walleye relative abundance tends to track with water levels. Recruitment has been variable in the three lakes (age-3 CPUE - Bitter Lake CV = 159%, Lake Poinsett CV = 123% and Waubay Lake CV = 173%) with occasional strong year classes recruiting. Unpredictable formation of large cohorts has led to reduced Walleye growth and resulted in stockpiling of fish below minimum length limits. This is evident in the disparity between angler catch and harvest rates of Walleyes after these large cohorts become established. Minimum length limits were removed from all three lakes as it was apparent that Walleye recruitment was having more influence on population dynamics than angler harvest.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Management, Population Dynamics
Assessing Abundance of Centrarchids in Northern Wisconsin Lakes with Different Walleye Recruitment Histories
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:40 AM to 9:00 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Ethan J. Brandt, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Daniel J. Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Alexander W. Latzka, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Joseph M. Hennessy, Bureau of Fisheries Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Daniel A. Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Declining Walleye recruitment in some northern Wisconsin lakes has coincided with increased abundance of adult Largemouth Bass, but focused research has suggested that adult bass are not directly responsible for Walleye recruitment bottlenecks. Increased abundance of adult Largemouth Bass may indicate that abundance of all centrarchids has increased in northern Wisconsin lakes due to environmental change. However, standard sampling gears used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources do not effectively sample small fish (
Tags: Climate, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Fisheries Techniques, Fishing/Field Surveys, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Freshwater Fish-Bass, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Management, Survey Methods
Use of Historical Records to Document System Change in Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:00 AM to 9:20 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Jeffrey R Reed, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Section of Fisheries
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Anglers and fishery managers have expressed concern over fish community shifts, mainly from Percid to Centrarchid-dominated communities. Changes in water quality, the presence of aquatic invasive species, and climate change are among the stressors often linked to these changes. Traditionally, Shifting Baseline Syndrome (SBS) has focused on diminishing sizes of fish within a fishery. More recently, ecologists concerned with community-level changes from various anthropogenic influences have incorporated SBS into that work to track population changes over long temporal periods. Here I examine fish community changes in several Minnesota lakes over the previous 140 years through angler catch records, archived photos, biological assessments, and changes in water quality and clarity. Angler records indicate Centrarchids, particularly Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, were likely very abundant from 1884 through the late 1920’s. Anglers traveled great distances to fish for these species in specialized fish camps during this time period. Beginning in the 1930’s Walleye became more abundant, likely due to the beginning of stocking efforts by the State of Minnesota. Walleye and Yellow Perch were common in fishery assessments beginning the 1940’s. Walleye abundance has been maintained through stocking while Yellow Perch populations have demonstrated deep declines. For managers, presuming recent or current fish community composition is the ‘correct’ baseline may make management goals difficult to achieve. Communicating to stakeholders that system change is constant may lead to realistic expectations of successful goal setting.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Freshwater Fish-Bass
Assessing the Effects of Zebra Mussels on Walleye Recruitment Success in Minnesota Lakes
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:20 AM to 9:40 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Holly Kundel, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; Kelsey Vitense, Environmental Protection Agency; Gretchen J. A. Hansen, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) can negatively affect first-year growth of walleye (Sander vitreus), potentially lowering walleye overwinter survival. Therefore, we expect that zebra mussel invasion may reduce walleye recruitment success. Further, zebra mussel effects may vary among lakes, and walleye in certain lake types may be more resilient to the effects of zebra mussels. To test these hypotheses, we used Bayesian hierarchical linear models to quantify the effects of zebra mussels on two measures of walleye recruitment: 1) survival of walleye until the first fall and 2) recruitment to the fishery at age-3. We used data collected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in hundreds of lakes. Survival of walleye until their first fall was indexed by catch rates in fall electrofishing surveys. Fall electrofishing surveys from and stocking histories have been compiled by MN DNR research staff. Recruitment to the fishery was indexed by gill net catch rates of age-3 walleye, using data. To enable an analysis of age-specific catch rates, we developed age-length keys to assign ages to unaged fish from gill net surveys. Additionally, the influence of other lake characteristics known to influence walleye recruitment, including lake size, depth, water clarity, and temperature were also quantified. These comparisons within lakes (pre- and post-invasion) and between invaded and uninvaded lakes will help determine the impact of zebra mussels on walleye recruitment in Minnesota lakes and inform future management actions.
Tags: Exotic/Invasive Species, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Modeling
Gaining a Better Understanding of Minnesota's Changing Yellow Perch Populations with Experimental Sampling Methods
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:00 AM to 10:20 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Bethany Bethke, MN Department of Natural Resources; Beth Holbrook, MN Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Managing percids in the face of systems change requires adequate data about fish at multiple life stages. A historical data analysis of Yellow Perch Perca flavescens survey data collected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) found declining catch rates of Yellow Perch > 130 mm statewide over the past several decades. However, studies have documented Yellow Perch sexual maturation at lengths < 130 mm, indicating that in some lakes only a fraction of the population may be sampled by MNDNR standard gears. Without additional information on the entire population, it is unknown if observed trends in statewide catch were due to declining abundance or shifting size structure that reduced susceptibility to survey gears. Our objective was to augment MNDNR standard surveys by developing and evaluating methods to sample multiple Yellow Perch life stages. In autumn 2019, Yellow Perch were sampled with fine mesh gill nets and boat electrofishing in 16 lakes. Total length, sex, and maturity data were recorded. Results indicated that the length at 50% maturity of females differed by 100 mm between lakes, with lakes having the smallest lengths of maturity less likely to have high catch rates of Yellow Perch in standard gear. We also found consistent differences in sex ratios between gear types suggesting that there may be divergent behaviors for females and males within lakes. The additional information collected with these experimental methods will be useful for more thoroughly evaluating Yellow Perch populations, understanding limitations of standard gear, and providing data that can be used to investigate factors that structure Yellow Perch populations.
Tags: Fisheries Techniques, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Survey Methods
Effect of Shallow Lake Condition Shifts on Yellow Perch Dynamics
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:20 AM to 10:40 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Alicia Skolte, Bemidji State University; Casey Schoenebeck, MN DNR; Andrew W. Hafs, PhD, Bemidji State University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Aquatic ecosystems around the world exist on a continuum between turbid, algal-dominated and clear, macrophyte-dominated conditions. Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens) is an important fish in many of these aquatic ecosystems that are affected by these condition shifts. Turbidity influences abundance of vegetation which provides habitat for young Yellow Perch. Competition between these Yellow Perch also increases as fish abundance increases. Lake Shaokatan, a shallow Southwestern Minnesota lake, underwent a shift throughout the early 21st century following the rehabilitation of three feedlots, four wetland areas, and shoreline septic systems. The MN DNR sampled Yellow Perch on Lake Shaokatan using standardized gillnets and recorded total length and wet weight on each fish throughout this shift. Of those fish subsampled, age was determined. We examined how a stable state shift from turbid, algal dominated to clear, macrophyte-dominated influenced population dynamics of Yellow Perch including relative abundance and changes in length at age. Gillnet CPUE of Yellow Perch increased from 24 (SD=9) pre-shift to 43 (SD=11) post-shift. Adult relative weight has dropped from 107 (SD=1) pre-shift to 97 (SD=1) post-shift. Average adult length has also decreased over time from 232 mm (SD=1) pre-shift to 171 mm (SD=2) post-shift. Mean length at age has decreased overall, specifically age 1 Yellow Perch decreased in total length from 176 mm [95% CI 168, 183] to 115 mm [95% CI 106, 125] post-shift. Therefore, the condition shift and resulting habitat changes have influenced the Yellow Perch population in this shallow lake. Further study of the changes in condition and its effect on Yellow Perch should be conducted on this lake, especially as the effects of a recent chemical vegetation removal are seen.
Tags: Other - Condition Shift
Bucketmouths, Bottlenecks, and Busted Headlights: A Chronology of Field-Based Efforts to Better Understand Walleye and Yellow Perch Recruitment in Northern Wisconsin
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:40 AM to 11:00 AM
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Daniel Isermann, USGS-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Steve Carpenter, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin; Jake Vander Zanden, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin; Joseph Hennessy, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Gretchen Hansen, University of Minnesota; Jonathan Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Alexander Latzka, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Holly Embke, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin; Christopher Sullivan, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Giancarlo Coppola, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Zachary Lawson, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Zachary Feiner, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin; Douglas Beard, USGS-Climate Adaptation Science Center; Gregory Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Craig Kelling, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Hadley Boehm, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Jason Gostiaux, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Ethan Brandt, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: For most of the last decade, researchers and biologists have used insightful analyses of existing data to document and explain changes in walleye recruitment in northern Wisconsin lakes. These efforts have been paired with a series of boots-on-the ground assessments designed to address specific aspects of the walleye recruitment process. This research has also led to more recent efforts to better understand yellow perch recruitment. We will summarize these efforts and what we have learned about percid year class strength, larval dynamics, sampling strategies, and the prevalence of deer (and elk) on the roads of northern Wisconsin.  
Tags: Ecology, Management, Population Dynamics
Symposium Wrap-up & Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-02: Effects of System Change on North American Percid Populations (Part 3)
Authors: Dale Logsdon, Fisheries Research Scientist, Minnesota DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Wrap-up for the symposium and group discussion with presenters.
Tags: Other
 
S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Midwest Public Land Acquisition Coordinators Panel
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Dave Trauba, MN DNR Regional Wildlife Manager; Jennifer Olson, MN DNR Initial Development Coordinator
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Public lands are vitally important to local and state economies and provide quality of life for all citizens. Public land is managed at the federal, state, county, township and municipal level. Land management goals vary at different scales but they often have overlapping intentions such as conservation of  critical habitat such as prairies, wetlands, aquatic corridors, lakeshores, protecting significant natural resources, along with providing outdoor recreation and improving public access. One of most remarkable conservation stories in the last 20 years is the fact that communities in all parts of this country have approved millions of dollars of public funding to invest in land conservation. This investment relies on communication and engagement between local, state and/or federal governments. Many states must get approval from county and/or township governments before closing on new acquisitions. Challenging fiscal and political conditions can put successful public land transactions on hold. Differing values about local land use (farming, residential, private versus public), and local revenue (perceived loss of property taxes) can raise tension. These difficult discussions have compelled government agencies to reassess their land acquisition goals and engagement strategies. We are interested in hearing from states representing the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference on their land acquisition programs and local government engagement efforts. The panel will include a public land acquisition coordinator, or equivalent, from several Midwest states. Information will include a brief overview of the state’s public land ownership with emphasis on state fish and wildlife areas. Discussion will focus on how states engage with local governments when it comes to public land acquisition. Any novel engagement techniques? What is working? What are the obstacles? How can we improve?
Tags: Other - Public Land Acquisition
Panel of Minnesota County Commissioners Discussing Public Land Acquisition
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Dave Trauba, MN DNR Regional Wildlife Manager; Pat Rivers, MN DNR Deputy Director for Division of Fish & Wildlife; Annalee Garletz, MN DNR Government Relations Unit Supervisor
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: In Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resource (DNR) land acquisitions require County Board of Commissioner approval. Minnesota statutes on land acquisitions are silent on guidance to county commissioners on valid reasons to either approve or disapprove land acquisitions. A court opinion clarifying a county’s role exists but is open to interpretation. County commissioner support for public land acquisition varies across Minnesota and changes over time as board members and county values change. Currently, a small subset of Minnesota counties openly support land acquisitions and view public lands as an asset to their economies and way of life.  An equal subset of counties oppose further acquisition due to the amount of existing public land. They view the loss of private land as a deficit to the local tax base and economic diversity, potential increase in water drainage concerns in agricultural areas, and changing land use expectations. The majority of counties view each acquisition on the attributes of the individual parcel, such as potential impacts to the local tax base along with environmental, economic and recreational benefits. A panel of four to six county commissioners will present their diverse views on land acquisition and what they consider when deciding on how to vote on a land resolution. They will also discuss their viewpoints on successful ways to engage county leadership in a language that builds trust, meaningful dialogue, and collaborative relationships. 
Tags: Other - Public Land Acquisition
Being a Good Neighbor: Ideas to Successfully Engage with Local Government Units
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Scott Roemhildt, MN DNR Southern Regional Director
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Acquiring public land can be a complicated process. Because of that, organizations typically spend much time refining and improving the mechanical process of gathering key documents and moving them through their systems. Is there an equivalent time spent planning communications and cultivating relationships with stakeholders, landowners and local government units? It’s vital not to overlook this essential component. The benefits of being a good neighbor pays dividends for all involved. Scott Roemhildt will hone in on communication best practices from nearly 20 years of working together with local government units. In his current position, he works across all seven DNR divisions in 32 counties of the state, and is a primary agency contact point for elected officials. Scott will put into context the importance of listening, being responsive, collaborating and practicing regulatory humility with local government units.
Tags: Other - Public Land Acquisition
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:20 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Jennifer Olson, MN DNR Initial Development Coordinator
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Symposium Q&A
Tags: Other
Minnesota's Strategic Land Asset Management (SLAM) Program
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Trina Zieman, MN DNR Land Asset & School Trust Administrator
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Public lands are vitally important to Minnesota's economy and quality of life. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages 5.6 million acres of public lands to ensure they meet the recreational needs of all Minnesotans, continue to provide clean air and water, support natural resource-based economies, and maintain habitat for fish and wildlife. DNR’s Strategic Land Asset Management (SLAM) Program informs decision-making about when to acquire, exchange or sell public lands. SLAM Program Goals. At DNR, using our land asset management framework: ensures the state’s public land asset base is the best possible reflection of Minnesota’s conservation, recreation and economic values and needs; ensures the DNR has strong, collaborative relationships, both internally and externally that help us do our land asset management work; and, ensures the DNR uses efficient and cost-effective processes to manage our public land assets. SLAM Program Strategies. The department makes smart decisions on the use and development of public lands, with strategies to: Hold and manage lands that contribute to the conservation, recreation, and economic value of the state’s public lands; Acquire, sell or exchange lands to optimize the conservation, recreation, and economic value of the state’s public lands; Utilize data gathered from performance goals and metrics to increase the impact of DNR land asset management activities; and Coordinate communications with DNR employees, local government, and other stakeholders about the department’s land asset management activities. Local Government Engagement. Building and maintaining strong, collaborative relationships is a basic tenet of the SLAM program. Continuous engagement with local government benefits our communities when we learn to share information, strategically plan, realize cost savings, and influence the development of law. It is clear that building and maintaining relationships with state and local officials provides tangible benefits to the state’s public lands.
Tags: Other - Public Land Acquisition
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-03: Local Government Engagement around Public Land Ownership
Authors: Jennifer Olson, MN DNR Initial Development Coordinator
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Symposium Q&A and Wrap-up
Tags: Other
 
S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Symposium Introduction
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Rebecca Sloan, Senior Conservation Biologist, ICF
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Introductory Remarks for Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings to be held on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 12:30 PM - 2:30 PMOverview: The possible uplisting of the Northern long-eared bat, the recent listing of the rusty-patched bumble bee, and the possible listing of the monarch butterfly creates constraints and uncertainty for Midwestern state and regional governments, industry, and municipalities that either own and manage large tracts of land or regulate development. These listings or possible listings also create an opportunity to use large-scale habitat conservation plans and other tools under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to provide take coverage and regulatory certainty, provide efficient large-scale conservation, and possibly prevent future listings or uplistings which will further constrain project or resource development. Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act provides for take coverage of proposed, candidate, threatened, and endangered species as well as those at-risk species with potential for listing. There are several mechanisms under Section 10 through which non-federal project proponents can receive take coverage or assurances in the event a species is listed or uplisted while, ideally, minimizing or eliminating the need for the very same listing or uplisting: Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP), Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs), and Safe Harbor Agreements (SHAs). Substantial federal grant funding is available through Section 6 of the ESA to help develop and implement these plans.
Tags: Other
Habitat Conservation Planning in the Midwest: Tools for Streamlining ESA Compliance
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:35 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Andrew Horton, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Habitat conservation plans (HCPs) are the primary tool non-federal project proponents have for ESA compliance under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Without a federal nexus, state, regional and local agencies, municipalities and private entities have the option to pursue an HCP when and where their projects have potential for the incidental take of an endangered, threatened, proposed, candidate and un-listed species.HCPs range in scale from small, low-effect documents to large-scale regional, state or even multi-state plans. Small-scale HCPs provide the necessary ESA compliance for single, well-defined projects while large-scale plans can provide incidental take coverage for multiple, yet-to-be defined future projects. While large-scale plans can take longer to develop, the benefits to the permittees and the species are often great. Permittees have increased regulatory certainty and therefore greater control over project cost and timeline and large-scale plans often have permit terms between to 30 to 50 years. In addition, permit holders can extend their incidental take coverage to participating entities—a benefit for state, regional and local governments wishing to minimize the time between project conception and realization. Species benefit from a mitigation strategy that is developed on a greater ecological and time scale.This talk will provide an overview of HCPs and describe the various types of HCPs using examples from across the Midwest. The presentation will also cover some helpful tools for ESA compliance such as template HCPs for wind projects. And finally, the talk will cover Section 6 of the ESA which provides funding for HCPs.
Tags: Habitat, Landscape Ecology, Policy/Law, Threatened and Endangered Species
The Lake State Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan: Conserving Bats and Securing Sustainable Forestry into the Future
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Sarah Herrick, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Cave-hibernating bat species are in precipitous decline due to the fungal disease white-nose syndrome. Several of these species are either currently listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) or are likely to become listed. Cave-hibernating bats overwinter in caves or mines but use forested habitats during spring, summer and fall to roost, forage, breed, and rear young. Forest management activities across the Midwest generally benefit bat species at the stand and landscape level but take of individual roosting bats can occur during forestry operations. Due to current and future listings, increased federal involvement in the protection of cave-dwelling bats could impact how forestry activities on state and private lands are carried out. The Lake States Forest Management Bat Habitat Conservation Plan (Lake States HCP) is currently being developed collaboratively by the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources. The Lake States HCP serves as a framework for meeting legal requirements under Section 10 of ESA for take of listed bat species during forest management activities while providing the necessary flexibility for the States and participating private landowners to continue the sustainable management of forestlands. The HCP covers four bat species that are either listed or likely to become listed: Indiana bat, northern-long eared bat, tricolored bat, and little brown bat. In this talk we describe the Lake States HCP and some of the associated benefits and challenges of the project including balancing conservation of bat species with the continuation of sustainable resource utilization, providing stability and regulatory clarity for land managers and landowners, and protection and enhancement of high-quality bat habitat.
Tags: Forest, Management, Threatened and Endangered Species
The Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:05 PM to 1:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Chad Furl, Edwards Aquifer Authority
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Edwards Aquifer in south central Texas is a prolific karst groundwater system with two of the largest artesian springs complexes in the southwestern U.S. Comal and San Marcos springs are home to eleven federally threatened, endangered, and petitioned species that include a darter, aquatic plant, and multiple species of salamanders and macroinvertebrates. These groundwater-dependent species require suitable aquifer and spring flow, along with appropriate surface habitat conditions. In order to mitigate for groundwater pumping and other activities, a 15-year Incidental Take Permit was issued to the Edwards Aquifer Authority and four other entities in the region.  This presentation will cover highlights of this regional Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and offer a permittee’s perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of the HCP-ITP process.
Tags: Management, Policy/Law, Threatened and Endangered Species
Balcones Canyonland Conservation Plan: Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Implementation
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:20 PM to 1:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Melinda Mallia, Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, Travis County, Texas
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan (BCCP) was written in support of a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to Travis County and the City of Austin, Texas. The permit allows for the incidental take of those federally listed species covered by the BCCP as a result of land development within western Travis County. As permittees, the City and County can extend their take coverage to third parties—replacing a potentially lengthy permitting process with one that requires only a few weeks and a one-time fee. Since 1996, when the BCCP was first permitted, 1,041 private landowners and developers have applied for BCCP permits, resulting in the development of 14,736 acres and the authorization of 325 public infrastructure projects. The BCCP covers seven endangered species: the golden-cheeked warbler and six karst (cave) invertebrates. It also protects 27 karst species of concern and the black-capped vireo, which was delisted in 2018. To minimize and mitigate take associated with land development, more than 32,000 acres of habitat for the covered species has been protected within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP).  Preserve lands are managed by the City, County, and several managing partners, who collectively maintain, patrol, and manage the BCP while monitoring the status of covered species. As permit holders, the City and County are currently determining next steps for the plan when the incidental take permit expires in 2026. In this talk we will review the basics of the BCCP, discuss how delisting of the black-capped vireo has affected plan implementation, review lessons learned from 25 years of plan implementation and describe the options the City and County are considering as the plan expires in 2026.
Tags: Habitat, Management, Threatened and Endangered Species
Endangered Species Conservation Agreements with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Challenges and Opportunities in the Midwest
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:35 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Phil Delphey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), individuals and organizations may enter into conservation agreements with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to conserve species listed as endangered or threatened (Safe Harbor Agreements, SHA) or imperiled species that may soon warrant listing (Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances, CCAA). USFWS may only enter these agreements when it expects a net conservation benefit to the species. In return for their participation, landowners receive assurances that no additional conservation measures or restrictions will be imposed upon them. For species that are not yet listed under the ESA, these assurances would be provided as part of a CCAA should the covered species become listed in the future. In this presentation, we will discuss the aims of the USFWS’ SHA and CCAA programs in the Midwest; the reasons why landowners, businesses, and others may choose to participate; how the USFWS has attempted to determine whether proposed activities will result in a net conservation benefit; the types of activities and species that have been covered under each type of agreement; and, the types of agreements that are currently in process or under consideration in the Midwest. 
Tags: Management, Policy/Law, Threatened and Endangered Species
Collaborative Conservation of the Monarch Butterfly on Energy and Transportation Lands
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Iris Caldwell, University of Illinois Chicago
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The monarch butterfly, with its vast migratory path across North America, has spurred numerous conservation efforts over the past several years. Concern about a potential listing decision prompted more than 40 utility companies and departments of transportation to work together with the University of Illinois Chicago to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) to promote voluntary conservation actions for the monarch butterfly on energy and transportation lands across the U.S. The CCAA, finalized in April 2020, is the first of its kind in terms of scale and cross-sector collaboration. It was also completed in record time through close coordination with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service during the development process. This presentation will provide an overview of the final CCAA, lessons from the collaborative development process, and updates from the first year of implementation.
Tags: Habitat, Policy/Law, Threatened and Endangered Species
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 2:05 PM to 2:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-04: Using Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to Conserve Species and Avoid Future Listings
Authors: Moderated by: Rebecca Sloan, Senior Conservation Biologist, ICF
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Moderated Q&A with symposium presenters
Tags: Other
 
S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Symposium Introduction - Part 1
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Introductory Remarks & Overview for Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Symposium, to be heldMONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM (Part 1); and TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM (Part 2)Organizers: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University; Erin Rowland, PhD Student, Northern Illinois University; Tony Del Valle, MS Student, Northern Illinois UniversityOverview: Across the globe, habitat loss and fragmentation is occurring at a rapid pace, leading to the decline of wildlife populations, alterations of ecological processes, and degradation of ecosystem services. In an attempt to find lasting solutions to this “wicked problem”, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 as the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Fortunately, restoration of degraded habitats and ecosystems is receiving increased attention, and many agencies and organizations are actively working to restore ecosystem functionality, increase connectivity, and conserve biodiversity. However, the science of restoration ecology is still in its infancy, and evidence-based solutions are imperative to reach the laudable but ambitious goals of UN. For example, much of the current research on restoration ecology has focused on plant communities, and to a lesser extent, rare or endangered wildlife. In the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, wildlife biologists and managers will need to develop robust evidence on how ecosystem restoration impacts not just habitats and plant communities, but also wildlife populations, including both common and rare species, game and nongame species, and understudied taxa such as reptiles and amphibians. Without an understanding of how ecosystem restoration affects wildlife populations, restoration cannot be considered complete.In this symposium, we will bring together researchers, policy-makers, and managers to share and discuss evidence-based solutions to wildlife conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Topics will highlight a wide variety of species, ecoregions, and restoration types. We will recruit diverse speakers working in direct collaboration with practitioners, and aim to publish the proceedings in a special feature of the newly launched journal, Ecological Solutions and Evidence. We hope this symposium will set the stage for the upcoming decade and result in lasting ideas and partnerships to the betterment of wildlife populations in the Midwest and across the world. Theme: restoration ecology, habitat management, wildlife conservation
Tags: Other
Beyond Burned and Unburned: A New Approach to Quantifying the Impacts of Prescribed Fire on Prairie Small Mammals
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:05 PM to 3:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: Erin G. Rowland, Northern Illinois University; Dr. Holly P. Jones, Northern Illinois University; Dr. Elizabeth Bach, The Nature Conservancy; Bill P. Kleiman, The Nature Conservancy
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Tallgrass prairies are among the most globally threatened ecosystems, with only 1% of the historical extent remaining. Prairie restoration is one strategy being employed to preserve biodiversity and support the reestablishment of threatened species. Many restoration sites use prescribed fire as one component of management. This well-studied historical tool has numerous benefits for fire-adapted prairies, as well as having significant impacts on small mammals. However, prescribed fires are typically studied categorically, where plots of land are classified as either burned or not burned. This design fails to capture the heterogeneity of prescribed fire impacts. Nachusa Grasslands, a prairie restoration preserve in north-central Illinois, presents a unique opportunity to study the impacts of prescribed fire on small mammals in a spatially-explicit context due to the long-term nature of the site and annual application of fire. Small mammal live trapping was conducted over six years at 20 sites. During those six years, different portions of the preserve were burned annually. Previous studies have found that prescribed fire has a positive impact on the abundance of small mammals, as well as species-specific impacts on deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Here, we attempt to study the impacts of fire in a manner that better reflects its complexity. Our objectives are twofold; first, we consider the relationship between the amount of burned land in the vicinity of a trapping site and small mammal abundance. Second, we examine if the amount of burned land is a better predictor of small mammal abundance than other common metrics based on categorical assessments of fire. This data approach may also be applied to examine the impacts of fire on other taxa of interest. This new approach, conducted in collaboration with land managers, will support more informed decision-making about the application of fire in prairie management. 
Tags: Conservation Biology, Mammal, Restoration/Enhancement
Survival of Head-Started Blanding’s Turtles at Multiple Restored Sites in Northern Illinois
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:20 PM to 3:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: Callie Klatt Golba, Northern Illinois University; Richard B. King, Northern Illinois University; Gary Glowacki, Lake County Forest Preserve District; Bill Graser, Forest Preserve District of Kane County; Brian Towey, Richardson Wildlife Foundation; Elizabeth Bach, The Nature Conservancy Nachusa Grasslands
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Recent work has shown success in the use of head-starting as a management tool for increasing recruitment for Blanding’s turtles, a species of conservation concern, as well as for other turtle species. At our long-term study site in Northern Illinois, head-started Blanding’s turtles survive just as well as wild-born turtles and preliminary evidence shows that head-starts are beginning to reproduce successfully.  As optimistic as these results are, replicated evaluations of head-starting are needed. To address this problem, we compare how post-release survival of head-started Blanding’s turtles varies among five sites in Northern Illinois: one site where head-starting has proven successful, three sites where head-starting is being initiated to augment existing populations, and one site where head-starting is being used for reintroduction. All five sites have been targets of varying restoration efforts including wetland enhancement, woody and invasive species control, and mesopredator removal. Eggs were collected in 2019 and hatchlings were reared at a single facility under the same conditions.  In 2020, the head-starts were released and a subset (15-20 per site) were tracked using radio-telemetry.  Locations were recorded 2-3 times per week during the active season (June-September). Survival was highly variable among sites ranging from 20% – 90% over the 3-month tracking period, suggesting that site-specific factors influence head-starting success.  Further work is needed to determine if variation in site characteristics, restoration efforts, or other variables such as predator densities contribute to variation in head-start success. Regardless, our results emphasize the need for site-by-site evaluation of head-starting before it is undertaken as a management tool. 
Tags: Amphibian/Reptile, Conservation Biology, Threatened and Endangered Species
Experimental Stocking to Restore Amphipods (Gammarus lacustris) in Wetlands of the Upper Midwest
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:35 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: Megan J. Fitzpatrick, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Wetlands Wildlife Population and Research Group; Michael Anteau, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center; Danelle Larson, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Amphipods, an important food resource for wildlife, have recently declined in wetlands of the Midwest. We are evaluating the efficacy of amphipod stocking for establishing self-sustaining populations of Gammarus lacustris in prairie pothole and forest/prairie transition zone wetlands in Minnesota, USA, using a Before-After/Control-Impact study design. We stocked 22 wetlands with locally collected G. lacustris during winters 2017-18 (n=10), 2018-19 (n=5), and 2019-20 (n=7). Each basin was paired with a nearby reference basin. All basins were surveyed for amphipods using standardized dip netting during the fall prior to stocking and each fall following stocking. We also measured water chemistry at all wetlands and conducted fish and aquatic vegetation surveys on a subset of wetlands (n=24 and 23 wetlands) to explore factors that support stocking success. Immediately prior to release, >99% of amphipods were alive with intact limbs. In one basin, we used an underwater camera to monitor amphipods post-stocking. They mostly clustered on the underside of the ice around the stocking hole without apparent mass mortality for 7 days, but began to disappear (disperse or die) from the area thereafter. Despite initial survival, we have found no G. lacustris in any post-stocking dip net samples. Our preliminary results suggest that stocking is not effective for establishing G. lacustris. However, G. lacustris could be persisting at low densities and may appear after several reproductive cycles; we will continue surveying stocked basins for another year. Our on-going companion study investigates physical and biological characteristics that support abundant naturally-occurring G. lacustris. This work should help identify characteristics that support or limit abundant G. lacustris in wetlands to inform future conservation decisions about stocking or restoration.
Tags: Invertebrate, Management, Wetland
Cougar Recolonization of Eastern North America: Habitat Suitability and Connectivity
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: Brianna M. Winkel, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Department of Forestry, Southern Illinois University; Clayton K. Nielsen, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Department of Forestry, Southern Illinois University; Elizabeth M. Hillard, Wildlands Network; Ron Sutherland, Wildlands Network; Michelle A. LaRue, Department of Geography & Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Cougars (Puma concolor) have been recolonizing Midwestern North America during the past 2 decades with >950 cougar confirmations east of established populations. Management and public interest in habitat suitability and connectivity east of current cougar range have grown as confirmations increase and models predicting habitat connectivity and population viability for the Midwest show potential for breeding populations. However, although long-range dispersal and recolonization continues, no studies have assessed potential habitat associated with cougars throughout their historical range in eastern North America. We used ArcGIS, the Analytical Hierarchy Process, and geospatial data to evaluate suitable habitat for cougar recolonization of eastern North America and potential dispersal corridors based on 5 weighted factors: habitat type, slope, human density, distance to roads, and distance to water. Final weighted grid cells were scored from 0 to 100 and those with scores ≥ 75 were considered highly suitable habitat. Our corridor models began in established western populations and ended at confirmed cougar locations and identified suitable habitat. Western and northern North America provided the largest amount of highly suitable habitat with local patches of highly suitable habitat occurring in the Ozarks, Ouachita Mountains, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Adirondack State Park, northern Maine, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and most of central and eastern Canada. The total amount of highly suitable habitat was >2,400,000 km2 and mean patch size was 257,500 km2. Patches of highly-suitable habitat ranged in size from 3,868 km2 (Ozark Mountains) to >2,490,850 km2 (central and eastern Canada).  Both least cost path and circuit theory models were tested to best predict potential dispersal corridors for cougars, moving from west to east, who have no prior knowledge of the landscape.  Our research provides information for wildlife managers to proactively plan for potentially recolonizing cougar populations east of their current range.
Tags: Habitat, Mammal, Modeling
The Relationship Between Urban Habitat Restoration and Wildlife Diversity: It’s Complicated
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 4:05 PM to 4:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: John P. Vanek, Northern Illinois University; Richard B. King, Northern Illinois University; Holly P. Jones, Northern Illinois University; Andrew U. Rutter, Lake County Forest Preserve District; Gary A. Glowacki, Lake County Forest Preserve District
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract:
Habitat loss is one of the greatest threats to wildlife, particularly in urban ecosystems, where most wildlife populations are relegated to preserves embedded within the urban matrix. These preserves tend to be small, isolated, and lack natural disturbance regimes, characteristics which facilitate the spread of invasive species. Often, the assumption is that restoration of degraded areas will benefit wildlife communities. However, this assumption is rarely tested. To better understand the relationship between urban habitat restoration and wildlife, we analyzed data from a long-term, multi-taxa wildlife monitoring program (232 permanent monitoring locations across 55 preserves) and a concurrent habitat management and restoration program within suburban Lake County, Illinois. From 2009-2017, we recorded > 200,000 wildlife observations representing more than 1,000,000 individual birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. We also created an index of management based on >1,400 prescribed fires, >1,500 chemical and mechanical treatments to remove invasive species, and >3,000 ha that was planted or reseeded with native species. Preliminary results show that while wildlife species richness (all taxa pooled and standardized) and increased with preserve size (r2 = 0.59, p 2 = 0.42, p
Tags: Habitat, Restoration/Enhancement, Urban Wildlife
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/1/2021; 4:20 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 1)
Authors: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Join symposium presenters from Part 1 for a moderated Q&a Session
Tags: Other
 
S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Symposium Introduction - Part 2
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Introductory Remarks & Overview for Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Symposium, to be heldMONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM (Part 1); and TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM (Part 2)Organizers: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University; Erin Rowland, PhD Student, Northern Illinois University; Tony Del Valle, MS Student, Northern Illinois UniversityOverview: Across the globe, habitat loss and fragmentation is occurring at a rapid pace, leading to the decline of wildlife populations, alterations of ecological processes, and degradation of ecosystem services. In an attempt to find lasting solutions to this “wicked problem”, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 as the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Fortunately, restoration of degraded habitats and ecosystems is receiving increased attention, and many agencies and organizations are actively working to restore ecosystem functionality, increase connectivity, and conserve biodiversity. However, the science of restoration ecology is still in its infancy, and evidence-based solutions are imperative to reach the laudable but ambitious goals of UN. For example, much of the current research on restoration ecology has focused on plant communities, and to a lesser extent, rare or endangered wildlife. In the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, wildlife biologists and managers will need to develop robust evidence on how ecosystem restoration impacts not just habitats and plant communities, but also wildlife populations, including both common and rare species, game and nongame species, and understudied taxa such as reptiles and amphibians. Without an understanding of how ecosystem restoration affects wildlife populations, restoration cannot be considered complete.In this symposium, we will bring together researchers, policy-makers, and managers to share and discuss evidence-based solutions to wildlife conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Topics will highlight a wide variety of species, ecoregions, and restoration types. We will recruit diverse speakers working in direct collaboration with practitioners, and aim to publish the proceedings in a special feature of the newly launched journal, Ecological Solutions and Evidence. We hope this symposium will set the stage for the upcoming decade and result in lasting ideas and partnerships to the betterment of wildlife populations in the Midwest and across the world. Theme: restoration ecology, habitat management, wildlife conservation
Tags: Other
Grassland Bird Response to Bison and Prescribed Fire Disturbances in Restored Tallgrass Prairie
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:35 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: Antonio Del Valle, Northern Illinois University; Holly P. Jones, Northern Illinois University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Prairie restoration has become a critical strategy to restore the loss of biodiversity in an otherwise ecologically barren landscape. Reintroduction of native herbivores such as bison, is increasingly used to complement the restoration process of tallgrass prairies. In combination with prescribed fire regimes, bison disturbances may have an interactive impact on the landscape. Already-declining breeding bird communities will likely be indirectly impacted by these bison and prescribed fire disturbance regimes through their direct impact on vegetation that provides critical breeding habitat for grassland birds. However, bird species may differ in their responses to bison and fire based on their species-specific breeding habitat requirements. The objectives of this research are to determine the impacts that reintroduced bison and prescribed fire have on grassland breeding birds in two tallgrass prairies in Illinois and Indiana that support wild bison (Nachusa Grasslands and Kankakee Sands respectively). Fixed-radius point counts were used to survey the breeding bird community at these two preserves. Additionally, vegetation structure and bison relative density were measured systematically at each point count location. Preliminary analysis shows that there are species specific responses to different disturbance regimes. Grassland obligate species such as Grasshopper Sparrows and Dickcissels exhibit higher abundances in areas with bison. Contrastingly, Sedge Wrens have higher abundances in areas without bison. Where prescribed fire was able to be performed this year, we see that Grasshopper Sparrows are more abundant in burned areas, while the opposite is trend is observed for Henslow’s Sparrows and Sedge Wrens. Future analysis will explore bison and fire as an interactive component and include multivariate analysis of the grassland breeding bird community as a whole. By quantifying the potential impacts of these disturbances on grassland birds, we will provide information to help conservation efforts of these species.
Tags: Avian, Conservation Biology, Grassland
Planning for the Future of Landbirds in the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Region
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: Dana Varner, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture and Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: A recent report has documented the loss of nearly 3 billion birds over the last 50 years. Landbird species have been particularly hard hit with 59% of species experiencing population declines. The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture (RWBJV) falls mainly within the Mixed Grass Prairie Bird Conservation Region (BCR 19). Grassland breeding bird population numbers have fallen by 53% since 1970, the steepest decline of all breeding biomes. The most recent RWBJV Implementation Plan was completed in 2013, along with four comprehensive Bird Plans (Landbird, Shorebird, Waterbird, and Waterfowl). With the recent information that has come to light, many of our partners have committed to prioritizing conservation of landbirds, particularly grassland species. Considering ongoing losses of grassland habitat throughout the Great Plains, steep declines of common species, and the near-endangered status of many other species, the RWBJV partnership selected a set of priority species and established population objectives for each. Estimates of the grassland habitat needs of priority breeding species have also been developed. The plan outlines management and conservation actions, and their associated costs, needed to meet population and habitat goals. This plan update is expected to help guide landbird conservation delivery efforts in the RWBJV region for the next 30 years.
Tags: Avian, Grassland, Habitat
Shallow Lake Ecosystem Management in Minnesota
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:05 PM to 1:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: Nicole Hansel-Welch, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Danelle M. Larson, U.S. Geological Survey; Steve D. Cordts, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Shallow lakes in the Midwestern USA can often be degraded by external nutrient loading and internal nutrient loading driven by wind and rough fish. These factors can perpetuate a turbid water condition dominated by algae, but the preferred condition of pristine shallow lakes is dominated by clear water and abundant aquatic vegetation. Minnesota has over 4,000 shallow lakes and many in the southern and western portions of the state are in the turbid condition. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has managed shallow lakes for decades with the goal of promoting the clear water state for the benefit of wetland organisms and wildlife. Efforts to reduce external loading through upland restoration is dependent on participation by private landowners and often difficult. However, managing internal nutrient loads is possible by in-lake management ranging from drawdown, chemical removal of fish, or a combination. Research has shown that management efforts can improve the condition of highly degraded lakes, however the duration the improvements last is variable among lakes. We monitored waterfowl use and aquatic vegetation communities on 32 shallow lakes over a period of 10 years and found that managed lakes had greater aquatic plant abundance, wild rice, and fall waterfowl use. Ecosystem restoration is better viewed as ecosystem management in these lakes, which continue to be embedded within highly altered watersheds even after considerable investment has been made in wetland and grassland restorations. Management actions are often ongoing in effort to replicate former natural processes, like water level variability, that have been disrupted.
Tags: Habitat, Management, Restoration/Enhancement
Why Wildlife Need Open Ecosystems in the Midwestern United States
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:20 PM to 1:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: Brice Hanberry, USDA Forest Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Surface fire was an integral part of many historical ecosystems in the midwestern United States, but fire has been excluded during the past century. Here, I will show biodiversity depends on continued presence of grasslands, shrublands, and open forests of savannas and woodlands with an herbaceous or shrubland layer, which were maintained by fire. Early successional bird species are declining in the eastern United States, regardless of the amount of early successional forests available by region, although the tallgrass prairie region is the only region with a positive trend. Other vertebrates, insects and pollinators, herbaceous plants, and fungi also may be declining without open ecosystems. Restoration and management of open forests provide an alternative option to consider for supporting biodiversity.
Tags: Amphibian/Reptile, Avian, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Forest, Landscape Ecology, Mammal, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Q&A and Closing Discussion
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:35 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-05: Wildlife Conservation in the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (Part 2)
Authors: John Vanek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northern Illinois University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Join symposium presenters from Part 2 for a moderated Q&A Session and closing discussion
Tags: Other
 
S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Wildlife with Cover Crops
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: David Haukos, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Alixandra Godar, Kansas State University/Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Adela Piernicky, Pheasants Forever; Jeff Prendergast, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Conflicts between agricultural producers and wildlife are spreading and intensifying. Managers must search for compromises between these competing interests so both can flourish through land sharing within a limited landscape. Cover crops offer potential common ground. Cover crop benefits for farmers are widely documented and varied while benefits for wildlife are widely assumed but have little evidential support. We worked with landowners from 2017 – 2019 in western Kansas to gather evidence on the influence of spring cover crops on local wildlife. Planted in March and terminated in June, spring cover crops transform a barren, chemical fallow field into a potential source of cover and food for wildlife species. Study fields were divided into 4 treatments consisting of 3 cover crop seed mixes and a chemical fallow control plot. Our cover crop mixes included Chick Magnet (a warm-season, broad-leafed forb mix designed for precocial chicks), GreenSpring (an agricultural forage mix with cool-seasoned peas and oats), and a Custom Mix (designed to be adaptive with ten species). We monitored vegetation structure, vegetation composition, and insect abundance weekly. Resources in cover crop fields differed from chemical fallow and Conservation Reserve Program fields, offering a different set of resources to wildlife.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Habitat, Management
Best Management Strategies for Cover Crop Adoption in Iowa
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Mark A. Licht, Iowa State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Cover crop adoption in Iowa has been growing over the past decade, with now more than 1 million acres in Iowa. The vast majority of cover crop adoption uses cereal rye, oat and radish. In recent years, one focus on encouraging cover crop adoption is improving the management know-how required to adopt cover crops. One key to successful adoption of cover crops is getting adequate cover crop establishment. However, one of the major barriers to cover crop adoption is the trepidation of how to terminate cover crops in the spring as well as what management is required to ensure corn and soybean do not experience a yield drag. Like corn and soybean management practices, cover crop management is not a one size fits all and is extremely related to fall weather. In general, aerial and broadcast overseeding should occur between August 20 and September 10 when there is adequate moisture for emergence to occur. When aerial or broadcast seeding is not possible, drill seeding following harvest but before November 1 is recommended. Our recommendation is for using either cereal rye or oat when seeding ahead of corn and cereal rye ahead of soybean. Cover crops that survive the winter must be terminated in the spring ahead of planting. With corn, terminate the cover crop before it is 8 inches tall, and 10 to 14 days before planting corn. With soybean, terminate the cover crop before it is 12 inches tall, and 3 to 7 days before planting soybean. No special soybean management is needed. However, corn management should be adjusted by moving nitrogen application to spring at planting and/or sidedressing. More attention to in-season crop scouting is needed. Bottom line, crop management decisions need to be changed throughout the cropping system for successful cover crop adoption.
Tags: Ecology, Management
Applying Soil Health Strategies in Kansas Cropping Systems
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:10 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Dean Krehbiel, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Kansas
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Sound application of conservation strategies to address resource issues is vital to improve soil and water quality, reduce soil erosion, minimize plant pest pressure, provide wildlife habitat, and a host of other services provided when making incremental changes in common mid-west agricultural cropping systems.
Tags: Other - Conservation Strategies and Application
Private Lands Program Perspective on Cover Crops as an Emerging Habitat Tool
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:30 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Jeff Prendergast, Kansas Department of WIldlife, Parks, and Tourism
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Agricultural expansion and intensification have reduced both the quantity and quality of habitat throughout the Great Plains. While most agricultural producers enjoy wildlife, perceived increases in economic costs often prevent them from managing land to benefit most wildlife species. Because many states in the central U.S. are composed of 95% or more private lands, this reduced habitat has detrimental effects to wildlife populations across the region. Wildlife biologists are therefore in a unique and important position to work with producers to create and manage wildlife habitat within the private landscape. Historically, farming practices provided some habitat within growing and/or harvested crop fields, but this has become increasing more uncommon due to advances in equipment and chemical treatments resulting in lower plant diversity and less residual cover during non-growing seasons. As such biologist have relied heavily on set aside programs through the farm bill and waste ground to provide habitat, however these opportunities are becoming increasingly rare. Cover crops have presented a unique opportunity to manage within-field habitat to provide wildlife resources for a portion of the year. while having an economic or agricultural advantage for the producer. The realized wildlife benefits of cover crops depend on many factors, including crop rotation, seed mix, timing and management. Despite the nuances of managing cover crops to meet the needs of both the producer and wildlife, this new tool increases opportunities for biologists to connect with producers and lead to improved wildlife habitat and landowner relationships.
Tags: Avian, Landscape Ecology, Management
Cover Crops + Flexibility = Landscape Diversity
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Nathan Pflueger, Nebraska Pheasants Forever
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Eastern Nebraska is home to highly productive soils, good rainfall coupled with the potential for irrigation, and high land prices. Together, these factors have favored a landscape of corn and soybean production making grassland conservation in some counties a difficult task. Lack of perennial habitat and crop diversity have caused declines in pheasant, quail, grassland songbirds, and other wildlife populations in productive ag landscapes. In Nebraska we have begun looking into cover crops as an annual conservation solution on acres where it’s not economically feasible for producers to plant perennial habitat. The Pathways for Wildlife Program (PFW), which is funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET), has allowed us the flexibility to work with producers to find those niche areas where we can make a difference for wildlife on the landscape at some point throughout the year. In year one of the program, we were able to enroll 1,098 acres utilizing a variety of cover crop mixtures. In year two, we more than doubled our coverage with 2,588 acres of cover crops planted with varying planting methods, dates, mixtures, and cropping systems. Moving into year 3, we plan to continue learning, but look to provide small grain incentives and forgone income payments to producers who leave substantial biomass standing until the following planting season. As we gain acres and a wider variety of contracts we are able to better monitor wildlife use across the different cover crop mixtures through small mammal trapping, butterfly surveys, and camera traps. We have learned that flexibility in our program and cover crop species selection is important when working with row crop producers due to the complexity of production agriculture.
Tags: Habitat, Landscape Ecology, Management
Prioritizing Private Lands to Optimize Biodiversity Conservation
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:10 PM to 2:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Andrew Little, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Agriculture intensification in the Midwest has resulted in the simplification of agricultural systems (e.g., corn and soybean rotation compared to multi-crop diversity, cover crops, and/or integrated crop-livestock systems), increased field sizes, and removal of non-crop habitat to maximize production. Despite increased farm productivity, rural and urban residents are becoming increasingly affected by multiple emerging and continuing challenges including environmental concerns (e.g., climate variability, soil erosion, water pollution, etc.), economic uncertainties, and declines in rural community vitality. These challenges for increased food production, environmental protection, and economic uncertainties require innovative solutions to achieve resilient agricultural systems. To address these challenges, new local (or field) scale, precision technologies and strategic conservation planning frameworks have been developed to offer opportunities for agricultural producers to maximize whole-field profitability by strategically identifying marginal (or low yielding) acres for cropland diversification, while simultaneously reducing negative environmental impacts. These new precision technologies and strategic conservation planning frameworks also offer natural resource agencies and organizations innovative ways to prioritize enrollment of private lands in conservation programs (e.g., State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, Conservation Program 33-Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds) with the goal of increasing available wildlife habitat. Implementing these innovative precision technologies and strategic conservation planning frameworks throughout the Midwest will require a collaborative effort among farmers, farmland owners, industry, and local/state/federal/NGO partners to achieve resilient agricultural systems in the 21st century.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology, Management, Modeling, Technology/Geographic Information Systems
Evaluating Avian Use of Cover Crops in the Corn Belt
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:50 PM to 3:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Megan Figura, M.S. student, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University; Joshua Stafford, South Dakota Cooperative Research Unit; Kristel Bakker, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Dakota; and Kent C. Jensen, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University.
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: North American grassland birds have experienced the most extreme, consistent, and widespread population declines of any other avian guild. Agricultural lands in the Midwestern United States were able to provide adequate habitat for several species until the 1950’s; however, altered management practices and intensification have degraded much of remaining suitable habitat and undermined ecosystem structure and function. Moreover, ~84% of remaining North American grassland is privately owned, emphasizing the need for sustainable agriculture and resource management for the provision of breeding bird habitat. The use of cover crops is a re-emerging practice for supporting sustainable agriculture that may have beneficial impacts on grassland birds. Cover crops are non-row-crops planted in the off-season, shortening the fallow period, and supplementing a period of plant growth and vegetative cover beyond the conventional cropping season for the primary goal of improving various attributes of soil health. Despite the many accepted agricultural benefits of cover crops, the potential to provide additional ecological benefits, such as establishment of habitat for breeding birds, is poorly understood. The goal of my study is to evaluate the use of cover crops by breeding birds relative to perennial cover and fallow/cash crop systems in southeastern Iowa, where cover crops and breeding birds are abundant. I will achieve this by conducting avian surveys, nest monitoring, measuring vegetation, sampling soils and arthropods, and multi-spatial analysis of landcover attributes within and around fields of each cover class. Analyses of variance, post hoc comparisons, and information-theoretic modeling will clarify the relative influence of management, habitat characteristics, and other factors in habitat use by breeding birds within these systems. Results of my study will be used to advise best management practices for cover cropped fields in the Corn Belt region and other planning tools for conservationists, farmers, and biologists.
Tags: Avian, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Grassland, Habitat, Landscape Ecology, Management, Restoration/Enhancement, Threatened and Endangered Species
Evaluation of Cover Crops for Grassland Nesting Waterfowl in Eastern South Dakota
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:10 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Charles W. Gallman, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University; Joshua D. Stafford, U.S. Geological Survey South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, South Dakota State University; Todd W. Arnold, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract:
The Prairie Pothole Region is the primary breeding ground for North American waterfowl. This landscape was historically dominated by mixed and tallgrass prairies interspersed with wetlands, but >70% of native grassland area has been lost due to widespread conversion to croplands, which may threaten waterfowl production. Cover cropping is a re-emerging farming technique that may provide suitable nesting cover for grassland nesting waterfowl on active farmlands. My research objectives were to evaluate the utility of fall-seeded cover crops to breeding waterfowl compared to perennial cover, determine if cover crops in rotation with row crops can successfully support grassland nesting waterfowl, and assess landscape scale, agricultural practice, and vegetation structure factors that may influence nest survival. I searched ~2,962 ha of cover crops and ~2,244 ha of perennial cover during 2018 and 2019, and found 122 nests and 312 nests in each cover type. Estimated daily nest survival was 0.95 (95% CI = 0.942–0.957) for cover crops and 0.96 (95% CI = 0.950–0.964) for perennial cover, equating to seasonal nest survival rates of 17.2% (95% CI =12.4–22.3%) and 22.7% (95% CI = 17.5–28.5%) in cover crops and perennial cover, respectively. Although nest survival was similar between cover types, when cover crops are planted to row crops in the spring nest survival was significantly reduced. Our results suggest that under current management techniques, managers may wish to consider not promoting fall seeded cover crops that are planted to row crops in the spring as nesting cover. Although nest survival in cover crops that were planted to row crops was low, the important benefits cover crops provide to soil health, water quality, and other ecosystem services remain. Additional research to understand the influence other cover crop types and management techniques have on duck nests survival would be useful.
Tags: Avian, Habitat, Management
Evaluating Use of Cover Crops by Ring-necked Pheasant in Iowa
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Taylor Shirley, Iowa State University; Adam Janke, Iowa State University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: In agriculturally dominated landscapes, nesting habitat for gallinaceous birds, such as the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), can be a limiting factor in successful reproduction. Historically, small grain fields, pastures, and hay comprised a significant area in the Corn Belt and provided nesting habitat for upland birds. However, with intensification of production systems, small grain plantings and pastures have decreased, contributing to the decline of many grassland birds. In the agricultural community, best management practices such as fall-seeded cover crops are being implemented in an effort to improve water quality and soil health, but may also provide additional benefits to wildlife. The objectives of our study were to determine the use of fall-seeded cover crops by breeding pheasants in Iowa, and to evaluate the potential suitability of fall-seeded cover crops as nesting habitat. We used radio telemetry and nest searching to document pheasant use of cover crop fields and help us gain an understanding of nesting chronology and nest site selection within these populations. We used vegetation surveys to quantify the vegetation composition at nest sites and at random points within each field. We used stationary time-lapse cameras to quantify changes in growth and density of vegetation relative to nesting chronology and brood-rearing. Findings for radio telemetry and nest searching efforts include: 38 nests in CRP, 2 nests in roadsides, and 4 nests in cover crop. Analysis is ongoing to compare nest sites to conditions in cover crop fields and infer possible use or avoidance by nesting pheasants in our study area.
Tags: Avian
Influence of Spring Cover Crops on Ring-necked Pheasant Populations in Kansas
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Alixandra Godar, Kansas State University/Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Adela Piernicky, Pheasants Forever; David Haukos, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jeff Prendergast, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Across the Midwest, agriculture has changed the landscape. Efficient farming practices allow farmers to plant more land and harvest more efficiently, fragmenting and degrading wildlife habitat. Many wildlife species, including the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), have experienced significant population declines coinciding with the landscape changes. Pheasants persist in a variety of agricultural landscapes and tend to be tolerant of human activity. In western Kansas, landscapes supporting pheasants include a mosaic of corn, sorghum, and winter wheat. Winter wheat is alternated with corn or sorghum, leaving the field fallow every other summer. The common practice is chemical fallow, using herbicide to terminate all vegetation growth in the field until the next planting. Alternatively, planting cover cropping may increase beneficial plant species, promoting soil health and wildlife use. Cover crops have increased wildlife presence, but the influence on pheasant populations is poorly understood. We evaluated the effect of spring cover crops on pheasants from 2017 – 2019 in western Kansas. Study fields were divided into 4 treatments consisting of 3 cover crop seed mixes and a chemical fallow control plot. We monitored adult hen survival, nest survival, brood survival, and hen resource selection. Cover crops emerged in mid-May, after initiation of the majority of nests (0.928 daily survival, SE = 0.009). Timing of cover provided the most potential to impact brood survival (n = 22 broods). Female breeding season survival was estimated at 0.46 (SE = 0.05). Hens selected for cover at locations and Conservation Reserve Program land for cover type throughout the breeding season but, disproportionately, ~25% of brood locations were in cover crops and hens selected for a variety of vegetation characteristics including cover of forbs and bare ground. Cover crops are used by pheasants, primarily as alternative brood habitat.
Tags: Avian, Conservation Biology, Habitat
Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops: Symposium Summary
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 4:10 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-06: Changing the Agricultural Landscape with Cover Crops
Authors: Alixandra Godar, PhD Student, Kansas State University/U.S. Geological Survey Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Coming soon!
Tags: Other - Cover Crops
 
S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Symposium Introduction
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:00 PM to 2:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Melissa D. Starking, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined – Symposium Overview
Co-Organizers: Melissa Starking, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University; Dr. Gary Roloff, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Overview: The focus of this symposium is to bring together the latest research on forestry and wildlife interactions throughout the Midwest with forest management as a means to wildlife conservation. Wildlifers should be working with foresters not against them. Forestry is often viewed as enemy rather than an ally. Understanding that forest management has the capacity to implement broad-scale habitat manipulation over time that can pay for itself and that conservation of wildlife often struggles to raise the funds or obtain the acreage across broad scales, we seek to highlight research that brings these together. Protected areas are critical to some wildlife, but forest management done with conservation of wildlife habitat in mind is crucial moving forward. Some questions answered by this research may be as follows; Are the current silviculture techniques foresters use effective in regenerating desired forests species in the face of pressures from herbivory or granivory? How do silviculture methods affect space use, feeding patterns, and life history strategies of common and/or rare species? Considering how forests and wildlife are intertwined, we explore the latest findings centered on this relationship. Keeping up to date with this research is imperative to improve our understanding and management of forest wildlife systems as we see increases in habitat fragmentation, invasive species, disease, and impacts from climate change. Theme: Forest management done with conservation of wildlife habitat.
Tags: Forest
Hardwood Forest Management and Regeneration: Wildlife Response Matters
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:05 PM to 2:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Melissa D. Starking, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Robert A. Montgomery, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; Gary J. Roloff, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University.
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Forestry and forest wildlife are a complex ecosystem. We review the topics of forest regeneration and the wildlife that influences regeneration of hardwood species in North America. Two main regional forests are central and northern hardwoods. These forests are valued for economic and ecological reasons yet concerns over maintaining and regenerating healthy diverse forest in these regions are growing. We queried studies (n=3,342) that contain keywords for hardwood forest regeneration and wildlife from 1900 - 2020. We narrowed down studies that measured at least one silviculture application and wildlife interactions of herbivory and granivory. Most studies were dominated by one wildlife species and less than 5 tree species each. Literature on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) herbivory greatly outnumbered all other vertebrate herbivores and granivores. We conclude this review with a discussion of future needs for forest regeneration research and wildlife impacts on regeneration, and explore the needs of whole systems approaches as these ecosystems are confronted with challenges never seen before from climate change.
Tags: Forest, Management
Impacts of Silvicultural Treatments on Plethodon cinereus Abundance in a Michigan Northern Hardwood Forest
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:20 PM to 2:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Tori M. Engler, Louisiana State University; Jared D. Wolfe, Michigan Technological University; Yvette L. Dickinson, Michigan Technological University; Amy J. Schrank, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Salamanders provide many ecosystem services in forests: controlling arthropod and annelid populations, modifying soil through burrowing, and serving as prey for predators. Additionally, changes in salamander abundance could indicate broader ecosystem changes. Despite their importance, impacts of different silvicultural methods on salamander survival and fitness remains ambiguous. To better understand the impacts of various timber harvesting practices, we launched a mark-recapture study of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in a Michigan northern hardwood forest across a gradient of silvicultural treatments, including four overstory harvest treatments and three site preparation treatments. We hypothesized that salamanders would exhibit higher abundance and physiological condition in silvicultural treatments that most closely mimicked windthrow, the dominant natural disturbance regime in our study region. Our results suggest that P. cinereus abundance was positively impacted by single tree selection and artificial tip-up mound treatments, compared to shelterwoods with high and low residual, clearcut, and scarification treatments, likely due to a more stable, cool, moist microclimate and soil refugia. Physiological condition did not differ between treatments. Our findings further advance the integration of salamander conservation into forest management planning in the northern hardwood region.
Tags: Amphibian/Reptile, Forest, Management
Using Body Condition to Assess the Quality of Habitat Surrounding Male American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) Singing-Grounds
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:35 PM to 2:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Christopher Roelandt, University of Michigan-Flint; Jill Witt, University of Michigan-Flint; Amber Roth, University of Maine
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: American woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a small migratory gamebird species found throughout eastern North America. The North American woodcock population has been declining at a rate of approximately 1% annually since the late 1960s. This decline has been attributed to a similar decline in early successional forests, a habitat vital to woodcock. The relationship between habitat quality and woodcock body condition is not well understood. Woodcock using higher quality habitat are expected to have a better body condition than birds using lower quality habitat. I assessed whether body condition, measured by plasma metabolites, relates to habitat types and characteristics as a potential indicator of habitat quality surrounding the singing-grounds of male woodcock. I collected a small blood sample from male woodcock captured in north-central Wisconsin during the spring breeding season. The concentration of two plasma metabolites, triglyceride (TRIG) and ß-hydroxybutyrate (BUTY), was measured in the blood plasma as indicators of body condition. I used a geographic information system to quantify habitat characteristics within three buffered distances of each male woodcock singing-ground. I developed models to relate habitat variables with body condition of male woodcock. Based on the best-fit models, I found a negative relationship between TRIG concentrations and coniferous forest and developed cover types in close proximity to singing-grounds. This indicates that coniferous forest and developed cover reduce habitat quality for male woodcock. Future research should consider the rate of plasma metabolites fluctuations and consider other methods to better define male woodcock habitat use.
Tags: Avian, Nutrition, Physiology
Population and Community Responses of Small Mammals to Experimental Manipulation of Laurentian Hardwood Forests
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 2:50 PM to 3:05 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Allison M. Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Jonathan H. Gilbert, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission; Jonathan N. Pauli, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Habitat change is altering vertebrate communities globally. In the Great Lakes region of North America, small mammal communities have changed rapidly, but experimental tests of mechanisms behind these changes are lacking. Using a before-after, control-treatment design, we quantified the response of small mammals to single-tree selection harvest in Laurentian hardwood forests of Wisconsin, United States. Specifically, we documented changes in forest structure, total abundance of rodents, abundances of dominant Peromyscus mice (deer mice P. maniculatus and white-footed mice P. leucopus), species diversity, and community similarity from silvicultural treatment. Treatment reduced tree density and canopy cover and increased mean tree diameter, woody stem density, variation in woody stem density, and volume of coarse woody debris. Peromyscus and northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) were dominant community members across treatments and years. White-footed mice outnumbered deer mice before treatment but declined ~ 47% after treatment, reaching similar abundances to deer mice; deer mice and total rodent abundances were unchanged. Species diversity increased twofold following treatment from increased species evenness, especially declines in white-footed mice. Our work revealed departures of the small mammal community from its historical composition, notably the numerical dominance of white-footed mice and paucity of southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi). Our experiment identified species-specific responses within Peromyscus to timber harvest: white-footed mice, the numerically dominant and generalist species, were most sensitive to habitat change. Future experiments should assess these small mammal responses in a multi-year framework and quantify their effects on the predator community.
Tags: Great Lakes, Mammal, Population Dynamics
Effects of Different Silvicultural Treatments on Small Mammal Diversity in Northern Hardwoods
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:05 PM to 3:20 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Breanna R. Gusick, Kristin E. Brzeski, Yvette L. Dickinson, Jared D. Wolfe - Michigan Technological University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Small mammal populations, and predators reliant upon them as food sources, are often challenged by conflicting objectives of timber extraction and maintenance of quality habitat. Nowhere has this challenge been more daunting than in Michigan’s vast Upper Peninsula, where 72% of the landscape is forested, and a third of the land is privately owned by individuals and families. To assess the effects of various logging practices on small mammal populations in the Upper Peninsula, we trapped small mammals in experimental silviculture plots whereby treatments varied by amount of canopy cover and site preparations (tip-up and scarification), and deer exclosures. We used capture data from experimental treatments to estimate small mammal richness, variation in community structure, and differences in relative abundance across treatments. Our results suggested that increased canopy cover resulted in more community stability,  whereby clearcut replicates exhibited highly variable small mammal communities with dissimilar abundances. Conversely, small mammal communities varied slightly across understory preparations, while species-richness estimates were most diverse within single tree selection canopy preparations. When incorporated into the planning process, our suggested management action can increase food resources for predators in working landscapes. Ultimately, our results can be applied to larger spatial scales, with potential to influence wildlife and timber management across the northern hardwood bioregion.
Tags: Forest, Mammal, Management
Distribution and Abundance of Small Mammals in Old-Growth and Managed Secondary Forests of Northwestern Minnesota
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:20 PM to 3:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Joseph E. Riley, Elizabeth H. Rave, Mark Fulton, Jeffrey Ueland - Bemidji State University
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: We determined the diversity of small mammals in differently managed forests in Northwestern, MN during summer 2019 and 2020.  Ten sites were chosen each in an old-growth forest and a heavily managed secondary forest.  Two hundred Sherman live traps, baited with a peanut butter and oat mixture, were placed at each site for three consecutive days to determine diversity of small mammals.  For each trap at each site, GIS mapping was used to determine potential predictors including forest cover, forest stand age, soil type, flow distance, distance to roads, slope, and aspect.  Habitat data were compared to trapping data to design logistic regression models predicting the presence of the most frequently captured small mammal species in old-growth and heavily managed forests in Northwestern MN.  Results from this research will provide home-range scale baseline data regarding the abundance and habitat preferences of the region’s forest dependent small mammals to inform forest managers and enhance plans for conserving biodiversity.
Tags: Ecology, Forest, Mammal
Herbivory and Succession: Effects of Ungulates Browsing on Regenerating Aspen in Michigan ~40 Years Post-Clearcutting
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:35 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Miranda VanCleave, Michigan State University; Henry Campa III., Michigan State University; Dean Beyer Jr., Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Brian Mastenbrook, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: How do forest and wildlife managers jointly implement sustainable natural resource management practices to meet forestry objectives while conserving diverse habitat conditions for wildlife? These challenges are complicated because the ecological processes of herbivory and forest succession are often evaluated in short 2-5 year periods, while their ultimate effects may not be fully realized until a stand has reached rotation age (40 – 60 years). The Pigeon River Country State Forest (PRCSF) in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan is known for sustaining a reintroduced elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) herd for recreational activities for over 100 years. Ungulates often browse heavily on regenerating aspen stands (Odocoileus virginianus) and elk browsing on stand characteristics and habitat quality for wildlife communities in regenerating aspen in Michigan’s elk range. From 2020-2021, we are sampling 5 vegetation characteristics in 18 exclosures and paired sites open to browsing constructed in the early 1980’s. These 18 sites represent replicates of 3 age classes, currently 37-39-years-old, of bigtooth (Populus grandidentata) and quaking (Populus tremuloides) aspen clearcuts. While some stands that were browsed heavily  ( >75%) in their first growing season have significantly fewer aspen stems in sites open to browsing (e.g., 37-year-old bigtooth p-value = 0.7; 38-year-old quaking p-value = 0.9), other stands have similar stem densities in exclosures and areas open to browsing indicating recovery from early browsing pressure. Quantifying and modeling the long-term and cumulative effects of successional changes of aspen communities in landscapes with large herbivores provides valuable insights for setting realistic and sustainable objectives for our forest and wildlife resources.
Tags: Forest, Habitat, Management
Symposium Q&A
Date & Time: 2/2/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-07: Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined
Authors: Melissa D. Starking, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Moderated Q&A for the presenters of Forestry and Wildlife Intertwined Symposium
Tags: Forest
 
S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Symposium Introduction
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:00 AM to 8:10 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors:
Student or Professional:
Abstract:
Tags:
The Riparian Buffer Delineation Model: A Tool to Construct Ecologically Meaningful Variable-width Riparian Buffers
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:10 AM to 8:40 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Sinan Abood, USDA Forest Service; Linda Spencer, USDA Forest Service, Michael Wieczorek, USGS, Ann Maclean, Michigan Technological University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Riparian ecotones are an important natural resource that is rich in biodiversity and ecological and biological functions. riparian ecotones contain specific vegetation and soil characteristics that play important roles in protecting water quality and stream ecosystem health and are very responsive to changes in land management activities. Riparian ecotone's extent, shape, size, and land cover composition are important parameters in any successful watershed management plan. Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants (WFWARP) staff and Rangeland Management & Vegetation Ecology (RMVE) staff joint on the development of a multi-scale framework to delineate riparian areas utilizing free available national data and ArcGIS Pro capabilities. The result is an efficient robust GIS model capable of handling big data with multiple spatial resolutions on multiple scales. Here we present the newly developed riparian areas dataset, modeling approach, and derived applications.
Tags: Ecology, Forest, Management, Modeling, River/Stream, Technology/Geographic Information Systems, Wetland
Assessing Watershed Condition and Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) Distribution Using Forest Inventory and Remote Sensing Data: A Decision Support Tool
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:40 AM to 9:00 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Lisa Elliott, University of Minnesota; Patrick Landisch, University of Minnesota; William Severud, University of Minnesota; Mark Nelson, U.S. Forest Service; Jody Vogeler, Colorado State University; Joseph Knight, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Distributions of coldwater stream fish species may be driven by terrestrial characteristics of the watershed. Riparian areas in particular may impact the distribution patterns of species such as brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). We assessed terrestrial characteristics of watersheds within Minnesota’s Lake Superior basin using attributes from the 2016 National Land Cover Database, the Forest Inventory and Analysis database, Landsat time series-based forest canopy disturbance data (1974-2018), and delineations of land ownership and protection status. We identified variable-width riparian areas with the Riparian Buffer Delineation Model and used machine learning techniques (boosted regression tree analysis) to develop predictive models of brook trout occurrence based on these terrestrial characteristics within riparian areas and whole watersheds at multiple hydrologic unit code (HUC) scales. Land cover in the study area’s HUC12 watersheds is 82% forested, with 15% disturbed at least once (1974-2018). Riparian buffers comprise ~17% of the total area and are 89.9% forested, with 9.7% disturbance. Brook trout were recorded in 44% of 174 surveyed HUC12s. Preliminary results show that percentages of developed and forested cover within riparian areas are particularly important for distinguishing occupied watersheds, though characteristics across the entire watershed also matter. In future, we will expand on this research using additional datasets such as eDNA and electrofishing data in the vicinity of Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan and datasets from other state resource agencies, to validate and/or improve these models so that we can project distribution of brook trout across the wider Great Lakes Region.  The resulting decision support tool will identify gaps in data availability to guide future field data collection efforts and inform and refine prioritization of terrestrial and aquatic watershed management activities.
Tags: Forest, Freshwater Fish-Other, Landscape Ecology
A Native Imperiled Minnow and a Non-native Sportfish Display Preference for Cold Water in a Western Ohio River
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:00 AM to 9:20 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Kenneth Oswald, Ohio Northern University; Sophia Beery, Ohio Northern University; Kalyn Rossiter, Ohio Northern University; Yong Wang, Ohio Northern University; Marc Kibbey, Ohio State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Sport fisheries have been primary drivers of introductions of non-native fishes throughout North American inland waters. These introductions appease anglers but can be problematic in freshwater systems that support rare native fishes. The Mad River of western Ohio supports tonguetied minnow (Exoglossum laurae), a species that is endangered due to small population size, limited distribution, and dwindling numbers of individuals. Despite tonguetied minnow's conservation status, the Mad River is annually stocked with thousands of non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta) to sustain a popular sport fishery. This study used negative binomial regressions in combination with maximum entropy species distribution models to estimate habitat preferences of tonguetied minnow and brown trout in the Mad River. Models were based on eight water quality variables and seven stream habitat variables. Negative binomial models identified gradient, maximum water temperature, substrate, pool/glide habitat, total dissolved solids, and specific conductance as important for tonguetied minnow, whereas maximum water temperature and substrate were identified for brown trout. Maximum entropy species distribution models using these reduced numbers of variables found that stream gradient (Model Contribution = 46.9%) and maximum water temperature (Model Contribution = 44.2%) were important predictors of tonguetied minnow in the Mad River while maximum water temperature (Model Contribution = 63.4%) and substrate (Model Contribution = 36.6%) were important predictors of the distribution of brown trout. Both species have nearly identical preferences for cold (= 16°C) water, suggesting that their distributions within the Mad River are largely governed by this parameter. This abiotic constraint promotes coexistence, and thus likely prevents tonguetied minnow from escaping elevated extirpative risks resulting from interspecific interactions (i.e., predation) with brown trout introduced for sport fishing.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Management
An Analysis of Lake Morphometric and Land-use Characteristics That Promote Persistence of Cisco in Indiana
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:20 AM to 9:40 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Andrew E. Honsey, Purdue University and USGS Great Lakes Science Center; Steven Donabauer, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Tomas O. Höök, Purdue University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Remnant populations of cisco Coregonus artedi, a coldwater stenotherm, persist at the southern extent of their range among northeastern Indiana’s glacial lakes. Over the past century, cisco populations in this region have declined substantially, with the number of lakes containing cisco in Indiana falling from 42 in 1955 to 7 in the 2013. Most of Indiana’s glacial lakes are surrounded by agricultural land, and related nutrient loading likely played a role in the decline of cisco by contributing to hypolimnetic hypoxia. Moreover, climate change threatens to further degrade cisco habitat in these lakes. Given that the effects of these stressors have not been ubiquitous, a deeper understanding of the factors that have contributed to either extirpation or persistence of cisco populations will inform conservation and management. We analyzed lake morphometric and land-use data to identify lakes that (1) are most likely to sustain cisco, (2) are most likely to lose cisco, and (3) have lost cisco but are similar to current cisco lakes and hence may be targets for restoration. We found that large, deep lakes located further north were more suitable for cisco in the past, but that smaller lakes with a high ratio of lake area to catchment area have retained cisco populations. This pattern supports the hypothesis that non-point-source nutrient loading is a driver of cisco extirpations. We also present results of demographic and genetic analyses that aided in prioritizing populations for conservation. Our results provide information to better manage and conserve this important species.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Ecology, Restoration/Enhancement
The Great Lakes Brook Trout Conservation Portfolio: Assessing Population Viability, Habitat Condition, and Vulnerability Across the Region
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:00 AM to 10:20 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Kurt Fesenmyer, Trout Unlimited; Shawn Rummel, Trout Unlimited
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Trout Unlimited is developing a conservation assessment of brook trout populations in the Great Lakes region using the Conservation Portfolio framework. The assessment consists of 4 components: 1) delineation of inter-connected brook trout populations patches using brook trout distribution information and fish passage barrier locations; 2) attribution of patches with population information (e.g., density, trout community composition, life history, etc.) and habitat/vulnerability attributes from existing data products and tools; 3) interpretation of patch attributes to characterize brook trout populations (e.g., identify strongholds) and evaluate the status of those populations in the Great Lakes region; and 4) description of generalized conservation strategies (e.g., protect, reconnect, restore), specific conservation needs (e.g., riparian restoration, etc.), and important data gaps (e.g., barrier assessment, etc.). The project outcomes include: 1) an inventory and status assessment of Great Lakes brook trout populations comparable across the region and with previous assessments in the eastern range of the species that leverages existing data products and tools; 2) an online, interactive decision support tool of assessment results to support identification and evaluation of restoration projects; and 3) a framework for tracking progress on regional goals. We will discuss the assessment and show preliminary results.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Technology/Geographic Information Systems
FishTail: Current Conservation Status of Stream Fish Habitat Throughout the Mississippi River Basin
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:20 AM to 10:40 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Joanna Whittier, University of Missouri; Jared Ross, Michigan State University; Dana Infante, Michigan State University; Arthur Cooper, Michigan State University; Jana Stewart, USGS - Wisconsin Water Science Center; Wesley Daniel, USGS - Wetland and Aquatic Research Center; Kyle Herreman, Michigan State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Mississippi River is the largest river network in North America, draining approximately 3 million km2 into the Gulf of Mexico and overlapping with all Midwest state boundaries.  Human landscape stressors occur throughout the basin including agriculture, urbanization, excess nutrient loading, and river network fragmentation by dams and other barriers, affecting habitats of ecologically- and socioeconomically-important stream fishes, including many coldwater species. To support decision-making on where and how to conserve steam fishes and their habitats across such large regions, consistent, comparable information is required to aid in efforts to prioritize decision-making.  To help meet this need, we assessed the current condition of each stream reach within the Mississippi River network based on responses of stream fish species to human land uses in-stream catchments and buffers, nutrient loading to stream reaches, and stream network fragmentation by dams and road/stream crossings.  We combined results for each type of landscape-scale stressor into three discrete indices (land use, nutrients, fragmentation), and will show how results can be used together and with additional information to aid in decision-making, including identifying locations with minimal disturbances that could be protected or areas with disturbance from an individual stressor type (e.g. fragmentation by dams or nutrient loading) that could be restored. Our results can directly inform conservation efforts of coldwater stream fishes throughout the Midwest by providing critical information that supports decision making on where and how to prioritize conservation actions for stream fishes and their habitats.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Habitat, River/Stream
Reducing Uncertainty in Climate Change Responses for Inland Fisheries Management: A Decision-Path Approach
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:40 AM to 11:00 AM
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Abigail J. Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center; Bonnie J. E. Myers, USGS, National Climate Adaptation Science Center and North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; North Carolina State University; Jesse P. Wong, George Mason University; Cindy Chu, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Ralph W. Tingley III, USGS, Great Lakes Science Center; Jeffrey A. Falke, USGS, Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Thomas J. Kwak, USGS, North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; North Carolina State University, Craig P. Paukert, USGS, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; University of Missouri, Trevor J. Krabbenhoft, University of Buffalo
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Climate change is, and will continue to be, an important consideration for inland fisheries managers.  But, uncertainty in identifying appropriate management strategies, particularly for understudied species and regions, constrain science-based responses to climate change given the limited taxonomic and geographic information.  Here, we share a decision-path approach to reduce uncertainty in climate change responses of inland fishes to inform conservation and adaptation planning using the Fish and Climate Change database (FiCli), comprehensive online, public database of peer-reviewed literature on documented and projected climate impacts to inland fishes.  We developed confidence metrics with user-defined specifications for managers to query FiCli to identify relevant studies and associated management recommendations via geographic regions, response types (i.e., assemblage dynamics, demographic, distributional, evolutionary, phenological), taxons, and traits (e.g., thermal guilds, feeding type, parental care).  We provide two examples to show how FiCli can reveal new information about inland fishes and climate change patterns for data-rich and data-deficient scenarios.  This decision path provides a framework for harnessing relevant evidence from 1,282 documented and projected responses in FiCli from 1985 to 2019, representing 392 species from 58 families to assist with inland fisheries management across multiple geographic scales, response categories, taxons, and traits.  This presentation will focus particularly on applications for coldwater fish management in the Midwest.
Tags: Climate, Freshwater Fish-Other
Symposium Panel Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-08: Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest
Authors: Lisa Elliott, University of Minnesota; Patrick Landisch, University of Minnesota; William Severud, University of Minnesota; Mark Nelson, U.S. Forest Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This panel discussion will address the presentations included in the symposium “Modelling, Spatial Prioritization, and Decision Support Tools for Coldwater Fish Management in the Midwest.” Presenters will have the chance to discuss and answer questions related to implications of modeling and spatial prioritizations for coldwater fish management and conservation, synergies between existing decision support tools, and gaps in current decision support offerings. We will also discuss best practices and lessons learned from decision support tool construction, shared shortcomings, limitations of existing datasets, and opportunities for future collaborations and products to address the needs of fisheries managers and other natural resource practitioners.   
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Management, Modeling
 
S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Assessing the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Aquatic Invertebrates: Implications for Wetland Dependent Taxa
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:00 AM to 8:20 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Kyle Kuechle, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Division; Anson Main, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used as seed-treatments on major agricultural row crops (e.g., corn). Indeed, crops with seed-treatments containing neonicotinoids and other pesticides are often planted directly in floodplain wetlands managed for wildlife. Numerous studies have documented impacts of neonicotinoids to aquatic invertebrates in laboratory and mesocosm settings; however, there is less information on the impact neonicotinoids to wetland aquatic invertebrates in field settings. We investigated the invertebrate community response to planting of neonicotinoid-treated seed in managed wetland ecosystems in Missouri. In 2016, we sampled water, sediment, and aquatic invertebrates from 22 paired wetlands during spring (pre-wetland drawdown) and fall (post-wetland flood-up) followed by a final sampling period (spring 2017). Following the initial sampling period, portions of study wetlands were planted with either neonicotinoid-treated corn or untreated corn (control). Water and sediment concentrations of the three most common neonicotinoids were used to calculate overall neonicotinoid toxic equivalents (NI-EQs). Mean total NI-EQs peaked in autumn and were an order of magnitude greater for sediment (0.60 µg/kg) than water (0.02 µg/L). Water quality parameters and pesticide concentrations were used to evaluate effects of neonicotinoid concentrations on aquatic macroinvertebrates using a series of generalized linear mixed effects models. Results indicate an overall decrease in aquatic insect abundance and richness with increasing NI-EQs in both wetland water and sediments. Post-treatment treated wetlands had lower insect richness and abundance compared to untreated wetlands, but invertebrate communities recovered by the following spring. Our results have implications for aquatic invertebrates and wetland-dependant species (e.g., migrating waterfowl) as neonicotinoids, although below lethal concentrations for many common wetland insects, are impacting wetland ecosystems. Research results will be useful to wetland managers in making decisions regarding use of neonicotinoid seed-treatments, and potentially, provide broader considerations of the role agriculture may play in future wetland management and conservation plans.
Tags: Ecology, Invertebrate, Wetland
Neonicotinoid Occurrence in Prairie Wetlands
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:20 AM to 8:40 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Sara Vacek, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Josh Eash, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nate Williams, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Jon Sweetman, North Dakota State University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoid insecticides have been reported to occur widely in surface waters, including wetlands within the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR).  In the US portion of the PPR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has established Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) and National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in an effort to enhance waterfowl production.  We assessed potential threats to aquatic invertebrates -- a key food source for breeding waterfowl -- associated with the magnitude, persistence and distribution of neonicotinoids in Service-owned wetlands.  We used a screening level risk assessment to determine the extent to which neonicotinoids occurred in WPA and NWR wetlands in Minnesota and Iowa.  Wetland sampling sites were selected based on proximity to corn and soybean fields, as well as overall exposure to agricultural runoff.  Over three years, 88 wetland sites were sampled (not all sites were sampled during each round of sampling).  Of the sites sampled, over half (49 wetland sites) detected at least one neonicotinoid pesticide.  At least one type of neonicotinoid was detected in 28% (102) of all samples.  Most WPAs and NWRs have an area of protected upland surrounding wetlands that can act as a buffer to reduce the transport of contaminants.  A subset of the samples from the screening-level effort were focused on WPAs in west-central Minnesota, where we assessed wetlands located along a gradient of agricultural influence.  At least one neonicotinoid was detected in 29% of these wetland water samples.  Additionally, both the occurrence and total concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in sites with higher surrounding crop use.  Neonicotinoid insecticides, if persistent for long periods of time, have the potential to affect aquatic-invertebrate communities within PPR wetlands.  Our research indicates that areas often perceived as protected may still be at risk to neonicotinoid contamination, emphasizing the importance of maintaining effective grassland buffers around wetlands.
Tags: Other
Frequent Neonicotinoid Use and Detections Threaten Insects and Insectivorous Tree Swallows in the Canadian Prairies
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:40 AM to 9:00 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Christy Morrissey, Dept of Biology and School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Andrew Elgin, Dept of Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Michael Gross, US Geological Survey, Oregon Water Science Centre, Portland, Oregon, USA; Michelle Hladik, US Geological Survey, California Water Science Center, Sacramento, California, USA; Kathy Kuivila, US Geological Survey, Oregon Water Science Centre, Portland, Oregon, USA
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Over the past 30 years, most aerial insectivorous bird populations have strongly declined in North America. One of the main putative causes suggested to explain this decline is the reduction in availability and contamination of insect prey through increased use of insecticides, associated with agricultural intensification. In the Canadian Prairies, the most agro-intensive region of Canada, we have found evidence of landscape simplification and a concurrent increase in pesticide use over the past 35 years, notably the neonicotinoids.  Based on an intensive 2 year survey of wetlands across the region, the most frequently detected insecticides were also the neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, at levels known to be toxic to aquatic insects. Tree swallows and other aerial insectivores routinely use these wetland habitats and 100% of tree swallow blood samples contained neonicotinoids.  Furthermore, 86% of the nestling insect bolus samples contained at least 1 pesticide, individual nest boluses could have up to 6 different pesticide analytes, but the only insecticides detected were neonicotinoids clothianidin (12%) and imidacloprid (11%). Pesticide detection profiles in bolus samples closely matched those found in Dipteran insects collected in a range of habitats at the same site indicating that the bolus sampling methods are accurately reflecting local conditions and there is  aquatic food chain transfer. Stable isotope analysis of the same bolus samples further revealed that Tree swallows were feeding their nestlings primarily aquatic insects (d 13C mean= -28.6, CV =8%) and at a wide range of trophic levels (d15N mean= 8.58, CV =25%). However, trophic level and site only weakly influenced the probability of pesticide detections, suggesting a ubiquitous occurrence. This study has implications for understanding how extensive neonicotinoid use in agriculturally intensive areas of Prairie Canada frequently exposes insects and insectivorous birds to toxic compounds that could hamper their population recovery. 
Tags: Other - pesticides
Impacts of Neonicotinoids in Field Soils on Native Bee Communities in the Midwest: A Two Year Field Experiment
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:00 AM to 9:20 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Elisabeth Webb, U.S. Geological Survey; Anson Main, University of Missouri; Keith Goyne, University of Missouri; Robert Abney, University of Missouri; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Wild bees form critical components of global agroecosystems by contributing to pollination of agricultural crops and maintaining diverse plant species. Agricultural intensification has led to an increased reliance on pesticides (e.g., neonicotinoid seed treatments) to enhance production, but this may negatively impact wild bee abundance and richness in agroecosystems.  To determine whether annual seed treatment use impacts bee functional guild (nesting preference, diet specialization) abundance and richness, we evaluated 30 Midwestern US agricultural fields with one of three soybean seed treatments: untreated, previously-treated, or treated (imidacloprid). In 2017 and 2018, wild bees were collected from adjacent field-margins monthly (May to September) in tandem with soil (field, field margin) and flowers (field, field margin) that were analyzed for pesticide residues. Ground-nesting bee abundance and richness were significantly lower in margins surrounding soybean fields with greater neonicotinoid concentrations in soil. However, there was no effect of soil concentration on any other nesting guild (carpenter, cavity, surface). Neonicotinoid concentrations up to 407 µg/kg were detected in 47% of study field soils. Similarly, margins surrounding untreated fields had a significantly greater abundance of ground-nesting bees and floral specialists compared to previously-treated or treated fields. Generally, wild bee guilds benefited from increased floral diversity and greater margin area surrounding cropped fields. Pesticides in soil may be an overlooked route of chemical exposure for ground-nesting bees. Our findings suggest that land managers and growers may need to carefully consider the potential for annual seed treatments to negatively impact wild pollinator communities. However, as larger field margins with diverse floral species offered a positive benefit to most bee guilds, this could provide a potential buffer against wild bee decline by offering more habitat resources around neonicotinoid-treated fields.
Tags: Habitat, Invertebrate
Neonicotinoids on the Landscape: Evaluating Wildlife Exposure to Treated Seeds in an Agricultural Region
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:20 AM to 9:40 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Charlotte Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Pamela Coy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Da Chen, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Mark Jankowski, Environmental Protection Agency; Julia Ponder, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoid pesticides (e.g., imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin) are commonly applied to agricultural seeds such as corn, soybean, and wheat.  Neonicotinoid-treated seeds could be available to wildlife through spillage during planting or through exposed seeds near or at the soil surface after planting.  We examined exposure of wild birds to these pesticides in agricultural landscapes of Minnesota.  We quantified seed availability at the soil surface in recently planted fields and the rate of seed spills during planting. During 2 springs, we observed 329 spills during our surveys in 76 townships. Using plots in the centers and corners of 71 fields, we measured exposed seed at the surface of 25 fields and spills in 12 fields. Forty-seven of 59 (80%) greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) fecal pellets and 97 of 109 (89%) sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) pellets collected from leks had detectable concentrations of at >1 neonicotinoid, with imidacloprid being most commonly detected. We also used hunter-harvested samples to examine recent exposure in wild populations; 34 of 45 (76%) greater prairie-chicken livers and 74 of 81 (91%) sharp-tailed grouse livers contained detectable concentrations of >1 neonicotinoid.  Our findings indicate that treated seed was widely available on the landscape, was consumed by wildlife, and that neonicotinoids were detectable in a majority of samples collected from wild prairie grouse both in the spring and fall.
Tags: Other - Toxicology
Wildlife Consumption of Neonicotinoid-Treated Seeds at Simulated Spills
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:40 AM to 10:00 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Charlotte Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Pamela Coy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The most likely route of wildlife exposure to high concentrations of neonicotinoids capable of producing lethal or sublethal effects is through the consumption of treated seeds. We simulated seed spills and placed trail cameras to document wildlife consuming treated seeds during the spring planting season in western Minnesota, an area predominantly planted to corn and soybeans in the spring. We simulated spills with corn treated with 2 concentrations of clothiandin (0.5 or 0.25 mg/seed), corn treated with thiamethoxam (0.25 mg/seed), and soybean treated with imidacloprid (0.15 mg/seed). Sixteen species of birds and 14 species of mammals ate neonicotinoid-treated seeds at spills. We quantified seed consumption for 12 species of birds and 13 species of mammals. Seed consumption by birds and mammals did not exceed published LD50s in related taxa, but most species consumed enough seeds to reach or exceed thresholds for sublethal effects from chronic exposures based on published literature. Birds and mammals did not increase the amount of seeds consumed over time, but more birds and mammals consumed seeds over time as a proportion of the number at spills each day. Wildlife are consuming seeds while concentrations of neonicotinoids are still high on seeds. We should revisit previously held assumptions about the safety of neonicotinoid seed treatments for vertebrate wildlife.
Tags: Other - Toxicology
The Effect of the Neonicotinoid Clothianidin on Ring-Necked Pheasant Survival and Reproduction
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:20 AM to 10:40 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University; Michael Sundall, South Dakota State University; Jonathan G. Lundgren, Ecdysis Foundation
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Despite the increased use of neonicotinoid insectides, effects of these chemicals on ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) are unknown. We determined effects of Clothianidin on survival and breeding in pheasants. First, we determined if pheasants avoided consuming seeds treated with Clothianidin. Eight captive pheasants (4 females; 4 males) where provided three options; untreated, dyed, and dyed and treated seed corn. Pheasants selected (P...
Tags: Avian, Behavior
Neurobehavioral Abnormalities in Response to Oral Imidacloprid Exposure in Domestic Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) as a Model for Wild Granivorous Birds
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:40 AM to 11:00 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Dana Franzen-Klein, The Raptor Center - University of Minnesota; Mark Jankowski, U.S. EPA; Charlotte Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Da Chen, Southern Illinois University; Hoa Nguyen-Phuc, The Raptor Center - University of Minnesota; Julia Ponder, The Raptor Center - University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoid pesticides may have negative effects on non-target species at environmentally plausible exposure doses. The objective of the present study was to quantify neurobehavioral abnormalities due to oral imidacloprid exposure in birds. Domestic white leghorn chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus; n=120) were exposed to imidacloprid by gavage once daily for 7 consecutive days at 0, 0.03, 0.34, 3.42, 10.25, and 15.50 mg/kg/day. The severity and duration of neurobehavioral abnormalities were recorded. Temporary neurobehavioral abnormalities were observed in a dose-dependent manner, including generalized whole-body muscle tremors, ataxia, and depressed mentation ranging from mild depression to a complete lack of response to external stimulation. The effect dose value for the presence of any neurobehavioral abnormalities in 50% of the test group (ED50) was 4.62 ± 0.98 mg/kg/day. The ED50 for an adjusted score that included both the severity and duration of neurobehavioral abnormalities was 11.24 ± 9.33 mg/kg/day. These ED50 values are equivalent to a 1 kg bird ingesting 29 or 70 imidacloprid treated soybean seeds respectively. The observed neurobehavioral abnormalities were severe at the higher doses and may impair survival of free-living gallinaceous birds.
Tags: Other - Toxicology
Effects of Sublethal Exposure to Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Seed-eating Birds
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:00 AM to 11:20 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Margaret Eng, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Christy Morrissey, University of Saskatchewan
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments are widely used in many crops as a pre-emptive form of pest management. Birds may be exposed to neonicotinoids through several routes, and the consumption of treated seeds can lead to particularly high exposures in seed-eating birds. Direct exposure to neonicotinoids can cause acute lethality, but can also have sublethal effects at very low concentrations. Using a series of captive and field studies in two species of common seed eating birds, white-crowned sparrows and red-winged blackbirds, we have demonstrated a range of effects at environmentally realistic neonicotinoid concentrations. Imidacloprid, a commonly used neonicotinoid, suppresses appetite, reduces fat loads, alters fueling physiology, and can disrupt migratory orientation and departure timing. Sublethal effects on condition and behavior in migrating and breeding birds can have subsequent effects on reproduction and survival, providing a mechanistic link between neonicotinoid exposure and population-level consequences. Bird populations associated with farmland habitat are exhibiting steep declines, and there is an ongoing need to assess pesticide effects on birds and the extent to which pesticides are driving farmland bird declines. 
Tags: Avian, Behavior, Conservation Biology
Effects of Imidacloprid Exposure on Salamander Abundances and Bioaccumulation
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:20 AM to 11:40 AM
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Sara M. Crayton, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Lenza Paul, National Park Service, New River Gorge National River; Petra B. Wood, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Donald J. Brown, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station; Alice R. Millikin, West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources; Yong-Lak Park, West Virginia University, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: The neonicotinoid imidacloprid is widely applied in natural systems to manage the spread and impacts of nonnative forest insects, such as hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). While application of this pesticide is an effective management tool for native tree preservation, negative effects can occur on non-target vertebrates. In this study, we assessed (1) the effects of imidacloprid exposure on aquatic and terrestrial salamander abundances, (2) imidacloprid bioaccumulation in salamanders, and (3) whether imidacloprid was related to sublethal effects in salamanders. We surveyed stream salamanders 5–7 times at 48 study sites located on headwater streams in West Virginia (27 of which had been exposed to imidacloprid treatments) and surveyed terrestrial salamanders 12 – 17 times at 36 terrestrial study sites (18 of which had been exposed to imidacloprid treatments) during 2017-2019. We quantified imidacloprid concentration in the tissues of 107 Desmognathus spp. individuals from 11 of the aquatic sites to assess whether chronic pesticide leaching into adjacent streams resulted in bioaccumulation of imidacloprid in aquatic salamander tissues. We also assessed the effect of imidacloprid exposure on the stress hormone corticosterone and body condition indices (BCI) in stream salamanders. Of 107 salamanders from 11 sites tested for bioaccumulation, we detected imidacloprid in 47 salamanders. Based on 115 salamanders sampled at 11 sites for stress hormone responses, corticosterone concentration increased with imidacloprid concentration in stream water. For 802 salamanders sampled at 48 sites, BCI decreased as concentration of imidacloprid in stream water increased, but explanatory power was low. Our study suggests that chronic leaching of imidacloprid from treated hemlock stands into adjacent streams has the potential to negatively affect stream salamanders and may provide a route of exposure to higher trophic levels. We will also present results relating terrestrial and aquatic salamander abundances to imidacloprid application.
Tags: Amphibian/Reptile, Exotic/Invasive Species
Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Physiology and Reproductive Characteristics of Captive Female and Fawn White-tailed Deer
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:40 AM to 12:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 1)
Authors: Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University; Elise Hughes Berheim, South Dakota State University; Jonathan G. Lundgren, Ecdysis Foundation; Eric S. Michel, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Daniel Grove North Dakota Game and Fish; William F. Jensen, North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abnormalities were recently documented in west-central Montana. Hypotheses proposed to explain these anomalies included contact with endocrine disrupting pesticides, such as imidacloprid. We evaluated the effects of imidacloprid experimentally at the South Dakota State University Wildlife and Fisheries Captive Facility where adult white-tailed deer females and their fawns were administered aqueous imidacloprid (an untreated control, 1,500 ng/L, 3,000 ng/L, and 15,000 ng/L). We compared water consumption, thyroid hormone function, behavioral responses, and skull and jawbone measurements among treatments. Additionally, we used an ELISA to determine liver, spleen, genital, and brain imidacloprid concentrations. We found 1) control deer consumed more water than treatment groups, 2) imidacloprid was present in organs of our control group, indicating environmental contamination, 3) as imidacloprid increased in the spleen, fawn survival, thyroxine levels, jawbone lengths, body weight, and organ weights decreased, 4) adult female imidacloprid levels in the genitals were negatively correlated with genital organ weight and, 5) imidacloprid levels in spleens were negatively correlated with activity levels in adult females and fawns. Imidacloprid concentrations in spleen samples collected from free-ranging deer in North Dakota were 3.5 times higher than spleen concentrations of our captive deer. Deer exposure to imidacloprid averaged 52.3 + 4.6% from 2009 to 2017. For those free-ranging deer in North Dakota exposed to imidacloprid, average concentrations in spleens increased (r = 0.22, p = 0.002) an average of 0.11 ng/g per year from 2009 to 2017.  Furthermore, 77.5% of these deer had imidacloprid levels in spleens equal to or above 0.33ng/g (i.e., mean level of imidacloprid in spleens of fawns in captivity that died in our experiment). These results indicate that wild populations of deer exposed to imidacloprid are potentially experiencing reduced activity in adult females and fawns, and specifically in fawns, decreased survival, size, and health.
Tags: Mammal, Population Dynamics
 
S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 2)
Beyond the Headlines: The Influence of Insurance Pest Management on an Unseen, Silent Entomological Majority
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 2)
Authors: Christian H. Krupke, John F. Tooker - Purdue University
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: For most of the last two decades, insect pest management in key grain and oilseed crops has relied heavily on an insurance-based approach. This approach mandates a suite of management tactics prior to planting and in the absence of pest data. Because there is little flexibility for using these tactics individually, most producers have adopted this full suite of practices despite mounting evidence that some components do not provide consistent benefits. This preventive approach to insect pest management has led to steep increases neonicotinoid insecticide applications to these crops and subsequent increases in neonicotinoids in soil and water. These increases have been accompanied by a host of non-target effects that have been most clearly studied in pollinators and insect natural enemies. Less attention has been given to the effects of this practice upon the many thousands of aquatic insect species that are often cryptic and offer negligible, or undefined, clear benefits to humans and their commerce. A survey of the literature reveals that the non-target effects of neonicotinoids upon these aquatic species are often as serious as for terrestrial species, and more difficult to address. By focusing upon charismatic insect species that provide clearly defined services, we are likely dramatically under-estimating the effects of neonicotinoids upon the wider environment. Given the mounting evidence base demonstrating that the pest management and crop yield benefits of this approach are negligible, curtailing the use of neonicotinoid treated seeds across the landscape is warranted. A return to IPM principles presents a readily accessible alternative path.
Tags: Ecology, Habitat, Invertebrate, River/Stream
Management Practices for Reducing Neonicotinoids in Non-target Ecosystems
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:50 PM to 1:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 2)
Authors: Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation; Elisabeth Webb, U.S. Geological Survey; Keith W. Goyne, University of Missouri; Laura Satkowski, University of Missouri; Chelsey Beringer, University of Missouri; Kyle Kuechle, University of Missouri; Anson Main, University of Missouri
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Neonicotinoids are among the most widely applied and fastest-growing class of insecticides commercially available for agricultural use (e.g., seed-treatments) in North America. Physico-chemical properties (e.g., high water solubility, long half-lives in soils) of these compounds enhance their environmental mobility which has led to neonicotinoids being detected in global surface waters including streams and wetlands of North America. However, understanding the factors related to neonicotinoid fate in moving through different soil types, as well as the factors that promote neonicotinoid degradation in aquatic environments can provide insight into management practices that may lessen impacts of neonicotinoids in non-target ecosystems.  Thus, we evaluated the mobility and transport of imidacloprid in soils collected from cropland, grass vegetation buffer strips (VBS) and riparian VBS and found greater sorption and longer retention of imidacloprid in grass and riparian VBS soils.  We also sampled sediments for neonicotinoid concentrations in 40 floodplain wetlands during four sampling periods throughout the year across Missouri and used Boosted Regression Tree analysis to explain sediment neonicotinoid concentrations. We identified six variables that accounted for 31.6% of concentration variability.  Sediment neonicotinoid concentrations were associated with temperature, water depth, percent of wetland planted to agriculture and percent of surrounding landscape planted with treated seed.  Efforts to limit sediment neonicotinoid contamination could include reducing agriculture within a wetland below a threshold of 25% area planted and prolonging periods of overlying water >25cm deep when water temperatures reach/exceed 18°C to promote conditions favorable for neonicotinoid degradation.  Finally, we conducted a lab experiment to evaluate factors associated with degradation and sorption of clothianidin in Missouri wetland soils.  Although clothianidin was only weakly bound to wetland soils, anoxic conditions significantly increased clothianidin degradation rates.  Thus, managing wetlands to facilitate anoxic conditions could mitigate clothianidin presence in wetland soils and reduce exposure to non-target organisms.
Tags: Habitat, Management
Symosium Panel Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:10 PM to 2:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-09: Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Evaluating Impacts to Non-target Taxa and Management Practices to Limit Effects (Part 2)
Authors: Charlotte Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Elisabeth Webb, University of Missouri Columbia
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract:
Tags: Other - Symposium Discussion
 
S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative’s (GLAC) Role in Supporting Sustainable Aquaculture in the Midwest
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:00 AM to 8:15 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant; Don Schreiner, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Though the Great Lakes comprise one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems and is well positioned to support a robust freshwater aquaculture industry, aquaculture production in the region is small and not keeping pace with increases in consumer demand for fish and seafood. The Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) was formed to address potential barriers and develop opportunities for sustainable, land-based aquaculture in the region. GLAC is composed of Sea Grant extension educators and university researchers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. The project’s primary goal is to provide relevant, science-based initiatives that support an environmentally responsible, competitive, and sustainable aquaculture industry in the region. The GLAC has formed eight state and one regional advisory groups composed of aquaculture producers, distributors, and researchers. The ideas that have come out of these advisory groups are already helping to drive future GLAC activities. For example, we have held three informational webinars and one region-wide virtual event on topics chosen by our advisory groups. GLAC research projects that are ongoing include understanding consumers’ willingness to pay for aquaculture products, identifying what producers perceive as barriers to expanding and diversifying their businesses, and identifying policy and regulatory hurdles for aquaculture producers in the region. Through direct interaction with our advisory groups and among Sea Grant programs, a number of other collaborations have grown out of the GLAC. Examples of new projects include a website with the goal of connecting fish producers directly to consumers and a proposal to educate the public (youth to adults) about aquaculture. Our strong emphasis on building collaborations among GLAC partners and regional producers will ensure that the collaborative will continue to exist and impact the region beyond the life of the grant.
Tags: Fish Culture, Great Lakes, Outreach/Communication
Sea Grant Great Lakes and Marine Aquaculture Research, Education and Engagement Priorities
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:15 AM to 8:30 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: LaDon Swann, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium; Kola Garber, National Sea Grant; Mark Rath, National Sea Grant Office; Charles Weirich, National Sea Grant Office
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Sea Grant is a federal and private partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and public and land grant universities located within the 34 Sea Grant programs.  Each year Sea Grant invests around $20 million in aquaculture research, education and engagement. These investments occur at the local program, regional and national levels. An online needs assessment will be conducted during the fall of 2020. The assessment will solicit input on the research, education and engagement needs of the aquaculture industry. The results of the survey will be organized around the five focus areas found in the SG 10-Year Aquaculture Vision including commerce, regulations and policy, current and emerging species, production systems, and seafood safety and quality. Results of the needs assessment will be shared during the presentation.
Tags: Fish Culture, Outreach/Communication
Overview of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region Pertaining to Global, Tribal Nations, and COVID-19 Perspectives
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:30 AM to 8:45 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Lauren N. Jescovitch, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Demand for fisheries products is expected to double by 2050 as world population is projected to increase by around 30 percent. However, the global capture fishery has not increased since the mid-1980s, and it has evidently reached or possibly exceeded its sustainable limit. Consequently, the aquaculture industry has increased rapidly to supply the growing demand for fisheries products. For example, global aquaculture production increased from 2.5 million metric tonnes (5.5 billion lbs) in the 1970s to more than 82.1 million metric tonnes (181 billion lbs) in 2018. Producing 468,185 metric tonnes (1.03 million lbs) in 2018, the US is 17th in world aquaculture production with representing only 0.6% of total global production. The Great Lake states (NY, PA, OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN) represents only 10% of U.S. aquaculture production yet has local access to approximately 21% of Earth’s surface freshwater supply. Aquaculture, also known as fish farming, is defined as “the farming of aquatic organisms in both coastal and inland areas involving interventions in the rearing process to enhance production.” Aquaculture is often thought of as similar to agricultural farming, but food is not the only end-use of these products. Aquaculture is also a method to grow fish for stocking in natural waters to support restoration and conservation efforts, use as bait for sportfishing, and ornamental products such as fish for garden ponds, aquariums, and even producing pearls and seashells. Most aquaculture in the Great Lakes has end-use products for food, sportfish, and baitfish. This presentation will summarize aquaculture production in the midwest region as it compares to the Global production, relationships with Tribal Nations and resource management complexities, and how COVID-19 has impacted the industry in this region. Networking opportunities to be more involved with aquaculturists will also be discussed.
Tags: Fish Culture, Tribal
Symposium Q&A for Part 1
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 8:45 AM to 9:00 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 1: Introduction to Aquaculture in the Midwest
Tags: Other
Aquaculture in the Midwest: Barriers and Opportunities
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Chad Hebert, Owner/Operator, The Urban Farm Project
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: One of the most important areas for fish producers/ aquaculture industry is the need to understand profitability in today’s market.  For far to long the aquaculture industry has operated under the guidelines of: if you want to make a small fortune in aquaculture, start with a large one.  Profitability can be both a challenge and an opportunity.  Understanding where the current incentives are available and doing your best to capitalize on such opportunities. Here are some examples of incentives that the aquaculture  producers should be aware of: (1) current seafood trade deficit is $13.9 billion dollars, (2) the u.s. imports more the 80% of its seafood, (3) aquaculture is completely in-step with both conservation and the environment.  So how does the aquaculture industry move towards profitability in today’s market? (1) analyze and understand expenses, (2) understand your market and competition, (3) tell your story.  I believe as technology and understanding of aquaculture improve, that producers will be better equipped to take on current challenges and turn them to opportunities.
Tags: Other - Profitability in aquaculture
Consumer Perceptions of Farm Raised Fish
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:15 AM to 9:30 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Kristin K. Runge, PhD, Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bret Shaw, PhD., Department of Life Sciences Communication & Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This presentation will review the results of that a survey on consumer perceptions of farmed fish drawn from a random sample of  Wisconsin residents. The results of this study provide insight into how individuals form opinions about farm raised fish when they have little familiarity with the topic. We will offer suggestions on how communicating the environmental attributes of farm-raised fish may be related to consumer acceptance of farm-raised fish, and we will weigh the benefits and challenges of communicating trust in government agencies to keep fish safe to eat when seeking market acceptance of farm-raised fish.
Tags: Other - Marketing, Consumer Perceptions
Impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. Aquaculture, Aquaponics, and Allied Businesses
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:30 AM to 9:45 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Matthew A. Smith, The Ohio State University; Jonathan van Senten, Virginia Tech; Carole R. Engle, Engle-Stone Aquatic$, LLC & Virginia Tech
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an investigation was launched to capture the effects and impacts of the pandemic on U.S. aquaculture, aquaponics, and allied businesses. Through the use of an online survey, to be distributed quarterly throughout 2020, data was/is collected directly from industry. A majority of respondents to the survey have indicated that their farm or business has been impacted by COVID-19. Responses to the survey for Q1 and Q2 reveal that the primary impacts are on sales and marketing of products, labor effects, and challenges with production. The Q3 survey is active at the time of this abstract submission, and data from all four quarters in 2020 will be presented. The effects and impacts recorded to date will likely have longer term implications for the aquaculture and aquaponics industries.  
Tags: Other - farm survey, aquaculture economics, COVID-19 impacts
The Aquaculture Challenge: A Competition to Engage Youth in Aquaculture
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 9:45 AM to 10:00 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Barbara I. Evans, College of Science and the Environment, Lake Superior State University; Elliot Nelson, Michigan Sea Grant & Michigan State University Extension
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Recruitment of an educated workforce for aquaculture is a barrier for the expansion of the aquaculture industry. The Aquaculture Challenge began as an incentive to get high school students interested in, and aware of careers in aquaculture. Although the competition details continually evolve, there are three main components: 1) design and build an aquaponics system, 2) monitor the physical and chemical parameters of the system (including automated monitoring), and 3) develop a business plan to assess the market acceptance of the system. The competition has grown from @11 local schools in the vicinity of LSSU to @25 teams distributed throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. One unanticipated effect is that high school teachers are asking for aquaculture workshops to help them mentor the student teams. We created a companion website (www.ncrac-yea.org) which provides the potential for further expansion including options to move the competition online. The current competition (2020-21) is incorporating more options for the teams to work at home, should their school face another lockdown in the middle of the Challenge. Overall we anticipate the competition will augment the skill set of the future aquaculture workforce.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Human Dimensions, Outreach/Communication
Symposium Q&A for Part 2
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:00 AM to 10:20 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 2: Aquaculture Industry Challenges and Solutions
Tags: Other
An Overview of the Michigan DNR Hatcheries and the Species They Each Raise
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:40 AM to 10:55 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Randy Espinoza, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Thompson State Fish Hatchery
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has six fish hatcheries that rear both cold and cool water species for stocking into public waters.  These species include Atlantic salmon, Brook trout, Brown trout, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Lake trout, Muskellunge, Rainbow trout, Splake, Steelhead trout, and walleye fry.  During the presentation the locations, fish species, fish marking, annual stocking numbers and uniqueness of each hatchery will be outlined.  The presentation will also touch on an initiative to reintroduce grayling to Michigan waters through hatchery reared broodstock as well as a current construction project that will expand Michigan's cool water rearing capacities.
Tags: Fish Culture
Platte River State Fish Hatchery Operations Overview and Effluent Waste Management History
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 10:55 AM to 11:10 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Nicole Sherretz, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Platte River State Fish Hatchery is one of six cold water fish rearing facilities operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  The facility was converted from a satellite trout rearing facility to the state's primary salmon rearing facility in 1973.  Upon completion of the renovation salmon production resulted in phosphorous discharges of thousands of pounds annually.  The eutrophication had detrimental effects on the watershed especially Big Platte Lake which is a 2,516-acre lake with a maximum depth of 95 feet.  A lawsuit was filed against the State of Michigan in 1986 and a Settlement Agreement was reached in 2000.  Due to the agreement the hatchery underwent major renovation and operational changes to improve effluent management.  Currently the hatchery can only discharge 150 pounds of phosphorous annually despite being the state's primary coho and Atlantic salmon rearing facility producing over 2 million fish yearly.
Tags: Fish Culture, Fisheries Techniques, Restoration/Enhancement
Status and Recent Developments in Minnesota Aquaculture
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:10 AM to 11:25 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Sean Patrick Sisler, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources implements the state’s private aquaculture licensing program in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and Pollution Control Agency. Minnesota regulations are designed to allow private aquatic life to be raised in a manner that will minimize natural resource impacts, keep public and private aquatic life separate, and ensure sufficient biosecurity to prevent pathogen release. Minnesota’s private aquaculture activities are dominated by the production of game fish for stocking and baitfish for anglers. Recently, however, increased interest in raising aquatic life for food has emerged. Consumptive production, although still limited, include shrimp, aquaponics, and other food fish.
Tags: Fish Culture, Management, Policy/Law
Enhancing Public/Private Aquaculture Collaboration and Partnerships in Wisconsin
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:25 AM to 11:40 AM
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Todd Kalish, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: This presentation will summarize and highlight initiatives Wisconsin is pursuing to simplify and enhance collaboration among State agencies and private aquaculture businesses to meet mutual fisheries management objectives.  The Wisconsin State Legislature and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have been collaborating to develop and implement new policy, rules, and regulations that increase the flexibility in the State’s ability to disseminate fish or eggs to private entities; develop and enhance public/private relationships to meet goals of mutual interest; collaborate on aquaculture education and outreach; and clarify and simplify appropriate rules, policy, and guidance.  The WI DNR believes that we have developed solid public/private relationships through this initiative and put into place legacy mechanisms to assure current relationships will be maintained and additional relationships will be developed and enhanced in the future.  We also believe that the rules, policy, and protocol changes that were made through this initiative will enhance our efficiency to collectively address fisheries management issues and improve fishing for current and future generations.    
Tags: Fish Culture, Outreach/Communication, Policy/Law
Symposium Q&A for Part 3
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 11:40 AM to 12:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 1)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 3: Management of Midwestern Aquaculture
Tags: Other
 
S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
A Brief Overview of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:30 PM to 12:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Alex Primus, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) have received a great deal of interest over the last several decades as they offer several benefits over more traditional aquaculture production systems, including sustainability, biosecurity, and the ability to optimize environmental parameters for fish. These RAS are closed production systems that recirculate and reuse water within the system, and therefore require minimal water inputs and produce minimal effluent outputs. Maintaining water quality parameters suitable for fish in RAS, however, requires a series of in-line components that range from being relatively basic to highly sophisticated. Many of the most efficient RAS include components that aid in solids removal, mechanical filtration, biological filtration, oxygenation, microbial inactivation, pH modification, temperature controls, and real-time water quality monitoring. In addition to having some advantages over more traditional production systems, RAS also have some disadvantages which include initial startup costs, operating costs, the need for highly trained staff, and an increased risk of rapid and often devastating deteriorations in water quality. In this presentation, I will cover some of the basics of RAS design with a focus on the maintenance of optimal water quality, some of the advantages and disadvantages of RAS, some of the ways RAS is being used in the aquaculture industry, some examples of RAS production disasters, and some of the emerging innovations of RAS technologies that should improve RAS production for the future.
Tags: Other - Sustainability
Optimizing Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Hybrid Walleye (S. vitreus X S. canadense) Tank Stocking Density and Performance in a Traditional Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) for Commercial Food Fish Production
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 12:45 PM to 1:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Gregory J. Fischer, Christopher Hartleb, Kendall Holmes - University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Walleye is prized sport fish and food fish and is often on the menu of white tablecloth restaurants throughout the Great Lakes region of the U.S.  Walleye has been recognized as a species with substantial aquaculture potential because of its high market value and limited supply.  The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility (UWSP NADF) has experienced substantial success rearing walleye and hybrids to a food market size in a recirculation aquaculture system over the past 10 years on commercially available diets. Despite the existence of a strong market demand and existence of aquaculture methodology for raising walleye, commercial production is still constrained by several factors.  Making production methods commercially efficient which includes tank stocking density, swimming speed, flow rates, and fish performance are critical to move walleye forward in the aquaculture food fish movement.  Researchers at the UWSP NADF have recently made strides in understanding these critical components to rear walleye and hybrids successfully in RAS and will provide and overview.
Tags: Fish Culture
Water Reuse Aquaculture Systems for Walleye Production from Egg to Advanced Fingerlings
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:00 PM to 1:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: J. Alan Johnson, Iowa DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Iowa Department of Natural Resources fish hatcheries rely on surface water sources for Walleye (Stizostedion vitreus) advanced fingerling production in single-pass systems. Aquatic invasive species are present in these water sources as well as some pathogens. Recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology with secure water sources are one solution to these challenges. Pilot-scale RAS were built at the Rathbun Fish Culture Research Facility for egg incubation, larviculture, and growout and established Walleye production methods are applied to RAS. The incubation RAS produced 2.8 million fry with 62% survival to hatching. The larviculture RAS produced 121,555 fingerlings to 1.0 g size with a 75% survival rate. The grow-out RAS produced 8.4 g fingerlings with a 79% survival rate. In the final grow-out phase 16,582 fish were produced (96 g, 219 mm) with a survival rate of 91%. This was the first trial using RAS systems and municipal water for walleye culture from egg fertilization to advance fingerling at this facility. Bacterial and protozoan pathogens common in surface water were not observed in the RAS in 2019. Additional research data from the 2020 culture season will also be presented which further demonstrates successful production of walleye in RAS.
Tags: Fish Culture, Freshwater Fish-Walleye, Restoration/Enhancement
Symposium Q&A for Part 4
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:15 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 4: Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)
Tags: Other
Freshwater Net-pen Aquaculture Drives Asymmetrical Alterations in Surrounding Food Web Responses
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:30 PM to 1:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Marie K. Gutgesell, University of Guelph; Bailey C. McMeans, University of Toronto Mississauga; Matthew M. Guzzo, University of Guelph; Valesca deGroot, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Aaron T. Fisk, University of Windsor; Timothy B. Johnson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Kevin S. McCann, University of Guelph
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Rising global populations are increasing the demand on global food production systems, in particular the seafood sector. Freshwater and marine net-pen aquaculture can assist with sustainably meeting projected global seafood demands (Gentry et al., 2017), however concerns over numerous associated environmental impacts have limited the growth of this industry. Here, we explore the impacts of a freshwater net-pen operation on species in the surrounding ecosystem, in particular how released net-pen feed is assimilated into the surrounding food web and how this impacts food web structure. We demonstrate a gradient in net-pen feed assimilation based on the thermal accessibility to the net-pen facility. The net-pen is located in the off-shore, cold region of Parry Sound, Georgian Bay, and cold-water top predators and forage fish showed the strongest assimilation of net-pen feed, whereas warm water top predators showed little to none. Interestingly, these results were reflected in increases in biomass and trophic position of the receiving cold-water species relative to non-aquaculture sites throughout Lake Huron. One key species of interest was the cold-water top predator Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) which is a species of under active restoration in the Great Lakes and maintains a naturally reproducing population in Parry Sound. Our results suggest a potential ability of net-pen subsidies to aid in population and/or food web restoration in certain, nutrient-limited systems and thus has important implications for future net-pen aquaculture management. As aquaculture is important for future food security, understanding environmental impacts, which can also potentially benefit local ecosystems, is key to helping the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry. Gentry, R. R., H. E. Froehlich, D. Grimm, P. Kareiva, M. Parke, M. Rust, S. D. Gaines, and B. S. Halpern. 2017. Mapping the global potential for marine aquaculture. Nature Ecology & Evolution:1–8.
Tags: Ecology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes
Quantifying the Risk of Fish Pathogen Spread via Illegal Release of Live Baitfish
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:45 PM to 2:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Meg McEachran, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota; Jan Mladonicky, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, University of Minnesota; Catalina Picasso, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety; Nicholas Phelps, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: The bait industry is under significant pressure to mitigate the risk of pathogen and invasive species dispersal through the baitfish pathway. To better inform evidence-based management strategies, we applied a risk analysis framework to identify potentially hazardous pathogens, quantify the frequency of risky angler behaviors, and assess the number of “risky trips”, or trips that result in the release of an infected baitfish, using a stochastic simulation model for Minnesota, USA. We simulated a typical year of fishing in Minnesota and estimated the total number of risky trips for each of three pathogens we identified as potentially hazardous: viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, the microsporidian parasite Ovipleistophora ovariae, and the Asian fish tapeworm. To understand the impacts of various control measures and potential outbreak scenarios, we assessed the number of risky trips under three conditions: current/baseline conditions, outbreak conditions (increased pathogen prevalence), and source-focused control measures (decreased pathogen prevalence). Model results suggest that under current conditions, >80% model iterations resulted in little or no risky trips, but gaps in our current risk management framework could still allow for hundreds of thousands of risky trips in a year, presenting a significant risk to wild fish species. Interestingly, initial sensitivity analyses suggest that in most scenarios, the angler release rate parameter had a greater effect on overall risk metrics than upstream parameters such as pathogen prevalence at the point of sale, highlighting a need for improved angler education. Regardless, the risk of translocating pathogens or invasive species via the bait supply should not be overlooked by the bait industry or natural resource managers. Potential risk-reducing activities for the bait industry include the implementation of AIS-HACCP, disease certification, expanding surveillance to high risk pathogens and all species susceptible to them, and increased testing thresholds to ensure greater probability of pathogen detection in retail baitfish.
Tags: Diseases/Parasites, Fishing/Field Surveys, Human Dimensions
Successful Disease Management Strategies for Furunculosis and Bacterial Kidney Disease, from a Fish Culture Perspective
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:00 PM to 2:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Dan Sampson, Michigan DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Near the turn of the century, Oden State Fish Hatchery received diagnoses of Furunculosis (caused by Aeromonas salmonicida or As) and Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD, caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum or Rs) in captive brood rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) and brown trout (Salmo trutta). To manage and hopefully eradicate both diseases at the hatchery, an effective 2-part management plan was needed.  Working closely with Michigan State University's Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory (MSU-AAHL), a plan was developed to tackle Furunculosis first by administering antibiotic treatments and initiating annual vaccinations of all brood and production fish. Once it was under control, the BKD management strategy could be implemented. This would be significantly more complicated, requiring a multifaceted approach, including administering oral and injected erythromycin treatments, screening and culling the progeny from positive adults, water-hardening eggs in erythromycin baths, vaccinations, and culling of any fish with signs associated with the disease.  Results could not have been better for Furunculosis, as it has not been detected at the facility since 2004. As expected, BKD has been more difficult to manage, but the frequency of Rs infection has dropped significantly,
Tags: Diseases/Parasites, Fish Culture
Symposium Q&A for Part 5
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:15 PM to 2:35 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 5: Aquaculture Ecological Impacts and Disease
Tags: Other
High Throughput Cryopreservation of Aquatic Seed
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Kieran Smith, University of Minnesota; Kanav Khosla, University of Minnesota; Guebum Han, University of Minnesota; Tim Humphrey, Ecto Inc; Michael McAlpine, University of Minnesota; John Bischof, University of Minnesota
Student or Professional: Student-Graduate
Abstract: Genetic banking of plant cells, tissues, seeds, and mammalian embryos is common practice in agriculture to ensure important genetic lines are not lost due to disease outbreak or environmental catastrophe. However, genetic banking of aquatic embryos and larvae is nearly nonexistent, and cryopreservation could be an important strategy to ensure against the loss of aquatic species due to reproductive failures, environmental degradation, or invasive species proliferation. The relatively large size (0.2 – 5.0 mm) of aquatic ova and embryos and high yolk content has precluded the formation of an aquatic seed storage product to date. Recent advancements in rapid cooling for storage at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-196°C) and ultra-rapid laser rewarming ( >107 °C/min) have led to major breakthroughs in cryopreservation technologies. These advancements have enabled the first successful cryopreservation of the teleost fish species Danio rerio or zebrafish, as well as an important aquaculture species Litopenaeus vannamei, or Pacific white shrimp.  Optimization of low molarity (Notemigonus crysoleucus or golden shiner.  Cryopreservation of fish embryos could improve the productivity of the Minnesota aquaculture industry by enabling farmers to produce a continuous supply of gametes year-round and reduce the cost of broodstock maintenance. For many species such as walleye, cryopreservation of fish embryos could also enable preservation of genetic lines for research.  These technologies will help protect genetic resources vital to the commercial aquaculture industry and food security domestically and abroad. 
Tags: Conservation Biology, Freshwater Fish-Other, Genetics-Fish
Captive Brood Development Success with Brown Trout and Arctic Grayling by Michigan DNR
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:15 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Dan Sampson, Michigan DNR
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Two different approaches have recently been used by Michigan DNR to develop new captive brood strains, including one from a naturalized local strain of wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the other from a wild Alaskan strain of Arctic grayling (Thymallus arctus). This presentation will compare & contrast the considerations and strategies used for planning and development of both captive broodstocks.  Considerations in both cases included genetics, disease histories, and the availability of founding stock.  Strategy commonalities included random 1:1 paring of at least 100 pairs of adults and keeping progeny isolated until all required fish health examinations were complete.  Significant differences included the length of time wild captured founding stock were held, degree of tracing family contribution, logistic complexity, and the degree of quarantine used during isolation.
Tags: Fish Culture
Using Artificial Substrate to Improve Yolk Sac Growth Efficiency in Pacific Salmon
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Paul Stowe, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The natural environments where Pacific salmon fry hatch and absorb their yolk sacs are a far cry from the bare incubation screens and upwell incubators commonly used in coldwater fish culture facilities for large scale production.  This gravel offers small interstitial spaces which support and protect fry until they are ready for exogenous feeding.  While gravel might not be feasible in incubators for a multitude of reasons, many different options have been developed and tested to date which have promise and drawbacks.  This presentation will provide an overview of artificial substrate options for different incubator types as well as share the results of multiple years of data collected using artificial substrate to incubate coho and Chinook salmon fry in vertical incubation stacks.
Tags: Fish Culture, Fisheries Techniques, Freshwater Fish-Other
Symposium Q&A for Part 6
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:45 PM to 4:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Q&A for Part 6:  Aquaculture Innovations
Tags: Other
Symposium Wrap-up & Discussion
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 4:15 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-10: The Future of Aquaculture in the Midwest Region: Barriers and Opportunities (Part 2)
Authors: Amy Schrank, University of Minnesota Sea Grant
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Join symposium organizers and presenters for a general discussion to wrap-up the symposium.
Tags: Other
 
S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Symposium Welcome & General Overview of Session
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:00 PM to 1:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Tara Hohman, Conservation Science Associate, Audubon Upper Mississippi River; Co-Organizers: Andrew Beebe, Forester, Audubon Upper Mississippi River (andrew.beebe@audubon.org); Nicole Michel, Quantitative Ecologist, Audubon (nicole.michel@audubon.org)
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Symposium Overview:Bottomland forests undergo extreme environmental and anthropogenic pressures. With some of the biggest threats impacting Upper Mississippi River (UMR) bottomland forests including fragmentation, habitat loss, invasive species, and altered hydrological regimes. Natural resource specialists within the UMR are tasked with combating these stressors while coexisting with the expansive Mississippi River floodplain. Extreme flood events within this ecosystem can influence the impact and timing of conservation and management actions and appear to be doing so on a more increasing basis. Resulting in many natural resources agencies and partners along the UMR to continue to study and analyze factors that influence the condition of bottomland forest plant and bird communities amongst other wildlife and habitat components. The Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forest: Birds and Habitats symposium focuses around the conservation efforts, management techniques and research done by the professionals who work throughout this unique and dynamic system focusing around forestry and birds. This space allows the opportunity for professionals to not only share their research and best practices but foster a collaborative and cohesive communitive effort for the management of the UMR system.
Tags: Other
Influence of Flooding, Gap Size, and Surrounding Forest Characteristics on the Fate of Floodplain Forest Canopy Gaps in the Upper Mississippi River System
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:10 PM to 1:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Alexandra Oines, Winona State University; Meredith Thomsen, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; Lyle Guyon, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center; Andrew Meier, US Army Corps of Engineers; Nathan De Jager, Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Andrew Strassman, Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; Stephanie Sattler, Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Floodplain forests provide critical habitat for migratory and resident birds, and serve as spawning sites for a variety of fish species during high water events. Forest canopy gaps frequently promote the growth of tree seedlings, but adverse environmental conditions can prevent gap closure. This project evaluates several factors that could influence the fate of canopy gaps in the Upper Mississippi River System floodplain forests. Collaborators identified forest gaps using LiDAR imagery; we then conducted field surveys in 20 gaps across a range of sizes and flood conditions in Pools 8 and 9 of the Mississippi River. Across gaps, the presence of tree seedlings 50 cm in height were only recorded in 45% of sites, suggesting a lack of natural regeneration. 43% of tree seedlings had been browsed, but for all individuals
Tags: Ecology, Exotic/Invasive Species, Forest
Breeding Birds of the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Forest: One Community in a Changing Forest, 1994 to 1997
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:30 PM to 1:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Eileen M. Kirsch, USGS, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Floodplain forest on the upper Mississippi River (UMR) has been reduced and is undergoing continued reduction and changes in structure and species diversity because of river engineering and invasive species. During the 1990s, virtually no information was available about breeding songbirds of UMR floodplain forest. From 1994 to 1997, we surveyed breeding birds and sampled vegetation at 391 random points on UMR floodplain forest from Red Wing, Minnesota, to Clinton, Iowa, to characterize bird assemblages and associations with gradients in forest structure at survey points (local scale) and land cover composition within a 200-meter radius of survey points (landscape scale). Eighty-six bird species were detected (18,755 detections) with an average of 19 birds and 10 species detected per survey. Twenty-eight species comprised 90 percent of all detections. Species typically associated with woodland edge or atolerant of fragmentation were the most common: American Redstart, House Wren, American Robin, Common Grackle, and Warbling Vireo. Species typically associated with large forest patches­­—Cerulean Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Pileated Woodpecker—were rare. Principal components analyses consistently described local habitat gradients related to canopy cover and reed canary grass presence and described landscape gradients related to forest area and areas of open land cover types. However, nonmetric multidimensional scaling revealed no pattern in bird assemblages. Canonical correspondence analyses (CCA) with local habitat variables for each year revealed that bird assemblages were associated with canopy cover, the presence of reed canary grass, and the number of tree species. Four bird species were consistently associated with reed canary grass presence or negatively with canopy cover. Although landscape variables were associated with the bird assemblage in CCA, no bird species were consistently related to any landscape variable. These results indicate that there is one assemblage of forest birds on the UMR composed mainly of edge-tolerant species.
Tags: Avian, Forest, Habitat, River/Stream
Forest Habitat Changes and Bird Habitat Associations in Pool 10 of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 1:50 PM to 2:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Billy Reiter-Marolf, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: From 2017 through 2020, forest inventory surveys and bird point counts were conducted in Pool 10 on the McGregor District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The goal of these surveys was to collect baseline forestry and bird data to better understand the habitat associations of three priority resource of concern bird species: Cerulean Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, and Red-shouldered Hawk. During this four year period, above average flooding resulted in extensive tree stress and mortality on the Refuge. This presentation will examine the composition, structure, and health of the forested islands in Pool 10, as well as illustrate the distribution and abundance of priority bird species that utilize these islands as breeding habitat. Ongoing efforts to better understand priority bird habitat associations will also be discussed.
Tags: Avian, Forest, Habitat
Songbird Use of Interior and Edge Floodplain Forest Sites Along the Upper Mississippi River During Spring Migration and Breeding Seasons
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:10 PM to 2:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Eileen M. Kirsch, USGS, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Brian R. Gray, USGS, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Floodplain forests of large rivers in the Midwestern USA are naturally fragmented by sloughs, backwaters, wetlands, and shrub carr. On the highly altered Upper Mississippi River (UMR) resource managers want to protect and manage floodplain forests to benefit “interior” forest bird species. To discover bird relations with interior and edge floodplain forest we characterized bird assemblages during spring migration and breeding season, and forest habitat in interior forest areas > 100 m from an edge, edges associated with interior areas, and other areas of forest not associated with an interior area (random sites) on the UMR between Hastings and Red Wing, Minnesota. The random sites represent the majority of UMR floodplain forest area because only a small percentage of forest occurs >100 m from edge. Estimated habitat characteristics did not differ among interior, edge, and random sites. Bird relative abundance, species richness, diversity, assemblage composition, and detections of all but 1 species (in spring) did not differ among interior, edge, and random sites during both seasons. Our results suggest a homogeneous bird assemblage across UMR floodplain forest in the study area during spring migration and the breeding season, and that individual forest bird species do not seem to be more abundant in interior or edge areas as we defined them.
Tags: Avian, Forest, Habitat
Evaluating Bottomland Forest Bird Response to Forest Management and Identifying Priority Conservation Areas Across the Upper Mississippi River
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:30 PM to 2:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Nicole L. Michel; Andrew Beebe; Tara Hohman; Nathaniel Miller - National Audubon Society
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Prioritizing lands for conservation of entire bird communities and quantifying the success of management efforts for multiple species is challenging and often elusive, yet achieving these objectives is essential to meet today’s conservation challenges. Floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River provide critical habitat for a diverse avian community, including over 80 breeding and 90 migratory bird species. These forests – and the birds that rely on them – face multiple threats, including habitat loss, stress related to extended high water and flooding, and invasive species replacing space previously occupied by native forest species thus preventing natural regeneration. For the last six years, National Audubon Society has collaborated with the state and federal agencies to restore the quality of bottomland forest habitat along the Upper Mississippi River. Here, we present preliminary results of floodplain forest bird response to habitat conditions at two spatial scales and extents, focusing on nine focal bird species. We conducted a spatial prioritization using remotely-sensed data across the Upper Mississippi River watershed. Nine species of floodplain forest focal birds were more abundant in areas with extensive forest cover and frequent flood events, and less abundant in areas with impervious surface cover. In the St. Louis District, we evaluated response of 23 bottomland forest bird species to vegetation structure and composition at US Army Corps of Engineers Forest Inventory Plots. Bottomland forest birds responded most strongly to total basal area (median and variation) and canopy height. Both analyses enabled us to identify priority areas for focal species, which can be used to inform future efforts to restore and conserve floodplain forest habitat for birds and wildlife.
Tags: Avian, Conservation Biology, Modeling
Symposium Welcome & Overview (Part 2)
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Tara Hohman, Audubon
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Welcome and general overview of symposium (Part 2)
Tags: Other
Influencing Management Through Partnerships in Bottomland Forest Bird Monitoring
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:10 PM to 3:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Tara Hohman, Audubon
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Since 2012, Audubon has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – St. Louis district to conduct bird monitoring on 49,000 acres of bottomland forest spanning 180 miles of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Using bottomland forest birds as indicators of forest health, we’ve located priority areas and have begun determining methods in which birds can be used to influence forest management throughout the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). However, in terms of the greater Upper Mississippi River region (UMRR), our reach is still limited in our understanding of bottomland forest bird populations. Audubon prides themselves on their expertise in avian monitoring and science, and have leveraged this knowledge with other agencies in order to increase our understanding of bottomland forest ecosystems on the UMRR. As we continue to build upon our current dataset, we also hope to expand our reach and continue to create a more cohesive plan for bottomland forests and bird management within this region. This presentation will discuss our current partnerships, our current understandings of bird and habitat management, and future goals in reaching this endeavor.
Tags: Avian, Forest, Management
Seeing the forest for the birds: Audubon’s ambitious plan and new techniques to restore floodplain forests for the benefit of birds and people
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Nat Miller, Director of Conservation, Audubon
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Audubon’s Upper Mississippi River Initiative is mobilizing its broad network to address threats and advance solutions for birds, people, and communities by restoring the floodplain forests along the Upper Mississippi River that have experienced major declines as trees continue to age and die without replacement. For over five years Audubon has been working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers to address this forest loss and regenerate new trees. Audubon has planted well over 100,000 trees as part of this work, however the Upper Mississippi River is a difficult and volatile place for young trees to flourish. High water and limited access both make floodplain forest management a challenge. Many floodplain tree species are light seeded pioneer types that have historically regenerated well on exposed mineral soils. Reed canary grass and altered hydrology presently make it difficult for these conditions to occur naturally. Audubon has found success in creating these conditions through mechanical and chemical treatments, thus allowing thousands of trees per acre to naturally occur as a result. This presentation will outline Audubon’s Upper Mississippi River goals and share the logic and applied approach to utilizing natural regeneration as a reforestation tool.
Tags: Avian
Challenges of Riverside Japanese Hop (Humulus japonicus) Eradication in Southeast Minnesota
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:50 PM to 4:10 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Christina Basch, Minnesota Department of Agriclutre; Monika Chandler, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Emilie Justen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Barb Perry, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Edward Dittmer, Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa; Dustin Looman, Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus) is an aggressive herbaceous vine that blankets and smothers native plants in pastures and riparian corridors. It has been designated a Prohibited Eradicate Noxious Weed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) since 2012. In 2014, the MDA surveyed areas with historical reports of Japanese hop and found patches along the Root River Trail in Fillmore and Houston counties. River surveys were conducted in 2015 to map the infestation extent along 70 river miles of the Root River. A successful full river treatment occurred in summer of 2015.  From 2016 - 2019, high water levels, erosion, and the lack of watercraft that can handle rapids, carry cumbersome equipment and maneuver undeveloped boat access sites hindered further management. The MDA, Department of Natural Resources and local partners are experimenting with different management techniques to overcome these challenges.
Tags: Conservation Biology, Exotic/Invasive Species, Restoration/Enhancement
Habitat Management Planning on National Wildlife Refuges of the Upper Mississippi River: How Are Bottomland Forests Prioritized?
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 4:10 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Stephen Winter, USFWS, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy requires all refuges within the National Wildlife Refuge System to complete a Habitat Management Plan that identifies habitat management priorities, sets specific habitat management objectives, and describes strategies that can be used to achieve objectives.  Eleven National Wildlife Refuges occur on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and Habitat Management Plans have been completed or are in a draft stage for all of them.  The habitat management planning process for refuges includes includes steps whereby communities, guilds, and species are identified as Priority Resources of Concern and these Priority Resources of Concern are then the focus of a refuge's activities for the 15-year lifespan of the Habitat Management Plan.  Bottomland forests and their associated taxa have been identified as Priority Resources of Concern at all 11 of the refuges on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.  These include eight species of birds and one bird guild, two species of plants and one plant community, two species of mammals and one mammal guild, and one species of reptile.  This presentation will illustrate the planning process that identifies Priority Resources of Concern; identify the species, guilds and communities associated with bottomland forests that have been prioritized at these refuges; and highlight some of the habitat management objectives and strategies associated with these Priority Resources of Concern.
Tags: Avian, Conservation Biology, Forest, Habitat, Management, Restoration/Enhancement, River/Stream
Symposium Wrap-up
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 4:30 PM to 4:50 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-11: Upper Mississippi River Bottomland Forests: Birds and Habitats
Authors: Tara Hohman, Audubon
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Closing remarks for symposium
Tags: Other
 
S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Community Fishing Location Use Before and After Coronavirus: Insights from Anonymous Location Data
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:00 PM to 2:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Urban and community fishing opportunities have exploded in central Iowa since the inception of Iowa Department of Natural Resources' Community Fishing Program. Hundreds of urban and suburban ponds have become part of the program through partnerships with municipalities, homeowners associations, counties, and other entities that own waters in developed areas. This expansion of backyard fishing opportunities continued in 2020, but the impact of coronavirus and associated restrictions on pond visitation was unknown. Although Iowa did not have a stay-at-home order, numerous business types were paused or slowed beginning in spring 2020. Concurrently, fishing license sales exceeded previous records, and visitation to parks and campgrounds seemed to increase when those facilities re-opened. I used a point-of-interest dataset derived from anonymous mobile locations to examine trips, unique visitors, distance traveled, and trip duration to Community Fishing Program locations in the Des Moines, Iowa, area from January 2018 to December 2020. Comparisons between the pre-coronavirus period (January 2018 - February 2020) and post-coronavirus period (March 2020 - December 2020) can reveal changes in travel and visitation behavior to close-to-home recreational opportunities, as well as potential challenges with crowding and resource saturation.
Tags: Other - Urban Fisheries
Urban Fishing Programs in Wisconsin
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:15 PM to 2:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Laura Schmidt, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The majority of the U.S. population residents in urban areas with little access to fishing opportunities.  Urban and community fishing programs are incredibly valuable to the R3 model, and providing adequate fishing opportunities for urban residents is the primary goal of the Wisconsin DNR’s Urban Fishing Program.  This presentation will focus on an overview of the WDNR’s Urban Fishing Program, including the long-standing partnership with volunteers, the unique opportunity for connection with urban anglers, recent survey data, and goals for future management.
Tags: Fishing/Field Surveys, Management, Outreach/Communication
Fishing in the Neighborhood (MNDNR) 4-Year Program Summary
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:30 PM to 2:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Mario Travaline, Matt Petersen, Tim Ohmann; Fishing in the Neighborhood Program Specialists, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Metro Fisheries Offices
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) focuses on water bodies that primarily provide shore fishing opportunities to local residents of the 7-county metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul. These resources are seen as focal points not only for angling recreation but as community assets for a variety of recreation and leisure activities, environmental education and examples of properly managed aquatic systems in urban settings. FiN works to increase angling opportunities, increase or enhance access to shore-fishing, and to connect stakeholders to the resource via fishing, education and outreach. Since the beginning of FY 2016, FiN has stocked over 49,000 fish including 10 different species, over 1,350,000 Walleye fry, purchased 8 piers, and held 268 fishing/aquatic education events for 14,297 participants of all ages. This report details accomplishments of the FiN program in fiscal years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and sets the direction for the 5 years through discussion and feedback.
Tags: Fishing/Field Surveys, Freshwater Fish-Other, Human Dimensions, Outreach/Communication
Kansas Urban R3 Efforts – Evaluating effectiveness through R3 Principles
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 2:45 PM to 3:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: David Breth, Sportfishing Education Coordinator, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT)
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Since the mid-1980s, the Fisheries Division of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has implemented programs in urban areas of the state to increase fishing participation, access, and satisfaction. The Community Fisheries Assistance Program was one of the first and began as an effort to help communities develop local-owned waters into quality fisheries through stocking or in-lake management. In 2005, the program added an “enhanced” component to remove financial barriers to fishing. KDWPT entered into license agreements with communities eliminating local fees for anglers. For the last twenty years, the Urban Stocking Program has provided put-and-take fisheries of harvest-sized channel catfish at over 80 locations. Aquatic education events are more prevalent in metro areas in an effort to recruit new anglers to the sport. In recent years, over 50% of the licenses sold annually are purchased by residents living in five (out of 105) counties in Kansas. Using new R3 principles and evaluation guidelines, KDWPT staff will evaluate the agency’s financial and time investments executing these programs, with the objective of providing more cost-effective efforts to increase licensed participation in these counties.
Tags: Other
Community Fishery Planning Based on Survey and GIS Data: An Example from Iowa
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:00 PM to 3:15 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Tyler J. Stubbs, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Community Fishing Program guides urban and suburban fishery development in Iowa, consulting with partners to provide quality fishing opportunities close to home. Common questions from partners regarding fishery and park development revolved around fish species, amenities, and programs. To answer these questions, a general population survey was conducted focusing on constraints to constraints to fishing participation, characterization of an ideal fishing trip, identification of important amenities and features, and identification of useful outreach programs. Responses differed by sociodemographic factors and by fishing experience level, with potential anglers being particularly unique. Furthermore, responses were associated with unique neighborhoods and could be spatially predicted. Recruitment, retention, and re-activation (R3) strategies differed based on these findings, and recommendations for fishery and park improvements depended on R3 goals. This presentation will focus not only on findings, but also on survey development and analyses.
Tags: Other - Urban Fisheries
Promoting Urban Fishing in Eagan, Minnesota
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:25 PM to 3:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Jessie Koehle, City of Eagan, Water Resources Division of Public Works; Eric Macbeth, City of Eagan, Water Resources Division of Public Works; Jim Levitt, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, East Metro Fisheries; Tim Ohmann, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, East Metro Fisheries
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: One of the goals of the City of Eagan’s Water Resources program is to provide most residents a fishing opportunity within about a mile of home. Balanced trophic states in shallow lakes can also help maintain good water quality. The City of Eagan, Lebanon Hills Regional Park, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program have been working together for many years to manage Eagan’s fisheries. The City routinely aerates fishing lakes in the winter and offers a number of fishing clinics. City staff also coordinates with FiN staff to perform fish population surveys and stocking, and to install fishing piers and access areas. Over the past five years, the City has done two online fishing use surveys and one trail camera survey in Eagan to get input from the community and assess public use. Information is shared between agencies and at www.cityofeagan.com/fishing. We present this model of a thriving urban fishing program in order to discuss successes and challenges and to receive outside professional feedback and other ideas.
Tags: Fishing/Field Surveys, Inland Lake/Reservoir, Management
Improving Urban Fisheries Through Remediation and Restoration of Aquatic Habitat
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:30 PM to 3:45 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Joel Hoffman, Lawrence Burkhard, Tom Hollenhorst, Greg Peterson, Mark Pearson, Anne Cotter - U.S. EPA; Jonathon Launspach, General Dynamics Information Technology
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Urban rivers and coastal environments around the Great Lakes are popular fishing destinations, but also commonly associated with fish consumption advisories owing to a past legacy of contaminated sediments. These contaminants generally are distributed heterogeneously such that contaminant residues in game fish tissue vary widely, presumably due to variable exposure that arises from, at least in part, within- and among-species differences in habitat use and life history. This presents multiple challenges for characterizing contaminant residues in game fishes and providing anglers with accurate consumption information. Therefore, we developed a habitat-specific, geospatial Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor (BSAF) model that predicts fish tissue residues based on sediment contaminant concentrations and total organic carbon (TOC) concentration. We developed the BSAF model for yellow perch (Perca flavescens), a widely-distributed freshwater species and popular game fish, and conducted an application of the model in an urban river—wetland complex using a random, stratified design. The model demonstrated the likely occurrence of yellow perch with high PCBs residues in specific areas of the river, including in and around public fishing piers. Based on the validation exercise, the model had a high degree of accuracy for predicting fish tissue residues. Subsequently, we used the high-resolution version of the model to support design of a sediment remediation and habitat restoration project. We conclude this approach has strong potential to be used for PCBs hot-spot confirmation, estimating remediation project footprints, and to estimate a project’s potential impact to improve the quality of the fishery.
Tags: Freshwater Fish-Other, Great Lakes, Habitat, Modeling, Restoration/Enhancement
The Iowa DNR's Community Fishing Program: Working with Cities to Provide Local Fishing Opportunities Through Stormwater Management
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 3:45 PM to 4:00 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Tyler J. Stubbs, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Community Fishing Program is a statewide program that promotes the development and enhancement fishing opportunities within Iowa’s larger cities.  Iowa DNR staff have been working with municipalities and stormwater professionals to promote sustainable fisheries populations and fishing opportunities similar to farm ponds within neighborhoods.  The average and maximum depths, as well as the degree of side slope required to promote a year-round fish population in these systems was not fully encompassed in the former state stormwater basin design manual.  Additionally, building them with deeper depths, and steeper slopes will help to hinder nuisance aquatic vegetation growth which has become costly for cities to control, and has led to many resident complaints.  Recently renovated lakes in Iowa have exhibited aquatic plant growth to depths of 12 feet when water clarity is increased, which is the reason for suggesting these steeper, deeper basins.  The use of this new design option will require local partnerships between cities, the DNR, engineers, and developers to make sure design goals are met, and the correct number and species of fish are stocked in a timely manner to create a long-term sustainable fishery.  Building these dual purpose basins that are providing both stormwater management and recreational fishing puts Iowa’s cities on the leading edge of providing quality close to home fishing opportunities for their residents and next generation anglers.
Tags: Fishing/Field Surveys
Symposium Q&A and Wrap-up
Date & Time: 2/3/2021; 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM (Central Time)
Symposium: S-12: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Authors: Tyler J. Stubbs, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Student or Professional: Professional
Abstract: Closing remarks and wrap up for the symposium: Urban and Community Fishing Programs: Working to Create Opportunities Close to Home
Tags: Other
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