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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. Oral presentation authors will have the option of submitting an abstract for these symposia, either as an invited speaker, or if you want your talk to be considered for the symposium marked as “Open.”

*indicates primary organizer
(1) Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Dr. Gary Roloff*, Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Michigan State University, roloff@msu.edu; Erin Lizotte, IPM Educator, Michigan State University Extension, taylo548@anr.msu.edu; James DeDecker, Field Crop Educator, Michigan State University Extension, 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 State level wildlife damage data are limited and outdated, but suggests that agricultural losses in the Midwest are significant.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.

Theme/Topic: Agriculture and Wildlife
(2) Application of Environmental DNA-based Tools for Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring and Management
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Catherine A. Richter*, Research Molecular Biologist, USGS, Columbia Environmental Research Center, CRichter@usgs.gov; Jon Amberg, Research Fish Biologist USGS, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, JAmberg@usgs.gov

Overview: As the field of environmental DNA (eDNA) matures, new and more powerful tools are available to managers. We will bring together scientists and natural resource managers to explore practical applications of eDNA techniques for detecting, characterizing, monitoring, and managing aquatic invasive species. Communication between scientists developing new methods and biologists applying eDNA techniques to problems in aquatic ecology is the key to advancing this technology for natural resource conservation. Tools under development include, for example, rapid response assays for real-time detection of target species in the field, metabarcoding approaches to screen for multiple species, quantitative assays, assays for additional target molecules, definitions of shedding rates and decay rates of eDNA, statistical approaches to define probabilities of detection, and assays sensitive to recent deposition of eDNA. We invite scientists developing innovative eDNA methods and resource managers applying eDNA to current problems in conservation biology to submit abstracts to this session.

Theme/Topic: Environmental DNA; Aquatic invasive species; Fisheries management; Methods development
(3) Bridging the Gap Between Fish and Wildlife: Discussions on Multi-Species Interactions and Ecosystem Stability
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Emi K. Tucker*, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, etucker3@illinois.edu

Overview: Fish and wildlife are often studied in isolation from each other. However, in the face of rapid environmental change, it is increasingly important to address the ecological processes that affect both fish and wildlife. For example, trophic connections between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems can allow the spread of pathogens or contaminants, and ecological consequences of invasive species can reach across ecosystems due to shifts in species composition or predator-prey interactions. Large-scale issues, such as climate change, are also likely to affect both fish and wildlife as well as the interactions between them. The purpose of this symposium is to foster discussion between fish and wildlife professionals regarding the interconnectedness between aquatic and terrestrial systems in the Midwest, specifically in relation to habitat degradation, climate change, pollution, and pathogens.

Theme/Topic: Integrative Research, Multi-Species Interactions, Ecosystem Stability
(4) Carbon Dioxide as an Aquatic Resource Management Tool
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Diane Waller*, dwaller@usgs.gov, 608-781-6282; Aaron Cupp, acupp@usgs.gov; Kim Fredricks, kfredricks@usgs.gov; Affiliation of all organizers: USGS - Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI

Overview: Many aquatic organisms are intolerant of increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in water. As a result, CO2 has gained increasing attention as a tool for management of aquatic invasive and nuisance species. When carbon dioxide dissolves and reacts with water, it forms carbonic acid and causes a concomitant decrease in pH. The resulting change in water chemistry can alter organism behavior and physiology, as well as cause mortality. The symposium will provide an overview of CO2 chemistry in freshwater aquatic systems, research on its lethal, sublethal, and behavioral effects to target and nontarget species, potential management applications, and considerations for its use in open water. Presentations will be invited on the use of CO2 to manage aquatic invasive species including Asian carps, crayfish, and dreissenid mussels, and as a piscicide for removal of nuisance fish species. The symposium will continue with presentations on application scenarios for CO2 in fisheries management and the registration status of CO2 for its application in open water. The symposium will conclude with a summary presentation/discussion on the potential benefits and consequences of CO2 in aquatic systems.

Theme/Topic: The use of Carbon dioxide in management of invasive and nuisance aquatic species.
(5) Collaborating with Community Members: The Human Side of Fish and Wildlife Management and Research
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Erin Burkett*, PhD Candidate, Michigan Technological University, emburket@mtu.edu; Beth Fultz, Michigan DNR, fultsb@michigan.gov; Kristin Phillips, Michigan DNR, phillpsk@michigan.gov; Stephanie Hussey, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, shussey@rbff.org

Overview: Fish and wildlife conservation requires partnerships between managers, policymakers, researchers, and the public, but communicating and working with fish and wildlife stakeholders can be challenging. Should fishery managers treat women anglers the same as male anglers? How do older farmers see the world differently than young farmers? From the most enthusiast hunters to the couch conservationists, these various groups all have unique but important perspectives, opinions, and needs regarding fish and wildlife resources. This session is intended for those interested in sharing 1) unique and novel ways of communicating with, and learning from, diverse publics and 2) lessons learned from those with first-hand experience in public engagement processes. The session will end with a group discussion where both presenters and session attendees can share resources and ideas and troubleshoot existing challenges they face when working with members of the public on conservation-related projects.

Theme/Topic: human dimensions of fisheries and wildlife management and research
(6) Considering New Paradigms in the Management of Beaver, Trout, and Riparian Habitats
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Dr. Gary Roloff*, Associate Professor Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, roloff@msu.edu; Dr. Dwayne Etter, Research Biologist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Division, etterd@michigan.gov; Gary Whelan, Manager – Research Section, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Fisheries Division, WHELANG@michigan.gov; Adam Bump, Furbearer Management Specialist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Division, BUMPA@michigan.gov; Steven Beyer, Research and Management Section Supervisor, Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Division, BeyerS1@michigan.gov

Overview: Management of beaver, trout, and riparian habitats has a long, sometimes contentious history in the United States and particularly in the Upper Midwest. Most managers agree that beaver – trout interactions are less critical in high gradient stream systems with high groundwater inputs. However, a clear area of conflict is low gradient systems with barely adequate groundwater inputs for salmonids. Often resource managers and planners do not fully understand the nuances associated with wildlife, fisheries, or forestry interactions or decisions in aquatic-riparian systems. In other instances, management paradigms are so culturally entrenched that change is virtually impossible. Advances in our understanding of aquatic and riparian system dynamics has led some researchers and managers to question the holistic effectiveness of broad (i.e., state-wide) management prescriptions (like static buffers around all fish-bearing streams regardless of their geomorphology). Our proposed symposium provides a forum for wildlife and fisheries managers to learn, discuss, and advance management of riparian habitats in the Midwestern United States. We propose a half-day symposium that would: 1) review the historical science on this issue; 2) outline management contexts from Fisheries and Wildlife professionals; 3) provide an update on tools (e.g., sophisticated stream and river network models) with relevance to this issue; and 4) explore opportunities for holistic management of these systems in the future. We believe a symposium on this topic would be of substantial interest to both fisheries and wildlife attendees.

Theme/Topic: Beaver, Trout, Riparian Habitats
(7) Dreissenid Mussels: Advancements in Control, Detection, Management, and Biology
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: James Luoma, Research Fisheries Biologist, USGS, jluoma@usgs.gov

Overview: This symposia will provide the results from the latest research on dreissenid mussel control tools, genomics, molecular detection techniques, RNA interference, and the results of recent applications of molluscicides for dreissenid control/eradication. A broad range of dreissenid mussel experts will be invited to share the results of their recent work and select individuals will be invited to share the challenges and control issues that are being faced on the Western U.S. dreissenid mussel invasion front.

Theme/Topic: Dreissenid mussel control and research
(8) Eastern Massasauga Conservation, Management, and Recovery
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Gregory Lipps, Ohio State University, lipps.37@osu.edu

Overview: In 2016, the Eastern Massasauga was designated as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, following the completion of a Species Status Assessment documenting continued population declines and threats to the species persistence. A federal recovery plan and Recovery Implementation Strategy (RIS) for the Eastern Massasauga are currently being developed, in addition to state and site-specific plans and initiatives. As the focus of more research than any other snake species in the Midwest, a great deal is known about the ecology and conservation needs of this Great Lakes region endemic, although gaps remain. The objective of this symposium is to provide a platform for sharing recent research findings as well as ongoing work to develop, fund, and implement strategies for the recovery of the Eastern Massasauga. This symposium is a follow-up to the 2016 symposium and is intended to continue the communication and collaboration among the various parties involved in the recovery of the species.

Theme/Topic: recovery; conservation; snake; Massasauga
(9) Great Lakes Trophic Structure: Innovations and Ongoing Studies of Predatory Fishes
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Brian M. Roth*, Michigan State University, rothbri@msu.edu; Tomas Hook, Purdue University, thook@purdue.edu

Overview: The Great Lakes have undergone drastic changes over the last few decades. In lakes Michigan and Huron, invasions of non-native Dreissenid mussels and Round Goby paired with historically-low numbers of previously dominant prey species such as Alewife have led to uncertainty regarding the sustainability of Pacific salmonines, whereas native Lake Trout and Walleye numbers have rebounded. Studies of the trophic structure of these lakes and the diets of piscivores are critical to provide information to decision-makers regarding stocking and harvest. However, much can be learned from studying piscivore diets and trophic structure in all of the Great Lakes, particularly that related to how predators support themselves in the absence of alewife, and how foodwebs change with respect to the invasion of round goby and other non-native prey species. Currently, there is little coordination among scientists in various institutions and jurisdictions to identify commonalities and create opportunities for collaboration. In support of the theme of the Midwest Fish and Wildlife conference, this symposium will bring together scientists from around the Great Lakes Basin with a mutual interest in evaluating the trophic structure as it pertains to predatory fishes of the Great Lakes. We are particularly interested in ongoing studies in addition to innovative methods. By communicating within a common theme, this symposium will hopefully foster relationships among scientists to support the conservation of predatory fishes in the Great Lakes.

Theme/Topic: Great Lakes, Predator diets, Trophic structure
(10) Migratory Wildlife Collisions with Manmade Structures: Monitoring, Prevention, and Patterns from Collision Data
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Matthew Shumar*, Program Coordinator, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, obcicoordinator@gmail.com; Andy Jones, Ph.D. Director of Conservation, William A. and Nancy R. Klamm Endowed Chair of Ornithology, and Head of Department of Ornithology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, ajones@cmnh.org

Overview: In recent years there has been significant attention to the effects of artificial light and anthropogenic structures (e.g., buildings, communication towers, wind turbines) on migratory wildlife, especially birds and bats. As building design incorporates increasing amounts of reflective glass, and demands increase for both domestic and renewable energy sources, the potential impacts to wildlife are expected to increase dramatically. It was recently estimated that between 365 and 988 million birds are killed by building collisions each year in the United States (Loss et al. 2014) and there is still a need for reliable estimates of mortality caused by wind energy development. To properly quantify landscape-level impacts, and to implement successful conservation efforts, “Lights Out” and “Safe Passage” programs have been undertaken in a number of cities across North America. These efforts have been successful by combining elements of public outreach, conservation, and research in a campaign to reduce the dangers of nighttime lighting and reflective glass for migrating birds and bats. As outreach and conservation efforts take root, there is an opportunity to investigate biotic and abiotic influences on collisions, as well as utilize specimens via museum collections for a myriad of evolutionary and ecological inquiries. The long-term success of these programs ultimately depends on cooperation among wildlife agencies, academic institutions, wildlife rehabilitators, natural history museums, building owners, public officials, and the general public.

Theme/Topic: Migration, collision, anthropogenic mortality, conservation
(11) Reading the Aquatic Landscape and Connecting Restoration Design
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: The Nature Conservancy - Dana Ohman, dana.ohman@tnc.org

Overview: This symposium will focus on how to recognize degraded aquatic systems, mainly streams and wetlands, and understand what components need to be included in restoration design such as soils, plants, amphibians, fish, and hydrology. Recognizing the types and underlying causes of aquatic degradation will allow a more appropriate restoration process without having to over design a project. Furthermore, several components that are overlooked in the aquatic design process such as compaction of soils, chemical composition of rock, large wood habitat, and incorporating revegetation of riparian corridors that includes herbaceous, shrub, and tree species will be discussed. This symposium will also discuss, as part of the restoration process, the collaboration process with conservation partners and regulatory agencies.

Theme/Topic: Stream and Wetland Degradation and Restoration Design
(12) Science in Service to Wetlands Conservation and Wildlife Management in the Lower Great Lakes Region: History, Status, and State of the Art
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Robert J. Gates*, Christopher M. Tonra – School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University; John W. Simpson and Brendan T. Shirkey, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

Overview: The lower Great Lakes region has a long and storied history of scientific research that continues to inform conservation policy, restoration, and management of coastal wetlands and associated bird populations to this day. The lower Great Lakes region has been heavily impacted by human population growth and coastal development, invasive species and landscape changes. Starting with an historical perspective of how approaches to research and wetlands conservation has changed with information needs and the dynamics of coastal wetlands, this symposium offers an overview of the state of our knowledge and understanding of coastal wetland plant and bird communities in the lower Great Lakes. We highlight public agency, NGO, and university partnerships through presentations that probe the ecology of wetlands-dependent birds and their habitats. Looking forward, we identify knowledge gaps and anticipate future conservation and research needs to address current and emerging issues.

Theme/Topic: conservation, Great Lakes, marshbirds, wetlands
(13) Sea Grant Role in Communicating Needs to Inform Research and Conservation
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Heather Triezenberg*, Michigan Sea Grant/MSU Extension vanden64@msu.edu; Stuart Carlton, IL-IN Sea Grant; Carolyn Foley, IL-IN Sea Grant; Sean Rafferty, PA Sea Grant; Kristen Fussell, OH Sea Grant; Catherine Riseng, MI Sea Grant; Rhett Register, MI Sea Grant; Chiara Zuccarino-Crowe, MI Sea Grant; Pat Charlebois, IL-IN SG; Jesse Lepak, NY SG

Overview: Fish and wildlife managers are increasingly being asked to communicate and engage with stakeholders to achieve conservation goals. Public participation, stakeholder engagement, social media, and citizen science, are just a few of the ways to connect with stakeholders and advance research and management important for conservation. In this half-day symposium, we provide an overview of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Programs and their work throughout the region. We present case studies of successful research to outreach, emphasizing the importance of communication and extension for achieving conservation goals. We will also share how Sea Grant research is informed by local community and management needs. Specific topics to be covered will include how Sea Grant programs work with state fisheries managers to increase public access to recreational fisheries, engage K-12 students in fisheries conservation, and work with managers to address diseases in fishes. A panel discussion at the end of the symposium will provide an opportunity for prospective partners to learn more about what it is like to work with the highly respected Great Lakes Sea Grant Network.

Theme/Topic: Research to outreach
(14) The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership: An Innovative University-State Agency Partnership for Conservation in Ohio
Type: INVITE ONLY

Organizers: Dr. H. Lisle Gibbs*,Professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology; Director, Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, Ohio State University, gibbs.128@osu.edu

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

Theme/Topic: The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership as an example of an innovative university-state agency partnership for conservation of non-game species in Ohio.
(15) Use of Acoustic Telemetry to Inform Fisheries Management Across Midwestern US and Canada
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Matthew Faust*, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, matthew.faust@dnr.state.oh.us; Dr. Andrew Carlson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, andrew.carlson@state.mn.us; Dr. Scott Colborne, Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, colborne@msu.edu; Dr. Dan Isermann, USGS, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Unit, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, dan.isermann@uwsp.edu

Overview: Acoustic telemetry is increasingly being used to investigate the spatial ecology and behavior of a variety of freshwater fishes across the United States and Canada. However, despite becoming a commonly used tool in fisheries management and ecology, acoustic telemetry is at times viewed somewhat skeptically as an “ivory tower” endeavor with limited applications to real-world fisheries management problems. The application of acoustic telemetry not only involves successful tagging and placement of monitors to detect fish movements, but requires the effective summarization and communication of large datasets tied to individual subjects. Many scientists, managers, and policy makers are unaccustomed to analyzing and interpreting data sets of this size. Here, we will strive to provide examples and facilitate discussions among users about how acoustic telemetry has and can be used by fisheries biologists and managers to directly address management issues from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River to small inland waterbodies. Additionally, the symposium will cover techniques to effectively communicate the findings of acoustic telemetry to diverse audiences. Subject matter will benefit both researchers, managers, and policy makers throughout the Midwest region.

Theme/Topic: acoustic telemetry, fisheries management, movement ecology, science communication
(16) Using Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations: Advancing Science-Based Fisheries Management
Type: Open Symposium

Organizers: Joseph Conroy*, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Joseph.Conroy@dnr.state.oh.us; Jeremy Pritt, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Inland Fisheries Research Unit, Jeremy.Pritt@dnr.state.oh.us; Martha Mather, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, mmather@ksu.edu; John Dettmers, The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, jdettmers@glfc.org

Overview: Fisheries professionals collect data on diverse fish taxa and sizes inhabiting a range of aquatic ecosystems to make evidence-based management decisions. State agencies and their university colleagues can advance science-based fisheries management by working together to identify common goals, problems, and potential solutions. Building on previous symposia which dealt with the development, validation, and application of standard population assessments, we here seek to determine whether standard assessment, new approaches, data sharing, and synthesis provide new direction when evaluating of harvest regulations (minimum length limits, daily bag limits). We envision a symposium which starts with several overview presentations, followed by case studies and perspectives from state fisheries management agencies within the North Central Division. Specifically, we request that agencies address some combination of the following seven topics: (1) outline approaches to agency implementation and evaluation of harvest regulations; (2) describe agency use of standardized assessments (successes, gaps, needs, dilemmas); (3) describe agency priorities for harvest regulations (species, sizes, systems, types of regulations); (4) describe data needed for harvest regulation evaluations; (5) describe data available for harvest regulation evaluations; (6) identify what is known and important data gaps about harvest regulation evaluations; and, (7) identify shared interests among state agencies and between fisheries researchers and managers proposing ways to provide those data needed to improve management decision-making. We will close with a synthesis which will provide a summary of common ground, conclusions, and next steps.

Theme/Topic: Fisheries Management, Regulations, Standard Assessments
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