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2016 Special Symposia
The following special symposia are from the 2016 conference.
Joint Fisheries & Wildlife Symposia
  1. Management of Invasive Species
  2. Tribal Research Collaboration
  3. Domestic – Wild Interactions
  4. Landscape Conservation Science
  5. Climate Science for State-level Management
  6. State-space Models
  7. Advances in Molecular, Population and Quantitative Genetics
Fisheries Symposia
  1. Habitat and Population Restoration for Sturgeon and Paddlefish
  2. Mussel Distribution and Habitat Associations
  3. Innovative Approaches to Reservoir Fisheries
  4. Recreational Fisheries in the Midwest
  5. Science of Fish Age and Growth
  6. Michigan Fisheries Research Legacy
  7. Launching the Connectivity Collaborative
  8. Detection and Control of Bigheaded Carps
Wildlife Symposia
  1. Massasauga Ecology and Management
  2. Wood Turtle Research and Management
  3. Wildlife Habitat Techniques
  4. Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Re-activation
Overview of Joint Fisheries & Wildlife Symposium
Management of Invasive Species
Full Title: Collaboration and Challenges with Prevention, Control, and Management of Invasive Species

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — Full Day; Tuesday, January 26 — Full Day; Wednesday, January 27 — 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Seth Herbst (Herbsts1@michigan.gov) and Sue Tangora (TangoraS@michigan.gov)

Description: Invasive species continue to threaten aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The prevention, control, and management of invasive species are issues that are relevant for many user groups and often affect multiple stakeholder groups. The influence of invasive species is widespread, but not consistently known for the various introduced taxa. The uncertainty in managing natural resources with emerging and existing invasive species presents multiple challenges to professionals when managing trust resources. The objectives of this symposium are to 1) increase regional awareness of invasive species management and research to inform wildlife and fisheries professionals on effective prevention, control, and management actions; and 2) highlight emerging concerns and innovative approaches to addressing multi-disciplinary invasive species issues. This session seeks to join members of the fisheries and wildlife disciplines to share the numerous examples of efforts to prevent the invasion and/or spread of invasive species as well as mitigate their effects. The presentations will cover topics related to, but not limited to, prevention, risk of introduction and establishment and impacts (ecologic and economic), early detection, monitoring, communications, control and management approaches, regulation and policy.
Tribal Research Collaboration
Full Title: Tribal Research Collaborations: Developing Working Relationships between Agencies

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:00 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Organizers: Eric Clark (EClark@saulttribe.net) and Bob Sanders (rsanders@lrboi-nsn.gov)

Description: Tribal natural resource management agencies in the Midwest play a major role through the management of reservation lands and collaborative management efforts on Treaty-ceded lands and waters. Over the past decade, the capacity of Tribal natural resource agencies has increased substantially. Along with this increased capacity, so too have the opportunities for collaboration between Tribal and non-Tribal agencies and academic institutions. The purpose of this symposium is to elevate awareness of opportunities and effective strategies to collaborate with tribes on fish and wildlife management and assessment activities by showcasing working collaborations between tribal, state and federal agencies, and academic institutions. These collaborations will focus largely on wildlife, fisheries, and ecosystem research as well as monitoring and management of resources on tribal and public lands. Presentations will focus on tribal perspectives for resource management, legal considerations associated with management responsibilities, and strategies for successful collaborative management from both tribal and non-tribal agencies. Presentations will also provide examples of collaborative management, highlighting past successes and failures.
Domestic – Wild Interactions
Full Title: Wild and Domestic Interactions in Fish and Wildlife: A Two-Way Street

Date & Time: Wednesday, January 27 — 10:20 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Organizers: Thomas Loch (lochthom@cvm.msu.edu)

Description: The interactions between wild and domestic fish and wildlife populations are complex, representing an important interface through which a multitude of problems can emerge and persist. However, such interactions also provide opportunities that can be exploited through a variety of management strategies, thereby benefiting one or more of the involved fish and/or wildlife populations. This joint symposium will cover a multitude of topics that are at the forefront of the fisheries and wildlife professions and that have resulted from the interactions among and between domestic and wild fish and wildlife populations. Case studies will include those involving fish, birds, and mammals, among others. The major objective of this symposium is to capitalize upon the multidisciplinary perspectives of the participants to foster the future development of novel approaches and/or management strategies that can ameliorate the antagonistic effects stemming from wild-domestic interactions.
Landscape Conservation Science
Full Title: Landscape Conservation Science and Management

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.; Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday, January 27 — 10:20 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Organizers: Bradley Potter (bradly_potter@fws.gov)

Description: In recent decades, advances in technology, data sharing platforms, analysis techniques, and theory have enabled investigations into fish and wildlife habitat and population dynamics at spatial and temporal scales broader than before. Findings from these investigations have aided an era of collaborative conservation, where multiple conservation entities are working with each other and others in different sectors to address common conservation challenges. Landscape science and management partnerships like the Department of Interior Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, Climate Science Centers, Climate Hubs, and others continue to push forward cutting-edge landscape science and management approaches. Presentations will describe the latest landscape conservation science and management across topics that include but are not limited to: landscape ecology, conservation/land use planning, collaborative conservation efforts and frameworks, and human dimensions.
Climate Science for State-level Management
Full Title: Applying Climate Science to State-level Resource Management

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Jeffrey Morisette (morisettej@usgs.gov), Chris Hoving (hovingc@michigan.gov), Robin O’Malley (romalley@usgs.gov), and Mary Ratnaswamy (mratnaswamy@usgs.gov)

Description: Although it is widely recognized that the rate of climate change is occurring at unprecedented levels, it is less clear on what resource managers can do about it (i.e., how do we take the science and make informed decisions for planning and management). This symposium will consist of presentations demonstrating how individuals have used climate science in practical assessments and management activities. The goal of the symposium will be to have a combination of fish and wildlife presentations related to this topic, looking to foster knowledge transfer between the fields.
State-space Models
Full Title: State-Space Models for Fish and Wildlife Population Dynamics

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:40 a.m. - 4:20 p.m.

Organizers: Bryan Stevens (steve563@msu.edu), Reneé Reilly (rreilly@msu.edu), and David Williams (dmwill@msu.edu)

Description: State-space models represent a synthetic framework for statistical applications in fisheries and wildlife that link dynamic models of ecological systems with observation models for describing sampling processes. Such models are a special class of hierarchical model where data are time-series observations, and partially observed population states are dependent through time in a Markovian fashion. As such, state-space frameworks facilitate a more formal merging of hypotheses and models from theoretical and empirical ecology, as well as direct fitting of dynamic ecological models to real data from fish and wildlife populations. Despite the conceptual advantages of these tools they have not received widespread adoption into graduate curriculum and professional training courses, and thus many researchers and students are not familiar with the framework and its potential use in applied research. Our objectives are to: 1) provide a general introduction to state-space models and their applications for fish and wildlife scientists, 2) describe case studies using state-space methods to model fish and wildlife populations, and 3) summarize existing barriers and likely future directions for learning and implementing state-space approaches in applied fisheries and wildlife research. This symposium will start with a formal keynote talk to introduce the topic and conceptual framework, followed by multiple example applications using state-space methods to model fish and wildlife population dynamics, and finish with a summary talk describing future directions and barriers to implementation of state-space methods in applied fisheries and wildlife research.
Advances in Molecular, Population and Quantitative Genetics
Full Title: Advances in Molecular, Population and Quantitative Genetic Methods Applied to the Management of Fish and Wildlife Populations

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:20 a.m. - 4:20 p.m.

Organizers: Andrew Mahon (mahon2a@cmich.edu) and Kim Scribner (scribne3@msu.edu)

Description: Recent advances in areas of genomics and statistical methodologies that utilize molecular data provide important information that can be used by fish and wildlife managers to more effectively manage fish and wildlife populations. Managers require information on population abundance, levels of natural recruitment and whether abundance is associated with local reproduction or immigration or emigration, and aspects of the physical and biotic environment that affect population processes. Molecular data are becoming more commonplace in these areas as access is becoming more available and costs are dropping to affordable and actionable levels. In this symposium, speakers will showcase many recent innovations in molecular population genomic and genetic technologies and how these tools are being used regionally and nationally to acquire data at population, community and larger landscape scales. These data are providing unprecedented resolution helping science and management understand fundament behavioral, ecological and demographic aspects of fish and wildlife species.
Overview of Fisheries Symposium
Habitat and Population Restoration for Sturgeon and Paddlefish
Full Title: Fostering Recruitment Success of Sturgeon and Paddlefish Through Habitat and Population Restoration

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Jason Fischer (jfischer@usgs.gov) and Edward Roseman (eroseman@usgs.gov)

Description: Historic population declines from overfishing and habitat degradation is a theme common to many sturgeon and paddlefish populations. Management actions that decrease harvest and mortality and improve habitat quality have set the stage for recovery of these fishes. However, consistent reproduction and recruitment to adult life stages remain as limiting factors for many populations, and causes of variability are poorly understood. This symposium will provide a forum to discuss restoration and management efforts seeking to improve spawning opportunities for adults, providing larvae and juveniles with appropriate nursery habitat, methods improving retention of larvae within quality rearing habitat, and other restoration projects focused on sturgeon and paddlefish early life stages. Specific objectives include discussion of restoration successes and failures, monitoring and evaluating restoration effectiveness, and opportunities for improvement. This symposium also welcomes papers on the reproductive and early life history requirements of sturgeon and paddlefish and factors potentially limiting recruitment of these fishes.
Mussel Distribution and Habitat Associations
Full Title: Understanding Mussel Distribution and Habitat Associations in the Midwest: Is There a Method to our Madness?

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Kristen Bouska (bouskak@missouri.edu) and Amanda Rosenberger (rosenbergera@missouri.edu)

Description: Despite their status as one of the most endangered taxonomic groups in the Midwest, the distribution, population status, and habitat associations of mussels remain poorly understood. The cryptic coloration and clustered distributional trends add to our challenges in assessing their status and describing their habitat preferences. To properly design a study to determine what limits mussel distribution, we need to be able to describe river and stream systems in a way that identifies those factors most important for mussels to establish and thrive. Further, we require sampling approaches that help us control for factors that affect mussel capture probability and detection and our ability to assess assemblage metrics such as species richness. This symposium will provide a forum to generate discussion on sampling design and sampling approaches for mussels that allow us to meet region-wide conservation challenges, and includes presentations on sampling techniques and sampling design for mussels and presentations that use unique approaches to better understand habitat requirements and limitations for freshwater mussels.
Innovative Approaches to Reservoir Fisheries
Full Title: New Solutions to Old Problems: Innovative Approaches to Reservoir Fisheries Management

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 1:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Organizers: Joseph Conroy (joseph.conroy@dnr.state.oh.us) and Rebecca Krogman (Rebecca.krogman@dnr.iowa.gov)

Description: Reservoirs in the Midwest—and throughout the United States—offer important recreational opportunities, in addition to providing essential services such as flood control, water supply, irrigation, navigation, and hydropower. Most Midwestern reservoirs were built in the last century, with the most rapid construction during the 1960s. Following an initial period of high productivity following filling, these reservoirs have experienced habitat degradation, eutrophication, sedimentation, and water regime manipulation, with concomitant changes in lower trophic levels (phytoplankton, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates), fisheries, and angler use. Given these known, “old” problems, this symposium will focus on the variety of “new” strategies used to improve reservoir fisheries, including broad support for habitat management, collaborative efforts to manage water levels, rigorous assessments of stocking programs, and incorporation of watershed partnerships in restoration programs. In this symposium we seek to (1) offer an opportunity to promote communication between fisheries professionals in the Midwest regarding common challenges to reservoir management and (2) provide a venue to disseminate new approaches or new applications of “tried-and-true” techniques to confront those challenges.
Recreational Fisheries in the Midwest
Full Title: Recreational Fisheries in the Midwest: Challenges and Opportunities

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:20 a.m. - 4:20 p.m.

Organizers: Mitchell Zischke (mzischke@purdue.edu) and Charles Roswell (croswell@illinois.edu)

Description: Recreational fishing is a socially and economically important activity in the United States. In 2011, more than 30 million people went fishing, with more than 80% of anglers fishing in freshwater systems. Anglers spent more than $40 billion in direct fishing trip-related expenditures. Fishing opportunities are diverse throughout the Midwest U.S., ranging from the Great Lakes, to big rivers, small streams and private ponds. Impediments to these fisheries are also diverse and include invasive species, changing ecosystems, water contaminants and climate change, as well as social and economic stressors. As such, many regions are seeing a decline in recreational fishing participation, which may have a dramatic impact on local economies. Despite the importance of recreational fishing, we know surprisingly little about their social, economic and ecological dynamics. The proposed symposium aims to bring together researchers and managers from a wide range of disciplines to collate existing knowledge on recreational fishing in the Midwest U.S., outline the current challenges to these fisheries, highlight ongoing research, and discuss innovative tools to enhancing recreational fishing opportunities in the region. This symposium will focus on talks that directly relate to and/or assess recreational fishing, rather than talks broadly related to recreationally valuable fish populations.
Science of Fish Age and Growth
Full Title: Advancing the Science of Fish Age and Growth: Tools to Address Common Challenges

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Timothy O’Brien (tiobrien@usgs.gov), Edward Roseman (eroseman@usgs.gov), and David Warner (dmwarner@usgs.gov)

Description: Reliable age and growth information is essential for the effective research and management of fish populations. Estimation of growth and survival, and evaluation of population response to management actions, are dependent on age data that are estimated with low bias. When coupled with age data, important life history events such as hatching, maturation, and reproduction, provide a more complete understanding of fish population dynamics. Methods to prepare age structures and analyze fish age data have continually advanced, while accuracy and precision, quality control, and age validation remain as important challenges in successful age and growth programs. This symposium features research presentations on methods for calcified structure preparation and new or innovative technologies to advance interpretation of aging structures. Additionally, presentations will focus on strategies to address common sources of bias in age estimation and analytical tools for the interpretation of age data. The goal of this symposium is to bring researchers together to share ideas and innovations that address challenges common to fish age estimation and age/growth models across a diversity of species and ecosystems.
Michigan Fisheries Research Legacy
Full Title: Legends and Legacies: Michigan's Fishery Research and Management

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Organizers: Robin DeBruyne (rdebruyne@usgs.gov) and Edward Roseman (eroseman@usgs.gov)

Description: As demonstrated by its rich history, the state of Michigan has served as the epicenter of fisheries research and management in the Midwest and Great Lakes region. As part of the concurrent Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society meeting, this symposium will feature presentations that describe the history and scope of fisheries research and management occurring throughout Michigan. We will explore past research and management accomplishments and forecast what current and future generations will remember from fisheries management decisions. We anticipate presentations from state, federal, tribal, and university scientists and students that will provide an overview of the role these institutions and agencies have played in developing the fisheries legacies of the Great Lake’s State and discuss its future. Presentations from throughout Michigan’s waters are welcome regarding current fisheries research, management, or societal studies.
Launching the Connectivity Collaborative
Full Title: Restoring Aquatic Habitat Connectivity in the Great Lakes: Launching the Connectivity Collaborative

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:20 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.

Organizers: Mary Khoury (mkhoury@tnc.org)

Description: In the Great Lakes region, barriers fragment riverine habitat and impede movement of fishes and other aquatic organisms within riverine networks, and between the lakes and the tributaries likely reducing genetic diversity of aquatic species and impeding energy transport, nutrient flow and recycling. Conversely, some barriers provide system benefits by: assisting with the control of sea lamprey and other detrimental invasive species, thereby protecting threatened, endangered, or vulnerable native species; preventing upstream contaminant spread; and, possibly decreasing pathogen spread. Some dams, while impairing ecosystem benefits, still function to generate electric power, enable navigation, and provide lake-like recreational developments. Resolving these pressures to remove barriers and pressures to keep barriers in place in the Great Lakes requires a new level of collaborative adaptive management, including development of tools to balance costs and benefits, control techniques for aquatic invasive species, and account for social and economic factors. This symposium will include talks related to a new regional collaboration, technologic, biologic and economic aspects of aquatic habitat connectivity, and will close with a panel discussion. The objectives of this session are: 1. to provide an update on the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Connectivity Collaborative, 2. present current research and approaches that will inform the work of the Collaborative going forward, and 3. create a forum for session participants to suggest to the Collaborative where it might best focus its efforts.
Detection and Control of Bigheaded Carps
Full Title: New Tools in the Detection and Control of Bigheaded Carps

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 1:20 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.; Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Organizers: Jon Amberg (jamberg@usgs.gov), Caleb Hasler (cthasler@illinois.edu), Cory Suski (suski@illinois.edu), and Brent Knights (bknights@usgs.gov)

Description: Bigheaded carp populations continue to expand throughout the Mississippi River drainage and threaten the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River systems, altering aquatic communities as they spread. Preventing the expansion of both species, Bighead Carp and Silver Carp, is among the highest priority for resource managers in Canada and the United States. Fortunately advancements have been made in the development of new tools that detect their presence, control their movements, and monitor their spread in aquatic environments. In this symposium, speakers will share their research with regard to those subjects with the objective to integrate their research into an Integrated Pest Management strategy to minimize the spread of bigheaded carps.
Overview of Wildlife Symposium
Massasauga Ecology and Management
Full Title: Updates in Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) Ecology, Management, and Conservation Status

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.; Tuesday, January 26 — 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Organizers: Eric Hileman (ehileman1@niu.edu)

Description: Endemic to the Great Lakes region, the Eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a federal candidate species for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It is considered threatened or endangered everywhere it occurs except for Michigan, where it is listed as a species of special concern. Conservation efforts for the Eastern massasauga have been hampered by gaps in information important to their ecology and management. This symposium will help fill these information gaps by providing results from current Eastern massasauga research in the fields of population biology, spatial and disease ecology, genetics, phenology, and life history evolution. Management implications and conservation status updates will also be covered.
Wood Turtle Research and Management
Full Title: Wood Turtle Research and Management in the Upper Midwest

Date & Time: Monday, January 25 — 10:20 a.m. - 2:40 p.m.

Organizers: Donald Brown (djb.ecology@gmail.com)

Description: The wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) is a semi-aquatic freshwater turtle endemic to north-eastern and north-central North America. Over the past century, population declines have been observed across its geographic distribution, likely due to a variety of direct and indirect anthropogenic impacts, such as illegal collection in the wild and changes in river hydrology. In the upper Midwest, the wood turtle is listed as a threatened species or a species of concern in all occupied states. However, to date little research has been conducted on the status and ecology of wood turtles in the upper Midwest. Thus, agencies and managers are in need of scientifically-based information to guide land use regulations and mitigate population declines. In response to this lack of knowledge, four states in the region (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa) are currently engaged in research designed to assist with recovery and management of this species, with funding primarily through the federal competitive State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program. The objective of this symposium is to provide a platform for sharing research results obtained through the SWG project and additional recent studies. In addition, this symposium will facilitate interactions amongst researchers and managers to promote additional collaborative research and management of the wood turtle in the upper Midwest.
Wildlife Habitat Techniques
Full Title: Wildlife Habitat Management Techniques

Wednesday, January 27 — 10:20 a.m. - 1:40 p.m.

Organizers: Michael Donovan (DonovanM@michigan.gov)

Description: Wildlife management has evolved into a very diverse field with practitioners who are graduates from a variety of academic specialties. Many of these graduates, or soon to be graduates, find themselves in jobs where their quantitative, social science, or computer skills are more than adequate; but they lack practical understanding of many of the more traditional wildlife habitat management techniques. This symposium is designed to help them start to fill that gap in knowledge. Come and learn about on-the-ground, practical examples of managing habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Speakers will discuss habitat management techniques for select species in forest, wetland, and grassland ecosystems.
Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Re-activation
Full Title: Food for Thought: Trial, Error, and Adaptation for Successful Hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation

Date & Time: Wednesday, January 27 — 10:20 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Organizers: Jordan Pusateri-Burroughs (pusater3@msu.edu) and Keith Warnke (Keith.Warnke@wisconsin.gov)

Description: Over the past three decades, hunting participation in the United States has declined and, based on demographic analyses, the decline is expected to continue and accelerate. Because hunting is intimately tied with resource conservation practices, ethics, and funding, hunter Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) has become a priority for state wildlife agencies, industry, and partners. The majority of efforts have been focused on energizing stakeholders and partners to recruit youth into hunting. The number of hunters has continued to fall, and the effects of these efforts are unknown because adequate evaluation metrics have been lacking. This critical conservation need coincides with an increased interest in food motivated hunting from young adults (millennials). A shift in R3 tactics to take advantage of a growing interest in hunting for food by training new adult hunters could change the downward trend and may enhance hunting participation by people of diverse genders, cultures and backgrounds. The first Food for Thought symposium (TWS 2013; Milwaukee, WI) was the initial introduction of this idea; the second, at the 2014 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, described and demonstrated pilot programs for recruiting and mentoring new adult hunters. This symposium will update attendees on the results chain process to effective R3, describe tools and evaluate examples of pilot projects aimed at recruiting, training, mentoring, and retaining young adult hunters, and focus on program-based hypothesis testing for developing and documenting successes (and failures) of R3 through scientific principles, statistical analysis and reporting.
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