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Tuesday, January 30 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
RIVERS & OXBOWS: Oxbows as Battery Packs: Giving a Much Needed Boost to the Endangered Topeka Shiner

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AUTHORS. Nick Utrup, Scott Ralston, Kim Emerson - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) is a small minnow inhabiting the headwaters of small to mid-size prairie streams in the Midwest. Once abundant and widespread throughout the central U. S., the Topeka shiner has seen its range shrink dramatically in recent years and was federally listed as endangered in 1998. Topeka shiners prefer slower moving areas in low-gradient streams, including backwater pools and off-channel habitat (e.g., oxbows). Alteration of streams throughout the range continues to threaten habitat suitability for the species; however, they have shown measurable improvements in response to habitat restoration and oxbow creation. The US Fish & Wildlife Service, working collaboratively with State and Federal partners, has developed and implemented various oxbow/off-channel pool restoration techniques geared specifically toward Topeka shiner recovery. Starting in 2015, the Service and its partners have been working together on a Cooperative Recovery Initiative in SW Minnesota to implement some of these restoration techniques.  To date, the Service has conducted over 60 oxbow/habitat restorations in SW Minnesota, demonstrating a very high degree of success in usage post restoration by Topeka shiners as well as by many other species.  Nearly 70% of the constructed oxbows have been occupied by Topeka shiners within one year of completion, and the restored habitat has been shown to contribute to more than 50% of the overall abundance within the vicinity of the restoration; meeting our project goal.  We will discuss this ongoing project, the monitoring program, early successes, and long term prospects in the context of species resiliency and recovery.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm CST
103E