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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:40am - 10:00am
ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Development and Implementation of an Adaptive Management Approach for Monitoring Non-indigenous Fishes in Lower Green Bay, Lake Michigan

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AUTHORS. Brandon Harris, Bradley Smith, Cari-Ann Hayer - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

ABSTRACT. There have been many introductions of non-indigenous species in the Laurentian Great Lakes, especially fish.  Some species, such as the sea lamprey, became invasive and resulted in negative economic and ecological impacts.  Given the vulnerability of the Great Lakes to future introductions, monitoring for non-indigenous fishes is necessary to protect the Great Lakes ecosystem.  This presentation describes the adaptive development (since 2013) and results of an early detection and monitoring (EDM) program for non-indigenous fishes in lower Green Bay and the Fox River, high-risk locations for species introductions in Lake Michigan.  Lower Green Bay is the most productive region of Lake Michigan, the port of Green Bay is highly active, and the city proper represents a large population center along Lake Michigan; for these reasons, it will remain an area of concern for future introductions and a vector between the Great Lakes and inland ecosystems.  Our monitoring strategy involved a combination of traditional gears and methods that were refined annually through field experiments, and the overall efficiency of the program was assessed using species accumulation theory and the known contemporary fish community.  To date, no new non-indigenous fishes previously unknown to the Great Lakes have been detected.  The effectiveness of this EDM program has steadily increased since 2013, culminating in a 92% detection rate of fish species (estimated and contemporary) in 2016.  Additionally, given the importance of early detection, surrogate species were identified to assess how well our monitoring may detect species at high-risk of being introduced into the Great Lakes.  Gears and methods will continue to be adaptively refined; however, the current sampling regime should provide effective early detection of new non-indigenous species, allowing managers to respond early in the introduction phase, when management actions may be more effective.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am CST