Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference 2020 Header
Overview of Organized Symposia
These organized symposia will be offered as part of the technical program at the annual conference. An Organized Symposium is a series of integrated presentations that address aspects of a single topic or theme.
S-01. Emerging Synthetic Biology Technologies for Invasive Species Management
MONDAY JANUARY 27 / 1:20 PM – 4:20 PM
Contact: Kelly Pennington, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, kelly.pennington@state.mn.us
Co-organizers: Kurt Kowalski, Great Lakes Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Ann Arbor, MI, kkowalski@usgs.gov; Teresa Lewis, Director, Midwest Fisheries Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Onalaska, WI, teresa_lewis@fws.gov; Chris Merkes, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, U.S. Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI, cmerkes@usgs.gov; Nicholas Phelps, Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, phelp083@umn.edu; Robert Wakeman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, WI, Robert.wakeman@wisconsin.gov

  • Researchers are developing biotechnological approaches that could be applied to aquatic, terrestrial, and wetland invasive species control. For example, technologies currently being investigated may be used to control common carp, non-native Phragmites, and other species of concern in the Midwest.
  • Researchers, natural resource managers, regulators, risk assessment experts, and others can be better prepared for the potential benefits and risks of these technologies in the field by sharing information and discussing this topic now. This is a timely topic that fits in the conference theme of “Bringing Science Back to the Forefront of Resource Management.”
  • Scientists and management experts will present during this symposium and then participate in a panel discussion. Presentations will focus on several case studies of technologies that are relevant to natural resource managers in the Midwest, as well as public engagement, regulatory, and risk assessment considerations for these technologies.
  • Symposium participants will learn about technologies that may affect their work in the future and be challenged to think about how they can work in their respective organizations to be better prepared for these technologies if and when they do become a part of the natural resources toolkit.

Keywords: biotechnology, invasive species, risk assessment
S-02. Emigration of Fish from Midwest Impoundments: Impacts, Challenges, and Opportunities
MONDAY JANUARY 27 / 1:20 PM – 4:20 PM
Contact: Kevin Page, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, kevin.page@dnr.state.oh.us
Co-organizers: Curtis P. Wagner, Fisheries Management Supervisor, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, curt.wagner@ohio.gov; Michael J. Weber, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management, mjw@iastate.edu

Overview: Emigration is an important consideration for the management of sport fish and non-sport fish populations in impounded systems throughout the Midwest. Emigration influences the persistence of quality recreational fisheries, conservation of species, and downstream fish and non-fish assemblages. Biotic and abiotic factors often interact to influence emigration of fish from reservoirs including, fish life histories and behaviors, reservoir characteristics, water management regimes, and the design of water control structures. While important, emigration and its impacts on fish populations have historically been difficult to evaluate. Recent advancements in technologies, such as those in fish tracking and tagging, have been useful for generating a greater understanding of emigration from reservoirs. Even with a broader appreciation of emigration, the implementation of measures to prevent or mitigate emigration will likely be complicated by the diversity of interests among various reservoir management entities and user groups. This symposium provides an opportunity for natural resource and reservoir managers to highlight research related to the extent and factors influencing sport fish and non-sport fish emigration, share methods for investigating emigration in impounded systems, and identify potential solutions and impediments to controlling emigration.

Keywords: Emigration of sport fish from reservoirs
S-03. Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
MONDAY JANUARY 27 / 1:20 PM – 4:20 PM
Contact: Gary Roloff, Michigan State University, roloff@msu.edu
Co-organizers: Erin Lizotte, IPM Educator, Michigan State University, taylo548@anr.msu.edu; James DeDecker, Director, Upper Peninsula Research and Education Center, Michigan State University, dedecke5@msu.edu

Overview: The Midwest region of the United States supports abundant wildlife and diverse agriculture, with both substantially contributing to regional and national economies and livelihoods. Recreation associated with wildlife has a positive economic impact, estimated to generate over $34 billion annually for 8 Midwestern States. The annual market value of crops and livestock exceed $76 billion. Wildlife represents a cost to farmers through crop and livestock depredation and food safety risks. State level wildlife damage data are limited and outdated, but suggests that agricultural losses in the Midwest are significant. For example, one study estimated that Wisconsin growers lose $45-57 million of crops annually to white-tailed deer alone. Resources available to producers in the Midwest for integrated wildlife damage management (IWDM) vary greatly, but are generally underutilized or ineffectual, and in some cases simply nonexistent. Challenges include political and social barriers to managing valued wildlife species as pests, complex regulatory jurisdiction over wildlife damage control, lack of dedicated personnel assigned to wildlife damage response, and limited IWDM tools. Many IWDM tools are not scaled to crop production contexts, provide only limited or temporary efficacy, or are not economically viable. Our symposium will focus on updating our understanding of wildlife damage assessments, mitigation, and philosophies with a focus on wildlife-agriculture co-existence in the Midwest region.

Keywords: Agriculture damage, wildlife conflict
S-04. The New Normal: The Effects of Extreme Rainfall on Habitat, Management, and Recreation
MONDAY JANUARY 27 / 1:20 PM – 4:00 PM
Contact: Olivia LeDee, Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, oledee@usgs.gov

Overview: According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, in the last fifty years, heavy precipitation events have increased by 42% in the Midwest. In a warming world, this trend is projected to continue, and increase in frequency, into the future. These events, and the concomitant flooding, affect fish and wildlife populations, habitat quality, and common management tools. Reduced reproductive success, direct mortality, and local extirpation is of concern for birds and reptiles. A rapid influx of sediment, contaminants, and invasive species may degrade habitat quality. Management areas may be inundated for long periods and unavailable for breeding, foraging, public access, or recreation. Finally, common management techniques, like water control structures, fish passages, and prescribed fire may provide fewer benefits under these conditions. In this session, we invite speakers to present on changing climate and hydrological regimes, effects of extreme events on fish, wildlife, and habitat, effects of extreme events on recreation and public access, efficacy of management interventions, potential adaptation strategies, and case studies from the Midwest region across taxa and systems. The goal of this session is increase understanding of these extreme events and share knowledge to prepare and reduce the detrimental effects on fish, wildlife, habitat, and recreation.

Keywords: climate change; flooding
S-05. The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon: 20 Years of Science-based Planning, Restoration and Management of a Large River Floodplain
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 /8:00 AM – 4:20 PM
Contact: Doug Blodgett, The Nature Conservancy, dblodgett@tnc.org
Co-organizers: Maria Lemke, The Nature Conservancy, mlemke@tnc.org; Tom Rothfus, University of Illinois Springfield, troth3@uis.edu; Jim Lamer, Illinois Natural History Survey, lamer@illinois.edu

Overview: In naturally functioning large flood-pulsed rivers, floodplains support ecological processes and habitats that contribute to phenomenal biological diversity and productivity. Along developed rivers such as the Illinois, many floodplains have been dramatically impacted by altered hydrology, heavy sediment loads and other pollutants, invasive species, and disconnection from the mainstem river that often greatly reduce or even eliminate the many benefits functional floodplains provide for nature and people. Such was the case at the Thompson Drainage and Levee District along the Illinois River in west-central Illinois where natural floodplain was leveed and converted to agriculture a century ago. The Nature Conservancy acquired this 6700-acre property, now called the Emiquon Preserve, in 2000 and is collaborating with partners to develop and implement science-based restoration and long-term management of functional floodplain habitat to improve the ecological health of the preserve as well as the river ecosystem. Guided by an external science advisory council, management scenarios and development of conservation measures (i.e., Key Ecological Attributes) were completed prior to restoration, which began in 2007. Monitoring of Key Ecological Attributes provides measures of restoration success and guides our adaptive management decision process. Long-term research conducted since 2007 continues to quantify responses of plant and animal communities to the reinundation of these former shallow lakes and wetland complex that were previously drained and subsequently farmed for 80 years. Current and future research will focus on the importance of a managed connection between the floodplain and the Illinois River to riverine and backwater biodiversity, lateral exchange of nutrients and secondary production, and backwater habitat quality and availability. This symposium will provide insights into how science is being used to plan and guide implementation and management of floodplain restoration and to document the responses of vegetation, invertebrates, fishes, water birds, mammals and people.

Keywords: Science-based floodplain restoration and management
S-06. Turtle Research and Conservation Management
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 /8:00 AM – 4:20 PM
Contact: Callie Golba, Northern Illinois University, cklatt@butler.edu
Co-organizers: Gary Glowacki, Wildlife Biologist, Lake County Forest Preserve District, Libertyville, Illinois; gglowacki@LCFPD.org

Overview: Turtles face unique challenges in a rapidly changing world due to certain aspects of their life history and thus, are one of the most critically imperiled species groups. This symposium will include researchers and conservation managers working on turtle populations across the Midwest. It will highlight recent projects designed to aide turtle conservation and guide management strategies, especially for species of special concern. Specifically, the current status of ongoing long-term projects, successes and advances in long-term monitoring, management techniques, genetics, life-history, and disease ecology will be discussed. This collaboration will aid in consolidating lessons learned about turtle conservation and facilitate critical discussions to guide future research, ultimately to better conserve our native turtle species across the Midwest.

Keywords: Conservation, management, wildlife
S-07. Regional R3 Update
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 /8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: Emily Iehl, Wisconsin DNR, emily.iehl@wisconsin.gov
Co-organizers: Keith Warnke, R3 Team Supervisor, Wisconsin DNR; Megan Wisecup, Hunter Education Administrator, Iowa DNR; Jeff Rawlinson, Education Manager, Nebraska DNR

Overview: Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) efforts are gaining traction as professionals continue to recognize the importance of hunting, angling, trapping, boating, and the shooting sports to state wildlife agency operations and programming. As participation in these traditional outdoor activities declines nationally, state agencies must adapt to ensure that their work remains relevant to changing future generations. In the past 10 years, over 40 states have hired or designated R3 Coordinators to tackle this problem. Their strategies include slowing declines in traditional user groups, conducting outreach to potential new participants who may adopt these activities, and fielding ideas for positive cultural changes within state agencies. This symposium serves as a venue for R3 professionals to provide updates on individual and collaborative R3 projects in the Midwest.

Keywords: R3, state agencies, human dimensions
S-08. Endangered Species Research & Management
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 / 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: Joshua Sherwood, Illinois Natural History Survey, jsherwo2@illinois.edu
Co-organizers: Sarah Douglass - Illinois Natural History Survey; Anastasia Rahlin - Illinois Natural History Survey

Overview: Many agencies throughout the Midwest are faced with similar challenges for the conservation of endangered, threatened, or rare species, making collaboration and information dissemination among agencies a key aspect in the conservation of Midwestern species. Conservation techniques are constantly changing due to research establishing improved methods, highlighting the need for researchers and managers to remain up-to-date on species conservation measures in their own and neighboring states. Additionally, research conducted in locations of stable populations could lead to improved management practices where a species is rare. This symposium seeks to highlight how agencies across the Midwest use research to implement projects for the conservation of threatened and endangered species (both federal & state) or locally rare species, with the goal of disseminating up-to-date data, best practices for monitoring and habitat management, and fostering a collaborative effort of species conservation across political borders.

Keywords: threatened, endangered, rare species
S-09. Partnerships to Inform Aquatic invasive Species Management
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 / 1:20 PM – 4:20 PM
Co-organizers: Patrice Charlebois, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (charlebo@illinois.edu); Stuart Carlton, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (carltons@purdue.edu); Carolyn Foley, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (cfoley@purdue.edu)

Overview: Aquatic invasive species remain one of the top threats to Midwest aquatic ecosystems. New invaders have the potential to completely upend the functionality of ponds, wetlands, streams, rivers, or lakes, while established invaders may present long-term challenges to ecosystem management. Different organizations take different approaches to dealing with aquatic invasives, from persistent eradication efforts to acceptance of the invasive species and resulting paradigm shift. For this symposium, we solicit presentations that discuss new efforts, success stories, or lessons learned on developing partnerships between researchers, managers, extension agents, community partners, etc., to address aquatic invasive species. We welcome talks on any species, in any system, that may include an understanding of how ecology, biology, physical systems, economics, or human behavior change affect management of aquatic invasive species.

Keywords: aquatic invasive species, partnerships, management
S-10. Comprehensive Management of Chronic Wasting Disease: Incorporating Deer Ecology, Epidemiology, and Human Dimensions to Manage CWD
TUESDAY JANUARY 28 / 1:20 PM – 4:20 PM
Organizer: Craig Miller, University of Illinois, craigm@illinois.edu

Overview: This symposium is designed to provide a forum for examining the biological, ecological, social (including the psychological, political, and economic perspectives), and managerial aspects of managing Chronic Wasting Disease. Each of these disciplines plays a critical role in managing CWD, however none can be successful without including the others. The theme of this symposium will be to focus on bring together representatives from these different components to present a comprehensive view of CWD management. Speakers will be encouraged to provide examples of how the other facets of CWD management have been incorporated into their focus and overall management of the disease in various states of the Midwest. Representatives from state agencies, research institutions, and nongovernmental organizations will be invited to present and discuss how new research findings are being incorporated into their CWD management plans, and how actions in one domain affect approaches in the other domains. For example, increased positive cases or increased land area for disease management may influence deer license sales, which in turn may lead to changes in the economy and result in political reverberations.

Keywords: CWD Management Deer
S-11. Recent Advancements in Behavioral Guidance Technologies to Deter Invasive Carp
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 29 /8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: Clark Dennis, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, cdennisi@umn.edu
Co-organizers: Dr. Peter Sorensen; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, soren003@umn.edu

Overview: Behavioral guidance technologies, which alter fish movement using sensory stimuli to both deter invasive fishes and guide valued fish away from harmful zones, have been targeted as a promising solution to the invasive carp crisis. At least half a dozen types of sensory stimuli (e.g., sound, light, chemicals, electricity, etc) have been shown to deter carp; however, many of these studies were conducted in the laboratory on only a few species. Recent work has switched focus to multi-species studies examining the response of invasive and native species, are using multi-sensory deterrent systems, and are being conducted in the field. This symposium will address some of the recent advancements in the development of behavioral guidance systems for invasive carp and will bring together scientists and engineers studying both the underlying physiology and behavior of fish to sensory cues, as well as managers that are currently using them.

Keywords: Invasive species management

Sponsored By:
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S-12. Stories of Success: Turning Collaborative Research into Applied Conservation
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 29 /8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: Jared Duquette, Illinois DNR - Wildlife, jared.duquette@illinois.gov
Co-organizers: Dr. Justin Shew, Conservation Program Manager, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, jshew@lc.edu; Mike Budd, Illinois State Coordinator, Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, US Fish and Wildlife Service, michael_budd@fws.gov

Overview: Professional natural resources conferences and meetings are often dominated by presentations solely focused on research. As research is only one stage of the process to conserve fish and wildlife, it is imperative to concomitantly discuss other stages and considerations, such as building partnerships and working with policy makers. The goal of this symposium is to showcase exemplary stories of how collaborative research has been used to implement measurable conservation successes across the Midwest. To achieve this goal the symposium will include a breadth of completed or concurrent fish and/or wildlife projects at local to regional scales. We will seek speakers from a range of organizations ranging from local non-profits and municipalities to state and federal agencies to showcase applied conservation from multiple perspectives and scales. We anticipate starting the symposium with a key-note speaker with long-time conservation experience in the Midwest and ending with one to two presentations about how research can be best applied and communicated to the appropriate parties, including how we can build stronger conservation partnerships. Our symposium is directly applicable to this meeting’s theme of “Bringing Science Back to the Forefront of Resource Management” and will provide a fresh and hopeful view of applied science to a broadly applicable audience, particularly students and early-career professionals. We believe our symposium will offer a much needed and valuable perspective on how to successfully apply fish and wildlife research for conservation success – directly tied to the 2020 Midwest conference theme.

Keywords: Partnerships, Application, Conservation
S-13. eDNA as a Tool for management
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 29 /8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Contact: Wesley Daniel, USGS, wdaniel@usgs.gov
Co-organizers: Matthew Neilson (mneilson@usgs.gov), USGS; Jonathan Freedman (jfreedman@contractor.usgs.gov), Cherokee Nation Technologies

Overview: The rapidly growing field of environmental DNA (eDNA) is a valuable tool for biosurveillance of populations of species of conservation concern, keystone species, or the leading edge of an invasion. The ever-advancing field of eDNA is a cost-effective and highly sensitive method for detecting organisms through testing water, soil, or even air environmental samples for DNA. Researchers and resource managers can use eDNA to screen and identify the presence of one or more species from just a couple of cells from tissue, mucus, feces, or urine in an environmental sample. Some of the critical advantages of eDNA compared to historical sampling procedures is its ability to detect populations in low abundance, the general speed that actionable information is acquired, and ability to minimize human-induced stress when surveying a population.

Currently, eDNA is being utilized as a tool by numerous institutions and agencies in the Upper Midwest to track and identify early detection of numerous species. This includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which implemented a comprehensive eDNA Monitoring Program in 2014 targeted to detect the presence of Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) in the Great Lakes region. This symposium will highlight accomplishments and uses of eDNA in the Upper Midwest as a tool for biosurveillance. Attendees will learn about recent enhancements in eDNA monitoring, case studies in the use of eDNA to detect and monitor invasive species, how eDNA has been used to estimate occurrence rates, along with an effort to create the first national eDNA database to track introduced and invasive aquatic species.

Keywords: eDNA, biosurveillance
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