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Tuesday, January 30 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
SYMPOSIA-11: Reproductive Health of Catostomid Species in Two Midwestern Rivers

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AUTHORS. Bethany Hoster, Anabela Maia, Eric Bollinger, Robert Colombo - Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT. Anthropogenic activities lead to the contamination of rivers through the discharge of treated wastewater and nonpoint source pollution. Throughout the Midwest United States, estrogenic compounds, heavy metals, and agricultural runoff enter rivers and can have mutagenic effects on riverine fishes. Due to this occurrence of contaminants, we assessed male fishes for reproductive disruption and morphological abnormalities in two Central Illinois rivers. Both the Sangamon and Embarras Rivers receive nonpoint source pollution, including agricultural runoff. Additionally, treated wastewater is discharged into the Sangamon River within the study area. River Carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio), Shorthead Redhorse (Moxostoma macrolepidotum), and Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) were sampled in 2016 to determine if sex ratios, plasma vitellogenin concentrations, and morphology varied between rivers due to the presence of contaminants.  All mature males had photographs taken for morphometric analyses and blood drawn for ELISA analysis to determine vitellogenin concentrations. Vitellogenin was detected in all species in both rivers in low concentrations. Embarras River Shorthead Redhorse had significantly higher vitellogenin concentrations than fish from the Sangamon River. In both rivers, vitellogenin was detected in more than 90% of Shorthead Redhorse and 50% of Smallmouth Buffalo. Due to high percentages of males exhibiting vitellogenin, sex ratios tended towards female and intersex biased for all species and rivers. Morphometric analyses found significant morphological differences in River Carpsucker and Smallmouth Buffalo between rivers. Fishes from the Sangamon River have abnormally elongated fins. Caudal fin elongation caused lower calculated relative weight, a commonly used fish management metric to estimate condition. High percentages of individuals in both rivers exhibiting low concentrations of vitellogenin, as well as abnormal fin morphologies in the Sangamon River, indicate exposure to contaminants may be leading to mutations. Further assessment and quantification of contaminants is needed to better understand chemical dynamics and aid management decisions in these rivers.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm CST