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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Recovery of Riverine Fish Assemblage After Fish Kill in Kickapoo Creek, IL

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AUTHORS: Jessica Rohr, Eastern Illinois University; Scott Meiners, Eastern Illinois University; Robert Colombo, Eastern Illinois University; Trent Thomas, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Disturbances within communities are common, but the response of fish assemblages to anthropogenic fish kills is rarely investigated.  To determine how rapidly, or if recovery occurs without further mitigation, complete quantification of the fish recovery process is necessitated.  We evaluated the recovery of Kickapoo Creek, a riverine assemblage in east central Illinois after a fish-kill in 2001.  Samples were taken between 1962 to 2000 preceding the fish kill and within two months after the kill followed by repeated sampling until 2011.  The index of biotic integrity of the community started at 33 before the fish kill, dropped to 22 immediately after, and came to a high of 48 by 2006 before declining through. After the kill in 2001, initial species richness decreased from 19.4 to 16 by June 2002; however, within two months, species richness increased 56% and continued increasing through 2011.  Ordination reflected rapid responses in fish composition.  However, composition by 2011 was a much different community than before the kill.  Species like bullhead minnow, quillback, highfin carpsucker, shorthead redhorse, golden redhorse, and silver redhorse were initially absent but became abundant 5-6 years after the event.  Species abundant pre-kill were still abundant in later years; however, subordinate species experienced great turnover.  There were large scale compositional shifts in the first few years after the kill, followed by relative stasis for a few years.  Fish communities then changed again with colonization of larger riverine species such as Moxostoma.  Recovery in this system is hard to assess.  Richness and IBI recovered from the disturbance and continued to increase past the pre-kill values.  However, the composition of the fish assemblage has remained distinct from pre-disturbance samples for ten years, calling into question whether fish communities every truly recover. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (2)