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Sunday, January 28
 

7:00am

Conference Registration Desk Open
Sunday January 28, 2018 7:00am - 7:00pm
TBD

8:00am

Workshop. Beginning Your Professional Journey (For Students Only)
Organizers: Jim Schneider and John Loegering, Michigan State University; University of Minnesota, schne181@msu.edu; jloegeri@umn.edu 

Fee: $25

Note: 
Includes buffet lunch

Intended Audience: early career students; early graduate students; and undergraduate students

Overview: This workshop’s purpose is to address the needs of undergraduate Fisheries and Wildlife students to prepare for their first post-baccalaureate position, whether as a graduate student or employee. The  workshop will consist of four sections: Resumes and Professional Correspondence; Academic and Employer Panels; Networking;  and Interviewing. The workshop will include lecture, interactive discussion, small group exercises, and individual work.

Sunday January 28, 2018 8:00am - 4:30pm
TBD

8:00am

Workshop. Introductory Fisheries Analyses with R
Organizer: Derek Ogle, Northland College, dogle@northland.edu

Fee: $25 professionals; $10 students

Note: 
Includes buffet lunch

Intended Audience: Students or Professionals; Intermediate-level

Overview: Use of R for typical fisheries anslyses. Topics will include data wrangling, summarization, and graphing in the context of estimating and comparing mortality rates, growth rates, condition (weight-length), and size structure. A case-study lecture format (real data and typical workflow, including assigning ages with an age-length key) followed by hands-on exercises will be used. Participants will be expected to be familiar with the very basics of R (command line, packages, etc.).

Sunday January 28, 2018 8:00am - 5:00pm
TBD

9:00am

Workshop. Midwest Leadership Workshop Series
Organizer: Pat Lederle, North Central Section of the Wildlife Society, MAFWA; lederlep@michigan.gov

Fee:
$50 for TWS Members; $80 for non-members

Note:
 Includes buffet lunch

Intended Audience:
All Invited

Overview:
The objective of this workshop is to provide leadership training opportunities for all natural resource students and professionals. Recognizing that everyone is a leader within different organizational levels, we will emphasize developing leadership skills, tools, and experiences that are practical and applicable. Instructors will provide perspectives on issues such as: Collaborative governance and decision making; Time management in an era of shifting priorities and paradigms; Decision making and problem solving within the context of complicated issues; leadership scales; leaders at home, the office, community, and the profession; Learners, mentors, and leaders and changing responsibilities as your career evolves. The focus will be on organizational decision making and communication for leaders, ideas on projecting leadership regardless of position, and group exercises and discussions to explore and provide feedback on real life leadership challenges in a natural resource management context. 

Sunday January 28, 2018 9:00am - 4:00pm
TBD

9:00am

Workshop. Conflict Resolution in Fish and Wildlife Management
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Organizer: Scott Hygnstrom, Wisonsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society, shygnstr@uwsp.edu

Fee: WISCONSIN CHAPTER TWS DISCOUNT:  $25 - Wisconsin Chapter of TWS member (professionals); $10 - Wisconsin Chapter of TWS member(students);  $50 professionals (non-member);  $20 students (non member)

Note: 
Includes buffet lunch

Intended Audience: students and professionals

Overview: This one-day interactive workshop will provide insights and ideas for resolving conflicts in the world of managing people and wildlife. The workshop will cover definitions, an Eight Step Conflict Resolution Process, exercises in communication (asking open-ended questions, looking for underlying concerns), small group activities, roll playing, and practice in negotiating through real-world scenarios.  The workshop will be facilitated by award-winning author and mediator Harry Webne-Behrman who has served as facilitator for over 35 years.  

Sunday January 28, 2018 9:00am - 4:30pm
TBD

9:00am

Workshop. Wildlife Data Analysis Using Program R
Sponsored by the Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Organizer: Scott Hygnstrom, Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Scott.Hygnstrom@uwsp.edu

Fee: WISCONSIN CHAPTER TWS DISCOUNT:  $25 - Wisconsin Chapter of TWS member (professionals); $10 - Wisconsin Chapter of TWS member(students);  $50 professionals (non-member);  $20 students (non member)

Note: Includes buffet lunch

Intended Audience: Beginning through advanced students and professionals

Overview: This workshop will address management and analysis of wildlife data using Program R.  It will consist of 2 sessions: the morning session (9:00  – 11:30 am) will be an Introduction to Program R and will include R syntax (e.g., how to read and write R code, understanding types of variables and their uses, and how to reference data for analyses from complex data sets), data management (e.g., how to manipulate, merge, sort, and subset datasets), basic descriptive statistics (e.g., generated with key functions such as tapply and sapply), and R packages (e.g., finding, loading, and understanding the supporting documentation).  The afternoon session (1:00 – 4:30 p.m.) will be on Intermediate Program R that will focus on simulations and looping functions, user defined functions, and graphing.  Participants can bring their own computers and data sets, but they are not required.  

Sunday January 28, 2018 9:00am - 4:30pm
TBD

12:00pm

Exhibitor Set-up
Sunday January 28, 2018 12:00pm - 6:00pm
TBD

12:00pm

Speaker Ready Room
Sunday January 28, 2018 12:00pm - 6:00pm
TBD

1:00pm

1:00pm

Workshop. Building Capacity for Fish and Wildlife Health Programs
Organizers: Lindsey Long, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, lindsey.long@wisconsin.gov;  Barb Bodenstein, USGS National Wildlife Health Center;  Michelle Carstensen, MN DNR; Tami Ryan,  WI DNR; Kelly Straka, MI DNR

Fee: $25Intended Audience: natural resource agency professionals and other interested persons

Overview: The workshop will focus on the Fish and Wildlife Health profession and the importance of having dedicated Fish and Wildlife Health programming within a natural resource agency. Not all state or federal natural resource agencies have Fish and Wildlife Health programming and those that do may have dedicated branches, sections and multiple staff whereas others may only have one dedicated staff person. This workshop will showcase the why, how, and what of natural resource agency Fish and Wildlife Health programs. This will include experiences with working within the fish/wildlife/human health interface, fish and wildlife disease field diagnostics and surveillance, database applications, emerging disease collaboration, contaminants, and results of management actions. These shared experiences and lessons learned along the way will help inform how natural resource agencies may establish or enhance their own Fish and Wildlife Health programs.

Sunday January 28, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
TBD

1:00pm

Workshop. Healthy Lakes Initiative with an Emphasis on Habitat Restoration Best Practices
Organizer: Pamela Toshner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, pamela.toshner@wi.gov

Fee: $25

Intended Audience: All Invited

Overview: Wisconsin's Healthy Lakes initiative, launched in 2013, is a statewide effort to protect  and improve lake health by increasing lakeshore property owner participation in habitat restoration and runoff and erosion control projects.  Healthy Lakes includes information and education, technical assistance, and funding for five best practices suitable for typical lakeshore properties.  The best practices include fish sticks, 350 ft2 native plantings, diversion, rock infiltration, and rain gardens.  Healthy Lakes interest continues to grow with 407 best practices being funded on 56 lakes to date, not including do-it-yourselfers.  The workshop will cover the following topics:  Healthy Lakes overview, including grant funding; social science – what makes lakeshore property owners tick and get ticked; and an emphasis on the lakeshore habitat restoration best practices fish sticks and native plantings, including science/research and technical implementation.  There should be ample discussion time.  Visit www.healthylakeswi.com to learn more.

Sunday January 28, 2018 1:00pm - 5:00pm
TBD

1:00pm

Workshop. Managing, Sharing, and Using Avian Data for Conservation, Management, and Research
Organizer: Katie Koch, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, katie_koch@fws.gov

Fee: $25

Intended Audience: Applicable to students and professionals; use of a personal laptop desired

Overview: This half-day training will provide participants with the knowledge and hands-on experience using the  Midwest Avian Data Center to initiate a new project, enter and edit data, download and analyze available datasets, and use  available decision support for real-time bird conservation and management questions or developing hypotheses for research.

Sunday January 28, 2018 1:00pm - 5:00pm
TBD

2:30pm

4:30pm

AFS NCD Executive Meeting
Sunday January 28, 2018 4:30pm - 5:30pm
TBD

6:00pm

Featured Event! Welcome Social
Sunday January 28, 2018 6:00pm - 10:00pm
TBD
 
Monday, January 29
 

7:00am

7:00am

7:00am

Speaker Ready Room
Monday January 29, 2018 7:00am - 6:00pm
TBD

8:00am

Plenary Session, Awards Presentation & Ignite Session
  • 8:00 AM | Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • 8:15 AM | Equity & Inclusion in the Environmental Field (Four Reasons Your Environmental Organization is Still Predominantly White)
    August M. Ball, Founder, Cream City Conservation
    With a country as racially diverse as the United States, the green industry remains racially homogenous as organizations and agencies fail to break through the decades old 12-16% “green ceiling”. This plenary session will highlight why having a diverse workforce and culturally relevant programming matters and examine four reasons organizations remain predominantly white (despite best intentions to be inclusive) and what can be done about it.

  • 8:50 AM | Smartphone Jiu Jitsu – Connecting People to Nature in the Digital Age
    Evan Hirsche, Co-Founder, Discover Nature Apps

  • 9:25 AM | The Psychological Importance of Exposing "Digital Natives" to the Natural World
    Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Wisconsin Lutheran College

  • 10:00 AM | BREAK

  • 10:20 AM | Awards Presentation

  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Ignite Session
    Back by popular demand! The Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference is proud to present the 3rd annual Ignite Session as part of the Plenary Session on Monday, January 29th. Using 5-minute presentations with no more than 20 timed slides, our speakers will engage the audience on issues regarding the future of fisheries and wildlife conservation in the Midwest. We have selected speakers who can speak to personal, political, economic, policy, agency, and private landowner perspectives. Come join the conversation! Experience the passion of our speakers! Consider the future!


IGNITE SPEAKERS:
  • Emily Latch, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee - “Badgers are worth digging into”
  • Ken Leinbach, Executive Director, Urban Ecology Center (Milwaukee) - "Its Kind of Fun to do the Impossible -- The story of Milwaukee's Urban Ecology Center" 
  • Eva Lewandowski, Citizen Based Monitoring Coordinator, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources - “Citizen Science: Expanding Conservation Through Partnerships”
  • Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation - “Making Common Cause:  Wisconsin’s Legacy of Collaborative Conservation”
  • Jeremy Pyatskowit, Director of Environmental Services, The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin - “Menominee Lake Sturgeon Restoration-Past to Present”
  • Jenny Sereno, Communications Manager, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District - “From Flush to Fish: Managing the Wastewater Flow”

Plenary Presenters
avatar for August M. Ball

August M. Ball

Change Agent, Youth Advocate and Coffee Aficionada
August M. Ball is the founder of Cream City Conservation. Her two-prong social enterprise helps organizations attract diverse candidate pools and institute strategies that attain and retain top talent, making their workforce stronger and smarter and their programs more sustainable and relevant. Simultaneously, Cream City Conservation Corps cultivates the next generation of land stewards by introducing and training traditionally underrepresented teens and young adults in ecological careers.With over 14 years of youth program management experience and 9 years of helping local and national organizations, such as the Student Conservation Association, US Forrest Service and Milwaukee County Parks develop outdoor programs that are culturally relevant and inclusive; August has connected thousands of youth and young adults to hands-on service to public lands, outdoor recreation and first-time employment experiences.August received her formal education from UW-Parkside and UW-Milwaukee, having studied Sociology, Community Education and Non-Profit Management... Read More →
avatar for Evan Hirsche

Evan Hirsche

Co-Founder, Discover Nature Apps
Evan Hirsche is Co-Founder of Discover Nature Apps. He is a 27-year veteran in the wildlife conservation field. Prior to Discover Nature, he served for 12 years as President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, and before that as National Policy Office Director for Nation... Read More →
avatar for Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D.

Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Wisconsin Lutheran College; Licensed Psychologist
Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at Wisconsin Lutheran College and he has a private clinical psychology practice. He obtained his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Marquette University. Dr. Holtz teaches a variety of classes related to child abnorma... Read More →


Monday January 29, 2018 8:00am - 12:00pm
TBD

10:00am

12:00pm

12:00pm

Lunch Break on own
Monday January 29, 2018 12:00pm - 1:20pm
TBD

1:00pm

Wild Jobs Café
Be sure to stop by the Wild Jobs Café during the concurrent sessions on Monday and Tuesday.  Interact with potential employers, meet students and professionals in your area of interest, and get expert advice to help advance your career. Sign up for any of the workshops during online registration, at the registration table during conference check-in, or contact Hadley Boehm at hadley.boehm@wisconsin.gov. Sign-up is first-come-first-served for Resume Writing, Interview Skills, and the Mixer so sign-up early.


The Wild Jobs Café schedule is as follows:



Monday 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Job Panel: Wondering where you can work and what you can do with a fisheries or wildlife degree? Attend the jobs panel, where you’ll hear from a variety of state, federal, and non-governmental professionals about how they got into their careers, why they chose to work for their particular agency, and how you can work for them!


Monday 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Resume Writing: Want a professional opinion on what makes a strong resume? Sign up to have a professional from your career path critique your resume. NOTE: Please bring a hard copy resume no longer than 2 pages (front/back). Spaces are limited so sign up early.


Tuesday 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Grad School Panel: Curious whether graduate school is right for you, or already in grad school and looking for some pointers? Learn what it takes to get into graduate school, how to get the most out of your grad experience, and how an advanced degree can help your career. Panelists will consist of both graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) and advisors.


Tuesday at 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Interview Skills: Looking to apply for a position but worried about the interview? Sign up to have a professional critique your interview skills and give you tips on how to improve! Interviews are 5 minutes long and consist of one question followed by a critique, so please come prepared to talk. Spaces are limited so sign up early.




Professionals - Wild Jobs Café is open to all, so be sure to stop by and share your expertise! Your guidance and willingness to mentor the next generation of fisheries and wildlife professionals is very important. If you are interested in being a mentor at either the Student-Professional Mixer or the Wild Jobs Café, please sign up during online registration process, or contact Hadley Boehm at hadley.boehm@wisconsin.gov. After you have expressed interest, you will be contacted about availability.




Job and Graduate Appointment Board Posting -  Professionals or advisors with open or anticipated positions can post those opportunities on the jobs and graduate appointment board at any time during the Student Mixer or Wild Jobs Café. General information about job searching, desired skills, and application processes from prospective employers is also welcome. This will be a literal board and table for posting information, so bring a hard copy position description with contact information and/or business cards.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:00pm - 4:30pm
TBD

1:00pm

1:00pm

Poster Set-up
Monday January 29, 2018 1:00pm - 5:00pm
TBD

1:20pm

ASIAN CARP: Validating Aging Structures in Asian Carp from the LaGrange Reach of the Illinois River to Known-Age Asian Carp from China
AUTHORS. Charmayne Anderson, Jim Lamer- Western Illinois University; Brent Knights, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey; Jun Wang, Shanghai Ocean University; Levi Solomon, Andy Casper - Illinois River Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT. Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) have invaded most of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Although fish age is routinely used to inform management decisions, aging structures for bighead and silver carp have not been validated against known-age fish to ensure accuracy and utility. We used known-age fish reared in Chinese aquaculture and collected from the LaGrange Reach of the Illinois River (tracked annually from a strong 2014-year class) to validate aging structures from silver carp. We removed vertebrae, lapillus otoliths, pectoral spines, and postcleithra from each individual. Each structure was sectioned and prepared accordingly. Annuli were counted and each annulus measured from the focus using Leica S8APO Stereoscope and measuring software to determine back-calculated growth. By using both field and aquaculture reared individuals we are able to validate several silver carp aging structures and determine the most reliable structure for age, back-calculated age, and growth estimates.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103A

1:20pm

CARNIVORES: Where Wolves Kill White-tailed Deer Fawns
AUTHORS. Austin T. Homkes, Northern Michigan University; Steve K. Windels, Voyageurs National Park; John G. Bruggink, Northern Michigan University; Thomas D. Gable, University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns are important summer prey for wolves (Canis lupus) in southern boreal ecosystems. Fawn parturition is synchronized from late May through early June and wolves must adapt their foraging strategies rapidly to use the abundant new prey source. Although wolves rely heavily on deer fawns during the summer, how wolves hunt fawns is unknown because of the difficulty of observing predation events or finding evidence of wolf-killed fawns. We fitted wolves with GPS collars during spring 2016 and 2017 in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota and visited clusters of GPS locations to identify fawn kill sites. We determined the vegetative cover type and estimated percent cover using cover boards at 56 kill sites and 68 random locations during summers of 2016 and 2017. Discriminant function analysis revealed significant differences between cover characteristics (cover type and percent visibility) at kill sites and random locations (Wilks’ ? =0.820 Chi-square=22.824 df=8, p=0.004). Additionally, the maximum visible distance was significantly less at kill sites than at random locations (5.97±3.3 m SD vs 8.67±3.6 m SD). Generally, these results provide valuable insight into habitat use by white-tailed deer fawns and summer hunting behavior of wolves in a southern boreal ecosystem. Though descriptive in nature, our results also allow us to test the hypothesis that wolves preferentially hunt in cover types where fawns kills are most likely to occur.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103B

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Resources and Tools for Creating and Managing a Citizen Science Project
AUTHORS. Eva Lewandowski, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Citizen science can be incredibly effective for wildlife research and management, but building and maintaining a citizen science project can be intimidating for those who don’t have experience in that arena. A myriad of local, national, and global resources exists to help project leaders create a successful citizen science project. The field of citizen science offers professional societies, regional networks, academic journals, how-to-guides, listservs, and networking opportunities, all of which are extremely beneficial in planning and implementing a project. Resources like data collection portals, equipment lending libraries, free marketing platforms, and funding opportunities can assist with the day-to-day logistics of running a project. This presentation will cover the many tools and resources, including regional offerings, that are available to people planning and managing a citizen science project.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
101B

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Roles in Midwest Conservation Science
AUTHORS. Nicole Athearn, Great Rivers CESU, National Park Service; Erin Williams, Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU, National Park Service

ABSTRACT. Three midwestern Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESUs) are part of a national network of 17 partnerships (Great Rivers, Great Plains and Great Lakes-Northern Forest). Since CESUs were established in 1999 by multiple federal agencies, the conservation community has continued to spur the development of additional landscape-scale, community-centered partnerships such as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and Climate Science Centers. With a focus on the midwestern region, we will explore the roles and continuing evolution of partnerships in conservation science, and the independent as well as complementary roles that CESUs play in bringing actionable, targeted research and information products to land managers. Membership in a CESU can have several advantages for federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, states, and nongovernmental conservation organizations. Advantages to managers include obtaining usable knowledge to support more informed decision making, obtaining independent and objective research, and better managing resources through synergistic partnerships. For universities, membership in a CESU can help open doors for students and faculty and bring additional relevance and meaning to their work, as CESU research supports our communities and our country. This symposium will highlight a variety of work being conducted through a CESU partnership.  During the first presentation, we will provide information and resources for current and potential future partners to help you better understand how to get involved and how the CESU network can work for you.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102A

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Five Decades (or More) of Chronic Wasting Disease: Lessons Learned
AUTHORS. John R. Fischer, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study; Michael W. Miller, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife

ABSTRACT. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an infectious prion disease of at least five North American cervid species, has run the gamut from minor scientific curiosity to national crisis since the syndrome’s first recognition in the late 1960s. As of September 2017, CWD has been reported in captive and/or free-ranging cervids in the United States (24 states), Canada (three provinces), South Korea, and Norway. With few exceptions (New York and perhaps Minnesota), once in the wild the disease has persisted despite widely varied control attempts. Natural and anthropogenic factors have contributed to the geographic spread and persistence of CWD: Natural factors include prolonged incubation, multiple routes of agent shedding, the agent’s environmental persistence, and migratory and dispersal movements of wild cervids. Anthropogenic factors include movements of infected live animals (and perhaps infectious tissues and other materials), concentrating susceptible host species, and other artificial wildlife management practices. Many facets of CWD biology and ecology now are well understood, but science informing effective management and control strategies remains incomplete. Eradicating CWD appears infeasible given its extensive distribution and other epidemiological attributes. Regardless, adaptive approaches for containing foci and reducing infection and transmission rates have shown some promise and deserve further attention. Such pursuits undoubtedly will be difficult to champion and garner support for in sociopolitical climates ranging from apathetic to combative, particularly when control prescriptions impinge upon or conflict with commercial and sport hunting interests. We believe there are two important motivations for making progress toward sustainable detection, containment, and control strategies for CWD in the coming decades: Data from several sources suggest heavily-infected wild cervid populations will not thrive in the long-term, and, data on CWD prions and experience with other animal prion diseases suggest minimizing human exposure to these agents is prudent.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102B

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Birds, Grasslands, and the Need for Collaboration
AUTHORS. Kelly R. VanBeek, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Habitat planning and management has often strived to achieve multiple objectives for a wide variety of species. With grassland loss rates continuing to raise alarm at multiple scales, it is more important than ever for conservationists to consider habitat needs of many species when planning for and managing grassland habitats. Multiple conservation oriented partnerships have coalesced around grassland loss, with hopes of accomplishing strategic conservation to halt and reverse grassland bird population trends. Much knowledge can be shared and communicated to inform these efforts. This symposium aims to highlight several topics including success stories in grassland management, new modeling efforts that inform species’ habitat needs, and state and regional level planning efforts for multiple grassland species. The speakers span a variety of government and NGO entities and geographies. While the presentations focus on birds, many opportunities remain to collaborate with partners focused on other wildlife and grass-based land-use.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102C

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Using Aquatic Landscape Ecology to Inform Lake Habitat Management at Multiple Scales
AUTHORS. Kevin Wehrly, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Joe Nohner, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; James Breck, University of Michigan; Tim Cross, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Peter Jacobson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources;

ABSTRACT. Traditional fish habitat management in lakes is based on a local view wherein habitat features are assessed within a lake and management strategies are developed on a lake-by-lake basis.  While this local view has provided valuable information on fish-habitat relationships, it presents a number of challenges.  Watershed and regional factors also influence lake characteristics and play a role in determining the amount and quality of fish habitat.  Therefore, management efforts based solely on in-situ habitat features may result in an incomplete picture of a lake’s ecological potential and a focus on addressing symptoms rather than underlying causes.  In addition, the abundance of lakes in many regions limits annual sampling to only a fraction of waterbodies, yet agencies are often responsible for managing 1,000s of lakes.  Consequently, developing management strategies on a lake-by-lake basis limits the development of state-level and multistate habitat management strategies.  We argue that viewing lake habitat from a landscape ecology perspective can overcome a number of the challenges faced by traditional fish habitat management and enable the development of management strategies across large geographic extents.   In this review, we synthesize existing efforts to manage lake habitat from a landscape perspective, use examples from the Midwest Glacial Lakes Fish Habitat Partnership to demonstrate how a landscape ecology approach can inform resource management at multiple scales, and discuss challenges and future needs for managing lakes from a landscape perspective.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102E&D

1:20pm

SALMONIDS: Inland Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) Management in Northern Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Tim Tobias, Hadley Boehm, Steve Gilbert - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have limited distribution in the United States, being found in a selection of northern states and Alaska. In Wisconsin, Lake Trout are native to the Great Lakes and two inland lakes.  These inland waters are Black Oak and Trout lakes in Vilas County in the northern part of the state. Though relatively small (Trout: 1464 ha, Black Oak: 228 ha) compared to most Lake Trout waters, both lakes contain the deep, cold, oxygen-rich water necessary to sustain Lake Trout populations. Although both lakes have been stocked at times, the populations have remained genetically distinct from those found in the Great Lakes. The Lake Trout population in Trout Lake has been maintained by stocking since 1970, but that in Black Oak Lake has continued to reproduce naturally. Spawning habitat assessments have documented use of spawning areas ranging from man-made rock reefs, to a deep rock reef, to shallow rock shorelines in the lakes. However, changing fish communities and warmer waters led to concerns about spawning success and maintenance of Lake Trout populations in both lakes. So, an experimental stocking program was undertaken to introduce strains from both lakes to several additional area lakes to provide genetic reserves. Due to the experimental nature of the program, a long-term tagging study and monitoring program was implemented to assess the effectiveness of both size (fingerling vs. yearling) and frequency of stocking for inland Lake Trout. Here we summarize the findings of the program to date, provide stocking recommendations learned from it, and discuss future inland Lake Trout management plans. 

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103E

1:20pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Influence of Spatial Alignment on Photographic Detection Rates at Remotely Triggered Camera Stations
AUTHORS. Edward D. Davis, Western Illinois University; Tim C. Swearingen, Western Illinois University; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University; Jonathan L. Fusaro, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Robert W. Klaver, US Geological Survey; Chuck R. Anderson, Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University; Christopher S. DePerno, North Carolina State University; Robert D. Bluett, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Remotely triggered cameras can provide a cost-effective, non-invasive approach for investigating a variety of natural history and conservation concerns for species that are solitary and occur at low population densities. Trail camera performance is influenced by a wide range of factors, though no studies have rigorously evaluated potential sources of sampling bias (e.g., camera type, relative position of cameras) on overexposure (i.e., capturing the flash of one camera by another) events within paired camera station (i.e., 2 camera traps placed perpendicular to animal travel corridors) designs. We evaluated potential effects of camera type (Browning Recon Force, Moultrie M-880 Series, Reconyx HC 600 Hyperfire) and relative camera position (directly aligned vs. offset from one another [i.e., staggered]) on wildlife photographs recorded and overexposure events across 48 camera stations deployed during summer 2017. Total number of wildlife photographs varied by camera model and alignment (model × alignment interaction, F2,42 = 5.56, P = 0.007); Reconyx and Browning cameras detected more wildlife photographs at aligned camera stations whereas Moultrie cameras more wildlife photographs at staggered camera stations. Further, the number of overexposure events varied (F1,46 = 35.24, P = 0.001) between aligned (mean = 3.56, SE = 0.42, n = 25) and staggered (mean = 0.00, SE = 0.46, n = 23) camera stations. Mean percent overexposure for aligned stations was 5.63 (SE = 1.02, range = 23.91). We documented no overexposure events at staggered camera stations and no difference (F2,45 = 0.05, P = 0.95) in numbers of exposure events across camera types. We recommend that future use of paired camera stations for research, inventory, or monitoring of elusive species consider staggering the placement of cameras to minimize overexposure events of target species. Further, wildlife managers should consider evaluating seasonal effects (i.e., winter) on overexposure rates in paired camera station sampling designs.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103C

1:20pm

WALLEYE: Lac Vieux Desert: Management Challenges and a Cooperative Plan to Restore a Naturally-reproducing Walleye (Sander vitreus) Population in a Northern Wisconsin Lake
AUTHORS. Hadley Boehm, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Steve Gilbert, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Lac Vieux Desert is a 1,740 hectare drainage lake in Vilas County in northern Wisconsin. It is within the Ceded Territory and spans the Michigan-Wisconsin state line. Historically, Lac Vieux Desert contained a naturally-reproducing Walleye (Sander vitreus) population. However, over the past decade there has been a decline in natural reproduction with few to no young-of-year Walleye captured during WDNR fall recruitment index surveys. The reason for this decline remains unknown. In 2016, the adult Walleye population reached a historical low of 1.2 adults/hectare, with few fish under 381 mm observed. Due to the lake’s demonstrated capacity for Walleye natural reproduction and the importance of the Walleye fishery to both tribal and angler harvest, a cooperative rehabilitation plan was undertaken with the primary objective of restoring a naturally-reproducing Walleye population. Cooperators include both state (MI and WI) natural resources agencies, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Sokaogon Chippewa and Lac Vieux Desert tribes, and the Lac Vieux Desert Lake Association. The rehabilitation plan entails stocking of extended growth Walleye fingerlings at a rate of 37 fingerlings/hectare in alternate years, increase to a 457 mm minimum length limit for anglers in both states, suspension of tribal harvest, and intensive sampling through 2022. Walleye recruitment declines have occurred at a regional scale and identification of the cause and solution continue to challenge managers. Observations made and progress towards the management objectives for Lac Vieux Desert will be shared to foster further discussion of Walleye management challenges, and the experimental solutions being employed to address them.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103D

1:40pm

ASIAN CARP: Habitat Use and Movement of Juvenile Asian Carp in the Illinois River
AUTHORS. Cory Anderson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Kjetil Henderson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Rebecca Neeley, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Juvenile silver (Hypopthalmichthys molotrix) and bighead (H. nobilis) carp represent a major threat to breaching the Electric Dispersal Barrier by upstream movement or passive entrainment via barge. While much data exists on habitat use of adult silver and bighead carp, little exists for juveniles, making monitoring and removal efforts difficult. Most efforts targeting juvenile silver carp have focused on backwaters where current sampling gears are most effective. During 2016, 75 juvenile silver carp (mean TL = 246.7mm) were tagged in the Peoria reach of the Illinois River using acoustic tags. Stationary hydrophones were deployed to monitor tagged fish. Large shallow areas of the Peoria reach caused poor detection ability and subsequently little data was gathered. Data from 2016 indicated mean weekly movement of 0.14 to 0.69km. Main channel habitats were used by tagged silver carp 55% of the time, which was higher than expected. In the summer and fall of 2017, both radio and acoustic tags were implanted into juvenile silver carp (n = 150). Stationary hydrophones and radio monitoring stations have been deployed to passively monitor tagged fish, and are supplemented with active monitoring via boat. Water conditions such as river flow velocity, temperature, and depths in each habitat area are being monitored to test for correlations with movement of tagged fish. Preliminary results indicate movement of juvenile carp is much higher than expected as fish are moving in and out of different habitat areas. The results of this study will increase the knowledge and ability to effectively target juvenile Asian carp during sampling efforts. 

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103A

1:40pm

CARNIVORES: Do Wolves Ambush Beavers from Downwind Hunting Beds?
AUTHORS. Thomas Gable, University of Minnesota; Steve K. Windels, Voyageurs National Park; Austin T. Homkes, Northern Michigan University; Joseph K. Bump, University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT. Beavers can be important prey for wolves in boreal ecosystems but little is known about wolf-beaver interactions. Wolves actively hunt beavers by bedding down and waiting near beaver habitat features (e.g., feeding trails, dams), however, there is almost no information on how wolves choose where to wait for beavers. Because beavers rely predominantly on olfaction to detect predators, we hypothesized that an effective strategy for a wolf to hunt beavers is to wait in areas where beavers cannot detect wolf scent. From 2015 to 2017 in Voyageurs National Park, we searched clusters of locations from wolves fitted with Global Positioning Systems collars to identify likely hunting attempts of beavers. We determined whether beavers could have detected wolves during hunting attempts based on the wind direction and speed during a hunting attempt, and the direction of the wolf relative to beaver habitat features and water. We identified 137 hunting attempts from 11 wolves. During these attempts, wolves bedded down 2.7 ± 2.6 m (SD) from beaver habitat features and 3.9 ± 4.1 m from water. We estimated wolves were undetected by beavers at more hunting attempts than they were detected at (110 attempts undetected vs. 8 detected; ?2=88.17; p

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103B

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Recruiting and Training Volunteers to Conduct Snow Track Surveys
AUTHORS. Jane Wiedenhoeft, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Wisconsin DNR started a Volunteer Carnivore Tracking program in 1995. Since then, about 1500 people have been trained and participated in conducting snow track surveys in this program. Data collected by volunteers is combined with data from other sources to provide an annual minimum count of the state's wolf population and to map the distribution of wolves in the state. Initial recruitment targeted people who had exhibited an interest in wolves by attending a Wolf Ecology Workshop. Initial training consisted of a 2-day class on track identification skills and survey protocol. After 5 years, data collected by volunteers was compared to data collected by DNR trackers from the same areas. Both training and experience were identified as important components in ensuring that volunteer data was of similar quality as that collected by DNR trackers. For us, recruitment, training, and retainment are all important. Recruitment has been done through news releases, radio and television spots, attendance at special events, and word of mouth. Recruitment is not targeted at specific groups. It is sometimes targeted at geographical areas where we need more volunteers. Training has been expanded to include a wolf ecology & management class which provides a background in history, biology, ecology, and management of wolves in Wisconsin. Efforts have improved convenience of class attendance for volunteers, and we continue to adjust training content based on where we see a need for improvement. Trainings approved for the volunteer program are also provided by 2 cooperating NGOs. Although a network of volunteer coordinators provide some mentoring for new trackers, methods to provide additional mentoring opportunities are being considered.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
101B

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Collaborative Approach to Assess the Current Condition of Priority Natural Resources in Two National Parks
AUTHORS. Joanna Whittier, University of Missouri; Phil Hays, USGS Lower Mississippi Gulf Water Science Center; Brittani Alexander, University of Missouri; Shelley Todd, Hot Springs National Park, National Park Service; Charles Bitting, Buffalo National River, National Park Service; Shawn Hodges, Buffalo National River, National Park Service; Brian Kenner, Midwest Regional Office, National Park Service; Nicole Athearn, Great Rivers CESU, National Park Service

ABSTRACT. University of Missouri, USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center, and National Park Service (NPS) are collaborating, through the Great Rivers CESU, to develop Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) for two Midwest Region NPS units: Buffalo National River and Hot Springs National Park. These assessments are part of an ongoing effort by the NPS to evaluate the current status of important natural resources, identify important threats and stressors to critical resources, and identify data gaps for individual parks. NPS has found that multidisciplinary teams consisting of academic researchers, park natural resource biologists and additional subject experts result in assessments of better quality and greater relevancy and utility for the parks. Both of these focal parks have aquatic resources listed in their enabling legislation so NPS reached out to researchers at University of Missouri (MU) who have a strong background in aquatic condition assessments at watershed scales. Natural resource professionals at each park were consulted to identify additional subject experts to fill in critical knowledge gaps within the team. The ultimate goal of the NRCAs is to provide park leaders and resource managers with information to support near-term planning and management, long-term strategic planning, and effective science communication to decision-makers and the public on resource conditions. Key to providing this information is the continued close communication among team members to ensure that the resulting products 1) focus on the natural resources important to individual park units, 2) capture the current state of knowledge, and 3) provide scientifically defensible findings.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102A

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Transmission of Infectious Prions in Plant Tissue
AUTHORS. Jay R. Schneider, US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center

ABSTRACT. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) belongs to a family of invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases) and is currently known to affect North American deer, elk and moose species. Prion diseases are caused by an infectious misfolded protein referred to as a “prion protein”. Chronic wasting disease infected animals in clinical and pre-clinical phases shed infectious prions into the environment via secretions, excreta and decomposing carcasses. Previous work has implicated soil as an environmental reservoir for prions that may contribute to disease spread. Vegetation is widespread in CWD-contaminated environments and plants have demonstrated the ability to internalize prions. Our study examined whether prions internalized by common crop plants can cause disease in susceptible hosts. CD1 mice were orally challenged with stem and leaf tissues from a variety of plants grown in culture media containing prions. These plants included: the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, maize (Zea mays), barley (Hordeum vulgare) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Mice were observed for clinical signs of TSE and prion infection was confirmed by testing brain and spleen tissue for the presence of disease-associated prion protein by serial misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) and protein immunoblotting. To date, approximately one third of all mice challenged with prion-contaminated crop plants tested positive as determined by sPMCA. Initial sPMCA testing of spleens has detected disease-associated prion protein in peripheral tissue outside the central nervous system in some mice that consumed prion-contaminated plants. Our results suggest plants represent a currently under-investigated environmental factor that may contribute to CWD transmission and exposure. As CWD continues to increase in both distribution and prevalence understanding the role soil and plants contribute to environmental transmission maybe a critical element in managing CWD.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102B

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Using Grazing to Manage Grasslands for Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Production Goals on a 53,000-acre Wetland Management District
AUTHORS. J.B. Bright, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Morris Wetland Management District

ABSTRACT. Prairies and grasslands are disturbance dependent ecosystems that rely on periodic defoliation to cycle nutrients, maintain plant vigor, and to set back woody vegetation. "Under-disturbed" grasslands are often lost to succession, see decreases in diversity, and are susceptible to invasion by various plant species. Habitat quality is therefore diminished on these sites. Conservation grazing is the use of livestock to defoliate areas to achieve wildlife and vegetation objectives. The Morris Wetland Management District has approximately 35,000 acres of upland habitat, spread out over eight counties, on 247 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). Like "prescribed fire" we use prescribed grazing to meet habitat management objectives by targeting certain areas at specific periods of the growing season (i.e., flexible timing and intensity). Grazing has been used on nearly 100 WPAs over the past 17 years on the district. From 2000 to 2010, an average of 1,111 acres and 13 units per year were grazed. With the decline in fire management capacity and increases in grazing infrastructure (fencing and flexible grazing cooperators), those averages have increased to 4,083 acres and 36 WPAs since 2011. During this time, adaptive management has been applied on select units to learn about plant community response to grazing and other management tools. Examples of plant community responses will be shared.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102C

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-05: A Herculean Task: Reversing Lake Eutrophication
AUTHORS. Catherine L. Hein, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Eutrophication impacts 35-40% of lakes in the U.S. and threatens fish and other aquatic life. Cold water fish are especially at risk due to deoxygenation of cool waters at depth. Unfortunately, efforts to restore lakes plagued by nutrient pollution fail more often than succeed. Despite large investments in restoration, water quality in most Midwestern lakes, though not worsening, is not improving over time. I will review techniques for improving lake water quality, including practices that reduce external nutrient loads, treatments that target internal nutrient loads, and biomanipulation. This review will attempt to unpack why theoretically sound management actions do not always lead to improvement and will offer guidelines to increase the odds of success. For example, extreme precipitation events and human behavior must be addressed when implementing restoration efforts. Finally, I will end with a few case studies that exemplify how partnerships between communities and agencies combined with perseverance can overcome lake eutrophication.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102E&D

1:40pm

SALMONIDS: Resilient Trout Management in a Changing Climate: Integrating Stream Temperature Modeling and Decision-support
AUTHORS. Andrew K. Carlson, Michigan State University; William W. Taylor, Michigan State University; Zeenatul Basher, US Geological Survey; T. Douglas Beard, Jr., US Geological Survey; Dana M. Infante, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT. Projected increases in coldwater stream temperatures resulting from predicted air temperature warming over the next 50 years are cause for concern among fisheries professionals that manage brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). There is a need for management approaches that promote thermally resilient stream ecosystems that can sustain their cold temperature regimes and trout populations in a changing climate. We developed temperature models that account for the effects of groundwater and precipitation on stream thermal regimes and used these models to project the effects of climate change on trout growth and survival in Michigan. We then collaborated with Michigan fisheries professionals to synthesize modeling results into a decision-support framework to facilitate resilience-based management in 52 trout streams throughout the state. Groundwater- and precipitation-corrected models were more effective than standard air-stream temperature models in explaining differences in stream thermal regimes, indicating that simple alterations to traditional models can improve accuracy and management utility. When integrated into a decision-support framework, groundwater- and precipitation-corrected models enables fisheries professionals to make ecologically, socioeconomically robust management decisions that promote thermally resilient streams and trout populations. Managers can use decision-support tools to anticipate future thermal, hydrological, biological, and socioeconomic conditions in trout streams and thereby make informed decisions for resilience-based management. With implications and applications beyond Michigan trout streams, our research demonstrates the utility of synthesizing diverse information sources to facilitate efficient, effective decision-making amid complex fisheries management environments in a changing climate.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103E

1:40pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Telemetry Drones and GPS Collars: What Your Engineering Department Can Do for You
AUTHORS. Paul Keenlance, Grand Valley State University Biology Dept.; Bruce Dunne, Grand Valley State University School of Engineering; Jeffrey Ward, Grand Valley State University School of Engineering

ABSTRACT. Technology is advancing at a pace unprecedented in human history, proving benefits both in personal life and in our profession. These advances in technology provide the potential for researchers to more effectively gather data to inform management. Unfortunately, incorporating new technology into research programs can be both expensive and intimidating to many wildlife biologists who lack a deep understanding of technological principles and process. Fortunately, much wildlife research is conducted by faculty at universities housing engineering programs or by resource management agencies in collaboration with these universities. We will use the results of two collaborations between the biology department and the school of engineering at Grand Valley State University as case studies illustrating the potential synergy of combining expertise and resources in developing research tools.  The first of these is an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to locate radio collared animals with which contact has been lost when using a handheld yagi antenna. This unit provides a roughly threefold increase in the detection range of a radio collar compared to a handheld three element yagi. Cost of this unit was roughly $5000 including spare parts. The second product is a programable 120 gram remote download GPS collar with a 150 meter data download range. Fix interval can be set based on research objectives, but field trials were conducted with a 4 hour fix rate which resulted in a minimum 6 month battery life. Batteries are replaceable by the user if the collar is retrieved. The prototype of this unit cost $450. We hope these examples will encourage wildlife biologists to explore possibilities for collaborating with local engineering departments. These collaborations can provide cost effective options for developing technology based tools to aid in more effectively collecting data to inform management decisions.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103C

1:40pm

WALLEYE: Recovery and Management of the Saginaw Bay Walleye Population
AUTHORS. David G. Fielder, James P. Baker - Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Saginaw Bay historically supported the second largest walleye fishery in the Great Lakes. It collapsed in the middle of the Twentieth Century due to a combination of habitat degradation, water quality declines, over harvest, and effects of invasive species. Recovery began with clean water legislation that addressed fundamental obstacles. Walleye fingerling stocking and investments in research lead to the return of a mostly hatchery supported recreational fishery. Commercial harvest was closed. It was not until Alewives collapsed in 2003, however, that Walleyes were released from their predacious and competitive effects. In the absence of Alewives, Walleye reproductive success soared, stocking was suspended (2006), and the population reached recovery targets in 2009. As the Walleye population has come to capacity of the bay, predation rates have become limiting on Yellow Perch and have reduced the overall prey base. Management of the recreational fishery was liberalized in 2016 as a response. Simultaneously, Walleye recruitment has slowed and appears to be a density related contraction that may be characteristic of newly recovered populations. Challenges now have transitioned from recovery to management for sustainability. Additional fisheries have been proposed. Still lacking are key prey fish pathways from the main basin of Lake Huron since the loss of alewives and the lack of Cisco recovery. Challenges and prospects for sustaining the Walleye population and fisheries at a recovered level are examined.

Monday January 29, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103D

2:00pm

ASIAN CARP: Satellite GPS Telemetry of Asian Carp in the Upper Illinois River Waterway
AUTHORS. Chelsea Center, Western Illinois University; James T. Lamer, Western Illinois University; Andrew T. Mathis, Western Illinois University; Brent Knights, United States Geological Survey; Kevin Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Monitoring the spread of Asian carp has been a priority since their introduction and particularly important in the last decade as efforts to prevent them from entering Lake Michigan gained momentum.  Monitoring movement using acoustic tags (manual tracking and stationary receivers) provided a wealth of information to understand Asian carp behavior.  The advent of satellite telemetry and real-time, satellite-linked GPS tags can complement current acoustic efforts by tracking multiple individuals at once without the man hour investment needed to accomplish the same goal using other technologies.  Seven Asian carp (two bighead carp and five silver carp) were tagged with real-time GPS transmitters in the Dresden Reach of the Upper Illinois River between August 3 and August 30, 2017.  The data is accessed through an end user interface and the initial trial indicates several trends. Six of the fish remained in the lower 6 km of the 24 km long reach. Five fish also spent time in the Kankakee River near its convergence with the Illinois River. Over a 24-hour period, one of the silver carp traveled approximately 15 km from the lower end of the reach to a hotspot identified through acoustic tracking.  A total of 173 useable points have been collected from the seven tags.  Real-time GPS tags could be a useful tool to identify real-time aggregations to inform contracted removal on the water, identify habitat use, spawning and feeding locations, and inform management efforts.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103A

2:00pm

CARNIVORES: Determining Coyote-Wolf Hybridization in Minnesota and Wisconsin by Using Mitochondrial DNA
AUTHORS. Taylor Soto, Dr. Kevyn Juneau - University of Wisconsin-River Falls

ABSTRACT. The ongoing argument over the evolutionary history and genetic composition of Canid populations within North America has become primarily relevant to the conservation and management of coyotes and wolves. Over a century ago, the over-harvesting of wolves led to the hybridization between Eastern wolves and Western coyotes in the Northeastern region of the United States, resulting in the coyote-wolf hybrid, the coywolf. Current research suggests that coywolves are highly adaptable and found across various regions of North America. The focus of this research is to use PCR-RFLPs (restriction fragment length polymorphism) to determine if coywolves are present in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A restriction site and a length difference in the control region of mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) was used to differentiate wolf and coyote haplotypes; the restriction site is present in wolves but not coyotes. The DNA was extracted using a QIAGEN DNeasy kit, then PCR was run with a primer pair constructed from the coyote and wolf sequences (Wiley et al. 1998). Specimens were gathered from different regions of the two states by collecting buccal, hair and tissue samples from taxidermists, roadkill and rehabilitation centers. During the pilot study we have found that the coyotes collected do not possess wolf ancestry in the mtDNA. Due to the findings of the initial study further research will be done by expanding the project from 10 to over 100 coyote samples. Future research will be focused on using this method so we can determine if hybridized coyotes are present in Minnesota and Wisconsin without directly interfering with wild populations.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103B

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Recruitment, Training, and Retention of Stream Monitoring Volunteers
AUTHORS. Ilana Haimes, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. When working with citizen scientists, it is essential that a program effectively recruit and train volunteers. Equally important for success is the retention of the well-trained volunteers. Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide volunteer stream monitoring program facilitated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Extension that has been recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers in water quality sampling for more than 20 years. Statewide, more than 600 individuals and 1000 students participate annually. Each year several new volunteers are trained, the majority of whom participate in the program for at least one year. Existing volunteers are provided with further training opportunities for supplemental monitoring. This talk will cover some of the ways in which new volunteers learn about the WAV program, the evolution of the WAV training to accommodate more volunteers as well as the additional materials made available for volunteers to revisit methods and monitoring information. Training methods and availability has changed with the increase in size of the program, the addition of new technologies, and the dedication of long-term volunteers. Additionally, this talk will explore reasons for volunteer retention, including, but not limited to partnership with complementary organizations throughout the state.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
101B

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Pollinators in Our Parks – How Is Invasive Plant Management Impacting Native Bees in National Parks?
AUTHORS. Kiley Friedrich, Dr. Dan Cariveau - University of Minnesota Bee Lab

ABSTRACT. Invasive, exotic plants are a leading cause of ecological change in natural areas.Throughout Minnesota, land managers have struggled with the spread of Common or European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus). Introduced as an ornamental landscaping plant, buckthorn dominates in areas that were once diverse plant communities. However, removal of invasive plants could have conflicting effects. Exotic plants can provide important food and nesting resources for native species. For instance, native pollinators commonly visit and consume pollen and nectar of exotic flowering plants. However, exotic and invasive species, such as buckthorn, can negatively impact native plant communities. In forest systems, native flowering plants provide a critical early-season resource. The goal of this study is to determine plant use by native pollinators in areas invaded by buckthorn and currently undergoing invasive plant management. With a focus on National Park Service (NPS) lands, we collaborated with the Exotic Plant Management Team and their plans for removal, control, and invasive plant management. As part of the Great Lakes-Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU), NPS staff identified areas of concern for invasive species management and native bee sampling. In the summer of 2017, we characterized the bee and flowering plant communities in forested areas of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway and Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Bee specimens were collected while visiting buckthorn and other ephemeral forest flowers.  Five sites along the rivers were identified and sampled from April to July.  Plant and bee community data is being processed and analyzed. Through detailed documentation of the plant and bee communities present in these areas, our results will inform practitioners on the impact of buckthorn removal and methods on NPS lands.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102A

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-03: CWD Management and Response in Wisconsin: Lessons Learned and New Beginnings
AUTHORS. Tami Ryan, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began monitoring the state's wild white tailed deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002 through testing of hunter harvested deer in November 2001. An extensive CWD surveillance program has been conducted in Wisconsin since then. The department conducts annual monitoring in both the endemic area of southern Wisconsin as well as new areas of the state to understand CWD distribution and prevalence. Statewide disease detection surveillance efforts took place in 2002-2003 and 2005-2008. In recent years much of the statewide detection surveillance has transitioned to more efficient and cost-effective methods for disease detection. Of Wisconsin's 72 counties there are currently 43 CWD affected counties. Of these counties 19 are designated as such due to having a wild CWD positive deer. Over 200,000 deer have been sampled and over 3500 have tested positive since 2002. The department developed a Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan to be used from 2010 through 2025. The department developed the plan recognizing its public trust responsibility for managing wildlife and ensuring the health of wildlife populations in the state. The first five years of the plan was reviewed by the CWD Response Plan Review Committee over the winter of 2016. The DNR, Wisconsin Conservation Congress and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection formed a stakeholder-based CWD Response Plan Review Committee to review the plan and provide recommendations for the future. The CWD Response Plan Review Committee met four times between October 2016 and February 2017 to review and discuss the 2010-2025 CWD Response Plan. The final recommendations from the committee are guiding the department’s approach to addressing CWD in Wisconsin.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102B

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Collaboration Turns Pine Plantations into Pine/Oak Barrens in a Critical Landscape for Birds
AUTHORS. Nancy Christel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. This is a success story about acquiring and managing a globally rare habitat type, providing significant benefits to multiple bird species in a Wisconsin Important Bird Area. The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area (NBWA) is a 6,500-acre pine/oak barrens habitat in the northwest sands ecological landscape in Wisconsin. Most of the land was acquired through a land trade with Burnett County Forestry Department, after leasing and managing the land as barrens habitat for several decades. The Conservation Fund, understanding the importance of pine/oak barrens, purchased 1,400 acres from Lyme Timber Management Company and donated it to the state to become part of the NBWA. Through a collaborative effort with forestry, fire control and many others, wildlife management has been successfully restoring various stages of pine plantations to native pine/oak barrens habitat, using timber sales and prescribed burning. This property is home to Wisconsin’s largest population of sharp-tailed grouse, upland sandpipers and many other open landscape loving species.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102C

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Adapting to Climate Change: Tools for Managers of Inland Glacial Lakes
AUTHORS. Ralph W. Tingley III, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Craig P. Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Peter C. Jacobson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Greg Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ABSTRACT. Successful climate adaptation for inland fisheries requires approaches that promote ecological resilience, support resilient management strategies, and establish or support long-term monitoring efforts.  These broad concepts provide guidance to management agencies but are daunting tasks that are often difficult to implement given multiple barriers to action, such as lack of funding, limited political support, and difficulty in integrating assessments of climate vulnerability into tangible management actions.  Across the glacial lakes of the Midwest, the growing number of climate vulnerability assessments offer opportunities for managers to address climate adaptation, if tangible approaches to implementation are available.  In support of the proliferation of climate change adaptation, we review the published literature as well as on-going management efforts to identify adaptation strategies that are relevant to glacial lakes fisheries.  We place heavy emphasis on strategies that address critical barriers to climate adaptation action, including surpassing financial barriers by meeting adaptation objectives through inherently linked management initiatives (e.g., prioritizing terrestrial conservation in the context of ecological resilience of cold-water lakes).  We also propose multiple opportunities to support climate adaptation in the glacial lakes region, including tailoring existing climate adaption frameworks to meet needs of fisheries managers and the development of region-wide representations of important conservation areas to support collaboration among agencies and other stakeholders. 

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102E&D

2:00pm

SALMONIDS: Shifts in Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) Diets in Lake Michigan: An Annual and 5-year Assessment
AUTHORS. Miles Luo, University of Michigan, School for Environment & Sustainability; Charles Madenjian, US Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Jim Diana, University of Michigan, School for Environment & Sustainability; Matthew Kornis, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office; Charles Bronte, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

ABSTRACT.                 Recent surveys have shown that prey fish communities in Lake Michigan have been steadily changing, highlighted by declines in both the quantity and quality of Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). Although current food web models exist for both lakes, it has been unclear how the declining abundance of Alewife has affected the diets of predatory salmonids, such as Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Previous studies have shown that Lake Trout are heavily reliant on Alewife as a prey species in the northeastern of Lake Michigan. To evaluate shifts in diet composition of Lake Trout, we analyzed stomach contents of individual Lake Trout caught north and east of Frankfort, MI during gillnet surveys and fishing tournaments from May through October of 2016. We then compared the composition of 2016 diets to those found in the most recent similar survey conducted in 2011. We also sought to create a diet schedule to summarize changes in Lake Trout feeding patterns throughout the year. Overall, we found that Lake Trout diets mainly consisted of Alewife and Round Goby (Neogobius melanstomus). By weight, Round Goby percentages in Lake Trout diets greatly increased from 2011 to 2016. However, this diet shift was only seen May and June, while diets were still mainly comprised of Alewife in later months. Further statistical analyses showed that the gear type and survey location were far less important than the collection month in predicting diet composition. Although Lake Trout show some flexibility in the prey consumed in spring months, Alewife still appears to be the most important component of their diet. This continued reliance on declining Alewife populations has the potential to significantly alter the Lake Michigan food web and impact the viability of regional salmonid stocking programs. 

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103E

2:00pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Using GIS to Predict the Impacts of Woody Biomass Harvesting on Forest Biodiversity: Case Studies in Northeast USA
AUTHORS. Heather Stricker, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Deahn Donner, US Forest Service Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies; T. Bently Wigley, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc; Darren Miller, Weyerhaeuser Company

ABSTRACT. With the projected increasing demand for wood biomass to partially meet renewable energy needs, concerns have centered on whether this material can be removed while still conserving biological diversity and retaining ecosystem functioning. According to the US Department of Energy (Volume 1 Billion Ton Plan 2016; Oak Ridge National Laboratory) forest biomass removal is projected to be significantly expanded over the next few decades. Feedstock producing potential of woody biomass varied across the nation, however, contributing to a variability of potential biodiversity responses. In the northeastern U.S., source feedstocks were generated primarily by whole-tree harvests of smaller-diameter trees through clearcutting rather than logging residues, particularly in northern hardwoods and natural softwoods. We investigated the potential consequences of this regional projected woody biomass removal on several case study species by spatially simulating and quantifying changes in the landscape under the most significantly expanded near-term scenario (high energy demands, 2017 scenario). We then used multiple landscape metrics to predict how these changes in northeastern forests may be beneficial for some wildlife species (e.g., early successional species), but negative for other species (e.g., disturbance intolerant species). From a biodiversity perspective, region-wide analysis of changing landscape patterns can be used to help managers spatially plan and evaluate changes for multiple conservation species of interest that functionally depend on woody biomass.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103C

2:00pm

WALLEYE: Ecosystem Changes and Effects on Walleye Sustainable Harvest in Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota
AUTHORS. Gretchen J.A. Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Jordan S. Read, US Geological Survey; Luke A. Winslow, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Melissa Treml, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Patrick J. Schmalz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Stephen R. Carpenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT. Water clarity and temperature are key lake attributes that influence numerous ecological processes. Walleye (Sander vitreus) are an economically important top predator fish with distinct temperature and light preferences. Walleye production in inland lakes is related to the area in which the optimal thermal and optical conditions for walleye exist concurrently, known as the thermal-optical habitat area (TOHA). Lake-specific estimates of TOHA require information on lake morphology, temperature, and clarity. We evaluated the role of changing clarity and temperature in explaining the decline of a high-profile walleye fishery in Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota. TOHA was estimated using a thermodynamic simulation model of daily water temperatures and hourly light conditions from 1980-2016. We used the safe operating space concept to analyze how sustainable harvest and optimal population size of walleye depend on TOHA. Optical habitat area in Mille Lacs is directly related to Secchi depth, with maximum optical habitat available at Secchi depths between 2 and 3.5 m. Median Secchi depths consistently fell within this optimal range prior to 1996, but exceeded this range in over 50% of years from 1996 to 2016, resulting in reduced habitat for walleye. Maximum safe harvest levels of walleye declined with declining TOHA, suggesting that walleye harvest must be reduced to accommodate increasing water clarity and to a lesser extent, water temperature. Historic and projected future changes in water clarity and temperature are likely to impact sport fish populations, and future work is underway to expand these analysis to other inland lakes.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103D

2:20pm

ASIAN CARP: Age and Growth Demographics of Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Cortney Cox, James Lamer, Allison Lenaerts - Western Illinois University; Brent Knights, US Geological Survey; Kevin Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Fish age and growth can be used to infer spawning success, recruitment and population age structure. Understanding these dynamics are especially important when assessing the impacts and management options of invasive species. Bighead and silver carp are invasive species that have established throughout much of the Mississippi River Basin, but their spread into the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) has been restricted by Lock and Dam 19 at Keokuk, IA.  Aging structures obtained from this population above Lock and Dam 19 allow us to determine growth rates and age-at-maturity in this emerging, poorly understood, low-density population. We have collected length and weight data from adult silver carp (n=4912) and bighead carp (n=1269) captured with commercial fishing methods (i.e., gill nets and seines). Pectoral spines, post-cleithra, and vertebrae have been removed from 1229 Asian carp, 30 fish per 50mm size class, to quantify age and growth in pools 16-19 on the Mississippi River. Ages and back calculated growth will be used to better understand spawning success, recruitment and population age structure to inform control and containment actions. Growth in pools 16-19 is similar amongst the pools, possibly a result of Asian carp movement amongst them. However, these fish show significantly higher growth rates than the fish of the much denser population of pool 20, below Lock and Dam 19.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
103A

2:20pm

CARNIVORES: Recommendations for the Update of the Bad River Band Ma'iingan Plan
AUTHORS. Abigail Fergus, Alma College


ABSTRACT. Ma’iingan (Canis lupus) management plans change with time to match new scientific findings, policy, and cultural needs. The Bad River Band reservation is located in northern Wisconsin on Lake Superior and provides habitat for four Ma’iingan packs. Anishinaabe Indians such as the Bad River Band revere Ma’iingan as a brother and believe that whatever happens to Ma’iingan will also happen to Anishinaabeg. In 2013, the Bad River Band published its first Ma’iingan management plan, which calls for an update every five years. Interviews were conducted with local wolf biologists, non-tribal livestock owners, and tribal members in order to collect political, cultural, and scientific considerations for the plan’s update. Political, cultural, and scientific literature was also reviewed for the formulation of recommendations. I propose changes in order to better insure the legal protection of Ma’iingan. I also address developing issues related to Ma’iingan such as the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease and the review of the Endangered Species Act. These changes will be considered by the Bad River Band wildlife specialist and tribal council for the 2018 management plan. 

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
103B

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Designing Effective Protocols for Large-scale Citizen Science Projects
AUTHORS. Christina Locke, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Large-scale citizen science projects can help organizations engage the public in natural resources management, but managing hundreds or thousands of volunteers can present logistical challenges. Designing robust, clear and comprehensive instructional documents is imperative to maximize volunteer management efficiency and data accuracy. This presentation will address: lessons learned from one of Wisconsin's largest citizen science projects, Snapshot Wisconsin, in producing streamlined protocols for volunteer data collection; as well as the benefits of documenting internal protocols for use by current and future project managers, which is especially important for long-term projects experiencing staffing changes over time.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
101B

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-02: The Importance and Application of Social Science Research in Protected Area Management
AUTHORS. Dr. Ryan L. Sharp, Kansas State University

ABSTRACT. The contributions of social science to the advancement of park, protected area and wildlife management, although often considered, may often be overlooked.  It is becoming increasingly clear that solutions to complex challenges posed by protected area management in the face of changing climatic conditions and increased visitation, will require an integrated approach—one that extends beyond the biological realm to one that acknowledges the inseparable links between biological and social systems. This presentation will outline ways in which social science can be used to inform policy- and decision-makers, and an increasingly engaged public. There will also be a discussion about how to better incorporate natural and social science perspectives in research, policy and practice. Such integration is not always easy and may imply a paradigm shift in current parks and protected areas policy and planning.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102A

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance and Management in Missouri
AUTHORS. Jasmine Batten, Missouri Department of Conservation; Sherri Russell, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT. Missouri began CWD surveillance in 2001 and first detected CWD in it’s free-ranging white-tailed deer population in 2012. Since that time, a total of 42 CWD positive deer have been detected, and although geographic distribution of the disease has increased, disease prevalence in established locations has remained low ( 25,000 samples) compared to what the agency was able to achieve through voluntary sampling (typically 5,000 – 8,000 samples in previous years). Statewide surveillance includes samples collected with cooperating taxidermists, alternating in northern or southern Missouri each year. To achieve the 4th objective, CWD Management Zones are established, including counties that are within a 25-mile radius of CWD detections, and regulations are implemented to limit the spread of the disease. Winter culling is used to remove additional positive deer and decrease deer densities at a localized scale around the locations of positive deer. Communication with the public (objective 3) is achieved through social media, Department publications, press releases, radio and TV, and one-on-one communication. However, misinformation and confusion about CWD management remains one of the greatest challenges. Additional challenges include staff fatigue, landowner support in culling areas, and carcass transportation and disposal. Despite these challenges, management of CWD remains one of the highest priorities for the agency.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102B

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Strategic Prioritization of Grassland Habitat Types in Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Matt Zine, Ryan O'Connor, Armund Bartz, Andy Paulios, Bill Hogseth, Sara Kehrli, Craig Anderson - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Kelly Van Beek, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Grassland management is important for many species statewide in Wisconsin. Recent research shows that scale, geospatial information, and plant diversity can affect the productivity of grasslands. The importance of grasslands and their management is recognized as a high priority for the WDNR and its partners. Due to high workload and dwindling resources, the WDNR made an effort to strategically allocate resources for grassland management and other associated habitat types (e.g. savannas, sedge meadows, etc.). Our goal was to develop conservation decision making guidance facilitating allocation of statewide resources towards these habitats and develop a tool to prioritize specific DNR-owned properties. Our team developed separate prioritization processes for “Natural Community Management Objectives” and “Surrogate Grassland Management Objectives”. Recognizing concentrations of rare species and high-quality natural communities are one of the drivers of natural community management, we used existing data on rare species locations as the foundation of the analysis for prioritizing natural community management objectives. We used the rare species strongly associated with barrens, prairies, oak savannas, and fire-dependent wetlands, based on the rare species and natural community association scores found in the Wildlife Action Plan. Knowing that some areas of the state have not been thoroughly surveyed for rare species, we also used the 2016 Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA) point count data. For prioritizing surrogate, or planted, grassland management objectives, we assigned rankings to specific features within several GIS spatial datasets based on a scoring system that applied information from conservation plans, previous prioritization efforts, and recreation management data such as pheasant management areas, Wisconsin Joint Venture townships, and priority grassland bird landscapes. We summed rankings and overlaid a single dataset across state public lands to identify properties where surrogate grasslands are achieving multiple objectives.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102C

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Investigating Fish Kills to Identify Emerging Threats and Long-term Stress
AUTHORS. Nick Phelps, University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT. Fish kill investigations are critical to understanding threats to aquatic ecosystems, and can be an early indicator of environmental changes and emerging disease. The goal of this study was to perform descriptive and predictive analyses of fish kill events in Minnesota and to evaluate the application of advanced diagnostic methods. From 2003-2013, 225 unique fish kill events were recorded in two MN DNR databases. Reported fish kills peaked during 2007 (n=41) and the month of June (n=81) across all years. Species of the Centrarchidae family were present in 138 fish kill events, followed by Cyprinidae and Ictaluridae with 53 and 40 fish kill events, respectively. Environmental factors (32%) were the most common cause of death reported; however, 30% were due to unknown causes. To identify environmental factors related to fish kills, ecological niche models were developed to create predictive risk maps. Water temperature was the most critical factor for fish mortality, followed by changes in primary productivity, and human disturbance. Lastly, along with traditional diagnostic approaches, next generation sequencing was used to investigate five mortality events. Six viruses were identified from three events, including a novel picornavirus, astrovirus, betanodavirus, calicivirus, paramyxovirus, and the previously described bluegill picornavirus for the first time outside of Wisconsin. Identification of novel viruses is an important consideration for future fish kill investigations and understanding environmental stress in disease emergence. The results of this study can be used to improve efficient and effective investigation of fish kills and guide active environmental monitoring.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102E&D

2:20pm

SALMONIDS: Occurrence of Salmincola sp. on Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis in Tobin Harbor, Isle Royale National Park
AUTHORS. Evan Boone, Henry Quinlan - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Copepods of the genus Salmincola (family Lernaeopodidae)parasitize fishes from the family Salmonidae and are commonly referred to as gill lice or gill maggots. Large infections in the gills can have detrimental effects on host wellness. Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis were macroscopically examined for gill lice during electrofishing surveys in Tobin Harbor, Isle Royale National Park from 2005 to 2017.  Annual gill lice prevalence varied significantly over the 12 year study period. Prevalence was negatively correlated with the percentage of substock (Salmincola sp., 79% were less than 20 cm in length. The majority of substock fish were not infected or displayed a light infection in the gills, whereas the majority of preferred plus (> 40cm) size hosts were infected at either moderate or heavy levels. Similarly, condition varied by Brook Trout length. Relative weights of stock and quality size Brook Trout were significantly higher than relative weights of substock and preferred plus size fish. Overall, the accumulation of large lice densities seem to contribute to declining condition scores in the Tobin Harbor Brook Trout population. 

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
103E

2:20pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Using Circuit Theory to Map Connectivity of the U.S. Great Lakes Coastline
AUTHORS. Lindsay E. F. Hunt, Dr. Ralph Grundel, Dr. Noel Pavlovic - U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Ecologists have sought to analyze connectivity for years in an effort to better understand the ecological effects of fragmentation on the landscape. Originally, small scale connectivity analyses were used to understand individual movement and local population distributions. As scientists began expanding the scope, scale, and size of studies, model complexity increased and was restricted by computational capacity, forcing development of new technologies to overcome these limitations. We used one such technique, Circuitscape, which applies circuit theory, to map connectivity across our study area identifying specific parcels of land vital to improving connectivity. Using the NLCD (National Land Cover Dataset), we created a layer indicating resistance to potential movement/dispersal, in order to evaluate connectivity along the Great Lakes coast. We applied circuit theory to local areas, such as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore managers, where we hope to inform land managers where the optimal investment of their limited time and resources is, in order to maintain or improve connectivity. Additionally we expanded this study's scope to the entire Great Lakes shoreline, using PAD-US to compare the connectivity of State and Federal protected areas, determining where connectivity is most tenuous, identifying critical regions for maintaining long term connectivity, including projecting changes in connectivity into the future. Lastly we identified three main habitat types on our landscape (wetlands, forests, and grasslands), using Circuitscape we modeled the current level of connectivity of each of these habitat types in our study area, comparing them regionally and across the whole coastline.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
103C

2:20pm

WALLEYE: Identifying Recruitment Bottlenecks for age-0 Walleye in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
AUTHORS. Daniel Isermann, USGS-Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Jason Gostiaux, Fisheries Analysis Center, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Hadley Boehm, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Joseph Hennessy, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Natural recruitment of walleye has declined in some northern Wisconsin lakes where adult walleyes were still present in sufficient numbers to produce year classes based on previous data. Initial assessments on 4 lakes suggested that a recruitment bottleneck was occurring at or before the larval stage. During 2016 and 2017, we conducted age-0 walleye sampling on 13 northern Wisconsin lakes with two different recruitment histories (declining = D-NR, sustained = S-NR) to determine if the timing of a recruitment bottleneck was consistent among D-NR lakes. We also assessed whether abiotic and biotic variables differed between lakes with different recruitment histories. Age-0 walleye were collected after the larval stage in six of seven S-NR lakes but were not observed at any stage in the remaining S-NR lake. Age-0 walleye were collected after the larval stage (summer gill netting and fall electrofishing) in only one of six D-NR lakes, but in very low numbers. Our data suggests a recruitment bottleneck occurs at or before the larval stage in many D-NR lakes. We are also assessing diets of larval walleyes and examining whether zooplankton communities differ among lakes in each recruitment category during the period when larval walleyes are present.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
103D

2:40pm

ASIAN CARP: Reproductive Potential of Silver and Bighead Carp in the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Allison Lenaerts, James Lamer, Cortney Cox, Boone La Hood - Western Illinois University; Kevin Irons, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) are abundant throughout most of the Mississippi River Basin and are very prolific spawners. Asian carp abundance in the Mississippi River above Lock and Dam 19 is low relative to reaches below the dam. Understanding the reproductive potential (i.e., gonadalsomatic index (GSI) and fecundity) of these low density, poorly understood populations is important to inform Asian carp management in the Upper Mississippi River.  We examined and compared GSI of silver carp (females: n= 261, males: n= 430) and bighead carp (females: n= 99, males: n= 235) among pools 17-20 of the Mississippi River with stage IV ovaries. Eggs were removed from three locations in one ovary per fish (silver carp, n=155 and bighead carp, n= 76), counted, and weighted to estimate fecundity. Bighead and silver male GSI is not significantly different between pools. Female silver carp GSI is significantly higher in leading edge populations and decreases as densities increases downstream, Pools 17 ?19 (p=0.000), Pools 17 ?20 (p=0.000), and Pools 18 ? 20 (p=0.001). Bighead carp females have a significantly higher GSI in Pool 18 than Pool 20 (p=.0213). Silver carp averaged 794 eggs/g (sd=137.39, se±11), and bighead carp averaged 468 eggs/g (sd=122.56, se±14) across all pools. Differences in GSI may reflect a release from density dependent factors within the leading edge. Lower densities may allow for more allocation of resources to gonadal growth versus somatic growth above Lock and Dam 19. 

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103A

2:40pm

CARNIVORES: How Do Domestic Dogs Influence Intraguild Interactions Among Native Canids?
AUTHORS. Dana J. Morin, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Southern Illinois University; Damon B. Lesmeister, Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service; Clayton K. Nielsen, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Southern Illinois University; Eric M. Schauber, Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Southern Illinois University

ABSTRACT. Harvest rates and bowhunter survey data for several Midwestern states suggest both red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) populations have declined, and a recent assessment of mesocarnivore occupancy across southern Illinois suggested gray fox range was contracting. Indices of coyote (Canis latrans) abundance increased concurrently and competition resulting in intraguild killing and spatial displacement to human-associated habitats have been proposed as agents of gray fox population decline. In addition, we previously demonstrated a strong elevation in both red fox and gray fox occupancy near human-developed areas if coyotes were present. One complication previously unaccounted for in assessing dynamics between coyotes and foxes is the presence of free-ranging domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), commonly associated with anthropogenic habitats. Thus, as gray foxes shift to areas adjacent to anthropogenic habitat to avoid coyotes, they may instead contend with domestic dogs. We utilized an extensive camera-trap data set collected over three years at 1,181 stations across 16 counties in southern Illinois to evaluate factors influencing species occupancy and interactions between domestic dogs, coyotes, gray foxes and red foxes. Naïve dog occupancy was 0.53 and estimated dog occupancy decreased with distance from structures and municipalities but increased with distance from roads. We found no evidence for species interactions between domestic dogs and coyotes, weak support for a negative interaction between dogs and red foxes, and strong evidence of a negative interaction between dogs and gray foxes. Thus, interacting competitive pressures from coyotes in forest habitats, red foxes in anthropogenic habitats, and the presence of free-ranging dogs along anthropogenic habitat edge, could result in dramatic cumulative impacts to gray fox populations across the region and contribute to the recent decline.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103B

2:40pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Making Sense of 5 Million Observations: Data Management and Quality Control for Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II
AUTHORS. Nicholas M. Anich, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Ryan S. Brady, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Thomas G. Prestby, GEI Consultants; Ian J. Davies, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

ABSTRACT. With any observational dataset, proper data management and data vetting procedures are critical to ensuring robust data products. Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II is a 5-year citizen-science project that collects observations from thousands of volunteer birdwatchers to track the distribution and abundance of Wisconsin’s nesting bird species. Data management is primarily through eBird, an online database hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology that was already popular with Wisconsin’s birders. We developed an Atlas-specific eBird portal to collect, summarize, and display atlas information in real time. Surveyors can enter bird checklists via computer or a mobile app. Data submission is subject to pre-set filters that limit the list of likely birds by date and region to expected species and flag unusual observations or high counts. On the back end, all submitted data is processed through scripts in R to screen data for suspect breeding codes (behaviors) and dates of breeding activity for nearly 250 bird species. After this initial step highlights the data most likely to need review, data are manually reviewed by experts. We then use the corrected dataset to reinterpret the submitted breeding codes in eBird, a new development for the platform. When all field work is complete, the dataset will receive a final review by local and state experts. Our first two years of reviewed data showed that 2% of the data contained species or code-level errors.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
101B

2:40pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Collaborative Studies on Wolf Ecology in the Greater Voyageurs National Park Ecosystem
AUTHORS. Joseph K. Bump, Thomas Gable, Jordan Pruszenski - University of Minnesota; Steven Windels, Voyageurs National Park

ABSTRACT. Gray wolves are an integral component of boreal forest ecosystems, capable of structuring prey populations and altering prey behavior.  This talk will highlight two projects on wolves in Voyageurs National Park and the role of CESU in supporting this research.  One projects focuses on the ecology of wolf-beaver predation and the second project explores how wolf hunting/trapping outside the national park may impact protected wolves within park boundaries. Recent studies in the greater Voyageurs National Park ecosystem, demonstrated that up to 38% of the summer diet is beavers. In other areas of the state beavers are much less a part of wolf diet, generally less than 5-15%. Moose persist in this system at low numbers, despite a healthy wolf population. This project will address questions such as, ‘Does the high abundance of beavers, a more easily killed prey item than moose, result in lower predation on moose?’ and  ‘How does the availability of beaver prey affect wolf predation on adult and fawn deer in summer and fall?’ Few wolf packs persist exclusively within the borders of Voyageurs National Park.  In the period 2012-2014 hunters killed 973 wolves in Minnesota. Wolf harvest in Ontario, Canada, adjacent to the park, has occurred since 1993.   This project will examine potential, ecological consequences and management implications of harvest seasons on wolves in Voyageurs National Park.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
102A

2:40pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Responding to a Recent Outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Deer in Minnesota
AUTHORS. Michelle Carstensen, Erik Hildebrand, Lou Cornicelli, Christoper Jennelle, Margaret Dexter, Patrick Hagen - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. In fall 2016, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) sampled 2,966 hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southeastern Minnesota. The surveillance effort focused on testing deer within deer permit areas (DPA) in the 300 series zone, in response to increased incidence of CWD in wild deer in both southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. Three deer tested positive for the disease in Fillmore County (DPA 348) and MNDNR enacted its CWD Response Plan which called for an immediate ban on recreational deer feeding, a formal survey of the area CWD was found, creation of a disease management zone (DPA 603), and additional sampling efforts to better understand the prevalence and spatial extent of the outbreak. During a winter (January-March 2017) supplemental surveillance effort, an additional 1,179 samples were tested through three operational phases; a special late hunt, landowner shooting permits, and a contract with United States Department of Agriculture–Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) for targeted deer removals. As a result, 8 more CWD positive deer were found. Surveillance efforts for CWD will be intensified in southeastern MN in fall 2017 and also expanded into 2 other areas of the state (Crow Wing and Meeker Counties) where the disease was recently discovered in captive cervid farms.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
102B

2:40pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Prairie Contour Buffer Strips Serve as Bird Nesting Habitat in Midwestern Agricultural Landscapes
AUTHORS. Matthew D. Stephenson, Iowa State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Lisa A. Schulte, Iowa State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Robert W. Klaver, U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit




ABSTRACT. Grasslands in the Midwest have seen a precipitous decline over the last 150 years, resulting in the loss of millions of acres of habitat for wildlife. A large majority of the land in the Midwest is privately owned and efforts to restore habitat on large scales will have to include partnerships with private landowners. Contour buffer strips of diverse native prairie in row crop fields have been demonstrated to be very effective at reducing nutrient and soil runoff and may also serve as quality habitat for birds on farms. From 2015-2017 we investigated bird use and nest success in contour strips planted to diverse native prairie on 15 farms in Iowa. Nests were located and monitored until success or failure and nest location, landscape, and vegetation variables were measured for 357 Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and 147 Dickcissel (Spiza americana) nests. AIC model selection of daily nest survival rates showed vegetation structure and density positively impacted nest survival for Red-winged Blackbirds and sites with large, mature prairie strips had a positive impact on nest survival for Dickcissels. These preliminary findings indicate that if widely adopted, contour strips of prairie could serve as quality nesting habitat across large parts of the agricultural Midwestern landscape.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
102C

2:40pm

SYMPOSIA-05: The Influence of Lake Habitat and Landscape Context on Bluegill Growth and Population Size Structure in Midwest Glacial Lakes
AUTHORS. Jim Breck, School for Sustainability and Environment, University of Michigan; Kevin Wehrly, Institute for Fisheries Research

ABSTRACT. Bluegills are one of the most popular sport fishes in Midwest glacial lakes, and they are often prominent members of the fish assemblage. Bluegill growth rate and population size structure differ widely among lakes. Slow-growing bluegill populations and a size structure with few large fish continue to be significant concerns for fisheries managers. We review the extensive literature on bluegill growth, size structure and recruitment, which identifies a variety of influential factors and processes. These include food abundance relative to fish density, important prey taxa, predator-prey balance, aquatic vegetation as a predation refuge for juveniles, fishing pressure on large males, and the social influence of larger males on the size and age at which male reproductive behavior is initiated. In this talk we examine the influence of lake habitat and landscape context on the processes determining bluegill growth, recruitment, and population size structure. We use a variety of models and data, including lake temperature regime and bioenergetics of fish growth, to look at bluegill population responses across gradients in these habitat and landscape variables. Our goal is to provide guidelines for management of fish habitat to address concerns about bluegill growth, recruitment and size structure in ways that reflect the landscape context of individual lakes.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
102E&D

2:40pm

SALMONIDS: Brook Trout Movements in the West Branch of the Wolf River, Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Emma Easterly, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel Isermann, US Geological Survey; Joshua Pyatskowit, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin; Joshua Raabe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. The portion of the West Branch of the Wolf River (WBWR) that traverses the Menominee Indian Reservation in central Wisconsin is designated as a class I trout stream with naturally-reproducing brook trout. In 2015, the Menominee Indian Tribe removed two dams and constructed new channels with graded steps to promote upstream and downstream movement. These changes may have affected brook trout movements by providing greater access to different portions of the river, including greater access to lacustrine habitats provided by Upper Bass Lake and the Neopit Mill Pond. Little is known regarding movement of brook trout within this section of the WBWR and seasonal movements could have important implications for management. The objectives of this study are to determine if: 1) brook trout use multiple river segments during the year, including sections of the stream where two dams were removed and channel alterations occurred; 2) brook trout enter Upper Bass Lake and the Neopit Mill Pond as temperature refuge, but eventually return to the WBWR, and 3) brook trout can move freely through a rapids (both up and down) located just upstream of the Neopit Mill Pond. During 2016 and 2017, brook trout were captured at multiple locations using barge and backpack electroshocking. Brook trout = 120 mm were implanted with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. Observed movements during fall 2016 and spring and summer 2017 suggest brook trout freely move throughout the stream, but rarely enter lacustrine habitats. Monitoring of movements will continue through June of 2018.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103E

2:40pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Beaver Engineering of Wildlife Habitat
AUTHORS. Steve K. Windels*, Voyageurs National Park; Carol A. Johnston, South Dakota State University


ABSTRACT. The beaver, Castor canadensis, is an ecosystem engineer unrivaled in its capacity to alter boreal landscapes, whose population recovery has re-established environmental conditions that probably existed for millennia prior to its near extirpation by trapping in the 1800s and 1900s. Studies conducted at Voyageurs National Park (VNP) in northern Minnesota illustrate how beaver dams enhance wildlife habitat for a variety of species. Moose and white-tailed deer use beaver-created wetlands for foraging, escape from biting insects, and thermal refugia. Gray wolves use VNP beaver ponds as travel corridors, use abandoned beaver lodges in drained ponds for dens, and hide their pups in the dense grass of beaver meadows while the adults are out hunting. Osprey, woodpeckers, great blue herons, and trumpeter swans have all benefitted from beaver ponds and the snags created when beavers flood lowland forests. All ten species of amphibians present in VNP were found in beaver ponds, and turtles use beaver dams and felled logs for basking. Inventory, monitoring, and research efforts at VNP documented >124 species of terrestrial vertebrates using portions of beaver-affected wetlands for at least a part of their life history, representing 61% of mammal, 30% of bird, 20% of reptile, and 100% of amphibian species in the park. Evidence of beaver population decline at VNP suggests that this influence may diminish in the future.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103C

2:40pm

WALLEYE: Biological and Social Responses to Walleye Recruitment Failure on Minocqua Chain, Wisconsin
AUTHORS. John Kubisiak, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Minocqua Chain is a 5,800-acre lake chain in northern Wisconsin. Walleye historically exhibited above-average adult densities with excellent size structure, despite weak to moderate levels of recruitment. Natural recruitment of Walleye declined dramatically after early 2000s and size- and age-structure became skewed towards larger, older individuals. A strong public push to rehabilitate the fishery brought together biologists, tribal interests, anglers, fishing clubs and local businesses. These groups brought diverse perceptions to the table. The public effort resulted in local acceptance of much stricter measures than agency biologists originally proposed, including 5 years of no tribal Walleye harvest coupled with catch-and-release angling regulations. Stocking of extended growth Walleye and liberalized bass harvest regulations were also implemented. Initial responses of the fishery to these measures are positive, but significant natural reproduction has not yet returned.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103D

3:00pm

Coffee Break
Monday January 29, 2018 3:00pm - 3:20pm
TBD

3:20pm

ASIAN CARP: Using Microchemistry and Stable Isotopes to Determine Natal Origin and Movement of Asian Carp in Pools 16-19 of the Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Charmayne Anderson, Jim Lamer, Cortney Cox - Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University; Greg Whitledge, Neil Rude - Department of Zoology, Southern Illinois University; Brent Knights, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Asian carp are an invasive species in the US and have spread throughout most of the Mississippi River Basin.  Expansion above Lock and Dam 19 on the Upper Mississippi River has been impeded by the high head dam at this location, which restricts all passage to the lock chamber.  To determine the extent of reproduction and recruitment above LD19 and to determine the relative contribution of tributaries and other habitats above and below the dam to the upper UMR populations, we used stable isotope otolith (lapillus) microchemistry on 150 bighead carp (75 male, 75 female) and 150 silver carp (75 male, 75 female) collected from Pools 16-19 in the Upper Mississippi River.  Fish isotope (d18O) and elemental ratios (Sr:Ca and Ba:Ca) were compared to established water isotope and elemental ratios throughout the basin to understand the spatial and temporal history of each fish.  Mixed natal environments above and below LD19 were observed with more than 70% of silver carp and bighead carp collected from Pools 17 and 18 had natal environments below LD19. We hope to use this as a tool to monitor the effectiveness of removal efforts and monitor reproduction above LD19.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
103A

3:20pm

CARNIVORES: The American Black Bear and Baited Hair-snares: A Quantitative Ethogram and Behavioral Analysis
AUTHORS. Steven Gurney, Jennifer B. Smith, David M. Williams - Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, Michigan State University; Dwayne R. Etter, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Studying cryptic or elusive wildlife can be difficult, especially when species occur at low densities or inhabit densely vegetated habitats. Non-invasive hair sampling techniques are often used to estimate population size and characteristics of such species. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources uses genetic analysis of collected hair samples to estimate abundance and density of black bears (Ursus americanus) in the northern Lower Peninsula. However, low detection rates of black bears at hair-snares may limit our ability to accurately and precisely estimate density. Our goal was to explore possible factors driving low bear detection by examining the behavioral ecology of bears from trail camera data. We deployed corral style hair-snares and trail cameras at 40 sites across the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Using video data from the trail cameras, we developed an ethogram based on frequently occurring behaviors and quantified time budgets. We reviewed and quantified 1,161 occurrences of behavior for a total of 12,007 seconds of behavioral data. We found that the number of samples collected during a sampling occasion was positively correlated with the number of bear visits. There was a significant difference between the frequencies of visit locations (outside of snare, crossing wire, inside of snare) between snares with low amounts of samples (=11) and snares with high amounts (=18). Additionally, we did not find any difference in how bears cross the wires between occasions that produced low numbers of samples and high. We found no significant difference among bear behavior frequencies and study area, bait combination, or number of samples. By explicitly profiling bear behavior at snare sites, our results suggest homogeneity in bear behavior at barbed-wire corral hair traps. Our findings can be used by management to help improve snare design and ultimately increase detection probabilities.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
103B

3:20pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Monarch Eggs and Caterpillars, Data, Data Management, and Data Quality: A Case Study
AUTHORS. Karen Oberhauser, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT. Much of what we know about the population dynamics of monarch butterflies comes from data collected by citizen scientists observing monarch eggs, larvae, adults, natural enemies, migration, and overwintering clusters. These citizen scientists, volunteering in about a dozen different programs, have been called a research army for conservation, but the use of data from these programs in scientific publications and to inform conservation action has a) been inconsistent across programs, and b) requires careful quality assurance.  I’ll give a brief background on monarch citizen science, and use one program, the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP), to summarize approaches to quality control. The widespread use of MLMP data in publications by both project personnel and other researchers attests to the success of data management techniques.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
101B

3:20pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Escapement and Seasonal Movement of Muskellunge and Walleye in Two Central Iowa Reservoirs
AUTHORS. Robert E. Weber III, Iowa State University; Ben Dodd, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Andy Otting, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Michael J. Weber, Iowa State University

ABSTRACT. Escapement of fish over spillways and through outlet structures is problematic from a management perspective, and may result in significant loss of sport fish populations. This element of reservoir management is often overlooked, and little is known regarding factors influencing escapement, escapement rates, and methods for reducing escapement. In Iowa, Muskellunge and Walleye populations are maintained through stocking, and the loss of these fish can substantially reduce population densities, leading to lower angler satisfaction and increased production costs. Escapement of Muskellunge and Walleye from Big Creek Lake during high flow events was perceived to be problematic; therefore, a physical barrier was installed in the outlet in 2012 to reduce escapement. In 2016, passive integrated transponder antennas were installed at Big Creek Lake as well as Brushy Creek Lake, which has no barrier, to evaluate escapement and barrier effectiveness. Antenna data suggests that the barrier at Big Creek Lake has been effective in reducing escapement of adult Muskellunge and Walleye. To gain a better understanding of Muskellunge and Walleye behavior, adult fishes in each lake were implanted with radio tags, tracked by boat weekly, and various habitat metrics were recorded for each fish location. Home range sizes of Muskellunge and Walleye in Big Creek Lake were determined to be greater during spring than fall or summer, and were larger than Muskellunge and Walleye home ranges in Brushy Creek Lake. However, no escapement of radio tagged fishes occurred at Big Creek, while 8% and 15% of tagged Muskellunge and Walleye escaped from Brushy Creek, respectively. A combination of passive antenna data as well as active telemetry data provides insight into how various habitat and behavioral characteristics of Muskellunge and Walleye influence their escapement probability. This project will be continued through the fall of 2020 to better evaluate annual variation in escapement rates.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
102A

3:20pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Chronic Wasting Disease Management and Surveillance: A Michigan Perspective
AUTHORS. Chad M. Stewart, Kelly A. Straka, DVM MPH - Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Michigan’s first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in free-ranging deer was first discovered in April 2015, nearly seven years after the first case of CWD was detected in a farmed cervid facility. After 3 years of intensive surveillance, prevalence rate and spread of the disease appears minimized to a local area. Surveillance has focused on hunter harvest and road kill collection across an extended area to help identify new locations where the disease may exist. Where the disease has been identified, the use of mandatory sampling, sharpshooters and disease control permits available for use 365 days a year have been incorporated to collect samples from the immediate area. Beyond the initial index animal, which was symptomatic, hunters have accounted for 3 positive animals, with sharpshooting accounting for 5 positive animals. No other surveillance method has accounted for the identification of a positive animal. Prevalence rate is approximately 0.1% within our core area, and there have been 9 positive animals discovered as of September 2017, all within a small four township area. Furthermore, all positive animals have been related either directly or indirectly. Michigan appears to be in an emergent situation, rather than a case that has been established for decades. With that, the agency has maintained support for intensive surveillance through the development of partnerships and effective communication approaches highlighting the importance for continued management and surveillance. Research will begin this winter to help refine our surveillance approach, utilizing real-time movements from GPS-collared deer to further inform our management techniques.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
102B

3:20pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Beyond Wetlands: The Importance of Grassland Habitat for Breeding Waterfowl in an Agricultural Landscape
AUTHORS. Tyler M. Harms, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University; Orrin E. Jones III, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Stephen J. Dinsmore, Iowa State University; Rex R. Johnson, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Landscape composition can influence many aspects of waterfowl life histories including dispersal, reproductive success, and recruitment. However, little is known about the potential influence of landscape composition on breeding waterfowl densities, particularly on Iowa wetlands that are situated in a highly altered landscape. We used data from aerial surveys in Iowa collected as part of the annual 4-Square-Mile Survey of breeding waterfowl coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 2006-2014. Using National Land Cover Database (NLCD) from 2011, we calculated values of percentage of the landscape, patch density, largest patch index, and interspersion-juxtaposition index for seven habitat classes (wetland, water, grassland, hayland, pasture land, woodland, and agriculture). Landscape covariates were calculated within a 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, and 3000 m radius of our sampled wetlands. We modeled the number of indicated pairs per wetland as a function of all individual covariates for two common breeding duck species in the Iowa PPR: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors). All landscape covariates were modeled with additive effects of wet area and the square root of wet area to account for variation in annual wetland conditions. Grassland patch density at both the 500 m and 1000 m scales was positively correlated with breeding pair density of both Mallard (β = 0.11, SE = 0.04) and Blue-winged Teal (β = 0.38, SE = 0.13), respectively. Currently, the model used to estimate breeding duck populations in Iowa uses only annual wetland conditions to predict breeding duck densities. Our study illustrates the importance of thinking beyond wetlands and considering not just amount of grassland habitat, but how grassland habitat is distributed among patches to provide the most benefit to upland nesting ducks in an agricultural landscape.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
102C

3:20pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Walleye Habitat: Considerations for Successful Natural Reproduction and Stocking
AUTHORS. Joshua Raabe, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point; Justin VanDeHey, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Douglas Zentner, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff; Timothy Cross, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Walleye Sander vitreus are one of the most targeted sportfish and an important top predator in many inland glacial lakes throughout north-central North America. Walleye populations in these lakes may have occurred naturally or were established by stocking, and their persistence is influenced by various factors including habitat, environmental conditions, harvest levels, species interactions, and stocking success. Managers have expressed concerns about recent declining walleye populations, including in lakes that previously contained self-sustaining natural reproduction despite efforts such as supplemental stocking and construction of artificial spawning reefs. Therefore, our goals are to synthesize the scientific literature to provide information on how inland lake habitat may influence successful natural reproduction and stocking efforts and to highlight remaining critical research questions. Modeling studies evaluating lake-wide factors (e.g., surface area, species composition) provide valuable information on the potential for successful recruitment from natural reproduction and stocking in a lake. Past and recent studies indicate many walleye spawn close to shore, in relatively shallow water, and predominately over gravel and cobble substrates. Unfortunately, these locations are vulnerable to shoreline alterations, but recent models and technological advances (e.g., side scan sonar, GIS) can improve the efficiency in identifying and protecting critical spawning habitat. However, there still is a need to connect the quality (e.g., egg hatching success) and quantity of spawning habitat with recruitment success and to determine if spawning habitat can be restored or enhanced. Based on quantitative evaluations, walleye stocking continues to shift towards large fingerlings over fry or small fingerlings, possibly due to survival bottlenecks (e.g., starvation, predation) during earlier life stages. Further evaluation of potential bottlenecks and large fingerling stocking success relative to lake-wide habitat and the habitat at release locations is necessary. Understanding lake habitat and limiting factors can help improve walleye recruitment through natural reproduction and when needed stocking.   

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
102E&D

3:20pm

SALMONIDS: Effect of Beaver on Brook Trout Habitat in North Shore, Lake Superior Streams
AUTHORS. Kathryn Renik, Andrew Hafs - Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT. Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis are a native species to Minnesota and provide a valued and productive sport fishery to the North Shore streams of Lake Superior. Beaver Castor canadensis dramatically alter the ecosystem they inhabit and are often referred to as a keystone species. Beaver were nearly extirpated from Northeastern Minnesota due to trapping and timber harvest but have since rebounded. Suitable Brook Trout habitat is characterized by cold, spring-fed water with silt-free rocky substrate and abundant cover, all of which Beaver may directly, or indirectly, affect. Data collection occurred on 30 (200 m) stream sections and 10 beaver ponds spanning the North Shore during the summer 2017, with anticipation of data collection occurring in summer 2018 on an additional 30 (200 m) stream sections and 20 beaver ponds. Variables measured included depth, velocity, substrate, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and invertebrates.  Both habitat suitability index (HSI) and bioenergetics models were employed, and through interpolation in geographic information systems (GIS), maps depicting Brook Trout habitat of sampled stream sections were produced. The average HSI and suitable area (m2/100 m2) of each sampled reach were compared to Beaver related activity, including area of water storage above dam, height of dam, and number of dams upstream of sampled sites. Classification regression trees were used to identify significant thresholds in which Beaver activity influenced the amount or quality of Brook Trout habitat. Since the effect of Beaver on Brook Trout varies regionally, this study will provide a simple decision-making flow chart to aid in the development of management strategies pertaining to these two species in North Shore, Lake Superior streams.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
103E

3:20pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: The Effects of Large-scale Wetland Loss on Network Connectivity of the Rainwater Basin, Nebraska
AUTHORS. Bram H. F. Verheijen, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, Kansas State University; Dana M. Varner, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; David A. Haukos, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Kansas State University

ABSTRACT. The Rainwater Basin in Nebraska supports a complex network of spatially-isolated shallow wetlands that harbors diverse floral and faunal communities. Since European settlement, many wetlands have been lost to the network due to drainage, deliberate filling, land-use change, and increased sedimentation rates, thereby reducing the total available number and area of extant wetlands, and increasing the distance among remaining wetlands. Many species of plants, insects, and amphibians rely on these wetlands for reproduction and survival, but have limited dispersal capabilities. As a result, populations may become isolated if distances among wetlands become too large. Unfortunately, effects of the large-scale wetland losses on network connectivity remain unknown. Here, we compared network characteristics between the historical network and currently remaining wetlands in the Rainwater Basin to assess effects of the large-scale loss of wetlands on connectivity of the network at a range of allowed dispersal distances. We found that the number of functioning wetlands has decreased with more than 90% over the past century; however, losses were relatively evenly distributed throughout the network. Wetland losses had large consequences for network connectivity by increasing the dispersal capabilities necessary to travel throughout the whole network from 3.5 to 10.0 km. Last, we found that the relative importance of individual wetlands on network connectivity was strongly dependent on the allowed dispersal distance. Our study shows that large-scale losses of wetlands in the Rainwater Basin have substantially reduced network connectivity, and limited the ability of many taxa with low dispersal capacity to travel throughout the whole network. A lack of connectivity could lead to isolation of populations and increased localized extinction rates. Conservation efforts should therefore focus on maintaining or increasing the connectivity of the network. However, which wetlands should be prioritized is likely dependent on the dispersal capabilities of the species or taxa of interest.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
103C

3:20pm

WALLEYE: Potential for Reducing Largemouth Bass Abundance in Wisconsin Lakes Using Angler Harvest
AUTHORS. Christopher J. Sullivan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Kaitlin Schnell, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Current address: Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District; Jonathan Hansen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Current address: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Daniel A. Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. Environmental variation can lead to shifts in fish communities that require changes in management strategies.  Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides abundance has increased in many north temperate lakes, prompting concerns regarding potential inter-specific interactions, declines in bass size structure, and potential changes to harvest regulations.  However, current exploitation rates are too low to effectively reduce abundance.  Therefore, age-structured models were used to predict population responses to increased fishing mortality (F) under six different harvest regulations for eight Wisconsin bass populations representing a range of densities.  Regardless of harvest regulation, changesin abundance and size structure were unlikely to occur if rates of F are = 0.10.  No minimum total length (TL) limit had the greatest potential for reducing abundance and spawning potential ratios by = 25%, but relatively high levels of F (= 0.20) were required.  A 356-mm maximum TL and a 305-381 mm TL harvest slot limit provided the most equitable trade-offs between reducing abundance and maintaining size structure.  If reducing bass abundance is a management objective, targeted removal of bass or angler education programs promoting harvest may be necessary.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm
103D

3:40pm

ASIAN CARP: Juvenile Asian Carp as Forage for Predatory Fish in the LaGrange Reach of the Illinois River
AUTHORS. Cory Anderson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Rebekah Anderson, Illinois Natural History Survey; James Lamer, Western Illinois University; Eli Lampo, Western Illinois University; Neil Gillespie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; James Larson, U.S. Geological Survey; Brent Knights, U.S. Geological Survey; Jon Vallazza, U.S. Geological Survey; Levi Solomon, Illinois Natural History Survey; Rich Pendleton, New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation; Andrew Casper, Illinois Natural History Survey; Nerissa McClelland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Jun Wang, Shanghai Ocean University

ABSTRACT.  The increasing abundance of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molotrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) in the Illinois River has raised questions about how native predator diets are changing due to Asian carp invasion. During the summer of 2014, a large Asian carp spawning event was observed on the Illinois River which provided an opportunity to determine how piscivorous fish (n=1527) were responding to high densities of juvenile Asian carp. Native predators were collected from the LaGrange Reach of the Illinois River (3 August through 8 November 2014) using pulsed-DC boat electrofishing. Diet contents were quantified visually then genetically, using next generation sequencing at six universal barcode loci (16s, 12s, COI, and CytB domains). Our results revealed that juvenile Asian carp were found in more than 20% (frequency of occurrence) of diets from: shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus), white bass (Morone chrysops), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), channel catfish (Ictalurus puncatus), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), largemouth bass (M. salmoides), white crappie (P. annularis), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris), and freshwater drum (Applodinotus grunniens). Predators analyzed throughout the sampling period foraged most heavily on juvenile Asian carp during the first month of this study, immediately after the spawning event, but switched to other prey over time. Ivlev’s electivity indicated a preference for juvenile Asian carp over native prey fish for several predator species. Additionally, smaller white bass had a greater probability of foraging on juvenile Asian carp and consumed higher counts than the larger white bass, consistent with optimum foraging theory. Results of this study indicate a possibility for a biological control of Asian carp by using native predators.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
103A

3:40pm

CARNIVORES: Public Preferences for Management Actions in Response to Various Black Bear – Human Interactions
AUTHORS. Jordan Petchenik, Robert H. Holsman, Lauren Bradshaw, David MacFarland - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. We conducted a survey to inform the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ bear management program on the public’s preferred management response to various black bear - human interactions. Wisconsin’s black bear (Ursus americanus) population has increased five-fold since the early 1980s. In conjunction with bear population growth, their range has expanded from the less-populated forested northern counties into the central and western (and more populated) counties. A consequence of the range expansion and growth in numbers has been an increase in black bear – human interactions; nuisance complaints and agriculture damage has risen.We measured the public’s support or opposition towards five management actions in response to three different black bear - human interaction scenarios. Results are based on data generated from a questionnaire mailed to 5,700 residents within primary bear range and data generated from an online panel of 600 residents of the eastern non-bear range. Our results indicate that perceived abundance of bears in the respondents’ home county, willingness to live near bears and preference for bear population size were all correlated with where respondents grew up (urban or rural setting), affiliation with agriculture and experience with bear damage. The public consistently preferred a trap-and-relocate response over four other actions ranging from doing nothing to killing the bear, regardless of the type of conflict described in the scenarios. Results generally support the status quo with respect to the agency’s handling of bear nuisance complaints.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
103B

3:40pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Tales from the Zooniverse: Resources and Tools for Project Leads and Volunteers
AUTHORS. Laura Trouille, Zooniverse

ABSTRACT. Processing our increasingly large datasets poses a bottleneck for producing real scientific outcomes. Citizen science — engaging the public in research — provides a solution, particularly when coupled with machine learning algorithms. Zooniverse.org is the most widely used platform for online citizen science, with over 1.6 million volunteers worldwide and over 70 active projects across the disciplines resulting in over 120 peer-reviewed publications. Faced with a rapidly growing demand, Zooniverse launched its "Project Builder" which allows anyone to build their own crowd-sourced research project for free, using the Zooniverse infrastructure and tools. In this talk I will present the Project Builder interface, best practices for sustained engagement, and the resources and tools available to our citizen scientists to support them in their efforts. I will also briefly discuss our experiments integrating machine learning into the system, addressing the potential for tension when optimizing for both efficiency and engagement.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
101B

3:40pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Agency and University Partnerships to Increase Diversity in Natural Resource Management
AUTHORS. Mae Davenport, University of Minnesota; Erin Williams, National Park Service

ABSTRACT. The University of Minnesota (UMN), National Park Service (NPS), and partners seek to develop higher education and employment opportunities for Native American students in natural and cultural resource management. NPS is especially interested in better engagement with tribal communities in national park resource management. UMN aims to increase program diversity and particularly, to enroll more Native American students in natural resource management programs. Thus, an interdisciplinary and inter-organizational group formed to discuss shared goals and to pool academic and agency resources. A pilot project was launched aimed at identifying and recruiting prospective Native American students to (1) enroll in a graduate degree program at UMN and (2) conduct research and outreach at a national park in Minnesota or other Great Lakes states. The students’ work will contribute to the co-management of natural and cultural resources through integration of traditional and western scientific ecological knowledge. In this talk I will describe the project, highlight the role of the CESU, and explore opportunities and challenges in student recruitment and cross-cultural partnerships.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
102A

3:40pm

SYMPOSIA-03: CWD and the Threat to Waawaashkeshi (white-tailed Deer) in the Ceded Territories
AUTHORS. Travis Bartnick, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission

ABSTRACT. The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) is an intertribal agency exercising delegated authority from 11 federally recognized Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. These tribes retain hunting, fishing, and gathering rights in the territories ceded to the United States in the treaties of 1836, 1837, 1842, and 1854. The significant threat that chronic wasting disease (CWD) poses to wild cervid populations also poses a serious threat to the continued exercise of treaty rights and the traditional lifeways they sustain. GLIFWC has been involved in efforts to address issues associated with CWD since the first CWD-positive deer were discovered in Wisconsin in 2002 from deer harvested in November 2001. GLIFWC staff initially engaged in efforts to encourage tribal hunters to get their deer tested, traveled to tribal communities to extract samples, and sent the samples to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory for testing. However, the relative interest in getting deer tested has diminished over time. As CWD has continued to spread, and after CWD was found both in the wild population and in private deer farms in the Ceded Territories, GLIFWC has increased education and outreach efforts and is continuing to encourage tribal hunters to get their deer tested for CWD. GLIFWC’s plans are to continue focusing on education and outreach, advocating for more effective captive cervid regulations, participating in CWD response planning efforts, and collaborating with local, state, and federal agencies with the goal of keeping CWD from spreading throughout the Ceded Territories.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
102B

3:40pm

SYMPOSIA-04: The Bird-Friendliness Index: A Novel Metric for Quantifying the Success of Conservation Programs
AUTHORS. Chad Wilsey, Nicole Michel, Curtis Burkhalter, Brian Trusty, Gary Langham - National Audubon Society

ABSTRACT. Over the past forty years, grassland birds in North America have experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild. From 2008 to 2011, nearly 10 million hectares was converted from grasslands to agriculture in the United States alone. Because 85% of grassland bird habitat is in private hands, the National Audubon Society has developed the Conservation Ranching Initiative, partnering with ranchers to implement management strategies that benefit grassland birds. In order to evaluate the success of our joint efforts, we developed a novel metric to evaluate grassland bird community response to ranching management practices, the Bird-Friendliness Index. The Bird-Friendliness Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird-Friendliness Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and aridland birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional evenness metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by external factors, e.g., climate. We present an analysis of bird-friendliness of conservation ranches as well as private and public lands across the Northern Great Plains region of the United States using the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions dataset. We will demonstrate how this metric enables us to evaluate the impacts of conservation efforts on grassland birds, and how it can be adapted for use in a variety of systems.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
102C

3:40pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Large Woody Debris and Fish Habitat Structure Additions: Picking the Right Lakes, Setting Expectations, and How to Best Implement
AUTHORS. Greg G. Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Stephanie L. Shaw, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Andrew L. Rypel, University of California-Davis; Joshua K. Raabe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Scott Toshner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Pamela Toshner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Addition of trees to the littoral zones of lakes is a commonly used management practice aimed to restore fish habitat. However, fishery and aquatic ecosystem outcomes of this management practice have rarely been evaluated. Removals of coarse woody habitat (CWH) from lakes as a result of lakeshore residential development, physical removal, and lake level decline have resulted in reduced fish growth rates, functional extirpations of forage fishes, and changes in fish behavior. Studies of CWH additions have not entirely reversed the negative influence of CWH loss; however, have served to attract fishes, increase prey diversity available to fishes, and alter fish behavior. Further, fish habitat use and habitat partitioning among various fish species was positively correlated with the complexity and density of CWH. Currently, several management issues and critical research needs remain regarding lake structural restorations including: 1) Does CWH only attract fishes?; 2) Does CWH increase fish production and change the trophic basis of production?; 3) Are CWH additions beneficial to all fish species?; 4) What are the roles of CWH addition versus fish cribs for restoring fish structural habitat; and 5) How does CWH addition influence angler behavior and effort and the associated sustainability of fisheries? An ongoing long-term study of CWH addition (tree drops) will be discussed that aims to address these management and research needs by examining fish production (muskellunge, walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, rock bass) and aquatic ecosystem responses to this management practice on a northern Wisconsin lake along with providing recommendations for resource managers. Previous research in a different northern Wisconsin lake provided evidence that much of the carbon found in fishes is derived from terrestrial inputs. Therefore, we hypothesize that CWH addition will enhance beneficial nutrient input to the lake, be incorporated into the food web, and increase overall fish production.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
102E&D

3:40pm

SALMONIDS: Temporal and Trophic Overlap of YOY Steelhead Trout with Native Species in Lake Erie Coolwater Tributaries
AUTHORS. Christopher M. Kemp, Dillon Weik, Jeff Miner - Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT. Salmonid stocking is a common practice in the Great Lake and returning adults contribute to a vibrant fishery.  Reproduction by these adults in most Lake Erie tributaries is unsuccessful because water temperatures reach lethal limits in summer.  However, in cool water first- and second-order streams, some YOY Steelhead Trout Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) have been observed into late summer and fall.  We sought to initiate an understanding of the interactions between these YOY  Steelhead Trout and coolwater native fishes in two tributaries of Lake Erie, Ohio. We quantified the densities of juvenile Steelhead Trout in two, first-order tributaries and the main channel of the Chagrin and Cuyahoga Rivers. We sampled fish communities monthly from May 2017 – October 2017 using backpack electrofishing along standardized transects. We also obtained diets of these juvenile Steelhead Trout and compared stomach contents with those taken from two native species: Redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus) and Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus). We also measured the temperatures of both streams and the main channels throughout the study. We found that the temperatures in the main stem of each river were on average ~2.5 0C warmer than the smaller streams and that Steelhead Trout can survive in these areas throughout the summer. We also found that these juvenile trout had the greatest potential of overlap with Reside Dace, feeding primarily upon insects fallen from the forest canopy.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
103E

3:40pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Impacts of Prescribed Fire Intensity and Seasonality on Woody Vegetation
AUTHORS. Nathan Holoubek, Jed Meunier - Wisconsin Department on Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Prescribed burning in the Midwest is primarily done with the goals of suppressing woody vegetation, promoting native herbaceous vegetation, and restoring historical open habitat structure. While burning is a major component of land management, there has been little to no regional study on what factors increase the likelihood a burn meeting its objectives. In addition, prescribed burners often list lack of capacity (personnel/equipment) and insufficient burn windows (weather and season) as the main barriers to accomplishing their goals in both burn quality and quantity. Using data from over 56 prescribed burns throughout Wisconsin, we evaluate the differential effects that fire behavior, especially flame temperature and residence time, have on woody vegetation top-kill and re-sprout suppression. Using live and dead fuel loading measurements, we describe the discrepancies between our Midwest fuel metrics and those often used in fire behavior modeling. We further investigate how weather, site characteristics (e.g. fuel loading), and plant physiology (i.e. season) interplay to alter fire behavior and brush suppression.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
103C

3:40pm

WALLEYE: Quantifying the Costs of Climate Adaptation to Agencies and Anglers: A Case Study of Wisconsin’s Inland Lake Walleye Fishery
AUTHORS. Ralph Tingley, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Greg Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

ABSTRACT. The effects of climate change on inland recreational fisheries are often measured in changes in species distributions or biomass. However, the monetary costs associated with these ecological changes to recreational fisheries can be a valuable tool in conveying the ramifications of climate change to the public and assessing the overall value of management responses to system change.  Our goal was to develop an approach that quantifies replacement costs associated with climate change to anglers and agencies using projected changes in sportfish populations and costs associated with management action. We focused our analysis on the inland lakes of Wisconsin, where the number and location of lakes that can support natural recruitment and adult Walleye populations are anticipated to change as a result of rising air temperatures. To quantify potential costs to agencies and anglers, we first developed current and future predictions of walleye presence/absence and updated predictions of successful natural recruitment across Wisconsin using lake-specific characteristics including water temperature.  We then classified lakes based on changes in their ability to support natural recruitment and adult Walleye populations, depicting potential losses or gains in recreational opportunities. Next, we used existing information on stocking costs and protocols to develop estimates of the total cost required to retain current recreational opportunities under future conditions.  Future analyses will include the use of angler survey data, license sales and travel costs associated with individual fishing trips to compare the costs of alternative future stocking initiatives to the benefits gained for anglers across Wisconsin.  Our study may provide a unique perspective on the costs of climate change to help in decision making and is applicable to other systems where substantial changes to sportfish populations are anticipated.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm
103D

4:00pm

ASIAN CARP: Linking Aquatic-terrestrial Habitats Through Resource and Process Subsidies: Insights from Too Few Salmon and Too Many Carp
AUTHORS. Scott F. Collins, David H. Wahl - Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT. Resource subsidies are the input of energy, nutrients, and organisms that directly alter pools of resources within a recipient habitat. In contrast, process subsidies arise when the feeding or behaviors of a mobile organism affect process rates within the recipient habitat.  Using salmon carcasses as a model resource subsidy and Asian carp as model process subsidy, two experiments were conducted to explore the complex direct and indirect pathways through which these subsidy classifications influence linkages between aquatic and terrestrial environments.  Salmon carcasses increased resident trout production through multiple pathways including bottom-up (algae, insects), direct consumption, and reciprocal inputs of adult and larval carrion flies.  These subsidized predators cropped benthic insect larvae, reducing their emergence as adults, and indirectly reduced riparian insectivores, indicating strong subsidy effects can spillover to other habitats, however responses are not always positive. Strong consumptive effects of bighead carp reduced filamentous algae and zooplankton within pelagic habitats.  Consequently, egested materials shunted organic matter from pelagic to benthic habitats, where Chironomidae emergence increased, resulting in a greater flux of organic matter from aquatic to terrestrial habitats.  In each study, the effects these mobile fishes reverberated through aquatic-terrestrial habitats, highlighting the importance fishes in linked ecosystems.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
103A

4:00pm

CARNIVORES: Bobcat Home Range Size, Home Range Overlap, and Habitat Utilization in Northern Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Catherine C. Dennison, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Maximilian L. Allen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin; Nicholas Forman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Nathan M. Roberts, Ph.D., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Bobcats (lynx rufus) are an important carnivore in Wisconsin, providing ecological benefits as well as sustainable consumptive use opportunities for hunters and trappers. However, there are still key uncertainties regarding the status and habits of bobcats within the state. From October 2014 through January 2017 we fit bobcats in Northern Wisconsin with GPS collars programmed to record two to six locations per day. We monitored 51 bobcats (26 male, 25 female) for an average of 170 days. We calculated home ranges with kernel density estimation using plug-in bandwidths. Average adult 95% home range size was 42.98 km2 (n = 32). The average male home range (55.82 km2, n = 17) was larger than the average female home range (28.44 km2, n = 15). The home ranges of 22 bobcats overlapped with the home range of at least one other active bobcat during monitoring. One adult female bobcat’s home range overlapped with that of 5 other bobcats. We observed 20 total occurrences of home range overlap. Habitat use was compared to availability to determine habitat preferences. Bobcats in Northern Wisconsin selected for wetland habitat, while avoiding upland deciduous forests, grasslands, and agriculture habitat types. A better understanding of bobcat space and habitat use in Northern Wisconsin will aid managers in refining population estimates, and continuing to sustainably manage bobcats.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
103B

4:00pm

SYMPOSIA-01: Evaluating Citizen Science Programs: Strategies, Tools, and Resources
AUTHORS. Christine Anhalt-Depies, Mark Rickenbach, Adena Rissman – University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT. Citizen science is advanced as an approach to both transform research and offer a meaningful way to engage the public. The degree to which a program’s goals are achieved will depend on project design and management, as well as external factors such as the political or social environment.  Program evaluation can help keep project managers on track to achieve their goals. Insights gained during evaluation can inform strategies for volunteer recruitment, retention, communication, and training. Evaluations can also provide summative information about project successes and short-comings.  In fact, measuring outcomes may be required as stakeholders and granting agencies increasingly demand accountability. Such requests may be challenging for program managers faced with limited resources and lacking experience with evaluation methodologies.  We provide a brief primer on evaluation, key steps in the process, and specific resources for individuals looking to evaluate a citizen science program.  

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
101B

4:00pm

SYMPOSIA-02: Assessing Vernal Pools for Informed Decision Making in Resource Management
AUTHORS. Némesis Ortiz-Declet, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Desiree Robertson-Thompson, Great Lakes Research & Education Center, National Park Service

ABSTRACT. The Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change program is a partnership between the NPS Climate Change Response Program and the University of Washington, College of the Environment.  The program supports paid internships to highly accomplished undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates to work in national parks for approximately 12 weeks on diverse issues related to emerging management issues driven by global drivers of change and related effects. The NPS has supplied almost $1.5 million over the past five years to support these internships. During the summer of 2017, Great Lakes Research and Education Center hosted an intern at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to identify, inventory, and characterize vernal pools and assess their vulnerability to climate change.  Vernal pools are small, shallow, isolated, ephemeral ponds that change in volume in response to varying weather patterns. These wetlands are important for maintaining healthy forest ecosystems by providing critical breeding habitat for amphibians, invertebrates and other organisms. With expected climate-induced changes in precipitation and temperature regimes, vernal pools are at risk of either becoming more established permanent wetlands or permanently drying up. Each vernal pool is different, and some will be more at risk than others.  A total of 31 vernal pools previously identified using remote sensing were located, surveyed, and assessed to determine which characteristics make them more or less resilient to climate change. Additionally, field-verified vernal pools were compared to those predicted by remote sensing techniques, to evaluate their precision and accuracy in identifying vernal pools. Through this partnership, the intern connected with park resources, gained experience working with a federal agency, and built leadership skills. At the same time, park resource managers gained valuable information on a high-priority management issue.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
102A

4:00pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Iowa CWD Issues and Management: Deer and People
AUTHORS. Terry Haindfield, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Iowa’s first wild deer to test positive for CWD occurred in 2013. To date, there are 18 positives in extreme NE Iowa, with 17 being located in Allamakee County and 1 testing positive in Clayton County in 2016.  Deer management and people management are both challenges being addressed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Public outreach and cooperation is vital for successful strategies to slow the spread of CWD.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
102B

4:00pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Integrating Grassland Birds into Conservation Planning in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region
AUTHORS. Rocky Pritchert, Neal D. Niemuth, Mike E. Estey, Brian Wangler, Adam J. Ryba, Ned Wright, Chuck R. Loesch - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Terry L. Shaffer, US Geological Survey; Dan R. Hertel, S. P. Fields - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The grassland and wetland complexes that make the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) so important to breeding waterfowl also make the PPR important to grassland birds, but both habitat types are experiencing continued loss in the region. Habitat conservation efforts for waterfowl have resulted in the protection of approximately 1.9 million acres of wetlands and 1.7 million acres of grasslands in the U.S. PPR, with funding primarily coming from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and partners such as Ducks Unlimited. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat and Population Evaluation Team has developed a suite of spatial decision-support tools to inform conservation decisions in the PPR, focusing primarily on waterfowl, grassland birds, upland-nesting shorebirds, and marshbirds. These tools are used to prioritize land parcels for fee and easement acquisition, assess benefits of conservation efforts such as the Conservation Reserve Program, demonstrate benefits of waterfowl conservation efforts to non-waterfowl species, and evaluate effects of potential changes in climate and land use. Using these tools, the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture has identified 1.7 million acres of unprotected grasslands and 468,000 acres of unprotected wetlands as priorities for conservation that will provide benefits to multiple bird species groups. Criticisms that waterfowl conservation efforts are not optimal for non-game species are often based on misconceptions and false dichotomies that pit wildlife species groups against each other, divert attention from more important issues such as habitat loss, and devalue conservation efforts that benefit many species.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
102C

4:00pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Advancing Aquatic Vegetation Management for Fish
AUTHORS. Paul Radomski, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Fisheries managers are often interested in managing aquatic plants for the benefits of fish populations and fisheries. Aquatic plants provide critical habitat for many fish species, including northern pike, largemouth bass, and bluegill. Eutrophication, human disturbance, and the arrival of non-indigenous species can alter aquatic plant communities. Aquatic vegetation losses may influence fish populations, and abundant aquatic vegetation can interfere with angling. This review will discuss techniques for aquatic plant inventory and monitoring, management options for aquatic plant protection, non-indigenous species control, and potential research opportunities to better understand aquatic plant and fish relationships. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
102E&D

4:00pm

SALMONIDS: Diet Complexity and Specialization of Lake Michigan Salmonids: Contrasting Trophic Indicators
AUTHORS. Benjamin Leonhardt, Purdue University; Harvey A. Bootsma; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Benjamin A. Turschak; Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Serguisz Czezny, Illinois Natural History Survey; Austin Happel, University of Illinois; Matthew S. Kornis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Charles R. Bronte; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jacques Rinchard, SUNY-Brockport; Tomas O. Höök, Purdue University


ABSTRACT. Salmon and trout in Lake Michigan have relied primarily on pelagic Alewife as forage since the 1950’s. However, various ecosystem changes have led some salmon and trout to shift to other prey resources. Diminished pelagic production driven by reduced nutrient loading and filtering by dreissenid mussels, combined with the invasion of nearshore areas by a bottom-oriented forage fish, Round Goby, have collectively led to the increased importance of nearshore, benthic production for some species of salmon and trout. However, this shift does not appear to be ubiquitous: species differ in their relative use of various prey species, and individuals within each species display differential diet complexity and specialization. The most common method for quantifying the diets of fish is through stomach content analysis. Although stomach contents provide a relatively straightforward path to identifying prey items, this method is limited because the prey in a fish’s stomach may not reflect the long-term diet patterns. Instead, other trophic indicators, such as stable isotopes, better reflect long-term resource use. To understand the long-term trends of prey consumption by Lake Michigan salmonids, five salmonid species were collected in 2016 from April-November by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state departments of natural resources, and Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians from recreational anglers and from annual fishery-independent gill net surveys.  We quantified stomach contents as well as stable isotope ratios of dorsal muscle of Lake Michigan salmonids and used these data to evaluate diet variation by individual, species, region and season. We compare and contrast patterns of individual diet complexity and specialization derived from the two trophic indicators for each species, and discuss their implications in the context of sustainable fisheries.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
103E

4:00pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Songbird Responses to Drought Conditions with Temporal Scale Considerations
AUTHORS. Samantha Cady, Tim O'Connell - Oklahoma State University

ABSTRACT. A predicted effect of anthropogenic climate change is an increase in frequency, duration, and magnitude of weather extremes, including drought events. Drought can be assessed at multiple temporal scales, each of which relates to a different water source. For example, drought quantified at an annual scale corresponds with groundwater availability while drought quantified at a monthly scale relates to soil moisture and surface flow. This study leverages a long-term, citizen science dataset (Breeding Bird Survey) to determine whether there are detectible songbird responses during drought conditions, and if so, at what temporal scale they occur.  To account for observer bias and differing land cover at route locations, we used generalized linear mixed modeling with random effects observer identification and route location. Drought conditions were quantified using PRSIM data and a standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index.  We applied AIC model ranking to determine which drought scale best explained the distribution of birds at the species level. Results show a mixed response among species with the strongest signal at an annual or near-annual scale.  Some birds did not show a response to drought conditions at any scale.  For species that showed a response to drought conditions, we also used dynamic occupancy modeling to determine whether drought conditions were associated with a change in local colonization or extinction rates. Some species showed a significant effect of drought on colonization and/or extinction rates, while others did not.  Results indicate a complex relationship between drought conditions and songbird distribution.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
103C

4:00pm

WALLEYE: Walleye Management in the Red Lakes, Minnesota: Collapse, Recovery, and Cooperative Management
AUTHORS. Anthony J. Kennedy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gary C. Barnard, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; William P. Brown, Red Lake Department of Natural Resources; Donald L. Pereira, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Fisheries management jurisdiction of the Red Lakes is split between the State of Minnesota and Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.  Historically, the Red Lakes supported productive commercial and recreational Walleye fisheries before crashing in the 1990s after decades of overharvest.  In the late 1990s, these entities began an inter-agency effort to develop a recovery plan to restore the Walleye population that included a complete walleye fishing moratorium with strict enforcement and a short-term fry stocking program.  Considerable effort was directed at public involvement throughout the planning and implementation process.  Public support was essential for effective implementation of restrictive fishing regulations necessary to expedite recovery and resume harvests.  The combination of recovery stockings and a seven-year Walleye fishing moratorium in both jurisdictions was successful, and the Walleye population recovered sufficiently to resume Walleye harvest in 2006.  Walleye harvest was guided by the jointly-prepared Harvest Plan for Red Lakes Walleye Stocks that took a conservative approach to harvest management while the population reached full recovery.  The Walleye population reached full recovery thresholds in 2009, and the Harvest Plan was revised in 2015 to allow increased harvest after observing negative density dependent effects on growth and recruitment.  Current management focuses on the active management of spawning stock biomass (SSB) for the optimal condition as defined by the Harvest Plan (2.5 - 4.5 lbs/acre).  This approach strives to manage SSB such that wild fry production falls within the optimal range of a density dependent stock-recruitment relationship to maximize the likelihood of producing strong year classes to support harvest levels commensurate with the potential productivity of the system.  The collapse of the Red Lakes’ walleye fisheries was catastrophic, but provided an incredible opportunity to increase our understanding of walleye population dynamics and fisheries management. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm
103D

4:20pm

ASIAN CARP: Advancements in Assessing Silver Carp Populations in the Illinois River, Illinois: A Comparison Between Standard Electrofishing and Novel Trawling Techniques
AUTHORS. Jeremy Hammen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Emily Pherigo, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Jason Breeggemann, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Green Bay Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Pablo Oleiro, Missouri Department of Conservation; Jeena Credico, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, La Crosse Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Jason Goeckler, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office; Wyatt Doyle, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office

ABSTRACT. Silver carp are an invasive riverine species that were introduced to the United States in the 1970’s and have expanded throughout the Greater Mississippi River basin.  This expansion is a direct threat to native fish species that inhabit these systems as well as impacts recreation.  Management and monitoring of Silver Carp has been difficult due to the inability to effectively capture them.  Two novel trawling techniques (electrified dozer trawl and electrified butterfly trawl) have been developed with the potential to increase catch rates over a wide range of size classes.  These two novel trawling techniques were compared to traditional electrofishing methods currently being used for management and monitoring of Asian carp.  The electrified butterfly trawl and electrified dozer trawl had 5x and 2x greater Silver Carp catch rates than traditional electrofishing, respectively.  Small (

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
103A

4:20pm

CARNIVORES: Estimating Density of Bobcats in Midwestern Landscapes Using Spatial Capture-Recapture Models
AUTHORS. Edward D. Davis, Western Illinois University; Tim C. Swearingen, Western Illinois University; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University; Robert W. Klaver, US Geological Survey; Chuck R. Anderson, Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Jonathan A. Jenks, South Dakota State University; Christopher S. DePerno, North Carolina State University; Robert D. Bluett, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. A variety of increasingly sophisticated methods are available for estimating population density from capture-recapture studies. Among these, spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a rigorous analytical technique for inference that extends standard closed population models to include a spatially explicit model by accounting for the distribution of individuals in space. Spatial capture-recapture models rely on spatial information readily available with camera data and use distance between traps and animal activity centers to model spatially explicit (i.e., camera trap) encounter probabilities and have been used in population density estimation for a range of carnivores. We used Bayesian analyses to evaluate the utility of SCR models for estimating density of bobcats in an agriculturally dominated landscape of west-central Illinois. We defined the continuous state space by overlaying the trap array on a square region extending 5 to 20 km beyond camera traps in each cardinal direction. We deployed 50 camera stations over a 77-day period from 1 February–18 April 2017. We captured 23 uniquely identifiable bobcats 115 times and recaptured these same individuals 92 times. Our analysis revealed a slight effect on the posterior distribution of density for the 5-km continuous state-space model, though posterior summary statistics for the 10-km, 15-km, and 20-km continuous state-space models were similar. Densities ranged from 1.44–1.57 bobcats per 100 km2 with a 95% posterior interval of 1.07 to 1.90. Variation in the state-space extending beyond trap arrays affect bobcat density estimates and should be sufficiently large to minimize encountering individuals with activity centers (i.e., home ranges) beyond the state-space boundary. Increased size of home ranges of bobcats across Midwestern landscapes may necessitate the use of relatively coarser survey grids in SCR models to account for frequent movements to and from the state space or whose core areas are positioned beyond camera survey unit boundaries.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
103B

4:20pm

SYMPOSIA-03: Agency Trust and Perceived Risk Toward Chronic Wasting Disease in Illinois
AUTHORS. Craig A. Miller, Illinois Natural History Survey; Jerry J. Vaske, Colorado State University

ABSTRACT. Chronic Wasting Disease was discovered in one county in northern Illinois in 2002 and is now in 17 counties in the state with 685 known cases. A mail survey was sent to 3,000 Illinois deer hunters in CWD counties (response rate = 58%) and 8,000 hunters outside of the CWD zone (response rate = 56%). The questionnaire examined trust in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) CWD management and information, and perceived risk to both humans and the deer herd. Four hypotheses were advanced. Hunters in CWD counties will differ from hunters in non-CWD counties in terms of their trust in IDNR CWD information (H1), trust in IDNR CWD management (H2), perceived risk to human health (H3), and perceived risk to deer herd health (H4). Trust in information was measured using five variables (Cronbach’s a = .94) and trust in management with three variables (a = .93); both sets of variables coded on 7-point bipolar scales. Perceived risk to human health was measured using one 4-point unipolar variable and three 7-point bipolar variables (a = .83). Perceived risk to deer herd health was measured using one 4-point unipolar variable and four 7-point bipolar variables (a = .92). Based on independent samples t-tests, all four hypotheses were supported. Trust in INDR management and information was greater among non-CWD county hunters than CWD county hunters. Perceived risks to both humans and the deer herd were greater among CWD county hunters than non-CWD county hunters. In all cases, however, effect sizes were minimal. Discussion highlights the influence of proximity of CWD on perceptions of the disease and management.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
102B

4:20pm

SYMPOSIA-04: Integrated Bird Conservation Delivery in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region
AUTHORS. Sean P. Fields, Neal D. Niemuth - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV) is a partnership of federal, state and non-governmental organizations focused on bird conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the United States. The PPJV was established in 1987, through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, as one of the first bird habitat joint ventures in the US. Known as the primary breeding area for continental waterfowl populations, the PPR is also important for a suite of other wetland and grassland dependent birds of conservation concern. The PPJV works to sustain abundant breeding populations of waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds, and landbirds through protection, restoration, and management of priority wetland and grassland habitats throughout the US PPR. Unfortunately, extensive wetland and grassland loss, coupled with ongoing changes in agricultural technology and practices, energy development, and climate, provide substantial challenges for wildlife conservation in the northern prairies. Three decades of science-based breeding bird conservation has placed the PPJV on the forefront of integrated bird management. Intensive, long-term monitoring programs have informed conservation strategies and provided the data necessary to develop spatially explicit models to guide management actions. Strategic spatial prioritization provides the foundation for leveraging the benefits of waterfowl conservation to non-waterfowl priority species of concern and enables partners to maximize desired biological outcomes from limited funding.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
102C

4:20pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Nuisance “Weeds” or Critical Fish Habitat: Balancing Trade Offs with Minnesota’s Aquatic Plant Management Program
AUTHORS. Jon Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. In Minnesota’s lake-rich landscape, fishing is a cultural centerpiece, as is lakeside living. Unfortunately, these two centerpieces are often at odds with each other. As lakeshores are developed and used for various recreational endeavors, the riparian and littoral zones of Minnesota’s lakes change. In the littoral zone aquatic vegetation is often seen as a nuisance to lakeshore property owners, blocking dock access or occupying would be swimming areas. At the same time, aquatic vegetation is arguably the most critical fish habitat component in many glacial lakes. In an effort to balance the desire for lakeshore property owners to destroy aquatic plants with the need to conserve fish habitat, Minnesota administers an aquatic plant management permitting program. The permit program has a long history and permit activity covers the state, usually being the most intense in the highest populated areas. An overview of the program will be presented along with some key spatial and temporal trends which could reflect broad-scale economic and/or environmental drivers. Recommendations to ensure sustainable management of aquatic vegetation will be discussed along with some potential mechanisms to increase protection for fish habitat while still addressing lakeshore property owner needs. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
102E&D

4:20pm

SALMONIDS: Brown Trout Movement in Response to Large Scale Population Reduction
AUTHORS. Travis R. Rehm, South Dakota State University; Steve R. Chipps, U.S Geological Survey; Kelsen L. Young, Jacob L. Davis, Greg Simpson - South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks

ABSTRACT. Density-dependent growth in stream-dwelling Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) has been well documented (Jenkins et al. 1999; Vollestad et al. 2002; Lobon-Cervia 2007). In Spearfish Creek, South Dakota, mean size of Brown Trout is inversely related to trout density. Due to high abundance, slow growth rate, and low angler harvest, management options for increasing the size structure of the trout population may be limited. Experimental manipulation of Brown Trout abundance shows promise as an approach for increasing growth rate.  While studies have shown that Brown Trout generally exhibit small home range sizes and strong site fidelity (Burrell et al. 2000; James et al. 2007), the effect of localized density reductions on movement patterns in Brown Trout is poorly understood.  For reduced populations to have desired effects on fish growth, it is important that immigration from high to low density areas is negligible. We implanted a total of 38 Brown Trout with radio transmitters in Spearfish Creek, South Dakota and tracked them throughout the life of the tags.  Seven experimental sections (425 m/section) were randomly selected to reduce Brown Trout densities by 50% and seven sections (425 m/section) served as control reaches. Mean gross fish movement was similar between experimental (17.4 m, n=9, SE 3.5) and control (15 m, n=7, SE=1.2) sections (t = -0.84; P = 0.403). Net movement was similar between treatments at 15.2 m (SE=19.42) or -25.1 m (SE=45.1) for experimental and control sections, respectively. Home range also did not show any significant differences between experimental 122.5 m (SE=49.3) or control 108.3 m (SE=22.3) sections. We found that large scale reductions in Brown trout density did not lead to increased fish movement or home range size compared to sites with natural densities. This suggests that immigration of Brown Trout into experimental sections would be negligible.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
103E

4:20pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Effects of Land Management Type on American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) Occupancy and Recruitment
AUTHORS. Allie K. Kohler, Mary R. Sellars, Charlotte R. Catalano - Northland College; Thomas C. Doolittle, US Forest Service; Erik R. Olson, Northland College

ABSTRACT. The American kestrel (Falco sparverius)is the smallest falcon species in North America. F. sparverius has experienced drastic population declines in recent decades, although the causes for the declines are unknown. To examine the effects of land ownership on F. sparverius nest box occupancy and recruitment, we installed 52 nest boxes on private agricultural lands and public lands within the Moquah Barrens of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. We documented high F. sparverius nest box occupancy rates in 2017 (52.9%) relative to the national average (37.7%). Nest box occupancy on public land (57%) was higher than occupancy on private lands (48%) during the summer of 2017. Although we observed a difference in the nestling sex ratios in 2016 (private: 71% female; public: 61% female) we did not observe a difference in 2017 (private: 54% female; public: 54% female). In addition, we recorded significantly lower success rates this past summer compared to the previous summer. These results may suggest that there were less suitable conditions this year compared to previous year, although future research is warranted. During the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2017, we respectively banded 27, 56 and 84 adults and nestlings. Future efforts will include analysis of a Smart Box pilot study and examination of nest box contents to better understand the species and likely provide insights to their decline.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
103C

4:20pm

WALLEYE: Assessing the Dispersal of Stocked Walleye Fry in a Northern Minnesota Chain of Lakes
AUTHORS. Heather Marjamaa, Bemidji State University; Dr. Andrew Hafs, Bemidji State University; Tony Kennedy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Walleye (Sander vitreus) is the most sought-after sportfish in Minnesota. Minnesota is the third most popular inland fishing destination in the country and contributes a significant amount of revenue to the state. Cass Lake is one of the ten largest lakes in Minnesota and the largest in a chain of lakes that is a popular destination for Walleye anglers. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) collects Walleye eggs each spring from a tributary to Lake Andrusia, which lies immediately upstream of Cass Lake and is connected by the Mississippi River. As a matter of policy, 10% of the eggs collected are returned to the donor lake as fry which, in Lake Andrusia, results in elevated fry densities (range: 1,000 to 17,000 fry/littoral acre, mean: ~7,000) that may create negative density-dependent effects. However, if these fry distribute themselves throughout the chain, fry densities would be much lower (500 to 1,000 fry/littoral acre). In 2016 and 2017, approximately three million Walleye fry were marked with an oxytetracycline (OTC) solution and stocked into Lake Andrusia (~7,000 fry/littoral acre) to allow differentiation of stocked and wild fish. Walleye fingerlings were collected in the fall from each lake within the chain. Fish were measured for total length and weight and otoliths were then examined for the presence of an OTC mark. The three main objectives of this project are to: 1) document the dispersal of age-0 and age-1 Walleye throughout the chain, 2) determine the percentage of stocked age-0 and age-1 Walleye for each lake within the chain, and 3) examine length-at-capture of marked and unmarked fish. These results will help determine the effect stocking of Walleye fry in Lake Andrusia has on the Cass Lake chain and ensure stocking efforts are as efficient and effective as possible.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
103D

4:40pm

ASIAN CARP: Electrotrawling as a Method to Mass Remove Invasive Carp
AUTHORS. Josey Ridgway, Emily Pherigo, Wyatt Doyle, Jason Goeckler, Kevin Drews, Ryan Long - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. To reduce the number of Asian carp downstream of the electric dispersal barrier on the Illinois River, mass removal efforts, referred to as barrier defense, are coordinated spring through late fall in the Starved Rock and Marseilles pools by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The USFWS Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) has participated in these efforts using an electrified butterfly trawl which captures a wide size range of Asian carp from a variety of habitat types.  In 2016, the Columbia FWCO fished 16 days and removed 11,103 Silver Carp at a rate of 707 Silver Carp/electrotrawling hour.  In an effort to increase removal efficiency, daily operations (i.e., gear set-up/take-down, searching for fish, electrotrawling time, emptying nets, and gear repair) were tracked and assessed in 2017.  With the addition of a tender boat, mechanical winches, and other improvements, Silver Carp catch rates increased to 2,129 Silver Carp/electrotrawling hour.  In terms of labor hours, approximately 62 Silver Carp per labor hour were removed in 2016 whereas approximately 91 Silver Carp/labor hour were removed in 2017.  Current results indicate majority of time (~35%) is spent removing fish from nets.  Mechanisms to reduce handling fish are in development which includes upgrading net cods and adding winches to the tender boat.  In conclusion, this assessment will improve efficiency of the electrified butterfly trawl to mass remove Asian carp and progress the management and control of these invasive species in Midwestern waters.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
103A

4:40pm

CARNIVORES: Comparisons of Large Carnivore Spoor Density in the Ngamiland and Mababe Regions of Botswana from 2016 to 2017
AUTHORS. Heather Foster, Madeline Abbatacola, Scott Hyngstrom - Wisconsin Center for Wildlife, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point; Christiaan Winterbach, Tau Consultants

ABSTRACT. For effective conservation management, population densities of large carnivores are needed. Along with this, a baseline monitoring system needs to be in place as a reference and control to compare fluctuations in a population. Large carnivore densities are extremely important for understanding the interspecies relationships in specific areas. Not only are the animals living on the landscape affected by the presence of large carnivores but the human populations as well. Living in areas occupied by large carnivores presents unique challenges which local people can benefit from the knowledge of which species and their populations are present. Better agricultural techniques, public safety precautions, and an ecotourism industry can be established. The continuous need for large carnivore management leads us to use the noninvasive techniques of distance sampling and spoor counts of large carnivores, to acquire the population density estimates. We chose to use noninvasive spoor counts because it was inexpensive and capable of repetition. In the Mababe region of northern Botswana two transects were run each day with a professional, local tracker. The spoor found was examined to determine the identity and later recorded using the data management application, Cyber Tracker. This was downloaded into ArcGIS and Excel for analysis. While we only have two years of previous data, this study will serve as an integral step in creating a baseline monitoring system for large carnivore densities. 

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
103B

4:40pm

SYMPOSIA-05: Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes Initiative: Working with Lakefront Property Owners to Apply Best Management Practices
AUTHORS. Patrick Goggin, Wisconsin Lakes Partnership/UW-Extension Lakes, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Pamela Toshner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Wisconsin Lakes Partnership recently implemented a statewide initiative providing technical assistance and funding for simple and relatively inexpensive shoreland habitat and runoff and erosion control best practices. “Healthy Lakes” is the outcome of a lean government project to streamline the administrative process for grant funding while simultaneously simplifying technical information for lakeshore property owners and lake groups, municipalities, and other partner organizations. Launched in late 2014, Healthy Lakes has already received positive feedback and widespread geographic interest. Public participation and lessons learned from social marketing studies shaped Healthy Lakes and will continue to be the keys to its success. Next steps include updating a user-friendly, autonomous website, program and best practice evaluation, and integrating the initiative into long-term administrative code. This session will include an overview of Healthy Lakes, including the five best practices being promoted and examples of projects completed in the first 3 years of the grant program.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
102E&D

4:40pm

SALMONIDS: Using Stable C and N Isotopes to Assess Diets of Lake Michigan Salmonines: Implications for Ongoing Management
AUTHORS. Benjamin A. Turschak, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Charles R. Bronte, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Sergiusz Czesny, Illinois Natural History Survey; Tomas O. Höök, Purdue University; Matthew S. Kornis, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Benjamin Leonhardt, Purdue University; Harvey A. Bootsma, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

ABSTRACT. Lake Michigan currently hosts an economically valuable salmonine sportfishing industry which began in earnest with the return of planted Coho salmon to Platte River, Michigan in 1967.  After Michigan DNR began stocking, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois soon joined a multi species salmonid stocking effort which created fishing opportunities and helped control the invasive alewife prey population. Alewife numbers had reached nuisance levels during the 1950s-1960s in the absence of a top predator but salmon stocking efforts coupled with other lower food web changes have reduced alewife and other pelagic preyfish to record lows. As pelagic prey abundance has declined, the invading benthic round goby has reached high densities in nearshore areas. This has resulted in a major shift from a pelagic dominated preyfish community to one which is more benthic and nearshore. Understanding if and how introduced and native predators have responded to this transition is critical to preserving a diverse and healthy predatory sportfish community. We used stable C and N isotopes to assess the regional diets of predators in Lake Michigan in 2016.  Bayesian mixing models, informed with gut content analyses, were used to reconstruct diet proportions, determine the proportion of assimilated energy coming from benthic versus pelagic sources, and determine niche overlap among predators. Regional usage of nearshore benthic prey was variable for some species such as lake trout and brown trout whereas other species such as Chinook and Coho salmon exhibited lower regional variance and narrower niche breadth. Although steelhead overlapped with Chinook and Coho salmon, their niche breadth was much broader indicating a more generalist feeding strategy. As Lake Michigan transitions from a pelagic to nearshore benthic preyfish production, maintaining predator-prey balance may require a more regionally-specific approach and greater focus on a diverse fishery including native lake trout and other generalist predators.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
103E

4:40pm

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY: WILDLIFE HABITAT: Response of Early Successional Avifauna to Pipeline Right-of-way Vegetation Management in Eastern Ohio
AUTHORS. Lewis Lolya, Gabriel Karns, Stephen Matthews - The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT. Early successional bird species have exhibited population declines across Ohio, coinciding with a state-wide loss in young forest and shrub-scrub habitats. Additionally, forest fragmentation and land use conversion has increased with accelerating shale gas development. Pipeline right-of-ways (ROWs), which represent the largest proportion of the shale gas footprint, hold potential for early successional habitat management. This potential has been demonstrated for analogous electric ROWs, but minimal research is available for corridors with underground infrastructure. Our goals are to assess early successional avian response to forest edge-cutback techniques along pipeline ROWs and to understand avian utilization of the pipeline-forest interface. Forest-edge plots (control=11, experimental=12) were established at 10 sites across four counties in Eastern Ohio. Avian point counts, nesting surveys, and vegetation sampling were conducted within each plot. A total of 32 nests of 12 species were monitored. The proportion of failed to fledged nests was 53%, with EATO showing low nest success across sites (Fail=83%). Overall incidence of nest parasitism was higher in edge treatment ROWs (n=8) than in control (n=3). 69 total species were observed across all sites during point counts. Several species showed increased occurrence in ROW plots compared to forest plots ([alpha codes] BHCO, COYE, EATO, FISP, INBU, and NOCA) while others were more prevalent in interior forest (ACFL, OVEN, and REVI). SCTA, EAWP, and ACFL were more prevalent in experimental ROW plots than control. The opposite trend was seen for INBU, potentially due to limited forest regrowth following recent treatments. These preliminary results may demonstrate that birds exhibit species-specific selectivity for habitat structure characteristics along pipeline corridors. Although pipeline edges may provide nesting habitat, high occurrence of nest parasitism may indicate the presence of a habitat trap. Furthermore, as experimental cutback zones regrow, we hypothesize increased use over time of those edges by shrub-scrub dependent birds.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
103C

4:40pm

WALLEYE: Differential Effects of Algal and Sedimentary Turbidity on the Visual Systems of Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Their Prey
AUTHORS. Chelsey Nieman, Andy Oppliger, Caroline McElwain; Suzanne M. Gray - The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT. Changes to the visual environment from increased turbidity are expected to result in disrupted visual ecology and are hypothesized to lead to community-level shifts; however, the proximate mechanisms underlying such shifts remain to be investigated. Our objective was to determine the effects of elevated turbidity on visual ecology of native Lake Erie fishes. Turbidity influences visual abilities differently within and across trophic levels (e.g., planktivores vs. piscivores) and across different types of turbidity (e.g., algal vs. sedimentary). We therefore analyzed whether increased turbidity results in reduced detection thresholds and visual acuity in two Lake Erie fishes: a forage fish, Emerald Shiner (Notropis atherinoides), and a top predator, Walleye (Sander vitreus). Utilizing the optokinetic response, we found visual sensitivity in Emerald Shiner (n=17) and Walleye (n=6) was higher in sedimentary (mean=79.66 NTU and 99.98 NTU, respectively) than in algal (mean=34.41 NTU, and 40.35 NTU, respectively) turbidity. Reaction distance experiments that test visual acuity suggest Emerald Shiner (n=40) and Walleye (n=14) display decreased reaction distance in turbid relative to clear water treatments. Our study provides evidence for decreased visual thresholds and acuity as potential mechanisms behind fish responses to increased turbidity.

Monday January 29, 2018 4:40pm - 5:00pm
103D

5:00pm

SALMONIDS: Implications of Atlantic Salmon Stocking for Great Lakes Food Webs and Contaminant Exposure
AUTHORS. Brandon S. Gerig, Northern Michigan University; Sean Cullen, University of Notre Dame; Dominic T. Chaloner, University of Notre Dame; Roger Greil, Lake Superior State University; Ashley H. Moerke, Lake Superior State University; Gary A. Lamberti, University of Notre Dame

ABSTRACT. Salmonines are important components of the Great Lakes fishery. However, invasive species, especially Dreissenid mussels, have shifted energy flow and contaminant cycling from the pelagic to the benthic zone in Lake Huron. This altered food web structure is linked to population declines in Chinook salmon. Consequently, state management agencies have increased stocking of Atlantic salmon to maintain diversity in the recreational fishery. In this study, we used stable isotopes of carbon (d13C) and nitrogen (d15N), along with mercury (Hg) to compare food web position and bioaccumulation among Lake Huron salmonines, especially Atlantic salmon, compared with other species. When comparing isotopic niche space, Atlantic salmon exhibit significant overlap with both Chinook and coho salmon, suggesting reliance on similar prey resources. However, Atlantic salmon accumulate significantly lower quantities of Hg than Chinook salmon but are equal to coho salmon. Differences in life history, movement, and consumption rates may have contributed to lower mercury accumulation in Atlantic salmon compared to Chinook. From a food web perspective, increasing abundance of Atlantic salmon through stocking may be a preferred fisheries management strategy to reduce predator impacts on sensitive prey fish populations and reduce human exposure to dangerous contaminants such as mercury. Our survey highlights how collaboration between universities and state and federal agencies can promote proactive fisheries management.

Monday January 29, 2018 5:00pm - 5:20pm
103E

5:00pm

AFS NCD Business Meeting
Monday January 29, 2018 5:00pm - 6:30pm
TBD

5:00pm

Student / Professional Networking Mixer
Come join us for light hors d’oeuvres, free drinks, and conversation! This casual event will provide a unique opportunity for students to meet, ask questions, and network with fish and wildlife professionals from around the region. For the first hour of the mixer professionals will be grouped by interest in a small room setting where students can speak to multiple mentors in a roundtable-type rotation. Door prizes will be intermittently drawn from those present. Raffle tickets will also be given to students interacting with professionals, so the more questions you ask, the better chance you have of winning a prize! Afterwards, there will be an open forum for follow-up questions and the final raffle will be held, then at 6:30 pm doors will open to all to share in food and drinks and continue networking. Please sign-up early so we can get a headcount to ensure enough food, drink, and mentors (sign up by checking the box during online registration or by contacting Hadley Boehm at hadley.boehm@wisconsin.gov).

Monday January 29, 2018 5:00pm - 7:30pm
TBD

5:00pm

Time on Own
Monday January 29, 2018 5:00pm - 11:00pm
TBD

5:30pm

6:30pm

7:30pm

 
Tuesday, January 30
 

7:00am

7:00am

Speaker Ready Room
Tuesday January 30, 2018 7:00am - 6:00pm
TBD

8:00am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Recruitment Sources of Silver Carp in the Ohio River Basin Using Otolith Microchemistry
AUTHORS. Aaron Schiller, Greg Whitledge – Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences, Southern Illinois University; Brent Knights, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

ABSTRACT. Knowledge of natal environments and dispersal of Silver carp (Hypothalmichthys molitrix) inhabiting the Ohio River and Kentucky and Barkley Lakes would inform development of strategies to control established and emerging populations.  However, the principal natal environments supporting the emerging bigheaded carp population in the Ohio River basin are unknown.  There is also a need to assess the role of tributaries as nursery sites to increase understanding of dispersal patterns and better target young fish. The goal of this study was to identify recruitment sources and determine dispersal patterns of Silver carp in the Ohio River basin by analyzing otolith core trace element and isotopic compositions relative to ambient water elemental and isotopic measurements.  Fish were collected from the Ohio River, and Kentucky and Barkley Lakes from 2014-2017 and water samples were taken during summer 2012-2017. Water samples maintained temporal stability and spatial differentiation for the Ohio River and tributaries during the sampling period.  Results to date suggest that most Silver carp in the Ohio River are utilizing tributaries during early life. Results will inform development of efforts to target and remove spawning and young bigheaded carps. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
103A

8:00am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Influential Macrhybopsis spp. Life History Traits in Modeled Lower Missouri River Populations
AUTHORS. Janice L. Albers, Mark L. Wildhaber, Nicholas S. Green - US Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Negative effects of river fragmentation have been noted for Macrhybopsis spp. in the Missouri River watershed; specifically three species of chubs that inhabit the Lower Missouri River: Shoal Chub M. hyostoma, Sicklefin Chub M. meeki, and Sturgeon Chub M. gelida. Increasing threats from predation and habitat loss and a recent increase in our understanding of reproductive life history have prompted the development of population models and a population viability analysis for each of these benthic chub species. For each species, we developed an age-structured population matrix model with hierarchical stochasticity, which partitions the total variance for a parameter into sampling and temporal components and applies them at the appropriate levels in the model. Here parameter or sampling variance is the uncertainty about the value of a parameter itself applied at the replicate level, and temporal variance is the uncertainty caused by environmental fluctuations over time applied at each yearly time-step. Under the current state of knowledge about their life history characteristics, we found populations of all three chub species were most sensitive to individual growth. However, current survival rates have large temporal variance; consequently, more research into the accuracy and factors that influence survival rates is needed. In addition, an increased understanding of how the environment influences fish growth and seasonal spawn frequency are needed in order to better understand chub population dynamics in the Lower Missouri River.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
103E

8:00am

SYMPOSIA-06: Initial Description of Dermocystid Infections in Silvery Salamanders (Ambystoma Platineum) from Vermilion County, Illinois
AUTHORS. Laura Adamovicz, DVM, Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine; Chris Phillips, PhD, Prairie Research Institute, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Matthew Allender, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl ACZM, Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

ABSTRACT. Emerging infectious diseases such as ranaviruses, chytridiomycosis, and Ribeiroia sp. can pose a significant risk to threatened and endangered amphibian species, but much is unknown about the ecology and epidemiology of other amphibian infectious diseases. Mesomycetozoan parasites in the order Dermocystida have been reported to encyst in the skin of European amphibians for over 100 years. Reports of these infections are sporadic, and while higher rates of infection have been documented in declining populations, the contribution of parasitism to the declines is unknown. Recently, Dermocystid parasites were described for the first time in Eastern red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) from the Northeastern United States. Visibly-infected newts from a population observed in captivity experienced higher mortality rates than uninfected conspecifics. The current impacts of Dermocystid parasite infections on free-living amphibian populations are unknown, but their recent emergence in the US is concerning and information on natural infections is important to determine their potential impact on species of conservation concern. Silvery salamanders (Ambystoma platineum) are considered state-endangered in Illinois. Beginning in 2017, raised white skin nodules were observed in 19 adult salamanders during routine health surveillance at four ponds from two geographically separated study sites. These nodules were confirmed to be a Dermocystid organism via histopathology and 18S sequencing. This presentation will characterize the gross and histologic appearance of this organism, describe its distribution in Vermilion County, Illinois, and review its molecular classification and phylogeny. This is the first report of a Dermocystid infection west of Indiana, and is only the third North American species in which infection has been documented. Longitudinal assessment of the affected populations in the upcoming years will help determine the effects of Dermocystid parasitic infections in a state-endangered urodele.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
101B

8:00am

SYMPOSIA-08: Minnesota Statewide Marshbird Survey: A Framework to Help Prioritize Wetlands for Conservation Actions
AUTHORS. Kristin A. L. Hall, Audubon Minnesota

ABSTRACT. Many marsh-dwelling birds are difficult to survey, in large part because of their inconspicuous nature and difficulty in accessing their habitats. Current avian surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey and spring waterfowl surveys do not adequately monitor these species. Effective conservation planning and habitat management for marshbirds is limited by insufficient information regarding their abundance, distribution, population trends, habitat relationships, and management needs. To address this information gap, monitoring programs specifically for marshbirds have been developed across the Midwest using standardized data collection protocols. As a member of the of the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership - Secretive Marshbird Workgroup, Audubon Minnesota has worked in collaboration with various state, federal and local partners to gain a better understanding of this unique group of birds. In 2016 and 2017 Minnesota joined Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois in conducting statewide marshbird monitoring surveys using a rigorous sampling framework (Johnson et. al. 2009) and a standardized survey protocol (Conway 2011) .The overall objective of the Minnesota Marshbird Survey is to create ongoing, long-term marshbird monitoring for the state of Minnesota and to provide natural resource managers information they need to effectively manage these secretive birds and their wetland habitats. Some of the conservation goals are: to estimate population status and trends of marshbirds, to better inform management of wetland and marsh habitats, and to provide a baseline for pre- and post-management activities in degraded wetland habitats. This presentation will highlight the survey results from Minnesota’s efforts and look at ways in which we can use these data to better inform our conservation actions on the ground.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
102B

8:00am

SYMPOSIA-09: Modeling Oxythermal Stress of Cisco Across Midwest Lakes to Aid Management of Cold-Water Fish Habitat
AUTHORS. Madeline Magee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Limnology; Andrew Rypel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, University of California-Davis, Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology; Jordan Read, US Geological Survey, Water Science Center; Peter McIntyre, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Limnology

ABSTRACT. Climate changes have caused significant loss of biodiversity and changes in species distribution in lakes. In Wisconsin, habitat of cold- and cool-water fish within a lake is constrained by both water temperature and dissolved oxygen, typically forcing these fish into deep waters during summer. Warming has further squeezed the available thermal habitat within many lakes, and also fostered prolonged periods of low oxygen in the bottom waters. At times, suitable habitat is lost entirely from a lake. To develop effective management strategies, it is important to understand how this habitat squeezing varies among lakes as air temperatures continue to rise. Previous efforts have modeled this oxythermal habitat in a single lake, but translating lake-specific models to large numbers of lakes across the landscape has been limited. Furthermore, modeling efforts must focus on providing management-relevant information to prove useful in the long-term. Here we describe a new lake modeling effort aimed at understanding how ongoing warming will further reduce habitat of cold-water cisco (Coregonus artedi) across Midwestern lakes. We forecast changes in oxythermal habitat under future climate conditions, as well as identifying lakes where management of nutrient loads and forest cover may feasibly offset warming to protect suitable habitat for cold-water species into the future.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
102C

8:00am

SYMPOSIA-10: Opportunities and Challenges in Local Management of Recreational Fisheries Landscapes: Theory and Practice
AUTHORS. Chris Solomon, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Marco Janssen, Arizona State University; Sunny Jardine, University of Washington; Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University; Stuart Jones, University of Notre Dame; Brett van Poorten, British Columbia Ministry of the Environment

ABSTRACT. Local organizations, such as lake associations, take an active role in fisheries management in some jurisdictions. This local involvement in may complement or complicate management efforts by state agencies. We briefly review the role that local organizations play in the management of fisheries landscapes, and draw from the fisheries, economic, and social-ecological literatures to suggest pathways and obstacles for successful collaborative management of these systems. Our goal is to set the stage for the symposium to follow.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
102E&D

8:00am

UNGULATES: Elk Monitoring in Wisconsin: Trail Cameras and Citizen Science
AUTHORS. Joe Dittrich, Dan Storm, Jennifer Stenglein, Susan Frett - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) desired a cost-effective, precise, and unbiased technique for monitoring demographics of recently-restored populations of elk (Cervus elaphus). WDNR and partners established trail camera grids, intended to encompass 3 distinct elk populations; Black River Falls, Clam Lake, and Flambeau River State Forest. Cameras were initially deployed during spring-summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017 by WDNR and partner staff or volunteers, but most cameras were eventually maintained by citizen volunteers. We used the camera data to estimate calf-to-cow ratios, seasonal distribution, daily and annual activity patterns, and population estimates. We used the ‘Royle and Nichols’ and ‘N-mixture’ population estimators. Demographic estimates derived from camera data generally matched estimates from other data sources (e.g. known numbers of marked animals, fecundity and survival data, etc) for the Clam Lake herd, but not for the Black River Falls herd, likely because elk in this herd spent little time on this trail camera grid.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
103C

8:00am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Predicting the Effects of Grassland Conservation Reserve Program Enrollments and Expirations on Greater Prairie-chickens in Northwestern MInnesota
AUTHORS. Kalysta Adkins, University of Minnesota; Charlotte Roy*, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; David Andersen, University of Minnesota; Robert Wright, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has the potential to influence the abundance of greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus), a species of special concern in Minnesota, by altering the amount and configuration of grassland and wetland in agriculturally dominated landscapes. However, the CRP has experienced recent declines in enrollments in northwestern Minnesota, and these declines are expected to continue following the reduced enrollment cap in the 2014 Farm Bill, which funds the program through 2018. These cuts increase the need to prioritize CRP reenrollments or new enrollments that are likely to have the most impact on greater prairie-chicken populations. To predict changes in greater prairie-chicken abundance caused by expirations of CRP contracts and target CRP enrollments at both the landscape and lek scale, we used models relating lek density and the number of males at leks to CRP enrollments and the resulting landscape structure. We simulated different land cover scenarios of CRP contract expirations, and results indicated that the abundance of greater prairie-chickens would be negatively impacted following scheduled expirations. Simulations of targeted CRP contract enrollment in both small, random enrollment scenarios and large, non-random enrollment scenarios suggested mixed effects on greater prairie-chicken abundance. Adding grassland cover that increased existing grassland contiguity had a positive impact, while additions that decreased contiguity had a negative impact. Landscapes with a large proportion of existing CRP grasslands and wetlands were most likely to continue to support high prairie-chicken abundance through reenrollment and enrollment of new contracts that are large (> 20 acres) and contiguous with existing grassland and wetland cover types. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
103B

8:00am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Variability in Spatial Distribution of Larval Yellow Perch in a Northern Lake Ecosystem
AUTHORS. Steve Hauschildt, Bemidji State University; Dr. Andrew W. Hafs, Bemidji State University

ABSTRACT. The success of many game-fish species can depend on larval Yellow Perch Perca flavenscens for forage in northern lake systems. Year class strength estimation using larval trawls, is often unreliable, or has the potential to include large amounts of variation. To better understand larval Yellow Perch densities, the objectives of this study were to measure the variation in the spatial distribution of larval Yellow Perch on Blackduck Lake in northern Minnesota, and then determine if wind is a significant source of variation. Trawls were performed with a modified Neuston net in a random pattern across the towable area of Blackduck Lake, Minnesota. Sixty trawls were taken every two days over a two-week period. All fish were counted, and total length was measured for up to 30 fish from each trawl. The number of fish at each location was used to create GIS maps through interpolation techniques to demonstrate larval Yellow Perch spatial distribution. Relationships between the variability depicted in our spatial distribution maps and wind characteristics should help managers increase confidence in estimates of year class strength done via Neuston tows.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:20am
103D

8:00am

SYMPOSIA-07: An Overview of North American AFS Freshwater Fish Sampling Standardization
AUTHORS. Scott A . Bonar, U.S. Geological Survey Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Norman Mercado-Silva, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos; Kevin L. Pope, U.S. Geological Survey Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT. The American Fisheries Society developed standard methods to sample freshwater fish populations, publishing them in 2009 in the book Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. This project involved 284 scientists from 107 different organizations across Canada, Mexico and the United States. Data collected using standard methods gives biologists improved ability to compare data across regions or time. This meets increasing needs for larger regional or global scale assessments, and helps biologists to communicate and share data across political boundaries. Current research on standard methods focuses on calibration of local techniques to the North American methods, development of efficiency models for the standard techniques; development of web-based electronic means to compile and compare data collected from standardized monitoring efforts; collaboration with fisheries biologists on other continents in developing and comparing standard methodologies; completion of a 2nd edition of Standard Methods and institutionalizing a process to update AFS standard methods in the future. Standardization in industry, medicine and science has led to great advances. An overview of current research on standard fisheries sampling techniques and how AFS standard methods are being incorporated into North American fisheries management illustrates the importance of advancements in technology and communication among biologists when conserving the continent's fish populations.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:00am - 8:40am
102A

8:20am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Environmental Factors Influencing Daily Growth of Young-of-year Silver Carp in the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Jesse A. Williams, Western Illinois University; Jim T. Lamer, Western Illinois University; Gregory W. Whitledge, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; Brent Knights, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center-United States Geological Survey; Nick Bloomfield, United States Fish and Wildlife Service-La Crosse

ABSTRACT. Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are capable of spawning multiple times a yearin relation with increased water velocity and water temperature. Asian carp recently had a large, unprecedented spawning event in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) where densities of adults are low compared to other regions of the Basin. It is not known how environmental conditions influence daily growth of juvenile silver carp in the UMR; or their natal environments in this recently invaded system. Understanding growth and spatial life history can be beneficial to the management of silver carp. Our objectives are to (1) determine hatch date and back-calculated growth in relation to temperature and hydrology and (2) determine natal origin and subsequent spatial distributions of young of year silver carp using stable isotope otolith microchemistry. We collected 475 juveniles from Pools 18-19 of the UMR that range from 16–231mm between July 2016 to October 2016. Samples were collected using seines, trawls, electrofishing, and electro-seines. Lapillus and asteriscus otoliths were removed, polished, and photographed. Polished otoliths were analyzed to calculate hatch dates from incremental (daily) growth depositions. The annuli widths were measured to determine daily growth as correlated with daily water temperature and hydrology. Natal origins and spatial life history of the silver carp were determined from lapillus otolith microchemistry (Sr: Ca and Ba: Ca ratios), while the asteriscus otoliths were prepared for stable isotope (d18O). Horton Creek samples from July 15, 2016 had birthdates from June 14, 2016 and samples from September 23, 2016 had birthdates from July 23, 2016 indicating multiple cohorts. The two collection dates had hatch groupings that varied, demonstrating multiple, mass spawning events.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
103A

8:20am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Evaluating Potential Consequences of Hydrologic Separation at Brandon Road Lock and Dam on Native Fishes and Mussels in the Illinois River Waterway
AUTHORS. Matthew Altenritter, Andrew Casper - Illinois River Biological Station

ABSTRACT. Brandon Road Lock and Dam (BRLD) located on the lower Des Plaines River in Joliet, IL has been identified by the United States Army Corp of Engineers as a potential site for the implementation of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) control measures. Proposed structural control measures are intended to prevent the upriver movement of ANS such as silver and bighead carps through the lock chamber at BRLD. Subsequently, upriver movement by native fishes would also be prevented. Recent surveys of fishes inhabiting the Des Plaines River above BRLD, suggest upriver lockage has facilitated improvements in native fish community richness over time. Moreover, substantial investments in this area have been made to re-establish lotic connectivity providing increased habitat for newly arriving native immigrants. Increases in native fish community richness may also benefit mussel recruitment above BRLD. Our research aims to elucidate the consequences of hydrologic separation that is anticipated to truncate this migratory corridor for native fishes. By synthesizing and integrating available information into a conceptual model, we identify potential consequences of hydrologic separation affecting primarily fishes and mussels. We hypothesize that the loss of supplementary immigration of native fishes through BRLD will slow the rehabilitation of upriver fish communities and potentially limit mussel rehabilitation through vector truncation. We anticipate that our conceptual model will eventually serve to guide both future research priorities and mitigation efforts aimed at minimizing any negative outcomes of a hydrologic separation on aquatic resources upriver of BRLD.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
103E

8:20am

SYMPOSIA-06: A Ranavirus-associated Mass Mortality Event in an Illinois Amphibian Community
AUTHORS. Kelsey M. Low, Illinois Natural History Survey; Christoper A. Phillips, Illinois Natural History Survey; Steven J. Kimble, Towson University; Matthew C. Allender DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT. Ranavirus is an infectious disease of poikilotherms that is associated with global amphibian declines and is one of two notifiable amphibian diseases to the World Organization for Animal Health.  We monitored eight ponds for ranaviral disease in Vermilion Co., Illinois using the Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) as a sentinel species due to its reported ranavirus sensitivity.  During tadpole development, we documented a ranavirus-associated mass mortality event and characterized the spatial and temporal extent of the die-offs.  We collected >3000 deceased individuals of six observed species over eight weeks at the original eight ponds and at 15 additional ponds with observed mortalities. The largest number of mortalities were observed in R. sylvatica (n=752); Silvery Salamanders, Ambystoma platineum (n=303); and Chorus Frogs, Pseudacris spp. (n=105).  We confirmed the pathogen isolate as an FV3-like ranavirus using a sequence from the major capsid protein gene, the DNA polymerase gene, the V1F-2a gene, the neurofilament triplet H1-like gene and a variable microsatellite region.  This FV3-like ranavirus was detected at 10 of the 23 ponds sampled (44%), and infection prevalence ranged from 0% to 100% among ponds. The scale of this mortality event and the conservation status of the species affected highlight the need to continue to monitor this geographical region for amphibian disease. The mortalities in any given pond occurred over one to three weeks, so common monitoring methods have likely failed to detect ranavirus die-offs. The impact ranavirus has had on amphibian populations is underestimated, and this impact needs to be addressed so conservation action can be made if necessary.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
101B

8:20am

SYMPOSIA-08: Waterbird Use at the Man-made North Ottawa Flood Damage Reduction Impoundment in West Central Minnesota
AUTHORS. Christine Herwig, Kevin Kotts, Bruce Lenning - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The North Ottawa Impoundment was designed with the primary purpose of mitigating damage from excessive spring runoff in a primarily agricultural watershed. Secondary objectives of this impoundment were to provide feeding and resting habitat for migratory birds, mudflat feeding areas for shorebirds, and shallow flooded vegetation for waterfowl and shorebirds. Sub-impoundments allow wildlife managers to manipulate water levels and create these opportunities. Management techniques including row crops, phosphorous capture by cattails, and water level manipulation were scheduled to be implemented in a number of the sub-impoundments in 2016. Our objectives were to monitor waterbird use at sub-impoundments with different anticipated planned management, with the ultimate goal of evaluating waterbird response of habitat management practices to inform adaptive management. We used the National Protocol Framework for the Inventory and Monitoring of Nonbreeding Waterbirds and their Habitats for our data collection methodology. Waterbird surveys were conducted approximately weekly on 5 sub-impoundments from 13 April to 2 November 2016. In 2016, dry conditions resulted in limited habitat in spring and early summer and birds were primarily using borrow areas created when dikes were built. Water conditions improved towards late summer. Over 40 species of waterbirds were observed including a few rare species and large numbers of migrating waterfowl. Although the protocol used was meant to document non-breeding waterbird use, we also documented waterfowl and other waterbird broods during summer months. Flood damage reduction impoundments can add wetland resources to landscapes where they have been lost, but they function differently than natural wetlands or typical moist soil impoundments managed primarily for wildlife. With better understanding of how and when birds are using flood damage impoundments, we can also improve future impoundment design to benefit wildlife.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
102B

8:20am

SYMPOSIA-09: Ecological Niche Modeling to Disentangle the Effects of Climate and Eutrophication on Minnesota Lakes
AUTHORS. Peter C. Jacobson, Gretchen J.A. Hansen, Bethany J. Bethke, Tim K. Cross - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Eutrophication and climate warming have profoundly affected Minnesota lakes in the past centruy. Ecological niche modeling provides a method for disentangling the effects of these powerful, but different stressors. Models that incorporated the individual effects of nutrient concentration and climate were developed for 25 species of fish sampled in standard gillnet surveys from 1,577 Minnesota lakes. Lake phosphorus concentrations and climates were hindcasted to a pre-disturbance period of 1896–1925 using existing land use models and historical temperature data. Then historical fish assemblages were reconstructed using the ecological niche models. Substantial changes were noted when reconstructed fish assemblages were compared to those from the contemporary period (1981–2010). Reconstructed abundances of eutrophication-tolerant, warmwater taxa increased in prairie lakes that experienced significant eutrophication and climate warming. Eutrophication-intolerant, warmwater taxa abundance increased in forest lakes where primarily climate warming was the stressor. Coolwater fish declined in abundance in both ecoregions. Large changes in modeled abundance occurred when the effects of both climate and eutrophication operated in the same direction for some species. Conversely, the effects of climate warming and eutrophication operated in opposing directions for other species and dampened net changes in abundance.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
102C

8:20am

SYMPOSIA-10: The Evolving Roles of Wisconsin Lake Organizations in Caring for Public Trust Resources
AUTHORS. Eric Olson, University of Wisconsin - Extension Lakes

ABSTRACT. Continued enjoyment of our lakes depends on proactive  management that reduces polluted runoff, restores and protects shorelines, contains and prevents the spread of aquatic invasive plants, and builds resiliency into lakes-based social and ecological systems. Faced with the challenge of meeting this need across 3,600 lakes larger than 20 acres in size, the State of Wisconsin has for forty years embraced a collaborative approach that brings together local organizations,, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Wisconsin to jointly develop and implement lake management plans. The network of hundreds of local lake organizations are central to the Partnership’s work, but natural resource managers need to better understand the origin and function of local groups to better engage them in fisheries, habitat, AIS, and other issues. This presentation will recap the history and development of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership and discuss key legal and policy components that have arisen in the last 40 years. We will explore the variations in capacity and engagement across hundreds of lake organizations and share recommendations for successfully partnering with lake organizations to carry out fisheries-related work on inland lakes.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
102E&D

8:20am

UNGULATES: Annual and Seasonal Home Ranges of Female Elk in Northwestern Minnesota
AUTHORS. Alicia E. Freeman, Minnesota State University-Mankato; Gino J. D’Angelo, University of Georgia-Athens, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources; Véronique St-Louis, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Louis Cornicelli, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; John D. Krenz, Minnesota State University-Mankato

ABSTRACT. Elk (Cervus elaphus) were successfully reintroduced to Minnesota in the 1930s, after their extirpation in the late 1800s as a result of overharvesting and conversion of the land to agriculture (Hazard 1982). Despite continued management since that time, no studies of elk aimed at understanding patterns of habitat use at multiple scales have been conducted in Minnesota. In February 2016, we placed Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on 20 free-ranging adult female elk in northwestern Minnesota to collect baseline ecological data that can be used for improving elk population management at multiple scales.  We estimated elk home range sizes from elk locations taken every 4 hours across the full first year of data (2016), and estimated the mean annual home range size by averaging the 95% contour of Kernel Density Estimates (KDE) across all collared elk, excluding one elk that died before a full year of data was collected. We also calculated the average home range sizes of elk in each of the 4 sub-groups (Caribou-Vita, Grygla, Lancaster North, Lancaster South) which are spatially segregated across the landscape in northwestern Minnesota. The mean annual home range size of the 19 collared cows from 2016 was 109 km2 (n = 19, SD = 38.7 km2), whereas the mean annual home ranges for the sub-groups ranged from 83 km2 to 153 km2 (n = 4, SD = 29.1). We further divided the first year’s location data into seasons based on time periods we considered to be most important to elk, and created seasonal home ranges that will be used to estimate seasonal and yearly changes in broad- and fine-scale patterns of habitat use across all gps-collared elk. We will present comparisons of home ranges among sub-groups of elk across seasons and habitat types. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
103C

8:20am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Genetic Analysis of Sharp-tailed Grouse in East-central Minnesota Indicates High Genetic Diversity Remains After a Recent Population Bottleneck
AUTHORS. A.J. Gregory*, Bowling Green State University; C. Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; E. Nelson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Minnesota DNR recognizes two distinct management units of Sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus). Recent population declines in the East-Central Management Unit (EC) has led to speculation that the EC sharp-tailed grouse population may be experiencing diminishing returns in reproductive success due to inbreeding depression. Alternatively, others have suggested that declines are due to habitat loss or degradation. To evaluate relative support for these hypothesized mechanisms for EC population declines, we conducted a landscape genetic analysis to assess contemporary levels of genetic diversity and gene flow, and to test for a genetic bottleneck. Cooperating biologists collected feathers from lek sites and hunters submitted wing samples, which were analyzed at 15 microsatellite loci. Genetic diversity was high (HO=0.771), the inbreeding coefficient was low (FIS=0.017), and a significant excess in heterozygosity (P=0.005) was detected. Population clustering analysis indicated greatest support for three populations; however, mapping sample locations of individuals by assigned population cluster revealed panmixia of population clusters. In sum, our findings are consistent with a recent demographic compression or bottleneck, but the EC population still retains high genetic diversity. Therefore, inbreeding depression was not supported, and declines are more consistent with changes in habitat quantity or quality.     

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
103B

8:20am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Population Dynamics, Sport and Commercial Harvest and Management of St. Louis River Walleye (1981-2015)
AUTHORS. Kirk Olson, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Paul Piszczek, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Joel Hoffman, US Environmental Protection Agency; Deserae Hendrickson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Terry Margenau, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The St. Louis River supports the largest self-sustaining Walleye population in the Lake Superior Basin. Since 1981, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Fond du Lac Band Resource Management Division have jointly monitored the Walleye fishery through a combination of population and harvest surveys. The most recent comprehensive evaluations of the fishery incorporating both population demographics and sport and commercial harvest were completed separately by the Wisconsin DNR and the Minnesota DNR in 1991 and 1992, respectively. To evaluate the status of the St. Louis River Walleye fishery, we analyzed Walleye population demographics and sport and commercial harvest of Walleye from 1981-2015. Consistent with previous findings using angler tag returns, C and N stable isotope ratios from 141 adult Walleye collected in 2014 indicated that >90% of the population was migratory, utilizing nearshore waters of western Lake Superior. Five population estimates conducted between 1981 and 2015 revealed that the adult Walleye population was considerable (mean = 74,015 adult fish) and had declined between 2003 and 2015. Recent declines in recruitment, like those documented in other Wisconsin and Minnesota populations, may be responsible for the reduced abundance. Based on mandatory commercial harvest reporting and five sport angler creel surveys, harvest was primarily driven by sport anglers (mean = 24,059 fish), while commercial harvest was lower, highly sporadic (range = 50 – 2,567 fish) and potentially included fish from other populations. Based on our estimate of adult production in 2015, sport yield exceeded MSY by 2%. Though harvest was considerable, total mortality, spawning age distributions and growth did not exhibit signs of overfishing. Our results highlight the need for continued population and harvest monitoring and research determining the composition of commercial harvest in Lake Superior and factors limiting recruitment.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:20am - 8:40am
103D

8:40am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: The Dynamic Response Behaviors of Naïve Juvenile Asian Carp Following Exposure to Predator Kairomones in Mixed-Species Groups
AUTHORS. Jared Wilson, University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey; David H. Wahl, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT. Shoaling behavior is one of many important strategies utilized by prey species to gather many types of information about their environment, particularly in regard to threat recognition.  By mimicking the response of an experienced individual, naïve individuals increase survivability.  Overlapping the niches of many native prey species, the widely distributed invasive Asian carp spend much of their early lives vulnerable to predation.  By shoaling in single species or mixed species groups, the survivability of these fishes may be increased.  The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of naïve juvenile Bighead Carp (H. nobilis) when grouped with experienced conspecific and heterospecific (N. chrysoleucas) shoal mates and exposed to a predator kairomone.  Groups were exposed to 20 mL of largemouth bass (M. salmoides) odor, and behavior was recorded before and after application.  Our results indicate a decrease in activity and nearest neighbor distance for naïve carp paired with conspecifics, however individuals paired with an experienced heterospecific displayed a response similar to the fright response of the heterospecific, indicating the alarm response of the Bighead carp may be somewhat plastic.  Future research is needed to determine if subsequent applications of predator kairomones influence the behavior of naïve individuals once the experienced individuals are removed.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
103A

8:40am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: A Diel Comparison of Pulsed DC Electrofishing Methods in the Lower Wabash River
AUTHORS. Eric C. Hine, Cassi Moody-Carpenter, Scott Meiners - Eastern Illinois University; Zachary Mitchell, Texas State University; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT. The Lower Wabash River (LWR), which forms the southeastern border of Illinois with Indiana, is a completely free-flowing river that supports a robust commercial and sport fishery. Illinois’ Long-Term Electrofishing Program (LTEF) monitors fish populations through daytime sampling from June through October annually.  Collection of species that are more active during non-summer seasons and nighttime hours may be limited by LTEF protocol. To address these limitations, we implemented multi-season, night time pulsed-DC electrofishing starting Fall 2016. Nighttime electrofishing data were compared to daytime electrofishing data from 2014-2015. Preliminary analysis show that we collected a higher catch per unit of effort (CPUE; fish per hour) during our Fall, Winter, and Spring night-electrofishing than during day-electrofishing efforts. Although differences in overall mean (±SE) CPUE between methods were not significant (123.4 ± 15.2 for night; 85 ± 15 for day; p>0.05), we observed significant differences between fish families, such as Cyprinidae (24.2 ± 3.3 for night; 5.4 ± 1.3 for day; p

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
103E

8:40am

SYMPOSIA-06: Impact of Snake Fungal Disease on Population Viability
AUTHORS. Sarah Baker, Michael Dreslik, Christopher Phillips - Illinois Natural History Survey; Matthew Allender, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

ABSTRACT. Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging fungal pathogen infecting both wild and captive snake species. The causative agent of SFD is Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a keratinophilic soil inhabiting fungus. Clinical signs of SFD include swelling, abnormal scales, and skin lesions. The last extant population of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus) in Illinois has an annual SFD prevalence rate of 15-22%, and evidence suggests mortality rates may be as high as 90%. Eastern Massasaugas were listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2016, and thus the impact of disease on the viability of wild populations is of great conservation concern. We used data from 15 years of demographic population monitoring and five years of SFD surveillance to conduct a population viability analysis (PVA). We used the Meta-Model Manager extension of Vortex PVA software to merge our demographic PVA model with the SFD disease dynamics model developed in the Vortex Outbreak extension. Our results show that SFD increases the probability of extinction of the Illinois population, and thus is likely a threat to the persistence of the species range-wide. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
101B

8:40am

SYMPOSIA-07: Placing Gear Standardization in a Broader Context That Advances Science-based Fisheries Research and Management
AUTHORS. Martha E. Mather, U. S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; Dan Shoup, Department of Natural Resource Ecology & Management, Oklahoma State University; Quinton Phelps, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Design, West Virginia University

ABSTRACT. Implementation of rigorous methodologies, including gear evaluation and standardization, is critically important for effective fisheries research and management.  Although few fisheries professionals disagree with the urgent need for detailed, quantitative protocols prior to data collection, challenges exist in executing representative and generalizable gear evaluations and standardizations.  Three primary areas require attention. Addressing these challenges can advance the establishment and implementation of improved sampling methodologies. As a first challenge, unless a complete census is undertaken every time resource data are collected, uncertainty about context-specific bias at the time of each individual data collection event (related to time-, place- and personnel-related sampling variation) will affect efforts to evaluate and standardize gear.  Consequently, practical and philosophical cautions about data interpretation related to the inevitable uncertainty in bias need to be integrated into the development, validation, and application of standardized data.  As a second challenge, the type of data needed and impact of specific gear bias differ with the question asked.  For example, data needed to estimate population size are quite different from those needed to quantify the impact of specific conditions on fish populations (e.g., habitat type, season, disturbances such as dams) regardless of the gear used. Thus, the question asked alters the appropriateness of the sampling design for the same and different gears.  As a third challenge, an integrated analysis of how standardized data relates to the fisheries questions asked is needed (e.g., what will be done with the standardized data once it is collected?; are the right questions being asked for the problem at hand?; will the resulting data be useful if unanticipated trends are detected?).  By addressing these challenges, fisheries professionals can develop a more balanced portfolio of tools that provide a broader context for the development, validation, and application of standardized data. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
102A

8:40am

SYMPOSIA-08: Secretive Marshbird Response to Fire and Grazing in Wetlands of Western Minnesota
AUTHORS. Nina Hill, University of Minnesota; David E. Anderson, US Geological Survey Minnesota Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Douglas H. Johnson, US Geological Survey; Tom Cooper, US Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. It is unclear how marshbirds within Prairie Pothole Region of west-central Minnesota have responded to impacts influenced by invasions of non-native plants to wetlands, nor to the effects of management activities aimed at mitigating those invasions.  To evaluate how birds respond to long-term vegetation management, we conducted standardized surveys at 113 points to assess abundances of 6 marshbird species on lands associated with 3 levels of management histories (Low intensity, moderate intensity, and High intensity) of burning and grazing during 2000-2015.  During 2015 and 2016 we conducted 467 surveys and recorded 660 observations of sora (Porzana carolina; 41% of detections), American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), Virginia rail (Rallus limicola), least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), and yellow rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis).  To derive an estimate of density at each survey point for the 4 most frequently detected species (all but least bittern and yellow rail) we incorporated detection probability as a function of distance and available wetland area.  We examined models of estimated density as a function of management history, and observed weak patterns in this relationship.  We also examined biotic and abiotic factors at different spatial scales as predictors of marshbird density.  We found that marshbird species’ densities were related to different factors at different scales.  Size and amount of wetland cover in the landscape was positively related to American bittern and pied-billed grebe densities, but negatively related to sora density.  Pied-billed grebe and Virginia rail densities were also closely related to fine-scale characteristics of vegetation.  Our results suggest that density of some species of marshbirds was associated with high intensity of invasive vegetation management, indicating that a combination of fire and grazing influenced marshbird habitat quality.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
102B

8:40am

SYMPOSIA-09: Digital Media as a Source of Contemporary and Novel Fisheries Data
AUTHORS. Paul Venturelli, Ball State University

ABSTRACT. Understanding the impacts of land use change, invasive species, and climate change on fisheries requires data that are often difficult to collect and limited in time and space. Digital media such as internet use, online fora, and smartphone applications (apps) are an exciting and relatively cheap source of conventional and novel fisheries data that could fundamentally change the way that we monitor and manage our fisheries. In this presentation, I summarize recent research and the emerging literature on digital fisheries data to highlight the opportunities and challenges associated with using these data to i) complement conventional approaches, ii) gain novel insight, and iii) encourage collaboration and stakeholder participation. A recent workshop on this topic proposed rapid innovation via a science-based, international council. This council would formalize partnerships (e.g., among agencies, researchers, industry leaders, and the public), establish standards for data collection and sharing, manage a data repository, and direct research.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
102C

8:40am

SYMPOSIA-10: Demographics, Activities, and Concerns of Minnesota Lake Associations
AUTHORS. Michelle Marko, Concordia College; Mona Ibrahim, Concordia College; Jeff Forester, MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates; Benjamin Bjertness, Concordia College; Matthew Zabel, Concordia College

ABSTRACT. In the land of 10,000 lakes, “lake culture” is an essential part of the fabric of life for many Minnesotans.  Many Minnesotans work to protect their lake through lake associations.  However, as small non-profit organizations their concerns are often overlooked by law-makers.  In 2017, we attended the annual meetings of seven lake associations, piloted a preliminary survey to 60 lake associations, and surveyed the executive committee of 407 different lake associations across Minnesota to determine their demographics, projects, involvement in the community, and primary concerns.  Respondents reported that all lake associations were created to protect and preserve their lake.  Lake associations across Minnesota typically had between 100 to 400 members with membership open to anyone interested in the lake, though more than 95% of members were either year-round or seasonal residents.  The most common goals of lake associations were to control aquatic invasive species (AIS), improve lake water quality and improve fisheries. Panfish, bass, northern pike and walleye were most commonly fished across the state.  More than 1/3 of lake associations have committees dedicated to fish management and about 6% of their budget is spent directly on fish stocking.  Declining fisheries or fishing pressure was not one of the primary concerns; rather lake association members were most concerned about aquatic invasive species (AIS), overall water quality and runoff.  Lake association members expressed specific concerns that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Section did not listen to lake association member concerns; particularly in relation to AIS.  When taken cumulatively, lake association members donate about $6.25 million annually to protect their lake and contribute about 1.2 million volunteer hours to lake conservation activities.  Lake management would benefit by tapping into this force and working collaboratively to help manage this resource.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
102E&D

8:40am

UNGULATES: Deer Recruitment in Wisconsin: New Survey Methods
AUTHORS. Beth Wojcik, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Daniel J. Storm, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Timothy R. Van Deelen, University of Wisconsin - Madison

ABSTRACT. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) recruitment is highly variable and sensitive to numerous factors; thus deer managers monitor recruitment. In regions of Wisconsin, recruitment measurements have recently declined for unknown reasons. Traditional methods for measuring recruitment involve herd composition counts from roadside surveys. The opportunistic and convenient nature of these surveys has likely resulted in small sample sizes and biased estimates. Our goal was to investigate new survey methods which may provide improved reliability and precision of deer recruitment estimates. Our research occurred during August and September of 2016 and 2017 in 12 counties representing 4 regions (Northern Forest, Central Forest, Central Farmland, and Southern Farmland) of Wisconsin. We standardized roadside surveys by establishing routes, training observers, and creating procedural protocols. We determined the minimum sample size needed for various levels of precision and examined the ability of new survey methods to provide needed sample sizes. Influence of habitat type, survey time, weather, number of observers and deer behavior on detectability, sample size and precision was examined. Standardized roadside surveys in areas with good visibility and high deer populations (woodlots intermixed with hay/alfalfa/soybean fields) resulted in many deer observations, but few deer were observed in habitats with poor visibility from roadsides and low deer populations (heavily forested and corn-dominated landscapes). We compared standardized roadside survey data to recruitment estimates derived from trail camera data for 3 study counties and harvest data for all 12 study counties. Methods providing improved estimates of recruitment allow deer managers to better compare spatial and temporal differences of recruitment, monitor recruitment trends, and model population size.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
103C

8:40am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Habitat Selection and Survival of Pheasant Broods in Southwestern Minnesota
AUTHORS. Lindsey Messinger, Nicole Davros - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Farmland Populations and Research Group

ABSTRACT. The ring-necked pheasant (hereafter pheasant) is an important game species, particularly in the Midwestern United States where strong cultural connections and economic benefits associated with hunting are widespread. Pheasants are strongly associated with grassland habitats in agricultural landscapes and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been important in providing habitat for pheasants across their range. Unfortunately, CRP grasslands have been declining since 2007. In this newly evolving landscape with fewer grassland acres available for nesting, brood-rearing, and winter cover, understanding the individual components driving pheasant population dynamics is particularly important to wildlife management agencies tasked with managing pheasant populations. However, studies of these components in a modern agricultural landscape are rare. Pheasant brood habitat selection and survival is one component potential driver of pheasant population dynamics. Wildlife managers interested in aiding brood survival have focused on providing diverse grassland habitats in an effort to provide adequate food resources and vegetative structure for vulnerable pheasant broods. We investigated pheasant brood habitat selection and survival on two sites in Southwestern Minnesota from 2015-2017. Study sites were composed primarily of publically-owned restored grasslands and were surrounded by a matrix of private lands comprised primarily of row crop agriculture. Our objective was to evaluate pheasant brood-rearing habitat selection and brood survival at multiple scales. We evaluated microhabitat selection by assessing vegetative characteristics associated with foraging locations at the scale of a short-term foraging home range. At a macrohabitat scale, we assessed land use selection of a home range related to availability on the landscape.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
103B

8:40am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Assessment of Walleye Reproduction Success in the Tamarac River, MN
AUTHORS. Phillip Oswald, Bemidji State University; Dr. Andrew Hafs, Bemidji State University; Tony Kennedy, MNDNR; Jake Graham, Boise State University

ABSTRACT. The Tamarac River, a major tributary to the Red Lakes, Minnesota, drains one of the largest peat bogs in the lower 48 states and thus experiences low dissolved oxygen at times.  The river hosts a substantial Walleye (Sander vitreus) spawning migration but it is largely unknown how the potential anoxic bog water affects walleye reproductive success each year and subsequent year class strength. Walleye reproductive success is of critical interest for the Red Lakes as this system is maintained entirely by natural reproduction and supports robust commercial and recreational fisheries.  Abiotic factors such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, and stream discharge are known to influence Walleye reproductive success and potential recruitment and these factors vary annually. Fyke nets were set from 2014-2017 to assess the relative abundance of adult Walleye spawning in the river. In 2017, a Jolly-Seber abundance estimator was used to assess the magnitude of the spawning migration. Larval drift nets were set in 2014, 2016 and 2017, to assess fry out-migration in the Tamarac River. Larval drift nets were not set in 2015 due to low water levels and insufficient discharge. Non-linear regression models were run to assess the relationship between larval Walleye density and dissolved oxygen, temperature, and stream velocity. Establishing relationships between abiotic factors and Tamarac River larval Walleye density will help managers better understand the importance of the Tamarac River to overall Walleye production in the Red Lakes.Keywords: Freshwater Fish - Walleye, River/Stream, Wetland

Tuesday January 30, 2018 8:40am - 9:00am
103D

9:00am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Diet Analysis of Predatory Fish in Pools 19 and 20 of the Upper Mississippi River with Contrasting Habitats and Asian Carp Abundance
AUTHORS. Rebekah L. Anderson, Illinois Natural History Survey; Cory A. Anderson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Brent Knights, Jon Vallazza, James H. Larson - Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, US Geological Survey; James T. Lamer, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University

ABSTRACT. The geographic range of silver (Hypophthalmichthys molotrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) has expanded in the Upper Mississippi River. Lock and Dam 19, a significant high-head dam on the UMR, serves as a potential pinch point for Asian carp. Lock and Dam 19 separates vastly different hydrogeomorphic areas in Pool 19 and Pool 20. Pool 19 is characterized by lentic conditions with high abundances of aquatic vegetation and macro-invertebrates, whereas Pool 20 generally lacks lacustrine habitat and associated macrophytes and fauna. Due to the opportunistic nature of predatory fishes, dietary differences are expected between these variable habitats. Also, if larval or juvenile Asian carp occur in these areas, predation on them by native piscivore fishes would be expected. This study examined predatory fish diets in Pools 19 and 20 to determine if significant dietary differences exist between pools including reliance on available larval or juvenile Asian carp. Specimens were captured using PDC boat electrofishing at random sites from 15 June to 31 October 2013 and 2014. Using visual techniques, diets were quantified and compared. Genetic barcoding was used to identify fish tissue to species when necessary. Our data showed significant dietary differences in the abundance of snails (Gastropoda), caddisfly larvae (Trichoptera), water boatmen (Coryxidae), midge larvae (Chironomidae), mayfly larvae (Ephemeroptera), and forage fish (Notropis spp. and Dorosoma cepedianum) between Pools 19 and 20 among species. Only one Asian carp was found in a diet (Pool 20) suggesting little or no Asian carp spawning or recruitment occurred in these areas or these predators did not prey on larval or juvenile Asian carp during the sampling time frame. Diets should be quantified in future years within this reach as the Asian carp geographic range expands further upstream.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
103A

9:00am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Backwater Fish Community Response to Habitat Restoration on the Upper Mississippi River: 30 Years of Successful Projects
AUTHORS. Jeff Janvrin, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Kirk Hansen, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Many backwater fishes of the Upper Mississippi River migrate in late fall to overwintering sites in off channel areas within the floodplain.  Restoration of centrarchid overwintering habitat has been an objective for 21 projects implemented along Wisconsin’s border under authority of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program since 1986.  All of these projects have been monitored for fisheries response to a variety of management actions used independently or in combination.  The three most common management actions are: island reconstruction, flow modification and dredging.  Fall electrofishing has been used to assess fisheries response to restoration measures.  Pre-project catch per unit effort (CPUE) of age 1+ target species (i.e. bluegill, largemouth bass and crappie) were near zero in many project areas due to lack of over wintering habitat which requires adequate depth (> 1.3 m), undetectable flow, winter water temperatures ranging from 1 – 2 degrees C, and DO > 3.0 ppm.  Post project sampling shows a similar population response pattern within many of the restored backwaters.  Populations are initially dominated by age 1 fish that successfully overwintered the first-year post project.  CPUE then continues to increase over the next 5-9 years after which CPUE becomes more stable.  Evidence indicates these are new populations of fish that have become established based on no observed change in CPUE within existing overwintering areas and changes in size structure within the project areas over the first several years following construction.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
103E

9:00am

SYMPOSIA-06: Can Turtles Serve as Bio-indicators of Environmental Health? Applications of Conservation Physiology in Midwestern Herpetology
AUTHORS. Jeanine Refsnider, University of Toledo

ABSTRACT. Conservation physiology is an emerging field that seeks to understand organisms’ physiological responses to human alteration of the environment.  The goal of many conservation physiology studies is to provide a mechanistic understanding of how environmentally induced physiological responses – including metabolic, endocrinological, and immunological – can contribute to population declines.  In vertebrates, physiological stress levels are generally negatively correlated with immunocompetence.  Sudden and/or rapid environmental changes such as chemical spills, habitat degradation, or climate change that cause elevated physiological stress levels may also result in depressed immune function, thereby exacerbating the impacts of the environmental change on an individual’s health.  In a year-long common-garden experiment, we found that painted turtles from across the species’ geographic range did not exhibit significant increases in stress levels or decreases in immune competency in response to a novel climate.  In a separate study comparing males and females from a wild population during the nesting season, we found that the sexes did not differ in stress levels, but females had a greater immune response than males to a skin irritant.  Our results suggest that turtles are an exception to the general pattern across vertebrates that immune function is negatively correlated with stress levels.  Moreover, turtles may be relatively robust to modest changes in environmental conditions, suggesting that populations in which increases in stress levels or decreases in immune function are detected may already be in severe peril.  Finally, to stimulate collaborations into additional conservational physiology research across the Midwest, we highlight several other systems in which we are conducting similar research and describe our field methods for collecting samples used in subsequent laboratory assays.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
101B

9:00am

SYMPOSIA-07: Evaluation of Standard Sampling in Kansas Reservoirs
AUTHORS. Jeff Koch, Ben Neely – Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; Michael Colvin, Mississippi State University

ABSTRACT. We evaluated the precision of samples and the number of stock-length fish collected by means of standard methods used for sampling North American freshwater fishes from 2010 to 2013 in Kansas. Median RSE of electrofishing samples was generally less than 25% for Largemouth Bass in all sizes of reservoirs and for Channel Catfish in medium (251–1,000 acres) and large reservoirs (greater than 1,000 acres). The RSE estimates were generally >25% for Bluegill and crappies collected in trap nets and palmetto bass and Walleye sampled in gill nets. With few exceptions, 100 stock-length individuals of all target species (e.g., Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, crappies, palmetto bass, Channel Catfish, Walleye) were not sampled at current levels of effort. Resampling procedures indicated that fewer than 20 deployments were usually needed to obtain an RSE 25% and 100 stock-length fish for Largemouth Bass in smaller impoundments; however, more than 20 deployments were needed in larger impoundments. The median effort needed to achieve an RSE 25% for Bluegills and crappies in trap nets varied and may exceed what some biologists find practical. Our results indicate that more samples than are currently prescribed are generally needed to precisely sample sport fishes by means of standardized protocols in Kansas reservoirs. We also used multiple linear regression to determine the relationships between the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of reservoirs and the number of gear deployments needed to reach two sample objectives.  Recent CPE was identified in N100 models for six target species and in RSE25 models for five. Conversely, reservoir surface area was identified in only one model for N100 and two for RSE25. These results suggest that reservoir characteristics other than surface area, particularly recent CPE, should be considered when developing minimum sample sizes for objective-based fish sampling protocols.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
102A

9:00am

SYMPOSIA-08: Spectacular Response of Waterbirds to Restoration of Cat Island Chain in Lower Green Bay, Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Robert Howe, Thomas Prestby, Amy Wolf, Erin Giese - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Gary Van Vreede, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Reena Bowman, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Brian Glenzinski, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT. The Cat Island Restoration Project in lower Green Bay, Wisconsin, represents one of the most ambitious habitat reconstruction initiatives in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Between 2012 and 2014 the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and other partners, constructed a 2.5 mile rock barrier that will eventually provide a framework for three irregular island habitats filled with sediments dredged from the Green Bay navigational channel. Preliminary monitoring has revealed a remarkable capacity of this structure to attract and support desirable migratory and resident waterbirds, including 30 species of shorebirds (2 federally endangered; 12 state special concern) and 4 state endangered tern species. When completed, the barrier islands are expected to provide 272 acres of nearshore/beach habitat and approximately 1,225 acres of shallow water and wetlands behind the islands. Although long term habitat management will present significant challenges, results from field surveys suggest that the Cat Island restoration has potential to provide exceptional breeding and migratory stopover habitat in an environment that has experienced widespread urbanization and habitat degradation during the past century. The project underscores the importance of habitat restoration projects in areas of strategic geographic importance for waterbirds.      

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
102B

9:00am

SYMPOSIA-09: Monarchs: Climate and Implications for Preservation of an Endangered Phenomenon
AUTHORS. Karen Oberhauser, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT. Monarch butterfly populations have been declining over the last 20 years, and currently face a relatively high risk of “quasi-extinction” due to a variety of factors. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess and because they often show large year to year fluctuations, simply documenting this decline is a challenge. Citizens and scientists are collaborating in innovative ways to document monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle, and these numbers are being used to parameterize predictive models.  I’ll first summarize ongoing research by the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership (MCSP), a group that includes federal and state agency representatives, academic researchers, and NGO scientists. I’ll then describe how MCSP research has led to habitat restoration goals, and discuss potential impacts of a changing environment on monarchs’ annual cycle of breeding, migrating, and overwintering.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
102C

9:00am

SYMPOSIA-10: Partnerships for Managing Wisconsin Trout Streams: Engagement, Trust and a Better Managed Resource
AUTHORS. Matthew Mitro, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Research; Jeff Hastings, Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort; Kent Johnson, Trout Unlimited Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter; Heidi Keuler, Fishers & Farmers Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; John Lyons, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Nancy North, Watershed Leaders Network Lead & Principal, NewGround, Inc.; Rod Ofte, Wallace Center Pasture Project; Kirk Olson, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Management; Jana Stewart, U.S. Geological Survey; Jordan Weeks, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Management

ABSTRACT. An individual trout stream typically does not have a strict analog to a local lake organization that can work with state agencies to improve fisheries management of the stream. However, habitat and fisheries in trout streams at regional scales collectively benefit from collaboration among angling and conservation organizations, farmer-led watershed groups, and state and federal agencies. Here we present a review of such collaborative partnerships that work to protect and improve trout fisheries in Wisconsin streams. We find that these partnerships work by engaging anglers in trout conservation and citizen science; building trust among anglers, farmers and natural resource professionals; and exchanging expertise among all players. We present three examples of how collaborative efforts have benefitted fisheries, stream and watershed management: (1) Trout Unlimited and the TU Driftless Area Restoration Effort have used Wisconsin DNR and USGS models of stream temperature and fish distribution to engage stream restoration as a climate change adaptation strategy. A critical contribution has been the implementation of citizen-based monitoring of stream temperature and habitat response to restoration. (2) Rotational grazing in the Driftless Area has improved soil and water conservation, allowing farmers and fish to thrive in this region together. Grazing also provides needed maintenance to state-owned riparian areas to improve angler access while conserving habitat and supporting farmers. (3) Fishers & Farmers Fish Habitat Partnership brings together the agricultural community, anglers and resource agencies to build trust in working towards common conservation goals in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Fishers & Farmers has also supported a Watershed Leaders Network to build local efforts to improve land use at the watershed scale. We illustrate these three collaborative efforts with examples from Wisconsin trout streams and watersheds to show the benefits to trout stream management and the challenges to expanding these efforts.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
102E&D

9:00am

UNGULATES: Pregnancy Rates and Body Condition of White-tailed Deer in Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Amanda McGraw, Joe Dittrich, Dan Storm - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Habitat productivity, climate, and interspecific competition influence reproduction and non-harvest survival through their effects on energy balance.  Energy balance is reflected in body condition, including fat reserves.  As such, we developed body condition indices based on fat measurements from multiple fat depot sites on about 1,600 deer during springs of 2014-2017.  Additionally, we assessed pregnancy and litter size for about 950 female deer.  Using remotely-sensed landcover and weather data, we investigated the interacting influence of habitat and weather on deer body condition.  We found strong regional variation in body condition; deer in farmland regions in eastern, western, and central Wisconsin were in better condition following winter than deer in the forested regions in central and northern Wisconsin.  Body condition also varied strongly by year and winter severity within regions.  Juvenile deer (deer experiencing their first winter) had consistently lower body condition than adult deer.  Differences in body condition between juvenile and adult deer were largest during the severe 2013-2014 winter for deer in northern and central forests.  Pregnancy rates of adult deer were consistently about 90%, statewide.  Lowest juvenile pregnancy rates were observed in northern forests, averaging 4% over 4 years.  Notably, no juvenile deer in northern and central forested regions of the state were pregnant in spring 2015.  This could reflect the impact the severe winter of 2013-2014 had on neonate birth weights, subsequently leading to poor body condition in the fall and precluding fawns from being bred.  Comparatively, juvenile deer in western and eastern farmland regions did not experience a decline in pregnancy rates in spring 2015, and have an average pregnancy rate of 13% and 22%, respectively.  Our results clarify how habitat and weather influence spatial variation in population performance in white-tailed deer.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
103C

9:00am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Does Diversity Matter? Ring-necked Pheasant Nest Site Selection and Nest Survival in Grassland Reconstructions
AUTHORS. Nicole M. Davros, Lindsey N. Messinger - Farmland Wildlife Populations & Research Group, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) responses to the amount of grassland acres on the landscape have been well documented but we lack current information on the individual components of reproductive success that help drive pheasant population dynamics in Minnesota. As acres enrolled in private lands conservation programs (e.g., Conservation Reserve Program) continue to decline, it has become more critical to understand the demographics of these populations, especially in the context of habitat management on public lands. Our objective was to evaluate pheasant productivity in relation to within-patch diversity (e.g., sites dominated by smooth brome (Bromus inermis), warm-season grasses, and high-diversity grass/forb mixtures) in grassland reconstructions. From early spring 2015 through spring 2017, we radiocollared 122 hens on 2 project areas in southwestern Minnesota and collected data on nest site selection and nest survival each year. Preliminary analyses using 2015 data showed that all hens selected nest sites with slightly less grass cover, lower species richness, and shallower litter depth compared to random survey points. Hens that successfully hatched nests selected sites with less grass and forb cover but more standing dead vegetation cover, reduced species richness, and reduced vegetation density. Overall, the daily survival rate (DSR) was 0.9406 ± 0.41 (range: 0.8731-0.9729). Future analyses will examine the role of vegetation, spatial (e.g., distance to edge), and temporal (e.g., nest age, ordinal date, year) covariates on nest site selection and nest survival. Our findings will be discussed in the context of habitat management with the goal of helping natural resource managers prioritize grassland management and land acquisition strategies.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
103B

9:00am

WALLEYE & PERCH: A Multi-scale Approach to Identifying and Addressing the Causes of Minnesota’s Declining Yellow Perch Populations
AUTHORS. Jeffrey Reed, Bethany Bethke, Michael McInerny, David Staples - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

ABSTRACT. Often considered a keystone species in north-temperate lakes, declines in the abundance of Yellow Perch in assessment netting across Minnesota have become a concern of fisheries managers.  Due to their ecological importance, we examined state-wide trends, individual lake case histories, as well as soliciting insight from fisheries managers to identify potential causes for the declines. Since 1970, state-wide decline, as measured by gill net catch per unit of effort, approximating 35% has been observed.  Individual case studies indicate that declines are likely the result of a combination of factors, including increases in water clarity, predator stocking, and the introduction of invasive species. In some lakes such as Carlos and Horseshoe, substantial declines began over 40 years ago. However in other lakes where none of those factors occurred and the declines are more recent, larger ecological drivers of change, such as watershed development and land use changes and climate change may be contributing to declines.  We used an influence diagram to solicit input from managers for potential causes for declines; allowing for the use of important localized knowledge about population declines.  Although the decline in Yellow Perch populations is generally a state-wide phenomenon, some populations are not demonstrating decline.  The scale of decline indicates this is a complex problem with no easy answers.  However, by comparing stable populations with those in decline, using state-wide data, individual case studies and manager input we look to address the causes of decline and offer suggestions for stabilizing or reversing that decline.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:00am - 9:20am
103D

9:00am

9:20am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Inclusion of New Zealand Mud Snails in the Diet of Benthic Foragers
AUTHORS. James Beaubien, Jerrod Lepper, Mitchell Nisbet, Samantha Stanton, Daniel Hayes – Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

ABSTRACT. New Zealand mud snails have recently invaded the Great Lakes region, and during the past 3-4 years, have been found in several rivers in the state of Michigan.  The Pere Marquette River is the first river where this species was detected in inland waters, and the population of mud snails has grown dramatically since first detection.  Fishery managers have concern over the potential impact this species will have on the important fisheries of the Pere Marquette and other rivers, however, little is known about the ecology of this species in the Great Lakes region.  New Zealand mud snails have been documented to be consumed by trout, and have even been shown capable of surviving through their gastrointestinal tract.  Prior to our initial investigation, there have been no inquiries of foraging by other fish species on New Zealand mud snails.  Species like mottled sculpin, white sucker, and redhorse sucker might be anticipated to be more efficient foragers than trout due to their feeding ecology.  As such, we collected specimens of these species at sites infested with New Zealand mud snails and uninfested sites and have found that they do consume New Zealand mud snails in moderate numbers and studies continue into the current year to determine if the presence of mud snails alters their foraging preferences.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
103A

9:20am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Capture Efficiency of a Fine-mesh Seine in a Large River: Implications for Abundance, Richness, and Diversity Analyses
AUTHORS. Kevin Kapuscinski, Lake Superior State University; Derek Crane, Coastal Carolina University

ABSTRACT. Fishes in shallow water are often sampled by seining, but studies rarely include corrections based on varied capture efficiencies (CEs) for species or size classes, or account for false negative errors of detection. We sampled fishes in shallow, nearshore areas of a large river using a fine-mesh seine within a blocknet and (1) estimated CEs for age-0 and yearling-and-older (YAO) fishes and made comparisons among species (within age groups), (2) determined if CEs were affected by water depth and aquatic vegetation cover, (3) estimated the proportions of sites that individuals were present but not detected for each species, (4) compared estimated taxa richness and Shannon diversity index values to true values, and (5) determined if richness estimates were affected by depth and aquatic vegetation cover. We found that (1) CEs of age-0 fishes were not affected by depth, but did differ among four levels of vegetation cover and these relationships differed among species, (2) CEs differed among YAO species (range of species-specific means=0.17-0.93), but were not affected by depth or vegetation cover, (3) total abundance of age-0 and YAO fishes (summed across species) captured during the first seine haul were highly correlated with true abundance (r = 0.96) but underestimated, (4) proportions of false negative errors of detection were typically higher for YAO than age-0 fishes, and (5) estimated taxa richness and Shannon diversity were correlated with true values, but generally underestimated. Numerous biotic and abiotic factors appear to drive wide variations in CEs and false negative errors of detection among species, so results from any one study are likely only applicable to particular species occupying similar habitat types. Additional research is needed to elucidate these relationships, given potential effects on interpretation of survey results, presence/absence modeling, and resulting management actions.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
103E

9:20am

SYMPOSIA-06: Urban Wildlife: An Important Focus for Conservation
AUTHORS. Alaini C. Schneider, Central Michigan University; Bradley J. Swanson, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT. The global trend of increasing urbanization is a challenge to conservationists working to preserve Earth’s biodiversity. Urban ecosystems have previously been documented as understudied, and consequently these novel systems are not yet fully understood. We analyzed the study of urban ecology of vertebrates through surveying the published literature from 1995 to 2016. We found an increase in the number of urban studies published over time, with a significant increase in the rate of publication after 2005. We found a significant difference in the number of urban studies published according to conservation status of study species. We found a significant difference in the number of urban studies published across continents. We found significant differences in both the number of studies published and the rate of publication through time among three taxonomic groups, with mammals being studied most often and having the highest rate of increase, followed by avians, and lastly herpetofauna. We also found a significant difference in the topics of study across taxa, revealing differential motivations behind studying the three taxonomic groups. Our research highlights a significant gap in the literature for studies of urban herpetofauna when compared to urban avians and mammals. Through our analysis, we provide insight for future research priorities regarding urban wildlife. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
101B

9:20am

SYMPOSIA-07: An Overview of Indiana’s New Reservoir Status and Trends Monitoring Program
AUTHORS. Sandra J. Clark-Kolaks, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Andrew Bueltmann, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Reservoir community sampling in Indiana has been standardized for many years but sampling frequency was not. In 2016 Indiana moved to revisit the reservoir sampling protocol and develop a sampling schedule to better monitor long-term status and trends. The new protocol strived to strike a balance between sampling efforts adequate to obtain a representative sample while allowing biologist to sample more lakes each year. A total of 95 reservoirs greater than 15 acres were included in the program with 16 reservoirs being sampled statewide each year.  Sampling is conducted from May 1 to June 15th and includes a combination of boat DC electrofishing, experimental gill nets and trap nets. The majority of lakes (less than 1000 acres) receive a combination of two 15 minute DC electrofishing stations, two experimental gill net sets and two trap net sets. Lakes between 1000 acres and 5000 acres are sampled with four 15 minute DC electrofishing stations, four experimental gill net sets and four trap net sets.  Reservoirs greater than 5000 acres are sampled with eight 15 minute DC electrofishing stations, four experimental gill net sets and four trap net sets. Total length, weight, and aging structures are taken from game species. A Tier II vegetation survey is conducted between July 15th and August 31st. Since the program began in 2016, 33 reservoirs have been sampled with 20,273 fish collected. Bluegill was the most common species collected (31%) followed by Gizzard Shad (23%) and Largemouth Bass (11%). This new protocol has allowed biologists to sample more lakes at a greater frequency while allowing for comparison of abundance, growth, and condition across reservoirs.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
102A

9:20am

SYMPOSIA-08: Marsh Bird Occupancy of Wetlands in the Glacial Habitat Restoration Area of Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Rachel Schultz, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jason Fleener, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Brian Glenzinski, Ducks Unlimited Inc.; Scott Hygnstrom, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Greg Kidd, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Kurt Waterstradt, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. In the last 200 years, Wisconsin lost approximately 5 million acres of wetlands, and a greater percentage of wetlands were lost in the southern half of the state than in the north. To reverse the loss and to regain essential habitat for wetland specialists such as waterfowl and marsh birds, numerous partners have joined to implement landscape-level wetland restoration projects such as the 558,879-acre Glacial Habitat Restoration Area (GHRA). From 1990 to 2013, open water, emergent marshes, and shrub wetlands increased by 17,774 acres in the GHRA. We sought to assess the presence of marsh birds in these restored wetlands and to evaluate associated wetland characteristics at various spatial scales. In spring of 2017, we used the Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol to survey marsh birds on 38 randomly selected wetland properties within the GHRA. We categorized wetlands based on hydrologic modification and included two separate reference groups: Waterfowl Production Areas and sites not modified with basins. Marsh bird presence was recorded in the morning and evening during three sampling periods starting the first week of May and concluding in early June. We recorded twelve marsh bird species considered either primary or secondary target species and found the greatest species richness on sites restored using ditch modification in addition to scrapes. We modelled occupancy for sora, pied billed grebes, and Virginia rails and found that the top models for both sora and Virginia rails included percent agriculture, open water, and cattail in a 100 m radius surrounding the survey point and accounted for differences in detection probability by sampling period. The top model for pied billed grebes included open water and cattail percent cover within 100 m. Our preliminary results indicate that wetland characteristics associated with different methods of restoring hydrology could influence marsh bird presence and diversity. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
102B

9:20am

SYMPOSIA-09: Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability for Wildlife
AUTHORS. Benjamin Zuckerberg, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ilona Naujokaitis-Lewis, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Lars Pomara, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service

ABSTRACT. Many wildlife agencies are engaging in various efforts for assessing climate change vulnerability. These assessments are critical tools allowing communities to design and conduct a planning process for climate-related planning. The basis of these vulnerability assessments relies on evaluating species’ sensitivity to climate variability as well as the exposure of certain populations to future and historic climate change. Currently, many climate change vulnerability assessments rely on expert-driven scoring of individual species or communities.  In recent years, however, there has been a growing need to provide a more quantitative approach for assessing vulnerability. Demographically-informed species distribution models present a critical tool for quantifying sensitive and exposure for climate-sensitive species. We will present two case studies highlighting the use of these models for assessing climate change vulnerability. The first case study explores the role of historic and future climate change on the distribution and population viability of eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) throughout their range. We found that eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are sensitive to winter drought and summer flooding and exposure to future climate conditions will lead to a continued extirpation wave originating in the southwestern portion of their range. In our second case, we demonstrate how winter climate influences the cycling of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) throughout the Upper Midwest, and that future winter conditions will promote the dampening of the cycles in southerly regions of their range. Both of these examples demonstrate the power of current methods in species distribution modeling and viability analyses for evaluating the vulnerability of wildlife populations to future climate change.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
102C

9:20am

SYMPOSIA-10: Leveraging Local Passion to Improve Outcomes: Civic Organizing as a Best Management Practice
AUTHORS. Jeff Forester, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates

ABSTRACT. After almost a decade spent working on water issues in Minnesota, we believe that one of the significant barriers to success is a systems failure within our organizations and institutions and their ability to communicate and coordinate efforts across a diverse base of stakeholders.We are currently piloting a new approach to organizing people, institutions and organizations and the framework in which they meet to work together to get work done. The approach we is called “Civic Governance.” For the last few years both the Citizen’s League and Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates have been working to reorganize their existing resources; time, knowledge and money within our organizations and testing this new approach. We believe it will have a significant impact in Minnesota’s water quality efforts, particularly with regard to Aquatic Invasive Species, fisheries management and shoreline protection/restoration.Davenport and Seekamp (2013) highlight important differences between community capital and community capacity: “While community capital encompasses a variety of foundational resources or assets (e.g., physical, financial, technological) upon which a community can draw in times of need, community capacity is the interaction, mobilization and activation of these assets toward social or institutional change. Stated differently, a community may possess a broad range of capitals needed to cope with problems…but lack the capacity to establish common goals, make decisions based on mutual learning, and act collectively.” Additionally, recent research points to the important role of legitimacy and fairness as an interlinking and overarching concept in sustainable watershed management.Traditional Civic Engagement efforts around water quality have had some positive impact, but our experience with local groups indicate both a need and a desire for a framework that creates the space for citizens not to just engage on an issue, but to come together and govern for the common good - Civic Governance.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
102E&D

9:20am

UNGULATES: Increased Overwinter Mortalities of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Fawns During a Drought Year
AUTHORS. Marie I. Tosa, Matthew T. Springer, Eric M. Schauber, Clayton K. Nielsen - Southern Illinois University

ABSTRACT. Mortality rates of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns have been quantified throughout North America. Few studies, however, have assessed cause-specific mortality of fawns after the first 3 months of life or during a severe weather event. During 2010-2014, we captured and radiotracked 93 fawns in southern and central Illinois and recorded 18 mortality events. In order of importance, survival rates were affected by days since capture, year of drought, age at capture, week post-capture (1/0 indicator), and region. Estimated overwinter (fall through spring) survival rate (± SE) of fawns in both regions during 2010-14 was 0.83 ± 0.04. However, estimated overwinter survival rates were depressed during 2012-13, following the severe drought of 2012 (0.63 ± 0.11 or 0.66± 0.11 depending on model). Main causes of mortality were capture-related and predation, though some dead deer also showed signs of hemorrhagic disease. We suspect that the extreme drought of 2012 created favorable conditions for fall-spring mortality of fawns, due to elevated disease transmission and lower forage quality and quantity for deer. In addition, drought may have contributed to predation by reducing abundance of alternative prey. Our results suggest that severe weather conditions during summer can substantially impact overwinter fawn survival.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
103C

9:20am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Do Pheasants Use Spring Cover Crops?
AUTHORS. Alixandra Godar, Adela Annis - Kansas State University/Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; David Haukos, U.S. Geological Survey, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jeff Prendergast, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

ABSTRACT. Agricultural producers are besieged with information about potential benefits of spring cover crops for their fields, but struggle to find information about benefits for wildlife. In western Kansas, many landowners not only manage their property for agricultural production but also for ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) habitat. Declining pheasant populations have raised questions about potential, affordable management strategies for landowners to aide local pheasant populations. Managers have theorized that spring cover crops, used when transitioning between a summer row crop, primarily corn (Zea mays) or sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), to winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), may provide nesting and brood rearing cover for pheasants and other birds. We divided three fields into 4 treatments, including a chemical fallow control plot and three cover crop mixes. Hens were captured in close proximity to cover crop treatment fields and outfitted with 15-g very-high-frequency necklace-style radio transmitters. During the 2017 breeding season, we monitored 21 radio-collared female pheasants and collected >1,500 locations. Triangulated locations were used to estimate home ranges using minimum convex polygon (MCP) and kernel density estimators (KDE). We assessed habitat use with both Resource Selection Functions and Resource Utilization Functions (RUF) focusing on the relative use of different cover crop mixes and other available cover types. Hens selected for Conservation Reserve Program/Grasslands at 2nd and 3rd order selection levels over all other cover types. The RUF found hens selected against growing crop and crop stubble. Hens selected for the cover crop mixes in the RUF. Among the cover crop mixes, GreenSpring, consisting of oats and cool season peas, had the largest selection ratios. Cover crops may benefit wildlife by providing habitat before and after termination. Our findings will allow agricultural producers and wildlife managers in Kansas to make informed decisions on how to positively affect pheasant populations.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
103B

9:20am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Habitat Use, Diet and Growth Rate Analysis of Walleye and Yellow Perch in Green Bay Coastal Wetlands, Lake Michigan
AUTHORS. Jeremiah Shrovnal, Patrick Forsythe, PhD, Christopher Houghton, PhD, Collin Moratz - UW-Green Bay

ABSTRACT. Currently there is little information regarding the use of nearshore and wetland habitats by transient sportfish species in Green Bay.  It is expected that these fish preferentially choose habitats to maximize growth and fitness.  We assessed differences in growth, diet, tissue isotopic ratios, and otolith microchemistry of walleye (Sander vitreus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) using fish collected at seven sites throughout the upper and lower bay.  Nearshore and wetland habitats were sampled at each site in 2014 and 2015 using gillnets, fyke nets, and electroshocking.  Growth rates were determined using sagittal otoliths collected from fish at each site and location.  Stomachs were dissected and tissue samples were analyzed for nitrogen (d15N) and carbon (d13C) ratios to compare food web structure among locations.  Otolith microchemistry results were compared with water chemistry results at each sampling location and used to determine migratory preferences within each sample site.  Preliminary results show differences between habitats and among sites in walleye and yellow perch life histories.  These data will be useful to quantify the importance of wetland and nearshore habitats to Green Bay’s walleye and yellow perch.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am
103D

9:40am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Development and Implementation of an Adaptive Management Approach for Monitoring Non-indigenous Fishes in Lower Green Bay, Lake Michigan
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
103A

9:40am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Spatial and Temporal Variability of Ichthyoplankton in the St. Clair-Detroit River System: Community Changes Between the 1970s and 2000s
AUTHORS. Taaja R. Tucker, University of Toledo; Edward F. Roseman, US Geological Survey; Robin L. DeBruyne, University of Toledo; Jeremy J. Pritt, Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife; David H. Bennion, US Geological Survey; Darryl W. Hondorp, US Geological Survey; James C. Boase, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Larval fishes are sensitive to abiotic conditions and provide a direct measure of spawning success. We assessed the spatial and temporal variability in the ichthyoplankton community of  the St. Clair-Detroit River System (SCDRS), a Laurentian Great Lakes connecting channel with a history of environmental degradation,  and compared the modern larval fish community (2006–2015) to that of the 1970s (1977–1978). The larval fish community of the SCDRS was highly structured in time and space. During both time periods we observed a predictable phenology, with taxa from the sub-family Coregoninae dominant in early spring, followed by the families Osmeridae, Percidae, and Moronidae from May to June, and Cyprinidae and Clupeidae from June to August. Many taxa appeared in the Detroit River before the St. Clair River. While higher densities of larval fish and most density “hot spots” were found in the Detroit River, greater taxa richness and Shannon diversity were observed in the St. Clair River. System-wide, fourteen new taxa were observed in the current study period. In addition, relative densities of two non-native species, alewife Alosa psuedoharengus and rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax, declined since the 1970s. The increased larval fish richness and decreased densities of non-native taxa in the 2000s are consistent with improved water quality and habitat conditions. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
103E

9:40am

SYMPOSIA-06: Landscape Genetics Reveal Possible Drought and Glacial Refugia Are Driving Population Structure of Northern Leopard Frog in North Dakota
AUTHORS. Justin Waraniak, Justin Fischer, Kevin Purcell - North Dakota State University; David Mushet, US Geological Survey; Craig Stockwell, North Dakota State University

ABSTRACT. Landscape features and climatic history play large roles in structuring the populations of many species, including amphibians like northern leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens). Landscape genetic analyses can be used for determining how landscape, climate, or other factors are impacting biotic connectivity in populations of conservation concern. Northern leopard frogs were sampled across 41 sites in North Dakota and 30 individuals from each sampling site were genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci. Ten genetically distinct populations were identified using Bayesian and multivariate methods. Approximate Bayesian computation of divergence times between these populations indicated a major divergence between populations on the east and west sides of the Missouri River between 18,100 and 13,600 generations ago, approximately at the end of the last glacial maximum. Other population divergence estimates ranged from 10,900 to 860 generations ago and appear to coincide with periods of drought during the Holocene. Partial redundancy analysis and spatial principal components analysis revealed that watersheds and the Missouri River as a barrier to gene flow could explain most of the genetic differentiation between populations. These analyses suggest populations of northern leopard frog in North Dakota are largely structured by historical expansions to the east of the Missouri River out of refugia after the last glacial maximum and by reduced connectivity between watersheds during extended periods of extreme drought.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
101B

9:40am

SYMPOSIA-07: Electrofishing Equipment and Safety Standardization in Missouri
AUTHORS. Jake Allman, Zach Ford, Dave Woods, Andy Turner - Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT. Electrofishing has been a common fisheries tool in Missouri since the early 1970s. While electrofishing is a common tool, there has been little done in Missouri to standardize our fleet so consistent results are achieved. Two state-wide projects sampling smallmouth bass and big river catfish led to researchers attempting to standardize methods and equipment to hopefully standardize survey results. This effort led to a realization of deficiencies in our other equipment’s ability to replicate sampling results, operate safely, and even document the actual electrofishing settings in use during collections. In 2014, a committee was formed to address electrofishing equipment and safety and the committee decided that an attempt at standardization of equipment was appropriate at this time as well. The resulting electrofishing manual provides recommendations for control box and backpack shocker brands, wiring configuration, safety standards and anode resistance goals. The committee has also developed training to help biologists standardize their equipment, map their electrical fields, inspect boats for safety issues, and calculate anode resistance. Biologists are also provided information on power goals based on conductivity for consistent power usage to collect fish. Additional work is being conducted to determine electrofishing power thresholds for smallmouth bass, blue catfish and flathead catfish.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
102A

9:40am

SYMPOSIA-08: Waterfowl Use of Restored Wetlands in the Glacial Habitat Restoration Area of Wisconsin
AUTHORS. Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Rachel Schultz, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jason Fleener, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Brian Glenzinski, Ducks Unlimited Inc.; Scott Hygnstrom, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Greg Kidd, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service; Kurt Waterstradt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Glacial Habitat Restoration Area (GHRA) covers 558,879 acres  in east-central Wisconsin.  Numerous partners have and continue to delivery conservation programs, especially wetland restoration projects.  The GHRA landscape consists of mostly agricultural with a mix of dairy farms, forage and row crops, small woodlots, wetlands and shallow lakes.  Public lands inside the GHRA include 16,510 acres of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, 9 USFWS waterfowl production areas (WPA) totaling 4,081 acres, and 6 large state properties totaling 10,159 acres.  In spring of 2017, we initiated a field study designed to evaluate the biological performance of restored wetlands including monitoring use by waterbirds and waterfowl.  We categorized study wetlands into three groups based on hydrologic modification and included WPA wetlands as a reference group. Specifically, we categorized restored wetlands as scrape only (least modification), scrape + ditch modification and scrape + water control structure (most modification). We randomly selected property owners (n = 37) and wetland basins within properties (n = 94) to observe and count all waterfowl and other waterbirds using these wetlands from April – May 2017. Wetlands ranged from 26.75 to 0.14 acres.  Greatest numbers of waterfowl occurred on WPA wetlands (mean = 6.30 waterfowl/survey) followed by wetlands with a scrape plus a ditch modification (mean = 3.63 waterfowl/survey).  Waterbird abundance was similar among wetland types except for those classified as scrape only, which had less use.  Restored wetland scrapes had the least average waterfowl (1.96 birds/survey) and waterbird abundance (0.17 birds/survey) and species richness (n = 10).  Among all wetlands we observed 13 species of waterfowl and 10 species of waterbirds.  Our preliminary results demonstrate substantial differences in abundance and community composition of waterfowl and waterbirds that used restored wetlands in the GHRA, at least during spring.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
102B

9:40am

SYMPOSIA-09: Uncovering the Effects of Climate Change on U.S. Bird Species Using Structured Citizen Science: Audubon’s Climate Watch Program
AUTHORS. Brooke Bateman, Nicole Michel, Kathy Dale, Zach Slavin, Geoff LeBaron, John Rowden, Chad Wilsey, Gregg Verutes, Lotem Taylor, Gary Langham - National Audubon Society

ABSTRACT. Species are facing an unprecedented rate of climate change, with over half of North American bird species at risk to lose 50% or more of their current climatic range by the end of the century. In an uncertain future, we must be able to both forecast and monitor how species are responding to climate change. To track climate effects throughout species’ ranges requires a landscape-scale coordinated and a structured effort. Historically, citizen science efforts have been integral in providing bird data through time, however often do not provide structured protocols designed to answer specific research questions. Monitoring change on the landscape in relation to climate change requires a coordinated and more structured effort- monitoring with purpose. Here we will highlight the history of bird citizen science programs, and how we are developing new methods that are better able to detect and forecast change in bird populations in the face of climate change. We will focus on Audubon’s newest citizen science effort, Climate Watch, which integrates climate projections with community scientists’ local knowledge to track how birds are responding to climate change. By monitoring bird responses to climate change as it is happening using a structured monitoring protocol, we can directly test hypotheses about bird climate change responses.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
102C

9:40am

SYMPOSIA-10: Fish Sticks: Building Local Capacity to Implement Fish Sticks Projects
AUTHORS. Scott Toshner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. In 2009, the modern incarnation of large woody habitat restoration (aka. fish sticks) began in Wisconsin . Since then thousands of trees have been added to littoral zones on hundreds of lake riparian properties. This presentation will relate lessons learned in working with riparian landowners who are willing to implement fish sticks projects. From initial meetings with fisheries management, lake groups and individual property owner site evaluations to a citizen driven model of fish sticks project implementation which envisions increased habitat restoration using the Wisconsin Healthy Lakes program as the main vehicle.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
102E&D

9:40am

UNGULATES: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Antler Point Restrictions to Achieve Various White-tailed Deer Management Goals
AUTHORS. Rebecca L. Cain, Michigan State University; Brent A. Rudolph, Ruffed Grouse Society; David M. Williams, Michigan State University; William F. Porter, Michigan State University

ABSTRACT. Antler point restrictions (APRs) are designed to protect yearling male white-tailed deer from harvest by hunters. There are three claims that come up when talking about these restrictions: (1) APRs advance the age structure of the white-tailed deer herd where implemented, (2) APRs will lead a smaller deer population due to increased pressure on the female segment of the population, and (3) APRs recruit hunters to the area. While the three claims are common among APR advocates, other groups challenge the validity of these claims. To settle the disagreement we need evidence to support the claims made by APR advocates. In 2013, Michigan implemented APRs in 12 counties in the northwest area of the state. We used a series of piecewise regressions and data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that was collected before and after the management action to assess the three claims of APR advocates. Based on our results, APRs would be a useful tool where the management goal is to advance the age structure of the male segment of the white-tailed deer herd. However, if the management goal is to increase the antlerless harvest or recruit more hunters to the area, we found no evidence that implementation of APRs would help managers achieve those goals. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
103C

9:40am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Space, Habitat and Abundance: Hotspot Analysis of Distribution of Ring-necked Pheasants in Eastern South Dakota
AUTHORS. Sprih Harsh, South Dakota State University; Dr. Andrew J. Gregory, Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT. In South Dakota, ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) hunting is a multimillion-dollar industry. Consequently, identifying concentrations of this species along with underlying causes for their spatial distribution is a priority for conservation and management. We used South Dakota Game Fish and Park’s brood survey data from 1993-2016 in an emerging Hotspot analysis framework in ArcGIS to identify areas that were consistently high (hotspot) and low (coldspot) pheasant productivity areas across that time period. We found that out of 89 locations which were part of this analysis, 26 locations were part of a hotspot in one or many of those years. We created a minimum convex polygon (MCP) for hot spot locations for each year and combined them together to have a single area with all the 26 points. This combined MCP was overlaid with a hexagon layer with each hexagon an area of about 2.59 km². To find out which part of this area were hot spots for how many years, we tallied the number of years that each cell was a hot spot. We then used Cropland Data Layer to categorize land cover and land use across different hot spots regions. We found the number of years a particular hex region was a Hotspot was positively associated with grassland area within the hex region and negatively associated with hex region area under row crop cultivation. We also quantified class and landscape level metrics within 500-m, 1000-m and 2000-m buffer for hotspot hex region routes using FRAGSTAT. We assessed relationship between brood counts and FRAGSTAT metrics using multinomial regression analysis. The abundance was found to be positively related to landscape configuration, area of grassland and area of row crop at small scale but with increase in scale some of these landscape metrics had a negative influence on pheasant counts.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
103B

9:40am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Alberta Walleye Lottery: The Success of an Obvious Solution to a Wicked Problem
AUTHORS. Michael G. Sullivan, Alberta Environment and Parks

ABSTRACT. Fisheries managers in Alberta face a uniquely difficult problem; low fisheries productivity and high catches from heavy angling pressure and high catchability. Passive management using bag and size limits, and season closures was ineffective in mitigating increasing angler pressure. Widespread declines of walleye populations lead to infringement of indigenous fishing rights, declines in fiscal and social benefits of recreational fishing and the economic collapse of Alberta freshwater commercial fishery. Sustainable harvests, by definition, cannot exceed production, but implementing harvest controls faced entrenched, insurmountable cultural, social and political difficulties. The solution was two-fold; focus public attention by defining a conservation crisis with closures of fisheries, and upon population recovery, implement a radically new system of fisheries management. In effect, “let the fishing fleet rust” and then start afresh. The new system involves measuring walleye abundance using assessment netting, and quantifying sustainable allowable harvests on popular lakes. Lottery-style allocation of harvest tags occurs each March, prior to the popular summer sport fisheries. Currently, walleye lottery allocations occur on about 15 Alberta lakes annually, and attract nearly 35,000 anglers. Fishing quality is superb, with high catch rates and large fish, and is sustained near cities of a million people.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am
103D

10:00am

10:00am

Wild Jobs Café
Be sure to stop by the Wild Jobs Café during the concurrent sessions on Monday and Tuesday.  Interact with potential employers, meet students and professionals in your area of interest, and get expert advice to help advance your career. Sign up for any of the workshops during online registration, at the registration table during conference check-in, or contact Hadley Boehm at hadley.boehm@wisconsin.gov. Sign-up is first-come-first-served for Resume Writing, Interview Skills, and the Mixer so sign-up early.


The Wild Jobs Café schedule is as follows:



Monday 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Job Panel: Wondering where you can work and what you can do with a fisheries or wildlife degree? Attend the jobs panel, where you’ll hear from a variety of state, federal, and non-governmental professionals about how they got into their careers, why they chose to work for their particular agency, and how you can work for them!


Monday 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Resume Writing: Want a professional opinion on what makes a strong resume? Sign up to have a professional from your career path critique your resume. NOTE: Please bring a hard copy resume no longer than 2 pages (front/back). Spaces are limited so sign up early.


Tuesday 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Grad School Panel: Curious whether graduate school is right for you, or already in grad school and looking for some pointers? Learn what it takes to get into graduate school, how to get the most out of your grad experience, and how an advanced degree can help your career. Panelists will consist of both graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) and advisors.


Tuesday at 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Interview Skills: Looking to apply for a position but worried about the interview? Sign up to have a professional critique your interview skills and give you tips on how to improve! Interviews are 5 minutes long and consist of one question followed by a critique, so please come prepared to talk. Spaces are limited so sign up early.




Professionals - Wild Jobs Café is open to all, so be sure to stop by and share your expertise! Your guidance and willingness to mentor the next generation of fisheries and wildlife professionals is very important. If you are interested in being a mentor at either the Student-Professional Mixer or the Wild Jobs Café, please sign up during online registration process, or contact Hadley Boehm at hadley.boehm@wisconsin.gov. After you have expressed interest, you will be contacted about availability.




Job and Graduate Appointment Board Posting -  Professionals or advisors with open or anticipated positions can post those opportunities on the jobs and graduate appointment board at any time during the Student Mixer or Wild Jobs Café. General information about job searching, desired skills, and application processes from prospective employers is also welcome. This will be a literal board and table for posting information, so bring a hard copy position description with contact information and/or business cards.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:00am - 3:30pm
TBD

10:20am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Grass Carp Spawning in Lake Erie Tributaries; When and Where?
AUTHORS. Nicole King, University of Toledo Department of Environmental Sciences and Lake Erie Center; Patrick M. Kocovsky, U.S. Geological Survey, Lake Erie Biological Station; Christine Mayer, University of Toledo Department of Environmental Sciences and Lake Erie Center; Song Qian, University of Toledo Department of Environmental Sciences and Lake Erie Center

ABSTRACT. Invasive grass carp have been present in the Great Lakes since at least the early 1980’s. Although occasional individuals have been captured, it was assumed that most were sterile escapees from stocked ponds. However, spawning was documented in the Great Lakes in 2015 with the collection of eight eggs from the Sandusky River, Ohio, a Lake Erie tributary. In 2016 no eggs were found despite extensive effort, likely because no high discharge events occurred, and grass carp, like some other non-native carps, tend to spawn during high flows. Monitoring continued in 2017 with increased sampling effort including the addition of a mid-water net and adaptive sampling after egg detection to follow the spatial extent of the egg mass. In 2017 the Sandusky River yielded 7,000+ eggs during two high flow events. Catch per unit effort was substantially higher in 2017 than in 2015. The earliest developmental stage (stage three, stage one= no cell division, thirty= hatch) occurred at the most upstream site and the latest developmental stage (twenty five) near the river mouth. The pattern of egg stages and spatial distribution over time indicated spawning likely occurred several times. We also noted significant differences in both vertical and lateral egg distribution throughout the river.  Further, prospective sampling in the Maumee River, Ohio, during a high flow event yielded five eggs, the second documented location of Grass Carp spawning the Great Lakes.  Only two of the Maumee River eggs could be identified to a developmental stage; both were of late developmental stage (twenty three) near Perrysburg, Ohio. Grass carp spawning has now been documented in multiple years and in multiple Great Lakes tributaries.  Therefore, it is now crucial to determine if, where, and when recruitment is occurring in order to limit further population growth of grass carp.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
103A

10:20am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Fish Community Composition at the Emiquon Nature Preserve Water Management Structure
AUTHORS. Andrya L. Whitten, Olivea M. Mendenhall; Andrew F. Casper – Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT. Water management structures (WMS) are commonly used to regulate water levels in restored backwaters of large rivers. The costs and benefits of these structures to the surrounding ecosystem can vary depending on their design and location. Understanding how native and nonnative fishes use (e.g., longitudinal movements and opportunistic feeding) such structures is essential to restoration activities. The Emiquon Nature Preserve in Lewiston, IL is a 6700-acre restored floodplain lake that uses a WMS to control water levels. In 2017, we evaluated fish community composition and environmental conditions on both sides (i.e., Emiquon and the Illinois River) of the WMS when it was non-operational and operational (i.e., flowing into the Illinois River). Fish community and water quality sampling followed the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program – Long Term Resource Monitoring protocols. In total, we captured 886 fish comprising 14 species in Emiquon and 1431 fish comprising 25 species in the Illinois River. The NMDS analysis indicated that the fish community composition differed when the WMS was operational versus non-operational. Results from the SIMPER analysis showed that increased catches of white bass, threadfin shad, and skipjack herring are driving the differences in the Illinois River when the WMS is operational while high catches of gizzard shad are the main contributors to differences when the WMS is non-operational. In Emiquon, increased catches of bluegill when the WMS is operational and variability in largemouth bass and gizzard shad catches contribute to the differences in the fish community. Changes in environmental conditions are likely causing the shift in the fish community composition. When the WCS is operational, the flow of water from Emiquon into the Illinois River changes the surrounding fish habitat by providing a microhabitat of increased flow and highly productive water that likely contains increased food resources.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
103E

10:20am

SYMPOSIA-06: Using eDNA Surveys to Detect a Fossorial Species of Conservation Concern, the Kirtland Snake (Clonophis kirtlandii) in Northwest Ohio
AUTHORS. Hannah Olenik, Bowling Green State University; Matt Cross, Toledo Zoo; Andrew Gregory, Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT. Kirtland’s Snake (Clonophis kirtlandii) is a fossorial species known to occupy moist grassland systems throughout the north-central Midwest. Since the early 1980’s populations of Clonophis kirtlandii may have declined by nearly 90%. Consequently, it is currently being considered by the USFWS for federal listing under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. However, because of the elusive nature of C. kirtlandii, ecological data—including basic population surveys for the species are lacking. This elusive nature is due to C. kirtlandii spending most of their lives in underground crayfish burrows. Consequently, a determination of the population status or actual rate of loss is nebulous. We used non-invasive eDNA surveys to sample for C. kirtlandii presence at fivesites in northwest Ohio that putatively had C. kirtlandii, three of which no detections had been made in the last few years. We extracted water from crayfish burrows during late July-October to correspond to C. kirtlandii natality periods, and concentrated crayfish burrow water filtrate on filter paper. We then extracted DNA from the filter paper using an MP Bio FastDNA Spin Kit. We screened each DNA sample using a set of molecular markers that have been shown to be polymorphic in C. kirtlandii. We then compared the amplified bands with control bands that were extracted using stock tissue and blood samples of C. Kirtlandii and seven other common Thamnophiine snakes. We successfully amplified Clonophis kirtlandii bands from six different sites. We also successfully amplified 24 bands of three other common Ohio snakes, as well as 32 bands of unknown snake species from our sample sites. This suggests that using water from crayfish burrows to detect Clonophis kirtlandii is a plausible field sampling protocol, and could help further progress methodologies for detecting multiple snakes and other fossorial species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
101B

10:20am

SYMPOSIA-07: Standardization of Fish Sampling Gears in South Dakota
AUTHORS. Brian G. Blackwell, South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks; Bradley J. Smith, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The first step in standardizing fish sampling in South Dakota was a gear comparison between the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) standard gill nets and modified fyke nets and the recommended North American (NA) equivalent nets. Gill net catch per unit effort (CPUE) was higher for the longer SDGFP nets than the NA nets and modified fyke net catches were similar. Conversion factors were calculated that allow for continued use of historic CPUE data. Species richness and diversity were not found to differ between the SDGFP and NA nets. Additional research found that modified fyke nets with restricted throats retained fish better than non-restricted throats resulting in higher CPUE. Selectivity curves for common species were developed for mesh sizes contained within the NA gill nets. No difference in CPUE was found between random and non-random modified fyke net locations in small waters. The comparisons between the gears and supplemental research provided the necessary information to allow South Dakota to make the transition from SDGFP standard nets to the NA nets. South Dakota began using the NA nets statewide in 2017. In addition to using the NA nets, net locations are now randomized and the number of gill nets used in a standard survey is double the previous number. Concerns with the changes have included that fewer fish are being collected per gill net, portion of sampling period occurs outside the recommended sampling times, and random net placement has resulted in longer boat travel times. Overall, few issues have occurred during the standardization with the NA nets.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
102A

10:20am

SYMPOSIA-08: Guiding Wetland Restoration in the Calumet Region of Illinois and Indiana Through Monitoring Breeding Marsh Birds
AUTHORS. Stephanie Beilke, Nat Miller, Walter Marcisz - Audubon Great Lakes

ABSTRACT. Despite no net loss of Calumet Region wetlands (located along the south shore of Lake Michigan) since the 1990s, local marsh bird populations have seriously declined in the last 30 years due to substantial habitat degradation related to impaired hydrology, poor water quality and encroachment of invasive species. In 2015, Audubon Great Lakes brought together the Calumet Wetland Working Group, a coalition of land managers, scientists and conservationists, to assess current and potential wetlands and formulate action plans to restore and maintain Calumet wetlands. As part of the working group’s assessment strategy, Audubon initiated monitoring of breeding marsh birds in Calumet wetlands with the intention of using monitoring data to inform key landowners of how restoration actions are affecting bird populations. Audubon has since documented local increases of marsh bird populations as well as the return of several conservative bird species in wetlands that have undergone restoration. Guided management activities have included herbicide and burning regimes to control invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis), implementation of water control structures, control of invasive Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), and planting of native wetland vegetation. Audubon is ensuring a positive future for Calumet wetlands by continuing to strengthen local partnerships, broadcasting the importance of healthy wetlands, and expanding our monitoring and conservation work in a challenging, urban landscape.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
102B

10:20am

SYMPOSIA-09: Bet Hedging in an Era of Rapid Change: Protecting Wildlife by “Conserving Nature’s Stage”
AUTHORS. Kimberly R. Hall, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT. As attention to the threat of climate change has increased, many tools and frameworks have been developed to help us predict and plan for changes in wildlife and habitats.  As we move ahead with cutting-edge methods that allow us to link diverse drivers of change with the complex dynamics of populations, we also compound the uncertainties in the science that supports our management strategies.  Further, our efforts to use these methods to evaluate risks are typically hindered by a lack of data for all but a subset of well-studied species.  As a complement to these targeted research approaches, The Nature Conservancy has developed an approach for identifying places that are important for current biodiversity, and that we hypothesize will act as biodiversity strongholds as conditions change, based on relatively static abiotic and biotic variables. Developed with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the “Conserving Nature’s Stage” approach provides tools to help identify potential networks of natural areas that capture the full range of underlying site conditions (e.g., geology, soil texture, elevation).  Using this variation in geomorphology as a framework, we then identify resilient sites, which are characterized by more complex topography, and higher local connectivity than nearby areas. A final step assesses regional connectivity patterns, including connectivity across climate gradients.  CNS analyses have been completed for the eastern half of the US, with the Great Lakes region completed in late 2017, and the rest of the central US nearing completion.  I will review the science behind each of the CNS components, show many of these data products, and describe recent applications in conservation planning.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
102C

10:20am

SYMPOSIA-10: Encouraging Civic Engagement in Fisheries Management
AUTHORS. Carl Pedersen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Collaborative programs that engage civic groups, school groups, lake associations and individual volunteers are a valuable part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Walker Area Fisheries Office work plan.  Including non-governmental participation in the day to day Walker office operation not only allows area staff the ability to collect additional data but also builds strong bonds with community members and interested parties.  These bonds prove invaluable when conflicts arise.  Having already established a relationship and having community members take an active role in fisheries management develops a level of trust in the staff and the data collected.  Through input group processes with associations from Walker Area lakes many lessons have been learned that make the process run more smoothly. Examples (or case histories) will be provided.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
102E&D

10:20am

UNGULATES: The Wisconsin Deer Management Assistance Program: Improving Relationships One Landowner at a Time
AUTHORS. Robert Holsman, Ben Beardmore, Robert Nack – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) began implementing a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) in 2014 to provide technical assistance to landowners in meeting property management objectives. Cooperating landowners enter into three-year agreements for a small fee and receive a suite of outreach services from the WDNR including personal interaction with their county wildlife biologist and a written management plan. We assessed attitude changes of landowners following their participation in DMAP using a non-experimental, pre-test, post-test design. Our findings suggest that DMAP participation increased landowner assessment of agency credibility and improved their understanding of deer-habitat relationships, including deer impacts to forests. In addition to these outcomes, DMAP participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program. While initial implementation of the program has demonstrated success, challenges remain including recruiting participants, providing follow-up support, and balancing staff work load issues.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
103C

10:20am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Disentangling Effects of Fire, Habitat, and Climate on an Endangered Prairie-Specialist Butterfly
AUTHORS. Nathan Holoubek, Rich Henderson, Jed Meunier - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Tallgrass prairie, arguably the most fire-dependent system in North America, is a Biome that is exceedingly rare. Absent frequent disturbance, remnant prairie rapidly converts to woody plants. This creates unique challenges for conservation of prairie-specialist insects dependent on increasingly small and isolated habitats prone to direct and indirect threats from climate variability, habitat degradation, and management activities; or lack thereof. Regal fritillary butterflies (Speyeria idalia) are one example, with sharp population declines in recent decades and considerable disagreement on management practices, particularly the use of prescribed burning to maintain habitat. We evaluated regal fritillary populations within seven sites spanning a 20-year period (1997–2016) in relation to detailed fire, habitat, and climate records to better understand these interacting effects in relation to interannual and long-term population changes. Fire had short-term negative effects on regal fritillary abundance; however, habitat quality was one of the most important factors explaining populations and was positively associated with prescribed fire. Burning every 3 – 5 years maximized regal abundance; though even annual burning was more beneficial to regal fritillary populations than no burning at all. Our data suggests unburned refugia are important in maintaining populations, but creating and maintaining high quality habitat with abundant and varied nectar sources including violets (Viola spp) may be the most impactful management and conservation tool. Regals were consistently more than twice as abundant on high quality habitats and this relationship held across, and often dwarfed the effects of, various prescribed fire regimes or climate variability.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
103B

10:20am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Forecasting the Impacts of Climate and Land-use Change on Percid Recruitment in Lake Erie
AUTHORS. David A. Dippold, The Ohio State University; Noel Aloysius, The Ohio State University; Haw Yen, Texas A&M University; S. Conor Keitzer, Tusculum College; Jeff G. Arnold, USDA-ARS; Prasad Daggupati, Texas A&M University; Mike Fraker, The Ohio State University; Jay Martin, The Ohio State University; Charles A. Rewa, USDA-NRCS; Dale M. Robertson, USGS; Anthony M. Sasson, The Nature Conservancy; Scott P. Sowa, The Nature Conservancy; Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson, USDA-NRCS; Mike J. White, USDA-ARS; Stuart A. Ludsin, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT. Climate and land-use change can affect fish populations by altering the environmental conditions critical for successful recruitment. Many ecosystems, like Lake Erie, are experiencing these stressors simultaneously, leading to the potential for additive, offsetting, and/or synergistic effects on the recruitment dynamics of commercially and recreationally harvested fish species. Therefore, a critical need for fisheries managers is to identify how these stressors may interact in the future to affect ecologically and economically important fisheries. Towards this end, we evaluated the potential effects of climate and land-use change on walleye and yellow perch recruitment in western Lake Erie. We used linked climate (n=20), watershed (Soil Water Assessment Tool), and biological (species-specific generalized additive models) models to forecast western Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch recruitment during 2017-2065 under combinations of two greenhouse gas emission and three nutrient conservation (abatement) scenarios. Our primary research goals were to (1) determine the relative impacts of climate and land-use on walleye and yellow perch recruitment, and to (2) forecast how changes in climate and land-use may alter future recruitment levels, relative to the past.  We found that climate change (specifically decreased winter severity) was the primary driver of forecasted declines in walleye and yellow perch recruitment, and that agricultural conservation practices that reduce runoff and phosphorus inputs into Lake Erie are expected to exacerbate this decline for yellow perch. Ultimately, our findings demonstrate the potential for the combined impacts of climatic and land-use change (nutrient conservation management) to affect fish communities in complex, unexpected ways, thus highlighting the need for managers to consider both stressors when planning for the future.   

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am
103D

10:40am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Habitat Quality Explains Population Collapse of Invasive Rusty Crayfish in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
AUTHORS. Eric R. Larson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Timothy A. Kreps, Bridgewater College; Brett W. Peters, University of Notre Dame; Jody A. Peters, University of Notre Dame; David M. Lodge, Cornell University

ABSTRACT. The abundance and impacts of nonindigenous species often change through the course of invasion as they alter food webs and ecosystems, but most research occurs at temporal and spatial scales that are too short and small to capture these important dynamics. For example, the prevalence of population "busts" in which established invaders decline or even disappear over time is difficult to evaluate without long-term monitoring of invasions. We used over 40 years of data (1973-2017) on the abundance of invasive rusty crayfish in 17 Vilas County, Wisconsin, lakes to evaluate the long-term fate of these populations, including whether or not some lakes have experienced busts of previously abundant rusty crayfish. Although rusty crayfish populations have remained high in some lakes, seven lakes (41%) have experienced significant, sustained declines of rusty crayfish from earlier peaks. Interestingly, these collapse lakes have less rock substrate than lakes where rusty crayfish populations have not declined. We propose that in the absence of this preferred rocky substrate, rusty crayfish populations destroy the aquatic macrophytes providing them shelter from fish and other predators, eventually resulting in a feedback in which rusty crayfish populations decline under predation pressure. We conclude by discussing other mechanisms that could contribute to rusty crayfish population declines and identifying research needs into patterns of collapse for this and other invasive species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
103A

10:40am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Larval Fish Community Survey of Pools 19, 18, and 17 of the Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Boone M. La Hood, James T. Lamer, Allison W. Lenaerts - Kibbe Field Station-Western Illinois University; Kevin S. Irons, Division of Fisheries-Illinois Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Lock and dam 19 in Keokuk, IA has slowed the establishment of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi River.  Mature Asian carp populations north of lock and dam 19 exist at low densities and are intensively studied.  However, larval fish communities in this region are not well characterized or investigated.  The objectives of our study were to describe larval fish community structure and monitor for larval Asian carp at their northern invasion front in the Mississippi River.  We used quadrafoil light traps to collect larval fish in Pools 17-19 of the Mississippi River.  These traps exploit the phototactic swimming behavior of post-yolksac larval fish and are illuminated with green chemical light sticks.  We deployed 12 traps per night from May to September of 2016 at water temperatures = 17°C.  Traps were fished on 58 sampling days for a minimum of 1 hour (n=649 traps, 1,995 trap hours).  We sampled areas in Pools 17-19 with minimal flow consisting of woody, vegetated, and coverless habitats.  Native cyprinids and centrarchids dominated our catch.  Detections of larval and juvenile Asian carp were widespread in our Pool 19 samples, but absent above lock and dam 18.  We also observed multiple emergences of larval Asian carp, suggesting that there were multiple spawning events and that conditions were adequate for larval Asian carp reproduction and recruitment in Pool 19 of the Upper Mississippi River during the summer of 2016. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
103E

10:40am

SYMPOSIA-06: Quantifying Home Ranges and Hibernacula Characteristics of Captive-Reared, Recently-Released Juvenile Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii)
AUTHORS. Armand A. Cann, Loyola University of Chicago; Andrés G. Muñoz, Loyola University of Chicago; Leigh Anne Harden, Benedictine University; Joseph R. Milanovich, Loyola University of Chicago

ABSTRACT. Substantial threats to reptile species biodiversity have become apparent in the last few decades. This has been partly caused by significant losses in grasslands and their associate prairie-wetland ecosystems in the Midwestern region of the United States. One Midwestern prairie-wetland species, Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii), are at risk of extirpation due to loss of habitat, fragmentation, and increased predator populations. Consequently, many wildlife managers have invested in the conservation of this species. However, much of the spatial and habitat requirements for this early life stage (i.e. juveniles) are understudied. We released two yearly cohorts of juvenile, captive-reared E. blandingii in a prairie-wetland within the greater Chicago region in 2016 and 2017. Using ground-based radio-telemetry, we calculated seasonal home ranges (spring, summer, and fall) from May 2016 – November 2016, and April 2017 – August 2017. We calculated home ranges using Minimum Convex Polygons (MCP) and Kernel Density Estimates (KDE; at 50% and 95% CI) using ArcMap 10.4.1. Hibernacula characteristics were quantified using vegetation and soil composition (2016-17 winter) to determine whether selection of hibernacula locations were nonrandom. For the 2016 released cohort, we found significant differences in MCP home ranges between the spring and fall compared to summer, with home range size increasing in summer yet decreasing to comparable spring home range sizes in the fall. No measureable differences were found across KDE (50% nor 95%) home ranges in 2016. Among seasons, no significant differences were found for either yearly cohort (2016 nor 2017) in 2017 for any home range metric. Neither vegetation nor soil composition hibernacula characteristics differed from random points. Continued data collection is planned, and will provide wildlife managers with valuable insight into the ecology of juvenile Blanding’s Turtles raised in captivity and released into natural habitats.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
101B

10:40am

SYMPOSIA-07: Developing, Validating, and Applying Standard Methods to Improve Fisheries Management and Research
AUTHORS. Joseph D. Conroy, Jeremy J. Pritt, Stephen M. Tyszko, Chris G. French, Richard D. Zweifel - Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT. From minimizing bias of individual samples to facilitating data sharing, standard sampling approaches have many benefits for fisheries management and research. However, accepted methods may not always be directly transferable from one situation to another, requiring additional development work to allow application. Further, whereas most standard methods have clear criteria for sampling (i.e., time of year, gear used, site selection, etc.), they often lack a direct assessment or validation of what the method actually indexes relative to the fish population of interest. Finally, applying standard methods over long periods provide high-quality datasets on which to evaluate existing programs, regulations, and research questions. Here, we illustrate approaches to development, validation, and application of standard methods using the Inland Management System, the planned, iterative, priority-based approach to standard assessment of reservoir sport fish populations used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. Specifically, we describe (1) developing a low-frequency electrofishing approach to assess recently-stocked Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus populations; (2) validating catch per unit effort (# caught/h) from shoreline boat electrofishing as an index of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides density; and, (3) applying fall shoreline electrofishing as an index of Sander spp. stocking success to inform management programs and research projects. By developing standard assessments that build on existing ones, validating commonly used standard methods, and systematically applying standard methods fisheries managers learn more about managed sport fish populations in addition to the methods used to assess them.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
102A

10:40am

SYMPOSIA-08: Wetland Quality for Waterbirds in Illinois
AUTHORS. Abigail Blake-Bradshaw, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Heath M. Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jeffrey W. Matthews, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; John R. O'Connell, Southern Illinois University; Mike Eichholz, Southern Illinois University.

ABSTRACT. Waterbirds use a variety of wetland types during critical periods of their life cycle, such as spring migration.  However, wetland area in the Midwest has decreased substantially in the last century, and remnant wetlands are often degraded and may not meet habitat needs for waterbirds.  The National Wetland Inventory (NWI) is currently the most comprehensive measure of wetland quantity in this region, but NWI lacks data regarding the timing, depth, and persistence of surface water inundation.  Therefore, wetland estimates based on NWI may overestimate wetland availability and quality for waterbirds because many wetlands are not inundated and accessible during the appropriate periods.  We repeatedly sampled 120 wetland plots (25-ha) during three sample periods critical to focal waterbirds (i.e.,spring [migrating dabbling ducks], early summer [nesting marsh birds], and autumn [migrating shorebirds]) across Illinois during 2015–2017.  We stratified our study area by natural division and spatially-balanced sampling within wetlands outlined by NWI.  Within plots, we visually estimated inundation and vegetation cover and surveyed hydrologic stressors, waterbird occupancy, and management intensity; we used a modified version of the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) to assess anthropogenic disturbance. During spring 2016, 11% of emergent wetlands were completely dry and 57% lacked flooded non-persistent emergent vegetation (Sagittaria spp.) important to dabbling ducks.  Similarly, in summer only 20% of wetland polygons had flooded persistent emergent vegetation (Typha spp.) for marsh bird nesting habitat. In fall, >50% of wetland polygons had mudflats for southerly migrating shorebirds; however, average cover was relatively low (2

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
102B

10:40am

SYMPOSIA-09: Using Decision Analysis to Improve Resource Management When the Future Is Uncertain
AUTHORS. Max Post van der Burg, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

ABSTRACT. Resource managers often need to make difficult decisions. Often the sources of difficulty stem from complex trade-offs between management objectives, an overwhelming number of choices, and uncertainty about the effects of management actions. Decision analysis is a discipline that, among other things, uses formal structuring and modeling tools to clarify difficult decisions. In this talk, I will outline three case studies to illustrate the application of these tools to resource management problems. The first case study is an analysis of optimal planning decisions for National Park Service cultural resources that may be effected by climate change. The solution of this problem illustrates the use of structuring tools for quantifying trade-offs and optimization tools for developing management plans. The second case study focuses on assessing the value of information for decisions made by partners in the Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative. This exercise demonstrates two approaches to assessing how valuable new information would be in changing the decisions made by partners. The third case describes the development of an adaptive management system for control of annual bromes in National Parks. This project treats management activities as an experiment and resolves uncertainty with machine learning to forecast optimal management actions into the future. These case studies are not exclusive of the types of problems decision analysis can help solve. Rather they are intended to demonstrate how science can be directly integrated into the decision making process. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
102C

10:40am

SYMPOSIA-10: City Staff Using DNR Methods to Survey Local Fisheries
AUTHORS. Jessie Koehle, Eric Macbeth - City of Eagan; Tim Ohmann, Jim Levitt, T.J. DeBates - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. One of the City of Eagan’s Water Resources program goals is for 12 of the City’s lakes to support public fishing opportunities, giving most residents a place to fish about a mile from home.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has routinely conducted fish assessments on only about five of these lakes, therefore the City has developed the capacity to assess each of the remaining seven lakes once every five years. In the resulting collaboration, the City shares findings, analysis, and management decisions with DNR, benefitting from their expertise and sharing resources when possible.  The partnership promotes communication and support between the two government entities in other lake management areas as well, such as plant management and winter lake aeration.  This presentation will give details about Eagan’s fisheries population sampling methods, management history, and program goals.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
102E&D

10:40am

UNGULATES: Retention of Youth Deer Hunters in Nebraska
AUTHORS. Nathaniel B. Price, University of Nebraska; Christopher J. Chizinski, University of Nebraska; Kevin L. Pope, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and University of Nebraska; Joseph J. Fontaine, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Nebraska

ABSTRACT. Deer (white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer O. hemionus) is the most sought after game by hunters in Nebraska, as reflected by annual statistics of permit holders. In addition, deer hunters in Nebraska exhibit the greatest year-over-year retention among all hunting permit types. In 2010, Nebraska reduced the base fee for a resident youth (ages 10-15) deer hunting permit from $29 to only $5. This reduction in price of the youth permit resulted in a 37% increase in the number of resident youth deer hunters in 2010. However, the significant cost difference between youth and general (ages >16) deer hunting permits may be a barrier to the continued participation of some youth deer hunters. Using data from the Nebraska Game and Park Commission's electronic licensing system, we tracked the permit purchase history of yearly cohorts of 15 year olds for 2008 through 2016. We used mark-recapture modeling to estimate the probabilities of survival (i.e., retention) and probabilities of permit purchase (i.e., detection) as a function of age, gender, and calendar year. We estimated that on average each year 87% of female youth and 90% of male youth are retained as deer hunters through the 15 to 16 year old transition. For retained youth hunters, we estimated the probability of purchasing an adult permit at age 16 to be 89% for females and 92% for males.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
103C

10:40am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Modeling Pollinator Conservation Targets Within Rights-of-Way
AUTHORS. Dan Salas, Cardno; Johanna Sievewright, American Transmission Company

ABSTRACT. Many pollinators are in serious decline in the United States and worldwide (IPBES 2016). As pollinator declines become acknowledged as a conservation concern, public and private entities are equally considering their role in pollinator conservation. American Transmission Company (ATC) has initiated its own pollinator protection program to address these concerns along the approximate 10,000 miles of rights-of-way they operate. As part of this program, ATC worked with Cardno to define priorities for landscape restoration and conservation across ATC’s transmission footprint. In doing so, ATC is adding to the conservation science of pollinator conservation by developing a better understanding, through models and field studies, of how landscape structure influences pollinators. This need for modelling and continued study is identified as a critical need for ecosystem service management (Kremen et al. 2007 as cited by Lonsdorf et al. 2009). To help ATC achieve their goals, Cardno developed the Pollinator Opportunities Within Rights-of-Way (POWR) model to help identify priority areas for pollinator habitat restoration and conservation as a tool to inform future management decisions related to pollinators. The focus of this effort was twofold: 1) identify and prioritize which areas of rights-of-way can be restored to create a landscape connection to other suitable habitat, and 2) which segments already support important habitat and should therefore be maintained or enhanced. The findings of this landscape conservation analysis yielded spatial priorities for conservation opportunities, helped define the roles of various transmission work activities in supporting pollinator habitat restoration, and allowed for targeted conservation actions.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
103B

10:40am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Changes in Yellow Perch Recruitment in Relation to Walleye Abundance in Green Bay
AUTHORS. Iyob Tsehaye, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


ABSTRACT. Over the past decade or so, yellow perch and walleye populations in Green Bay have experienced fairly contrasting trends in abundance, with walleye numbers increasing and yellow perch numbers sharply declining. Changes in young-of-year, age-1, and age-2+ yellow perch abundances from 1985–2016 (estimated using a statistical catch-at-age model) were assessed in relation to changes in walleye abundance indices, and results showed that while there were no clear temporal patterns in young-of-year yellow perch numbers in Green Bay, annual age-1 and age-2+ yellow perch abundances were highly correlated with walleye numbers (r2 ≥ 0.60). Although correlation does not mean causation, walleye predation has been hypothesized to represent a potential recruitment bottleneck for yellow perch populations in the Great Lakes. Available – albeit limited – diet data and anecdotal information on these species from around the Great Lakes also imply that the contrasting abundance trends may be due to predatory interactions between these two species. As a first step to determine the extent of walleye predation on yellow perch in Green Bay, diet analyses were conducted in 2016–2017 on walleye samples from the bay. Preliminary results showed over 60% of walleye diets were composed of gobies, while yellow perch made up <10% of walleye diets depending on season. Although yellow perch account for a relatively small proportion of walleye diet in Green Bay, the relatively large walleye population may still impose a considerable predation pressure on the yellow perch population. As a next step, we will be combining results of walleye diet analysis with estimates of walleye population abundance from a statistical-catch-at-age model to quantify yellow perch mortality due to walleye predation in the bay.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:40am - 11:00am
103D

11:00am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Detecting Round Goby in the Field Using a Portable eDNA Detection Kit
AUTHORS. Christopher M. Merkes, Matthew Hoogland, Theresa Schreier, Jon J. Amberg - U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Since Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) invaded the Great Lakes in the 1990s, they have been expanding their range inland. Monitoring this expansion can be difficult, because they are elusive to traditional survey gears. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis may be well suited to achieve early detection of Round Goby to guide more intensive surveys or rapid control action. We have developed a loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) assay that can be used with a field sample processing kit to detect Round Goby eDNA on site in under one hour. We did an evaluation of the assay at various sites within and ahead of the Round Goby invasion into the Fox River system near Appleton, Wisconsin. Alongside field processed samples analyzed with the LAMP assay, we also collected and analyzed traditional eDNA samples with qPCR for comparison.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
103A

11:00am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: A Comparison of Fish Communities in Contiguous Backwater and Vegetated Impounded Areas of Pool 19, Upper Mississippi River
AUTHORS. Eli G. Lampo, Western Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences; Brent Knights, Jon Vallazza, James Larson - Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, U.S. Geological Survey; Tad Locher, James T. Lamer - Western Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences.

ABSTRACT. Lock and dam 19 in Keokuk, Iowa has impounded over 9 m of sediment since 1913, which has created a unique shallow-water ecosystem in pool 19 that is dominated by floating-leaf and submersed aquatic vegetation The importance of these post-impoundment, vegetated areas for fish is not well understood. To increase our understanding, we compared the community structure, composition, and size structure of fish between vegetated impounded areas and non-vegetated, contiguous backwaters in Pool 19. We sampled 180 randomly stratified sites for four, 6-week periods from May 19th- Oct 31st, 2014. We fished paired sets of tandem fyke (1/4 in. diameter mesh) and mini-fyke nets (1/8 in. diameter mesh) using LTRM standardized methods. We sampled 63,503 fish representing 64 species (48,879 fishes and 50 species from impounded sites and 14,624 fishes and 55 species from contiguous backwater sites). Species composition and structure were highest in the impounded areas. These results suggest that as sediment continues to accumulate and the size of vegetation beds increases in Pool 19, the resultant aquatic vegetation and associated habitat for catastomids and cyprinids will likely expand.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
103E

11:00am

SYMPOSIA-06: Soft-Release May Not Enhance Translocation Efforts for Massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus)
AUTHORS. Jillian Josimovich, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Monica Matthews, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Michael Ravesi, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Sasha Tetzlaff, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Brett DeGregorio, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC-CERL; Bruce Kingsbury, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

ABSTRACT. Wildlife translocations are often unsuccessful as relocated animals may exhibit atypical behaviors or higher mortality than controls. A strategy that may mitigate such effects is soft-release, which entails keeping animals in an outdoor enclosure at the release site temporarily in the hopes that they will acclimate to the new environment more readily than animals that are immediately released. Here, we report on the status of an ongoing study investigating the utility of soft-release for translocating massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus), a small, federally threatened rattlesnake. Venomous snakes are often translocated or killed due to potentially negative interactions with humans, but little research has assessed what methods are best when moving them. To our knowledge, past experiments have only soft-released captive-reared snakes; we are the first to report on how effective this technique is when translocating wild-caught snakes. Since 2013, we have radio-tracked over 50 soft-released (i.e. held in enclosures for approximately two weeks prior to release), hard-released (i.e. released immediately after translocation), and control massasaugas (i.e. released at capture location).  We are comparing measures of survival and behavior to evaluate the “success” of each translocation effort, and preliminary analyses indicate that hard-release may be a better alternative to soft-release. This work is continuing until 2019, and we will develop models exploring how factors like distance translocated, sex, and size may influence translocation success. This constitutes some of the earliest research of the pros and cons of soft-release for translocating wild-caught snakes and should help inform conservation and management efforts to conserve imperiled herpetofauna like the massasauga.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
101B

11:00am

SYMPOSIA-07: Validating the Use of Baited, Tandem Hoop Nets to Index Ohio Reservoir Channel Catfish Density
AUTHORS. Stephen M. Tyszko, Jeremy J. Pritt, Joseph D. Conroy, Kevin S. Page, Richard R. Budnik - Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife

ABSTRACT. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife seeks to develop a standard method to index Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus density and size structure in reservoirs, and tandem hoop net sets most effectively catch Channel Catfish.  We estimated the catchability of Channel Catfish with tandem hoop net sets in Ohio reservoirs and compared statistical power to detect differences in density as well as false positive rate.  We estimated catchability and density during mark-recapture experiments that included two recapture events per week during May–July in Dillon Lake (2016) and Burr Oak Lake (2017).  Catchability (q) was greatest in June and July and was similar for our two study reservoir populations (Burr Oak Lake q, 95 % confidence limits [CL]: 0.041, 0.031–0.050; Dillon Lake: 0.035, 0.032–0.037).  Channel Catfish density estimates differed, however (Burr Oak Lake: 21 catfish/ha, 95% CL 20–22; Dillon Lake: 49 catfish/ha, 47–51).  When including data from the entire sampling period (May–July), the probability of detecting a difference in Channel Catfish density increased from 39% to 94% as sample size increased from 5 net sets to 20 net sets.  The probability of detecting differences in density increased, however, when including data only from a restricted June–July period.  At the reservoir with low Channel Catfish density, false positive rate (detecting a difference in density when one did not exist) was similar for data collected during the entire sampling period and during the restricted period.  At the reservoir with the high density population, false positive rate was greater when sampling during the entire period but decreased when sampling during a restricted period.  Results will be used to design a standard sampling program for Ohio reservoir Channel Catfish populations, sampling during a period that maximizes catchability and minimizes its variability.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
102A

11:00am

SYMPOSIA-08: Marsh Bird Use of Wetlands Managed for Waterfowl in Illinois
AUTHORS. Therin Bradshaw, Western Illinois University/Illinois Natural History Survey; Heath Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University

ABSTRACT. Conservation planners often assume waterfowl management activities benefit other wetland-associated birds, but few studies have quantified benefits among management strategies for multiple species. Overall, marsh birds are an understudied guild that can be valuable indicators of wetland conditions. Our objectives were to 1) compare marsh bird use of restored and natural wetlands, 2) determine characteristics of wetlands and the surrounding landscape that influence marsh bird use of wetlands, and 3) compare marsh bird use of wetlands managed for waterfowl across a continuum of management intensities. During late spring and early summer 2015–2017, we conducted call-back surveys to quantify marsh bird use of wetlands and assessed wetland quality using a modified version of the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) throughout Illinois. We conducted surveys on wetlands managed primarily for waterfowl (focal), wetlands selected randomly from emergent NWI polygons across natural divisions in Illinois (random), and those surveyed through the Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP). We conducted three rounds of surveys at each site and followed the standardized North American marsh bird monitoring protocol. Preliminary analysis suggests differences in detections across management intensities, percent flooded, and water depth. Average detections (birds/survey/site) were greatest in survey round one (x-bar = 14.5, SD = 46.3), and less in round two (x-bar = 7.5, SD = 28.6) and three (x-bar = 2.2, SD = 5.7). Average detections (birds/survey/site) were greatest in focal sites (x-bar =21.7, SD = 54.7), followed by random (x-bar = 2.9, SD = 9.0) and CTAP sites (x-bar = 0.4, SD = 0.8). We used logistic regression in an occupancy modeling framework to evaluate potential effects of environmental factors on probability of detection and habitat use. Our goal is to provide management recommendations that will encourage marsh bird use and increase overall wetland quality.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
102B

11:00am

SYMPOSIA-09: An Uncertain Climate for Deer Wintering Complexes: Scenario Planning for Complex Adaptive Systems
AUTHORS. Christopher L. Hoving, Michigan DNR and Michigan State University; William F. Porter, Michigan State University; Pat Lederle, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Global change adds complexity to wildlife research. Old assumptions of linear causality and closed systems no longer apply. Tools informed by complex adaptive systems show promise in modeling local wildlife management problems in the context of global change. We highlight scenario methods as one such tool and provide a case study of its use. In northern Michigan, migratory deer depend on landscapes with a significant mature conifer component to provide cover during cold and snowy winters. Conserving these landscapes is a priority for the Michigan DNR, but that conservation is complicated by global change. The conifer component of these forests may or may not persist, and deer may or may not continue to migrate and need winter conifer cover. Managers are unsure how to plan wisely amidst such uncertainty and complexity. Complex adaptive systems is a potential paradigm that researchers can use to frame studies of wildlife in the context of global change.  A complex adaptive system can be understood as self-organizing and composed of heterogeneous interacting agents, which gives the system the ability to adapt. An ant colony, a living organism, a city, or an ecosystem can be understood as a complex adaptive system. Because complex adaptive systems have contingent histories, they have inherently uncertain futures. Thus, scenario methods are often used to better understand complex adaptive systems. We used a scenario planning exercise to inform managers about plausible potential futures of deer and winter habitat in northern Michigan. The most uncertain drivers were temperature change and economic demand for conifer timber products. From these uncertainties we developed narrative descriptions of four plausible yet distinct futures. These plausible futures can be used to plan habitat management that is robust to multiple future conditions.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
102C

11:00am

SYMPOSIA-10: Optimization of Oxbow Restoration Benefits for Both the Farmer and the Conservationist
AUTHORS. Christopher S. Jones, University of Iowa; Keith E. Schilling, Iowa Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. In recognition of the important eco¬system services that they provide, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), along with several agency and NGO partners, has been restoring oxbows in Iowa since 2002. These projects serve as both innovative fish habitat improvement and nutrient trapping practices. Project partners have worked with farmers and landowners through voluntary con¬servation programs to restore these floodplain features mostly in Central and Northwest Iowa, but also most recently in Eastern Iowa in the Middle Cedar River basin. The practice is intriguing to some landowners since water quality and wildlife responses have been notable and potential sites are typically found on marginal land unsuit¬able for production. Previous research has quantified both the nutrient reduction and wildlife benefits. Examined here is how oxbow restoration fits within the current corn-soybean production system, and what agencies and conservationists can do to optimize habitat and water quality benefits while at the same time increasing the likelihood of farmer adoption. Important considerations include cost, the Endangered Species Act, modification of tile drainage outlets, angling and hunting, wildlife watching, livestock watering, and irrigation. We will also quantify the potential of the practice as a landscape scale solution for meeting Iowa and Gulf of Mexico nitrate reduction goals of 45%, and the practice’s potential in other areas of Iowa.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
102E&D

11:00am

UNGULATES: Do City Deer Really Live Differently Than Rural Deer?
AUTHORS. Jonathan K. Trudeau, Michigan State University; Garrett B. Clevinger, Ball State University; Timothy C. Carter, Ball State University

ABSTRACT. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been extensively researched throughout their distribution and in varying habitat types. Interest in urban populations has grown due to increasing densities of white-tailed deer in these areas. Though much is known about each population separately, little is known about how these two populations interact with one another and how their space use and movement patterns vary within adjacent areas. Understanding the differences between urban and rural white-tailed deer movements in adjacent areas is essential to effectively manage the two populations. This study was conducted in three counties in southern Indiana: Morgan, Monroe, and Brown. Bloomington, Indiana was used as our urban study site. Using a drop net, dart projectors, suspended net-launcher, and modified clover traps we captured 41 rural and 45 urban adult white-tailed deer between January and July of 2015/2016. Of the 86 deer captured, 85 were fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars (n=51) or with VHF radio transmitter collars (n=34). We estimated seasonal space use, survival, and movement rates. Urbanization was found to have no influence on the variation between seasonal space use, but was found to influence home range and core area size of females. We found urban females used less area than their rural counter parts, but we did not find this to be so for males. However, urban males were less likely to be observed on temporary excursion events than rural males. Survival was lowest during the fall breeding season for both urban and rural deer while females had higher survival than males during all seasons. This all shows that urbanity has varying influence on deer behavior. Sex of the deer may have a larger influence on deer behavior than urbanity.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
103C

11:00am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Comparing Bee and Grasshopper Communities in Missouri's Reconstructed and Remnant Prairies
AUTHORS. Joseph LaRose, University of Missouri; Lisa Webb, USGS Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit, University of Missouri; Deborah Finke, Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri

ABSTRACT. Tallgrass prairies and their obligate inhabitants once occupied a large swath of central North America, but now face the combined challenges of habitat loss and fragmentation. In Missouri, several hundred hectares of tallgrass prairie have been restored near patches of remnant native prairie. Typically, the success of reconstructed grasslands is assessed based on the extent to which native prairie plants have reestablished. Invertebrates are often assumed to colonize reconstructions if native vegetation returns. However, the limited mobility of many invertebrates and the isolation of many tallgrass remnants raises serious questions as to how prairie invertebrate communities in reconstructed prairies compare to those in remnants. To evaluate the effectiveness of prairie reconstructions in restoring grassland invertebrate communities, we sampled two guilds of terrestrial invertebrates: native bees (Apoidea) and grasshoppers (Acrididae). Both guilds include grassland specialists.  There are pollen specialists and rare kleptoparasitic bees found thus far only in remnant prairies in Missouri. The presence of those bees, and of several species of grasshoppers with limited mobility, on reconstructions would suggest successful prairie reconstruction.We sampled invertebrates from five conservation areas in Missouri containing tallgrass prairie habitat. Three areas contained prairie remnants adjacent to reconstructions, while the remaining two areas consisted of one remnant and one reconstructed prairie. We collected bees and grasshoppers in summers 2016 and 2017. We captured bees with bee bowls, and grasshoppers with sweep nets through standardized sweeps or targeted capture. Community analyses indicate that remnants and reconstructions may differ in composition for both taxa, particularly for grasshoppers. Reconstructed prairies were characterized by more mobile species, that are typically successful in agroecosystems Although not statistically significant, bee species richness and diversity were greater on remnant prairies than on reconstructions. For bees in particular, pollen specialists and kleptoparasites may be less capable of colonizing and surviving in reconstructed prairies. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
103B

11:00am

WALLEYE & PERCH: Walleye Movements in Green Bay: Testing Assumptions of the Current Conceptual Model for Management
AUTHORS. Daniel J. Dembkowski, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Daniel A. Isermann, USGS, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Steven R. Hogler, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Keith N. Turnquist; Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit; Wesley A. Larson; USGS, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit

ABSTRACT. The current conceptual model for Walleye Sander vitreus management in Green Bay is based on the assumptions that the recreational Walleye fishery in southern Green Bay is mostly supported by Walleye spawning in the Fox, Menominee, Oconto, and Peshtigo rivers and that Walleye spawning in these rivers do not substantially contribute to the fishery in northern Green Bay. To test these assumptions, we inferred movements of Walleye tagged in the Fox (N = 1,558), Menominee (N = 1,383), Oconto (N = 1,460), and Peshtigo (N = 1,705) rivers from angler tag return data. Tag return data obtained for N = 578 Walleye during 2012-2016 suggest that Walleye spawning in the four primary tributaries typically remain within southern Green Bay; only two Walleye were recovered north of the boundary between northern and southern Green Bay. However, this assertion may be confounded by the distribution of angling effort that provides tag returns. The primary question that remains regarding current assumptions is whether the Walleye fishery in southern Green Bay is supported primarily by fish spawning in the four primary tributaries, or if there are substantial contributions from fish spawning at other unknown locations. This question is being addressed through a mixed-stock assessment and evaluation of Walleye movements based on acoustic telemetry data. This additional study, which began in September 2017, will involve tracking movements of N = 300 Walleye for = 4 years and will seek to determine the contribution of different spawning stocks to the Walleye fisheries in northern and southern Green Bay, if Walleye spawning within a region or specific tributary are discrete stocks, if stock contributions in each zone vary among seasons, and if a measurable proportion of Walleye leave Green Bay after spawning and enter Lake Michigan.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
103D

11:20am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Battle of the Claws: Competition Between Two Non-native Crayfish Species in the Chicago Region and Potential Spread of Red Swamp Crayfish Throughout the Great Lakes Region
AUTHORS. Erin O'Shaughnessey, Dr. Reuben Keller - Loyola University Chicago

ABSTRACT. Non-native crayfish species pose a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems. They have been shown to decrease macroinvertebrate density and diversity, displace native crayfish, and alter fish communities, damaging sport fish populations. We have identified a reproducing population of red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)in the Chicago region that overlaps with a population of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), a previous and widely distributed invader across the Great Lakes region. The competitive interactions between these species, both of which have large ecosystem impacts, may provide a guide to impacts if P. clarkii continues to spread. We used competition assays to examine interactions between the two species. Size matched individuals collected from the overlapping populations were used to examine interspecific competition for food (n=21 trials) and shelter (n=23). O. rusticus were more likely to spend time in the shelter during the trial period (n=13/23) than P. clarkii (n=4/23). P. clarkii ate the food in more of the food competition trials (n=14/21) and did so more quickly (average time to consumption of 58.21 minutes) when compared to the trials in which O. rusticus ate the food (n=7/21, 81.40 minutes). We used field tethering experiments to examine predation differences between P. clarkii and O. rusticus at two different sites within their overlapping range. Both P. clarkii (n=21/60 vs. n= 18/63)and O. rusticus (n= 10/41 vs. 3/37) were predated on more at Wilmette Harbor than at the North Shore Channel. The success of P. clarkii in the field, combined with our experimental results, indicate that this new invader may be competitively dominant and capable of spreading into freshwater ecosystems where O. rusticus is well established. If this occurs, the total impact of crayfish in rivers and lakes across the Great Lakes region is likely to grow with the potential to cause widespread ecosystem changes.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
103A

11:20am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Effects of Valley Shape and Non-Native Species on Fish Assemblages of U.S. and Mongolian Rivers
AUTHORS. Robert Shields, Mark Pyron, Mario Minder, Caleb Artz - Ball State University; Emily Arsenault, Greg Mathews - University of Kansas

ABSTRACT. Stream interactions with surrounding landscapes can influence nutrient concentrations, suspended solids, habitat, and substrate composition. Valley shape can influence frequency and degree a stream interacts with the surrounding landscape. In a constrained valley the walls are steeper and closer together, limiting the movement of water into the adjacent land. Wide valleys have increased flat floodplain that is inundated during high water events. We used multidimensional scaling to identify variation in fish assemblages among river segments with wide or constrained valleys and for rivers with and without introduced species. We identified variation in fish assemblages for constrained and wide valleys that supported the riverine ecosystem synthesis hypothesis.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
103E

11:20am

SYMPOSIA-06: The Chambana Box Turtle Project: A Collaborative Effort Using Environmental Enrichment to Inform Reintroduction Techniques for Terrapene Carolina
AUTHORS. Sasha J. Tetzlaff, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Brett A. DeGregorio, US Army Corps of Engineers: ERDC-CERL; Jinelle H. Sperry, US Army Corps of Engineers: ERDC-CERL

ABSTRACT. Wildlife reintroductions, particularly those using captive-reared and released (i.e., head-started) animals, can be labor-intensive and costly endeavors, requiring collaboration between multiple institutions. Despite significant effort involved with head-starting programs, they are often unsuccessful because released animals may have difficulty selecting suitable habitat, foraging, and avoiding predators—all of which can impact survival. Understanding what influence rearing techniques have on success or failure are thus needed to inform future efforts. Providing environmental enrichment in head-starting enclosures, with naturalistic features mimicing structural aspects of the release site, holds promise for increasing post-release success by better preparing animals for life in the wild. Here, we report how environmental enrichment affected behavior and survival of a cohort of head-started eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina), a species of conservation concern in the Midwest. We hatched 32 box turtles collected from in-situ nests at Fort Custer Training Center near Battle Creek, Michigan and equally split neonates between enriched and unenriched rearing conditions at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We soft released 12 turtles (six enriched and six unenriched) at Fort Custer in May 2017 after nine months of captive-rearing and used radio-telemetry to compare behavior (habitat use, movement, and exposure), growth rates, and survival between rearing treatments. We found no evidence suggesting any post-release measure differed between treatments. The 20 turtles which remained in captivity will be released in spring of 2018 so we can explore the interaction between rearing treatment and time in captivity on head-starting success. The results of this study will be used to guide reintroduction techniques for box turtles.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
101B

11:20am

SYMPOSIA-07: Evaluating Electrofishing Techniques: A Critical Step in Developing Standardized Sampling Methods for Smallmouth Bass
AUTHORS. Zach Morris, University of Missouri; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Zach Ford, Missouri Department of Conservation; Andy Turner, Missouri Department of Conservation; Jan Dean, Dean Electrofishing, LLC

ABSTRACT. Standardized sampling is essential to monitor Smallmouth Bass populations. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of different electrofishing settings for collecting Smallmouth Bass by measuring immobilization response thresholds. We compared immobilization thresholds for 12 pulsed DC waveforms (30 to 120 pulses per second (Hz), duty cycles of 15 - 40%), including a commonly used waveform to collect Smallmouth Bass (60Hz/25%). A total of 310 Smallmouth Bass from two size groups (18-28; 35-43 cm) and three temperatures: 11 – 14°C, 17 – 20°C, and 22 – 26°C were collected via electrofishing, rested in a pen for >1 hr, and placed in a tank attached to a backpack electrofisher. Voltage was increased from one volt until immobilization was observed. Preliminary analysis using a 3-way anova testing if immobilization threshold differed by waveform, temperature, and fish size revealed two-way interactions with temperature and size (P=0.01) and temperature and waveform (P=0.071). For the coolest water temperature, the lowest immobilization thresholds were generally with 30 Hz waveforms but did not differ from the commonly used 60Hz/25% waveform (P For the warm water temperature, there was interaction between waveform and size class (P=0.031). Immobilization threshold tended to be the lowest for 60Hz/25% and 120Hz/30% waveforms for small fish (P=0.074) and 60Hz/25% was the lowest for larger fish (P=0.007). A standard waveform commonly used to collect Smallmouth Bass (60Hz/25%) was typically grouped with the waveforms that had the lowest voltage gradients. These results reflect preliminary analysis that will be finalized in 2018.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
102A

11:20am

SYMPOSIA-08: Waterbird and Vegetation Responses to 10 Years of Restoration at an Illinois River Floodplain Wetland Complex
AUTHORS. Christopher S. Hine, Illinois Natural History Survey; Heath M. Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Aaron P. Yetter, Illinois Natural History Survey; Michelle M. Horath, Illinois Natural History Survey; Joshua M. Osborn, Auburn University; Randolph V. Smith, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Joshua D. Stafford, U.S. Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. The historic importance of the Illinois River valley (IRV) to waterbirds has been well documented.  Previous studies have suggested waterbird use may serve as an indicator of wetland health or a measure of restoration success.  Restoration of the historic Thompson and Flag lakes, currently known as Emiquon Preserve (Emiquon), in Fulton County, Illinois was initiated by The Nature Conservancy in 2007.  Emiquon, a 2,200-ha former floodplain of the Illinois River that was isolated behind levees and farmed for >80 years, has been undergoing restoration to a wetland complex during the last 10 years. The Nature Conservancy identified key ecological attributes (KEAs) of specific biological characteristics to guide restoration efforts and evaluate success at Emiquon.  We monitored the response of waterbirds and wetland vegetation to restoration at Emiquon during 2007–2016 to evaluate achievement of desired conditions under relevant KEAs.  Our primary efforts included assessing: 1) abundance, diversity, and behavior of waterfowl and other waterbirds through counts and observations; 2) productivity by waterfowl and other waterbirds through brood counts; 3) plant seed and invertebrate biomass as forage for waterfowl during migration; and 4) composition and arrangement of wetland vegetation communities through geospatial covermapping.  Results indicated waterfowl and other waterbirds visited Emiquon in large numbers each autumn and spring with peaks of 4.3–5.6 million use days for ducks and American coots (Fulica americana), respectively.  Emiquon is important to certain species of waterbirds compared to other locations in the IRV.  Vegetation communities provided an abundance of forage for fall-migrating ducks (20–30 million energetic use days).  Furthermore, Emiquon hosts vegetation communities that are rare to connected backwaters of the Illinois River.  However, recent declines in some vegetation communities and duck use indicate the need for management efforts to reset the wetland vegetation cycle at Emiquon.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
102B

11:20am

SYMPOSIA-09: The Science of Listening: An Applied Social Science Approach to Climate Change Research
AUTHORS. Mae Davenport, University of Minnesota

ABSTRACT. Across the Midwest, exposure and sensitivity to climate change vary. While research on the ecological vulnerabilities to climate change, including impacts to fish and wildlife, is growing, research on the social and cultural vulnerabilities to climate change lags behind. Using applied social science research methods, researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Changing Landscapes documented multiple narratives of climate change beliefs and concerns about impacts to fish and wildlife on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data further reveal important meta-narratives of climate change adaptation indicating several significant opportunities and constraints associated with building local community readiness. I will share key lessons from listening to multiple community voices and offer insight on potential strategies and tactics for place-based climate change adaptation.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
102C

11:20am

SYMPOSIA-10: The Little Rapids Restoration Project: A Local, State and Federal Partnership to Improve Habitat and Remove Beneficial Use Impairments from the St. Marys River Area of Concern
AUTHORS. Eric Ellis, Great Lakes Commission

ABSTRACT. The St. Marys River is a unique water body connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron with a binational channel.  In 1987, the river was designated as an Area of Concern (AOC) due to pollution and habitat alteration. The river is listed for multiple Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) under the AOC program including two related to Fish and Wildlife Populations and Habitat.In 1992, the Soo Area Sportsmen’s Club initiated planning to restore the Little Rapids section of the St. Marys River and remove the habitat related BUIs.  Additional local partners involved in this process included a second sportsmen's club, the Chippewa County Road Commission, and the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Developement Commission.  After 25 years of locally driven, and occasionally contentious, project planning the Little Rapids Restoration Project was completed and resulted in the following:Removal of a causeway that blocked natural water flow.Construction of a bridge that restored free flow of water to historic rapids.Improved aquatic connection and fish passage in the Little Rapids area.Better fishing, recreation, and tourism opportunities for the community.Action toward the removal of the Area of Concern designation.Approximately 70 acres of aquatic habitat were restored while providing safe pedestrian access for fishing and replacing a critical piece of infrastructure for residents.  The project has restored foraging, spawning, and nursery habitat for a wide variety of sport fish (including lake sturgeon, whitefish, and salmon) as well as other aquatic organisms needed for a healthy river system. Continued local monitoring and stewardship of the restored rapids will ensure that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.  This habitat and infrastructure project was funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the NOAA-Great Lakes Commission Areas of Concern Regional Partnership.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
102E&D

11:20am

UNGULATES: Pilot Testing a Program to Allow Hunters to Sample Their Own Deer for CWD
AUTHORS. Ben Beardmore, Julie Widholm - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. In 2016 the Wisconsin DNR explored the feasibility of providing CWD self-sampling as a viable method that would allow hunters to sample their own deer. Fifty-two hunters with a history of having their deer tested for CWD enrolled in the pilot during the archery season, with 14 participants ultimately extracting and returning a sample. We administered a web survey to each participant within a week of returning their sample to evaluate the tools and supplies provided in the kit, clarity of instructional materials, experience of sampling lymph nodes from a harvested deer, and ease and convenience of shipping the sample. We also asked respondents to provide general observations and opinions about the feasibility of implementing such a program on a wider scale. Recognizing that targeting only successful participants would bias our evaluation, a separate follow up survey was emailed to all participants who had not returned a sample by the end of deer season. In addition to the questions asked of successful participants, this survey also identified reasons that the participant did not return their tissue sample. In all, 30 participants responded to the surveys.All the samples returned through the pilot contained the correct lymph tissue and were able to be tested. Most hunters who did not return tissue samples reported harvesting a deer; however, they ultimately found taking their deer to a sampling station to be easier or more convenient than sampling the deer themselves. Most respondents recommended expanding the option of self-sampling to all Wisconsin deer hunters, and indicated they would be willing to pay a nominal fee to cover a portion of the costs for the self-sampling kit. With that information, the pilot project has entered its second year, this time focusing on a more diverse group of hunters, including those who have never had their deer tested before, in parts of the state where access to sampling stations is more limited.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
103C

11:20am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Planting for Pollinators: Evaluation of Four Prairie Seed Mixes
AUTHORS. Madison R. Rancour; Natasha J. Blomberg; Margaret A. Kuchenreuther, University of Minnesota, Morris

ABSTRACT. This study evaluates plantings of four mixes of native prairie forbs and grasses developed by the NRCS Bismarck Plant Materials Center with the goal of evaluating species establishment and attractiveness to pollinators. It also documents pollinator diversity in our region. In spring 2014 we planted two replicates of four pollinator mixes: 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% prairie forbs mixed with native grasses. In summers 2015 and 2016 twice/week we walked a transect through each plot to count insects and note the plant species they visited. We also vouchered and identified insect visitors. Once/week we walked each transect to count flowers of each species in bloom. As the stand matured we observed an increase in natives, but by 2016 only 13 of 20 planted forbs had bloomed. In some plots we also observed strong establishment of perennial weeds, such as crown vetch and Canada thistle. The experiment attracted a wide variety of pollinators (123 morphospecies in 22 families), which often exhibited clear floral preferences. As the stand matured, honey bees and bumble bees shifted their preference from non-natives to natives. In both years small bees visited plots with higher densities of native forbs, and more often visited natives over weeds. Honey bees and bumble bees disproportionately preferred the mint species wild bergamot and anise hyssop, while small bees exhibited more generalist behavior. Plots planted with the highest percentage of native forbs attracted the most pollinators overall. Therefore, mixes should contain at least 50% forb seeds to ensure high attractiveness to pollinators, though 75% is even better. One complication in our analysis was a large difference in species establishment between replicate plots and extensive weed invasion in some plots. Therefore, a second conclusion is the importance of careful site preparation to eliminate perennial weeds and their propagules before establishing natives.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
103B

11:20am

WALLEYE & PERCH: The “Tails” That Walleye Tell: The History of Walleye Management in Nebraska Reservoirs
AUTHORS. Melissa Wuellner, University of Nebraska - Kearney; Keith Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Brett Miller, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

ABSTRACT. Due to their popularity among anglers across their native range, Walleye Sander vitreus have been heavily managed through stocking (of Walleye and prey), harvest regulation, and habitat restorations. However, many states continue to see declines in Walleye populations despite these efforts. Similar declines have been noted in Nebraska, particularly in reservoirs that provide most of the recreational fishing hours in the state. Both Harlan County Reservoir and Lake McConaughy, two important Walleye fisheries in Nebraska, were stocked with Walleye for a few years immediately following creation of these reservoirs, but limited stocking occurred for the next 20 – 30 years as natural recruitment supported self-sustaining fisheries during most years. Since the late 1980s, however, stocking of Walleyes has occurred nearly every year as natural recruitment declined. In recent years, stocking has contributed 70 – 90% of year classes, and stocked individuals grow relatively fast. Previous research has focused on identifying the factors that influence adult Walleye relative abundance in these stocked systems. In this presentation, we will present the history of Walleye management in Harlan County Reservoir and Lake McConaughy and of research that has advanced our understanding on the dynamics of Walleye recruitment in these systems.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
103D

11:40am

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Spatiotemporal Patterns from Electrofishing Catches at Lake Michigan Invasive Species Hotspot Locations
AUTHORS. Matt Petasek, Tony Rieth, Cari-Ann Hayer - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Jacob Richter

ABSTRACT. Appropriate sampling designs are critical to informative data collection and scientifically sound decision making. While many sampling characteristics (e.g., gear type, location, sample size, etc.) should be considered, the sampling timeframe(s) efforts can have large effects on collected data. Temporal fluctuations in near shore fish assemblages can occur due to changes in fish behavior, biology and physiology and are influenced by a multitude of factors (e.g., water temperatures, dissolved oxygen levels, photoperiod, and prey availability). These fluctuations affect fish detection and may ultimately result in biases in the sampling data. Currently, as part of the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) sampling regime, electrofishing efforts are performed once a year during a one or two week timeframe at each of five hotspot locations when water temperatures are around 23°C. This short sampling timeframe may not be the most appropriate time period(s) to sample; increased detection and species richness may be gained by sampling during numerous temporal periods. The goal of the project was to design an effective and efficient sampling regime for AIS electrofishing efforts. Our objective was to determine the most effective sampling periods to maximize the number of fish species detected in Lake Michigan. In 2017, we sampled in spring, summer and fall to incorporate a range of temperatures and potential seasonal variability. Spring sampling resulted in the collection of 4,890 fish from 52 species.  We intend to compare and analyze these data with the data collected from replicate sampling events in the summer and fall seasons to relationships and describe changes in fish communities as they relate to spatiotemporal patterns. The purpose of the AIS program is to detect non-indigenous species early before they spread; the goal of this study is to determine if additional species can be detected at different spatial and temporal scales.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
103A

11:40am

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Trophic Alterations in the Ohio River Fish Assemblages
AUTHORS. Mark Pyron, Mario Minder, Robert Shields, Nicole Chodkowski, Zach Laughlin - Ball State University

ABSTRACT. Long-term monitoring of large river fish assemblages are available to test for temporal variation and correlation with environmental data. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) was founded to monitor water quality and curb overwhelming pollution throughout the Ohio River Basin. Biological assessments included lockchamber fish rotenone surveys from 1954-2014. We used multivariate procedures to detect temporal patterns in the fish assemblage, and we tested for correlation with landuse variation. Ohio River fish assemblages are modified from 50 years ago, with decreased omnivores and increased piscivores. Agriculture landuse decreased and forest landuse increased during this period, and these patterns were significantly correlated with fish assemblage variation. We will discuss sport fisheries modifications, food web effects and compare to other rivers with longterm fish assemblage results.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
103E

11:40am

SYMPOSIA-06: Community, Health, and Stress Response of Reintroduced and Resident Amphibians to Oak Woodland Restoration
AUTHORS. Allison Sacerdote-Velat; Mary Beth Manjerovic; Rachel Santymire

ABSTRACT. To improve oak regeneration in Illinois forested wetlands, a restoration project was implemented that creates light gaps via invasive understory removal and selective thinning of overstory trees. Restoration sites include a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) reintroduction site where persistence and recruitment has been documented since 2010. To determine the impact of oak restoration on amphibian communities, we began a three-year photo-mark-recapture study to examine amphibian community structure, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) incidence, and amphibian stress in five restoration sites and one control site along the Des Plaines River. In 2016, wood frogs expanded breeding from two ponds to four ponds. We observed a north-south gradient of low to high representation of spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), which are thought to be declining in the region. Blue-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) had consistent representation across sites. In 2017, we observed record high numbers of wood frog egg masses in the reintroduction site, and conducted feasibility assessment for expansion of wood frog reintroduction to additional oak restoration sites. We compared spring peeper and boreal chorus frog (Pseudacris maculatum) larval survival using in situ enclosures along the north-south gradient of representation, examining canopy cover and water chemistry parameters.  Bd and cortisol (CORT) swabs were collected across species and sites through time. In 2016, we observed a Bd sample prevalence of 17.5% across sites. Bd was detected in four of six sites. Bd-positive species included green frogs (Lithobates clamitans), bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), chorus frogs, spring peepers, American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), and blue-spotted salamanders. CORT levels of each species were similar across sites, but northern leopard frog CORT was greater with positive Bd status. 2017 swabs are currently being analyzed. As habitat quality improves, we expect increased amphibian diversity, decreases in CORT across sites, and decreased incidence of Bd.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
101B

11:40am

SYMPOSIA-07: Spatial and Temporal Distribution Affects Standardized Sampling Results of Two Sportfish Species in a Midwestern Reservoir
AUTHORS. Benjamin J. Schall, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks / University of Nebraska Kearney; Keith D. Koupal, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Casey W. Schoenebeck, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources / University of Nebraska Kearney

ABSTRACT. Effective standardized sampling protocols can be difficult to establish, particularly in large reservoirs exhibiting a gradient of available habitats. Research on the impact of seasonal fish distribution on population dynamics information can be limited. Therefore, developing a better understanding of fish aggregation patterns can assist managers in sample design and the interpretation of potential influences on sampling data. Lake McConaughy is a large irrigation and hydroelectric reservoir over 35 km in length located in western Nebraska and covers more than 14,000 hectares. Investigation of spatial and seasonal distribution of two common sportfish species was performed to determine potential biases related to sampling design. Significant seasonal differences in distribution occurred in catch per gill net night and mean total length (mm). Results of population dynamics assessments also indicated seasonal differences in age (years), projected growth, and mortality, which has the potential to impact management objectives. However, trends were not consistent for Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). The information obtained from this research indicates that a stratified sampling approach may be necessary in large reservoirs, and sample timing should reflect research or management objectives.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
102A

11:40am

SYMPOSIA-08: Breeding Bird Use of Restored Shallow Lakes in Iowa
AUTHORS. Rachel A. Vanausdall, Tyler M. Harms, Stephen J. Dinsmore - Iowa State University

ABSTRACT. Due to the dramatic decline in wetland area, wetland restoration in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is becoming critically important to breeding birds. The Shallow Lakes Restoration Project (SLRP), a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited, Inc, aims to restore degraded shallow lakes throughout the Iowa PPR for birds and other wildlife. To examine the potential impact of the SLRP on birds, we conducted unlimited-radius point counts with call-broadcast surveys and Distance Sampling for breeding marsh birds at 16 wetlands in various stages of restoration in 2016 and 2017.  We estimated density as a function of restoration age for Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), and Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola). Additionally, we compared these estimates to a study from 2009-2010 that estimated marsh bird occupancy and density at several of these sites before restoration. We recorded a total of 46 Least Bitterns, 300 Pied-billed Grebes, and 110 Virginia Rails in 2016 and 2017 combined. We detected 71.7% of Least Bitterns in sites restored 6-11 years ago and 21.7% in sites restored 1-5 years ago. For Pied-billed Grebes, 58.3% and 41.3% were detected in older sites and younger sites, respectively. For Virginia Rails, 55.5% were detected in older sites and 34.5% were detected in younger sites. Very few individuals were detected in non-restored sites for all species.  Density was positively correlated with restoration age for Least Bitterns (ß = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.18, 0.51), Pied-billed Grebes (ß = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.11, 0.26) and Virginia Rails (ß = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.14, 0.28).  Restorations by the SLRP appear to be having a positive impact on our three study species. As these wetlands age, emergent vegetation growth and increased prey abundance likely provide suitable conditions for these species. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
102B

11:40am

UNGULATES: Long-term Collaborative Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management, Using Focused Rewards Guided by Prevalence Distributions: a Proposal
AUTHORS. Michael Foy, Retired

ABSTRACT. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is thought to be a slowly progressing but universally fatal disease of cervids, a wildlife resource likely worth billions of dollars to the midwestern U.S. and Canadian economy annually.  CWD is proving to be a serious challenge to application of traditional wildlife management and human dimensions techniques, with very few examples of successful and sustained CWD management as measured by disease frequency, prevalence and distribution stabilization or reduction.  With disease prevalence now exceeding 30-50% within some cohorts of local populations of white-tailed deer, CWD may prove to be an existential threat to continued recreational use of this popular midwest wildlife resource in the coming century, if not threatening cervid populations directly.This presentation proposes modeling disease prevalence distributions to geographically locate concentrations of CWD-infected cervids, and to reward citizens, hunters, landowners, and small businesses that report, harvest, sample, test and provide access to CWD positive animals.  The goal is to encourage societal collaboration and participation to produce negative disease growth while maintaining positive cervid population growth, and thus manage CWD through long-term attrition until vaccines or other solutions are developed.  Techniques to encourage participation, evaluate disease dynamics, and discourage fraud are discussed.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
103C

11:40am

UPLAND GAME BIRDS & POLLINATORS: Impacts of Neonicotinoid Seed-treatment Use on Native Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Missouri Agroecosystems
AUTHORS. Anson R. Main, School of Natural Resources - University of Missouri; Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Keith W. Goyne, School of Natural Resources - University of Missouri; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation

ABSTRACT. Pervasively used as seed-treatments, neonicotinoid insecticides are widely applied across North American agroecosystems. Due to their high water solubility, neonicotinoids may be rapidly transported to adjacent field margins during precipitation events. Additionally, previous research demonstrates the potential accumulation of residues by non-target plant species. Unlike honeybees, numerous wild bee populations nest in the ground in close proximity to cultivated fields and flower foraging areas. To that end, it is unknown if native bee species are equally exposed to neonicotinoids through soil and non-target plants surrounding cropped fields (i.e., field margins). Few studies have evaluated neonicotinoid impacts on wild pollinator populations, including solitary and eusocial bee species (e.g., bumblebees). To evaluate the effects of neonicotinoid exposure on native pollinator abundance and diversity, we sampled 24 agricultural fields (treated and untreated) on four conservation areas in central and northern Missouri from pre-seeding to harvest in year 2016. At each field, we collected field and field-margin soils, sampled herbaceous and woody flowering species in field margins, and surveyed and collected a wide variety of native pollinators over time. Neonicotinoid residues were detected in field and field-margin soils during all sampling periods (frequency: pre-seeding, 58%; post-seeding, 67%; mid-growing, 69%; and, harvest, 58%). Clothianidin was the most-frequently detected active ingredient in field and margin soils with concentrations ranging from 0.16 to 55.7 µg/kg. Compared to untreated reference fields, native bee abundance was significantly less in both treated corn (ß = -0.72 ± 0.20, P = 0.002) and treated soybean fields (ß = -0.95 ± 0.28, P = 0.005). Here, we present our preliminary findings and discuss how this research improves our understanding of the potential impacts of neonicotinoid seed-treatment use on non-target native pollinator communities in agroecosystems.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
103B

11:40am

WALLEYE & PERCH: A Proposal to Implement a 21” Minimum Length Limit on Walleye Harvest at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Kansas
AUTHORS. Dave Spalsbury, Susan Steffen - Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT. Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Trego Co., KS is an impoundment of the Smoky Hill River in western Kansas completed in 1951 and characterized by widely fluctuating water level. Walleye were first introduced in 1953 with harvest regulated by a 5 fish/day creel limit since initial introduction and an 18” minimum length limit (MLL) implemented in 1990.  Since 2001 stocking consisted of two disparate stockings thus natural production and recruitment, coupled with a lag in angler harvest, fostered development of a population characterized by sufficient quality dynamics to support egg collection for Kansas hatchery production.  Cedar Bluff has been an important egg source since 2006.  Decreased trends in abundance of larger walleye were documented by standard sampling and spring egg collection efforts in recent years.  Sex-specific population age structure was determined from otoliths collected during spring 2017 and growth was similar to that documented in 2010 and 2011.  Anectdotal evidence, supported by trends in annual state park visitation during March to May and angler preference documented by creel surveys indicated that walleye fishing pressure had increased.  The most recent creel survey conducted in 2014 documented; high harvest from March to October at 5,620 walleye (1.86 walleye/ac.), nearly 100% of fish 18” and larger caught were harvested, and walleye was the most preferred sportfish by anglers.    Taken together, good recent production and recruitment, no to minimal decrease in growth despite increased abundance, and high walleye specific angling pressure and harvest made it apparent that recruitment overfishing limited abundance of larger walleye.  To allow recovery of size structure and optimize reproductive potential, a proposal to implement a 21” MLL on walleye harvest was made.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
103D

12:00pm

Lunch Break on own
Tuesday January 30, 2018 12:00pm - 1:20pm
TBD

1:20pm

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Combining Invasive Species Risk Assessments with Climate Change Scenarios to Predict Future Invaders in the Great Lakes
AUTHORS. Victoria A. Prescott, Loyola University Chicago; Reuben P. Keller, Loyola University Chicago

ABSTRACT. Invasive species and climate change are two of the largest threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function across the Midwest. As climates change the risk of invasive species will also change, with different species likely to establish and spread. Despite this, few invasive species risk assessments incorporate climate change scenarios, limiting their potential to effectively predict and respond to invasion risks. Incorporating climate change into risk assessment is especially important for regions such as the Great Lakes Basin that are under constant threat of invasion, and where further spread of existing invaders is likely. Using two climate change scenarios based on intermediate and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions throughout this century, we have examined the climate similarity between predicted Great Lakes’ future climates and the native ranges of species previously assessed for invasion in the Great Lakes. Preliminary results suggest that some aquatic species which were previously evaluated as having a low potential for invasion have strong invasion potential due to climate change. We also found that some species will have reduced potential to invade under future climates. This study shows that incorporating climate change projections into invasive species risk assessments may lead to better policy and management guidance for the Great Lakes Basin. In particular, more accurate risk assessment tools that include climate scenarios will allow policy-makers and managers to better prioritize limited available resources.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103A

1:20pm

FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Geographic Variation in Songs of the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea)
AUTHORS. Garrett J. MacDonald, Kamal Islam - Ball State University

ABSTRACT. The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is one of the fastest declining North American wood-warblers (family Parulidae) based on data from the Breeding Bird Survey. The species was petitioned and subsequently denied listing under the Endangered Species Act in the early 2000’s, and since then, its ecology has been well studied in several parts of its breeding range. One aspect that has received relatively little attention, however, is the species’ singing behavior, and specifically, the potential for the existence of regional song dialects. Dialects, broad-scale geographic patterns of unique singing, are informative about patterns of population connectivity and dispersal, and since birdsong functions in courtship and territoriality, it has the potential to promote speciation by acting as a pre-mating isolating mechanism. We examined geographic variation in songs of the Cerulean Warbler by measuring spectral and temporal characteristics of songs from >100individuals in 21 states and provinces in the breeding range. Recordings were obtained from the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds, the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, and Xeno-Canto, and we also used some of our own recordings and those of collaborators. Sonograms were created and acoustic measurements were performed in Raven Pro 1.5. Acoustic parameters measured included minimum and maximum frequencies (kHz) for the first, second, and third sections of song and the entire song; frequency range for the first, second, and third sections of song and the entire song; number of syllable types within the first and second sections of song and within the entire song; total number of syllables per song; and total length of time per song. This is the first study to examine if song dialects exist in this species. This work could have important implications for the management and conservation of the Cerulean Warbler, and could necessitate vocally distinct populations to be managed separately.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103C

1:20pm

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Origins, Current Status, and Potential Roles of Oxbows for Conservation and Nutrient Reduction in Agricultural Landscapes: Introduction to the Oxbow Session
AUTHORS. Clay L. Pierce, U.S. Geological Survey; Keith E. Schilling, Iowa Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. Oxbows are a common geomorphic feature in floodplains of agricultural landscapes. Formed when looping stream meanders are cut off through bank erosion or as the result of artificial straightening, oxbows are among the few remaining slow or standing water habitats associated with many streams in these regions. Previous studies have established oxbows’ conservation value for federally listed Topeka shiners, as well as their habitat value for numerous other native fish species. Ongoing conservation studies, which will be presented in this session, describe efforts to identify oxbow remnants for restoration, landscape and habitat characteristics of oxbows associated with presence of Topeka shiners, restoration programs in Iowa and Minnesota to increase the number and quality of oxbows for Topeka shiners, and efforts to evaluate the success of oxbow restorations. Additional research focuses on the benefits of restoring oxbows for water quality. Oxbow restorations are being evaluated as potential best management practice for reducing nutrient losses from agricultural regions. Ongoing research presented in this session describes quantification of nutrient reduction benefits at individual oxbow sites and presents the value and benefits of oxbow restorations within a watershed water quality planning context. A comparison of the value of oxbow restorations within the context of statewide nutrient reduction strategies in Iowa will also be discussed. There is great potential for future oxbow restorations to combine approaches to simultaneously provide both conservation and nutrient reduction benefits. These combined efforts will be good examples of “Strengthening Natural Resources through Collaboration”.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103E

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-06: Weather Patterns and Habitat Usage of Adult Eastern Tiger Salamanders in the Prairie Pothole Region of West-Central Minnesota
AUTHORS. Katherine Novak, Heather Waye - University of Minnesota Morris

ABSTRACT. The Prairie Pothole Region is a key ecosystem in Minnesota as its mixture of prairie and wetlands allows for an abundance of wildlife. The widespread loss of this ecosystem to agriculture and development has likely had a negative impact on numerous species. Basic information about some of these species is lacking, therefore, we need to better understand the habitat requirements of the organisms that occupy this region. One of these organisms is the Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), which utilizes both prairie and wetland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. Metamorphic tiger salamanders breed in ponds in the spring, and then generally move upland and live underground. The factors that prompt this movement from the aquatic to terrestrial habitat, and the requirements of metamorphic salamanders in each habitat, are not clear. We tracked a total of twelve adult salamanders between May and October 2016 using radiotelemetry, and collected associated weather and habitat data. The salamanders occupied the breeding ponds until later in the season, and used the ponds more extensively, than expected. Longer movements between sites were usually preceded by precipitation events, particularly a wide-scale movement from aquatic to terrestrial locations. Associations between movement data and habitat occupation and abiotic factors such as humidity, temperature, and water depth will be explored.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
101B

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-07: Using Statewide Survey Data to Support Local-scale Management in Michigan Streams
AUTHORS. Troy Zorn, Todd Wills, Jan-Michael Hessenauer, Danielle Forsyth Kilijanczyk - Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division; Joel Lenz, Michigan State University; Ed Bissell, Michigan State University; Ashley DePottey, Esri; Anila Francis, Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget; Henry Quinlan, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Brett Fessell, Natural Resources Department of Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

ABSTRACT. Building upon insights from fishery managers and multi-decadal studies on trout populations, the state of Michigan embarked on a statewide program to monitor trends in wild trout populations and to characterize (i.e., assess the status of) fish assemblages and habitats in all streams. Initiated in 2002, the Status and Trends Program is providing a rich set of information from standardized surveys across Michigan. Data from this program support public-facing tools which inform stakeholders (biologists, anglers, various publics) of trends in highly-valued trout populations and provide a scientific, quantitative basis for making management decisions on individual stream reaches. Launched in 2014, the Fish Population Trend Viewer Trend Viewer allows users to assess trends in wild trout abundance, growth, and survival using data from index sites scattered across the state. A companion tool for evaluating fish assemblage and habitat characteristics for streams is scheduled for release in 2017. The Michigan Stream Evaluator will compare conditions at an individual site with benchmarks computed from surveys in streams having user-specified size, temperature, channel gradient, and geographic location attributes. Both tools are refreshed annually with additional stream survey data collected for the Status and Trends Program.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102A

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-08: Survey Methodology, Movement Ecology, and Vital Rates of the Virginia Rail and Sora in the Lake Erie Coastal Marshes of Northern Ohio
AUTHORS. James Hansen, The Ohio State University; Nicole Hengst, The Ohio State University; Brendan Shirkey, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; John Simpson, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; Robert Gates, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT. Secretive marsh bird surveys using the Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol have been established across much of the upper Midwest over the past decade to assess population trends for numerous marsh bird species. However, sampling frameworks have varied between monitoring authorities, and species-specific and sub-region specific recommendations for various sampling frameworks have not been evaluated. Sora (Porzana carolina) and Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) are of particular interest in Ohio because of their status as game birds with liberal harvest regulations. We aim to evaluate the efficacy of contrasting sampling designs in regards to estimating population parameters of the Virginia rail and sora, study their intraseasonal movements, and estimate breeding season survival. Point count surveys using the national protocol were conducted at Winous Point Marsh Conservancy in Northern Ohio, with points located on dikes and within interior portions of wetlands to draw comparisons between the two survey location types.  Virginia rails and soras were captured and fitted with VHF radio-transmitters and tracked daily to investigate bird movements between, within, and out of survey sites during secretive marsh bird monitoring windows to elucidate effects of bird movements on parameter estimates from point count surveys. Data from 2016 and 2017 indicated that 161 of 209 radio-marked rails (73 of 98 and 88 of 111, respectively) left the study area during the breeding season, with 49 and 55, respectively, of the emigrant rails departing the study site during the current three national secretive marsh bird survey windows. Mean home range sizes for Virginia rail and sora was 6.51 and 3.67 ha (SE = 1.40, n = 57 and SE = 0.95, n = 7, respectively). Probability of survival decreased across the breeding season (0.341 – 0.944). This work will lend greater understanding of rail ecology and management in Northern Ohio.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102B

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-11: Aquatic Tox in Amphibians--perfluorinated Substances Are Chemicals of Emerging Concern
AUTHORS. Samuel Guffey, Gary Hoover, Sarah Abercrombie, Jason Hoverman, Linda Lee, Marisol Sepulveda - Purdue University

ABSTRACT. Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) are becoming prominent because various studies suggest that current levels of pollution may already be detrimental to fish, wildlife, and human health. One class of CECs, the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), are present in surface and groundwater because of societal uses. They are also very stable, widely distributed, and potentially toxic. They may also be endocrine-disrupting chemicals, particularly for the thyroid system. Because amphibian metamorphosis is controlled by the thyroid, they may be especially sensitive to PFAS contamination. However, effects on amphibians, which might encounter PFASs in water, soil, and prey, have not been examined in detail. Using controlled laboratory experiments, we examined the bioconcentration and sublethal effects of four PFASs in larval American Toads, Anaxyrus americanus, larval Eastern Tiger Salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum, and larval Northern Leopard Frogs, Rana pipiens. Each species was subjected to constant aqueous exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), or 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (6:2FTS) at 10 ppb, 100 ppb, or 1000 ppb. Estimated bioconcentration factor (BCF) varied depending on exposure concentration, duration, chemical, and species. Generally, PFOS was most bioaccumulative. In all three species, many of the BCFs decreased from initially higher values to

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102C

1:20pm

SYMPOSIA-12: USGS National Wildlife Health Center Collaborations with Partners on Wildlife Disease Response
AUTHORS. Barbara Bodenstein, US Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center

ABSTRACT. Wildlife mortality events usually occur unannounced and can become highly visible public affairs, depending upon the scale or species involved.  The effects of emerging wildlife diseases have the potential to be global and profound, often resulting in the loss of human lives, economic and agricultural impacts, declines in wildlife populations, and ecological disturbance. The impacts of these diseases also have the potential to increase burden on local, regional and national public, domestic animal and wildlife health infrastuctures.In 1975, the Federal government responded to the need for establishing national expertise in wildlife health by creating the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), a facility within the Department of the Interior (DOI); the NWHC is the only national center dedicated to wildlife disease detection, control, and prevention. Its mission is to provide national leadership to safeguard wildlife and eco­system health through active partnerships (primarily State, Federal and Tribal wildlife and land trust agencies) and exceptional science. Through this comprehensive program involving biomed­ical and ecological expertise and capabilities, the NWHC is a world leader in developing research solutions to the most deadly wildlife diseases, such as avian influenza, white-nose syndrome in bats, and other emerging diseases that have devastated wildlife populations and pose significant public health, domestic animal health and economic risks. This approach highlights coordinated efforts of multiple disciplines and agencies to understanding diseases and attaining optimal health for conservation of wildlife populations as well as people, animals, and our environment. The One Health concept provides a useful framework for creating the robust partnerships necessary to address these urgent issues of concern as stewards of the Nation's wildlife resources.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
102E&D

1:20pm

SMALL MAMMALS: Effects of Age, Sex, and Population Dynamics on Dispersal of American Martens
AUTHORS. Michael Joyce, University of Minnesota Duluth; John Erb, Pam Coy, Barry Sampson - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Ron Moen, University of Minnesota Duluth

ABSTRACT. Dispersal is a condition-dependent behavioral strategy with implications for gene flow, meta-population dynamics, and social structure. Many studies have focused on understanding the conditions that influence the strength and direction of density-dependence and sex-bias in animal dispersal. Although mating system and social structure are among the factors proposed to explain dispersal strategies, relatively few studies have tested for density-dependence or sex-bias in dispersal by solitary, territorial carnivores. Our objectives were to evaluate how age, sex, and population dynamics influence dispersal probability, distance, and timing in American martens, a solitary carnivore exhibiting intrasexual territoriality. We radiocollared 150 martens from 2008-2015 and used telemetry locations, annual marten abundance estimates, and annual prey indices to test whether dispersal was influenced by age, sex, population density, or per capita prey resource density. Juvenile martens dispersed more frequently and earlier than adults. Females were more likely to disperse than males, but there was no difference in dispersal distances or timing between sexes. Neither marten density nor per capita prey density influenced the probability that individual martens dispersed, but we captured more juveniles and a greater proportion of monitored martens dispersed in years with better recruitment. There was no relationship between dispersal distance and marten density or per capita prey density. However, the three longest dispersal distances observed occurred at the highest marten density. Martens tended to disperse during the two months following the short, intense harvest season, when there was a flux of vacant territories, or during late winter, when temperatures were warmer, snow was compacted, and energetic costs of thermoregulation and movement were lower. Our results provide evidence for the roles of social structure, harvest, and population dynamics on dispersal in martens. Our results also demonstrate the importance of considering both inter-annual variation in population and resource density when testing for density-dependence.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103B

1:20pm

STURGEON, ESOCIDS & COREGONIDS: Genetic Origins and Movement of Lake Sturgeon in the St. Louis River and Western Lake Superior
AUTHORS. Kayden Estep, Dr. Justin VanDeHey, Dr. Joshua Rabbe - University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Patrick Schmalz, Deserae Hendrickson, Dan Wilfond - Duluth Field Office-Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Andrew Carlson, Fisheries Research Unit-Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Paul Piszczeck, Lake Superior Fisheries Unit-Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Brian Borkholder, Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

ABSTRACT. Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens were extirpated in the St. Louis River (SLR) by the early 1900’s. Nearly complete elimination of exploitation along with improvements in water quality and habitat led to joint effort by the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources to re-establish Lake Sturgeon in the SLR. Lake Sturgeon from the Wolf River (Lake Michigan) drainage were stocked from 1983-1994. Lake Sturgeon from Lake Superior sources, the Bad (1988) and Sturgeon Rivers (1998-2000), were also stocked into the SLR. Recently, natural reproduction has been documented, however questions still exist about the genetic origins of spawning fish. Our objectives were to determine (1) the genetic origin of Lake Sturgeon collected in the SLR and (2) if Lake Sturgeon remain in the SLR throughout the year or emigrate into Lake Superior. During 2016 and 2017, 383 adult Lake Sturgeon ranging from 82-166 cm in length were collected in the SLR using electrofishing. One hundred one Lake Sturgeon received acoustic transmitters, 45 in 2016 and 56 in 2017. The 45 fish that received acoustic transmitters in 2016 genetically assigned to the Wolf River strain. From April 2016 to April 2017 forty-four of 45 tagged fish were detected on acoustic receivers placed in the SLR. Twenty-six of 44 detected fish exited the SLR, moving into Western Lake Superior; Sturgeon moved primarily between June and September, but as late as December. Nineteen fish did not emigrate, suggesting a resident population in the SLR. An additional 33 receivers were deployed (41 total) in April 2017 to increase resolution of fish movements in the SLR and Western Lake Superior. Knowledge of genetic origins and movement patterns will aid in management for this species of concern in Lake Superior and throughout the Great Lakes Basin. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm
103D

1:40pm

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Effects of 2, 4-D Herbicide Treatments Used to Control Eurasian Watermilfoil on Fish and Zooplankton in Northern Wisconsin Lakes
AUTHORS. Nicholas Rydell, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey; Justin VanDeHey, College of Natural Resources; John Kubisiak, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Kevin Gauthier, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Scott Van Egeren, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) Myriophyllum spicatum is one of the most problematic invasive macrophytes in the United States. Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4-D) herbicides are widely used to control EWM and have been used since the 1950’s. However, little is known regarding the effects of 2, 4-D on larval fishes outside of laboratory experiments. The objectives of this study were to determine if 2, 4-D treatments affect: 1) feeding, survival, and growth of larval fish, and 2) diversity, abundance, and size of zooplankton. During 2015-2017, research was conducted on six lakes in northern Wisconsin, including a pre-treatment (2015), treatment (2016) and post-treatment year (2017). During 2016 (treatment year), three lakes served as reference systems, while three other lakes received a whole-lake 2, 4-D herbicide treatment. Zooplankton taxa followed similar trends between 2015 and 2016, but these trends were inconsistent in treatment lakes for some taxa in 2017. Larval Yellow Perch peak abundance was lower in treatment lakes during 2017 compared to 2016, but was similar between these years in reference systems. No difference in survival was observed between reference and treatment lake net pen trials for both juvenile Yellow Perch (F=1.62, df =1, 3, P =0.2926) and Bluegill (F=0.00, df =1, 7, P =0.9539). Information collected during this study will aid managers in determining the use of 2, 4-D treatments for whole lake manipulations.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103A

1:40pm

FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Seasonal Habitat Use by Fledgling Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea)
AUTHORS. Clayton D. Delancey, Garrett MacDonald, Claire Nemes, Kamal Islam – Ball State University

ABSTRACT. The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea), a Neotropical migratory songbird, is listed as state-endangered in Indiana, and a species of concern across its range. This species is declining faster than any other species of wood-warbler in North America. Since 2007, we have been monitoring Cerulean Warbler breeding populations in Yellowwood and Morgan-Monroe state forests in southern Indiana as part of a 100-year project called the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment. This long-term study aims to determine the effects of different forest management techniques on plant and animal communities. Based on previous research, many mature forest-dependent Neotropical migrant fledglings move from mature forest habitat, into areas of thick vegetation such as clear-cuts. We are interested in determining where fledgling Cerulean Warblers disperse after leaving their nests, but before migrating to their wintering grounds. We present results on fledgling movements using radio-telemetry data from three field seasons (2015-2017). By identifying Cerulean Warbler habitats throughout the breeding season (territory establishment, nesting site selection, and fledgling dispersal), we can better inform natural resource personnel on how to manage forests to meet the habitat needs of Cerulean Warblers. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103C

1:40pm

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Oxbow Restorations in Iowa: A Compilation of Data and Lessons Learned over the past 17 Years
AUTHORS. Aleshia Kenney, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Prior to European settlement and widespread land use change, the prairie streams of Iowa naturally meandered, creating cut-offs of the outside loops of the main stream. These loops became U-shaped oxbow ponds that were reconnected to the stream during high-flow events. They remained hydraulically-connected to the alluvial aquifer and sustained adequate water even during dry summers. Warmer groundwater also prevented winter freeze-out. These oxbows provided habitat for many species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes, including the now endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka). Anthropomorphic practices on the landscape have altered stream hydrology and hastened the disconnection of oxbows from the adjacent streams. Once abundant, these oxbows have slowly filled with sediment, disconnecting them from the alluvial aquifer. Fish still find these oxbows during high flow events, only to die in the summer when they dry up or in the winter when they freeze through. Overall, this type of habitat has been greatly degraded or eliminated. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Illinois-Iowa Ecological Services Field Office began restoring oxbows in north-west Iowa in 2001 with over 70 oxbows now restored.  This program has fostered many partnerships over the years, with goals and priorities changing as new restoration opportunities developed.  I will present on some lessons learned about oxbow restorations, results of fish surveys (species and abundance), bird surveys, and water quality data.  I will also present on strategies for effective implementation and funding for this conservation strategy.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103E

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-06: The Influence of Landscape Factors and Prescribed Fire on the Occupancy Dynamics of Blue-Spotted Salamanders
AUTHORS. John P. Vanek, Richard B. King - Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University; Gary A. Glowacki, Natural Resource Division, Lake County Forest Preserve District

ABSTRACT. The Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) is one of the most common salamander species in forested regions of the upper Midwest, but little is known of its basic ecology, let alone responses to management. The effects of prescribed fire on midwestern amphibians are poorly known although research suggests that salamander abundance may be negatively influenced by spring burns. To address these knowledge gaps, we used artificial cover objects to collect presence/absence data on adult Blue-Spotted Salamanders in 58 forest preserves under active management in northeastern Illinois. We surveyed 232 permanent monitoring plots from 2009 – 2015 and used landcover and burn data to construct dynamic (multi-season) occupancy models. Over the 7 years, we detected Blue-spotted Salamanders at 85 sites (37%) across 28 preserves (48%). Probability of detection ranged from 4% to 65% and was positively influenced by proximity to woodland pools and forest habitat. Similarly, site occupancy was positively influenced by percent forest cover and the presence of a nearby woodland pool, ranging from nearly zero to 83%. We observed 47 colonization and 23 extinction events and found minimal evidence that prescribed burns impacted these vital rates. Instead, we found that site persistence was related to percent forest cover: sites with 50% whereas sites with forest cover > 50% had

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
101B

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-07: Simultaneously Assessing Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish Populations with Unbaited Hoop Nets in the Minnesota River
AUTHORS. Anthony R. Sindt, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Fisheries managers desire efficient sampling methods with sufficient precision for monitoring catfish populations.  We conducted single unbaited hoop net surveys in the Minnesota River to evaluate efficacy of simultaneously assessing stock size (= 280 mm) Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus and quality size (= 510 mm) Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris populations.  We compared catch rates and length distributions among months, and used resampling procedures to estimate the number of hoop net samples needed to achieve desirable precision (i.e., RSE = 25 and RSE = 15) of catch rate estimates and adequate statistical power (= 0.80 with a = 0.10) to detect simulated reductions in mean catch rates with two-tailed t-tests.  We observed mean ± SE catch rates of 2.1 ± 0.3 Channel Catfish/net-night and 0.8 ± 0.1 Flathead Catfish/net-night.  Resampling procedures demonstrated a minimum of 68 hoop net samples during August are needed to achieve desirable precision (RSE = 25) and adequate statistical power to detect 50% reductions in mean catch rates of both species.  Unbaited hoop nets are effective for simultaneously assessing Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish populations in the Minnesota River and conducting surveys during August provides the best balance between catch rate and precision while minimizing perceived environmental and behavior biases.  We expect the same could be true for other rivers with moderate–high density Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish populations, but the best time of year for conducting surveys likely varies regionally.  However, the amount of sampling effort needed to detect small population changes (

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102A

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-08: King Rail Trapping and Telemetry at the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy
AUTHORS. Brendan Shirkey, John Simpson, Mike Picciuto - Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; Tom Kashmer, Sandusky County Parks District

ABSTRACT. King rails (Rallus elegans) in the northerly, migratory population that breeds in the Upper Midwest (i.e., Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio), USA, are poorly studied due to their low abundance and secretive nature. We conducted a pilot project (2014-2017) to evaluate trapping efficiency and detection techniques of king rails in northwest Ohio. The project site, a privately owned WRE coastal wetland complex, held strong numbers of king rails historically, but they are now rarely recorded during formal marshbird surveys. The objectives of this project included (1) evaluating trapping efficiency of walk-in traps compared to whoosh nets for capturing king rails, (2) comparing secretive marshbird surveys with call-broadcast trap sites monitored by trail cameras for obtaining king rail detection data and (3) obtaining migratory and wintering data by equipping king rails with satellite transmitters. Six king rails were captured using walk-in traps, and two were captured using whoosh nets. Whoosh nets were more effective with a capture rate of 0.28 king rails/trap night compared to 0.02 king rails/trap night using walk-in-traps. Based on an estimated minimum count, 13 King rails were detected in 2 years at established trapping locations (n = 147 trap nights) compared to zero King rail detections during that same period while conducting secretive marshbird surveys (n = 84 points).  We obtained some of the first migratory and wintering locations (n = 4 thus far) for king rails breeding in the Upper Midwest to date. Fall migratory departure dates varied from late August to early October and all marked birds wintered in southern Louisiana. This project provides valuable life history information for king rails breeding in the Upper Midwest and highlights the potential limitation (limited temporal scale 10 mins/survey point) of using the secretive marshbird monitoring protocol for extremely rare species of secretive marshbirds.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102B

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-11: Reproductive Health of Catostomid Species in Two Midwestern Rivers
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
102C

1:40pm

SYMPOSIA-12: An Outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Influenza in Minnesota: Lessons Learned
AUTHORS. Michelle Carstensen, Christopher Jennelle, Erik Hildebrand - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Paul Wolf, USDA-Wildlife Services; Hon Ip, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center

ABSTRACT. A novel reassortant of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N2) virus (HPAIV) infected Minnesota poultry facilities from March through mid-June, 2015. In response we conducted extensive surveillance, collaborating with federal and university partners, to understand the potential role of wild birds. We tested free-ranging waterfowl feces, wild bird carcasses found dead, hunter-harvested wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), and hunter-harvested dabbling ducks. We collected 3,139 waterfowl fecal samples within 16km of infected poultry facilities and in waterfowl production sites more than 16km from poultry production. We tested 1,077 pooled samples; 32 were positive for low pathogenicity avian influenza virus, but HPAIV was not detected. We tested 157 wild bird carcasses; HPAIV was isolated from one Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii). In spring hunter-harvested turkeys, no AIV was detected from 84 samples tested. In June and July 2015 we collected 619 swab and blood samples of resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) in central Minnesota. While only two of these birds had detectable levels of type-A influenza virus shedding (non-HPAI), blood serum analysis suggested that one adult female was previously exposed to the Eurasian H5 HPAI strain. From August through September 2015, we collected swab and blood samples from 727 live dabbling ducks; 21% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI) with 23% having serological evidence of prior exposure. Only one hatch year mallard showed serological evidence of prior exposure to Eurasian H5 HPAI. From September through November 2015, we collected 907 tracheal and cloacal samples (combined) from hunter-harvested dabbling ducks across Minnesota; 20% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI). As part of USDA national surveillance efforts, we collected oropharyngeal and cloacal samples (combined) from 545 dabbing ducks across summer, fall, and winter in specific watersheds; 21% were actively shedding type-A influenza virus (non-HPAI). We collected a total of 6,178 samples through 2015, and were unable to detect widespread wild bird HPAIV shedding, highlighting the importance of our study in discussions about HPAIV transmission between wild waterfowl and domestic poultry.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
102E&D

1:40pm

SMALL MAMMALS: Movement Ecology of Marten (Martes americana) in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, Michigan
AUTHORS. Bradford Silet, Gary J. Roloff - Michigan State University; Eric Clark, Joseph Lautenbach, Russell Aikens, Aimee Baier, John Powell - Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Steve Sjoren, Hiawatha National Forest

ABSTRACT. As American marten (Martes americana) move they respond to biotic and abiotic factors.  For species that are vulnerable to predation and trapping like marten, movement behaviors in response to weather and season can inform harvest regulations and research activities.  We examined the daily, seasonal, and weather related movements of marten in the Hiawatha National Forest (HNF) in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We GPS collared 12 (11 males, 1 female) marten and attempted to collect a location every 15 minutes.  We downloaded 7,930 locations (660.8 locations/marten), and for each successive GPS fix we calculated average hourly rate of movement by season. To model abiotic factors affecting movement rates, we used hourly rate of movement as a dependent variable in generalized linear mixed models with fixed effects that included interpolated weather estimates from Daymet.  Individual marten and season were used as random effects in the models.  On average, we found that marten moved 13.3 m/min, and that hourly movement rates did not differ throughout a 24-hr day. We also found that marten moved significantly less in fall than winter, spring, and summer.  We failed to find a significant weather effect on marten movement rates, but limited evidence supported the hypotheses that daily movement rates increased as: 1) maximum daily temperatures decreased, and 2) as precipitation increased. Our results indicated that fall may be a difficult time to capture marten as movement rates are significantly lower, and that weather cannot be used to reliably predict when marten move.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103B

1:40pm

STURGEON, ESOCIDS & COREGONIDS: Summer Tributary Use and Movement of Lake Sturgeon at Its Southern Range Margin
AUTHORS. Michael Moore, Craig Paukert - University of Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT.  Lake Sturgeon are a migratory fish species that feed in lentic habitats and migrate up tributaries in the spring to spawn. However, some southern Lake Sturgeon populations are confined to lotic systems. Few studies in the Mississippi River basin have documented tributary use outside of the spawning season by Lake Sturgeon. However, both historical and anecdotal evidence suggests that mid-sized tributaries are important year-round Lake Sturgeon habitat in the Missouri River basin. From 2015-2017, we implanted 54 Lake Sturgeon in two Missouri River tributaries with acoustic telemetry tags and monitored their movement from May-September 2017 through manual and passive tracking. The study area, which spanned over 1300 river km of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins in Missouri, was based off a network of 37 acoustic receivers. We divided our study area into 16 zones: nine in the Osage, two in the Gasconade, four in other Missouri River Tributaries, one in the main-stem Missouri, and one in the main-stem Mississippi. Our results show that all of our tagged Lake Sturgeon were present within a tributary during some point of the study period and overall tagged fish spent 70% of the study period in tributaries, and 20% remained in the tributaries during the entire summer. Lake Sturgeon congregated in two distinct holding areas in the Osage River July and August that were associated with tributary mouths and deepwater habitat caused by dredging. These areas may serve as important refuge habitats as water temperatures approached 30°C, which is near their thermal maximum. Information from this ongoing study on tributary use, habitat selection, site fidelity, and movement rates will aid in the recovery of Lake Sturgeon at the southern margin of their range.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:40pm - 2:00pm
103D

2:00pm

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: From Water Chemistry to Fish: The Impacts of Zebra Mussels Across Multiple Trophic Levels
AUTHORS. Casey W. Schoenebeck, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Lee Engel, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Heidi Rantala, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Jodie Hirsch, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gary Montz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Brian R. Herwig, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. Zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha are known to disrupt trophic dynamics but long-term monitoring data rarely exist to evaluate changes through multiple trophic levels. We documented changes in water chemistry, phytoplankton and lake productivity, aquatic macrophytes, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates and fish in one of Minnesota’s long-term monitoring lakes, Lake Carlos, where zebra mussels (ZM) were discovered in 2009. Site-specific ZM density ranged from 43/m2 to 33,843/m2 during 2015 with densities less than 10,000/m2 for most of the 117 sites sampled. Additional changes in the benthos included a decline in native fingernail clams. Chlorophyll-a decreased post ZM establishment and total phosphorus also declined. Water transparency doubled resulting in an increased maximum Secchi transparency depth and percent of sites with aquatic macrophytes. Total zooplankton density and biomass decreased post ZM establishment with mean biomass consistently less than 100 ug/L and mean total density less than 20/L. Thus far, few changes have been observed in the littoral or pelagic fish communities with an increased relative abundance of Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu as the exception. This presentation describes these trophic changes relative to a control lake.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103A

2:00pm

FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Managing Breeding and Wintering Habitat for the Conservation of the Endangered Kirtland's Warbler in a Changing Climate
AUTHORS. Deahn Donner, US Forest Service; Christine Ribic, US Geological Survey; Donald Brown, West Virginia University; Daniel Wolcott, US Geological Survey; Carol Bocetti, California University of Pennsylvania; Tim Greco, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Mark Nelson, US Forest Service

ABSTRACT. Conservation and recovery of the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler, a long-distance Neotropical-nearctic migratory songbird, requires knowledge on how changing environmental conditions can impact essential summer and wintering habitat. Shifting precipitation and temperature patterns in the Midwest may affect distribution and growth of jack pine, the species primary breeding habitat, while drying conditions and sea-level rise may threaten habitat quality and quantity within their Bahamian wintering grounds. We modeled jack pine occupancy and growth in relation to several environmental variables under current and future climate scenarios to determine if shifts in distribution and growth rate may occur. Our models projected that jack pine distribution across the Upper Midwest could decrease by up to 90% by 2099, and up to 50% of current Kirtland’s Warbler Management Areas could become unsuitable for jack pine. We also projected winter precipitation and temperature across the Bahamian archipelago and determined how much winter habitat (open lands) was susceptible to 1- and 2-m sea-level rise. Islands currently used by Kirtland’s Warbler are predicted to become warmer and wetter, except during March when the central islands are predicted to go through a drying trend that may influence food supply prior to migration. Greatest loss of open land was predicted for the northern, lower-elevation islands. From a conservation perspective, the central Bahamian islands, which currently contain the majority of the wintering population, will be critical islands on which to focus climate adaptation efforts. In the Great Lakes region, the potential loss and redistribution of jack pine habitat may require establishing additional habitat management areas or altering plantation rotations to ensure adequate breeding habitat to sustain recovery goals.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103C

2:00pm

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Occurrence, Abundance, and Habitat Use of Topeka Shiners in Restored and Unrestored Oxbows in Iowa and Minnesota
AUTHORS. Nicholas T. Simpson, Alexander P. Bybel, Michael J. Weber - Iowa State University; Clay L. Pierce, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Kevin J. Roe, Iowa State University

ABSTRACT. The Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka) is a federally listed endangered species that has been in decline for decades. A key reason for the decline is the alteration of naturally flowing streams and associated oxbow habitats due to land use changes. In areas where Topeka Shiners are still known to persist, previous research has shown them to be nearly six times more likely to be sampled in oxbows than streams. Thus, the focus of recent efforts in Topeka Shiner conservation has been restoration of off-channel oxbow habitats. Oxbow restoration involves removing sediment from natural oxbows until a groundwater connection is reestablished. This restoration practice is common throughout the Boone River, North Raccoon River, and Rock River watersheds in Iowa and southwest Minnesota. However, little is known about use of restored oxbows by Topeka Shiners or which oxbow habitat variables are associated with Topeka Shiner presence. The goal of this study is to compare available habitat and fish communities of restored oxbows to unrestored, or natural, oxbows and examine under what conditions Topeka Shiners were more likely to be present. We sampled 34 unrestored and 64 restored oxbows in 2016-2017 using bag seines. We also measured several habitat variables at each oxbow at the time of fish sampling. Topeka Shiners were collected at 40 oxbows, including 45.3% of restored oxbows compared to 32.4% of unrestored oxbows. At oxbows containing Topeka Shiners, 9.9 Topeka Shiners per 100m2 were collected in the first seine pass at restored oxbows compared to 2.7 Topeka Shiners per 100m2 at unrestored oxbows. Our work demonstrates the use of oxbow habitats by Topeka Shiners, and increased occurrence and abundance of Topeka Shiners in restored oxbows compared to unrestored oxbows.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103E

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-06: Autumn Habitat Selection of Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in Delaware County, Indiana
AUTHORS. Zachary Laughlin, Kamal Islam - Ball State University

ABSTRACT. The Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus), a temperate woodland salamander, is a common species found in the Midwestern United States. This species is sensitive to changes in its environment and it is commonly used as an indicator species of forest health. Few data have been collected on the preferred habitat characteristics of this species. Based on previous research, the Eastern Red-backed Salamander is typically present in heavily wooded and moist environments. We are interested in determining habitat characteristics that determine the presence or absence of this species. We present results using an adaptive random cluster sampling technique from the autumn field season of 2017 in Delaware County, Indiana. By identifying the habitat characteristics of the Eastern Red-backed Salamander, natural resource personnel will be better informed and able to more effectively assess forest health and plan even more effective forest management strategies for this species.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
101B

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-07: Assessment and Classification of Brown Trout Natural Recruitment and Reproduction in Mill Creek, Richland County, Wisconsin
AUTHORS. David Rowe, Daniel Oele, Joanna Griffin - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. There have been large increases in the abundance of Brown Trout Salmo trutta in Wisconsin in the past 50 years. Several changes may have led to these increases including: improved agricultural practices and land use, stream habitat improvements, wild trout propagation, fishing regulations, and angler attitudes. This study used Wisconsin DNR standard sampling protocols and a modification of a baseline monitoring rotation schedule to evaluate the current reproductive classification and need for continued stocking of streams in the Mill Creek watershed, Richland County Wisconsin. The baseline monitoring schedule was adjusted so that stream surveys were grouped by watershed. This allowed for the suspension of all stocking within the watershed the year prior to evaluation. We assumed that any yearling fish sampled the following year were the result of natural recruitment. A total of 35 sites on 14 streams were sampled between June 17 and August 20 in 2013. Levels of natural recruitment, measured by abundance of yearling trout, levels of natural reproduction, measured by abundance of young of the year trout, and adult trout abundance, were assessed using standard WDNR single pass electrofishing survey protocols. Comparisons of size specific relative abundance were made using all stream surveys from 2007-2014 collected using standard protocols and recorded in the WDNR Fisheries Management Database. Catch rate distributions were constructed for statewide and regional comparisons. Many of the Class 2 sites showed higher recruitment than Class 1 sites. However several of these sites also had no evidence of natural reproduction. Two streams showed low recruitment and reproduction but did have above average adult abundance. One stream had high reproduction, but no yearlings or adults. We discuss these results and the implications for trout stream reproductive classification criteria, standard sampling protocols, and use of baseline rotation sampling to answer targeted management questions.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102A

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-08: Michigan Black Tern Conservation Initiative: Collaborative Conservation of Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS. Caleb G. Putnam, Audubon Great Lakes and Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Stephanie Beilke, Audubon Great Lakes

ABSTRACT. Black Terns (Chlidonias niger) are Holarctic, semicolonial marshbirds found in a mix of open water and emergent vegetation wetlands, generally characterized by a 50/50 ratio of water to vegetation, and have suffered significant, range-wide population declines since the 1960s. This species nests in Great Lakes coastal marshes, wetlands that face a loss of diversity and community structure due to the introduction of invasive plants including reed (Phragmites australis australis), narrow-leaved cat-tail (Typha angustifolia), and hybrid cat-tail (Typha x glauca), successional processes, changes in water levels, and degradation of water quality, all of which have the potential to render a wetland unsuitable for nesting Black Terns. Audubon Great Lakes initiated productivity monitoring of Black Terns at St. Clair Flats in 2013 and secured funding for monitoring and habitat restoration at two additional sites in 2016 and 2017. This work led directly to the formation of the Michigan Black Tern Conservation Initiative, a coalition of partners working to address the statewide decline of this iconic indicator species. Few best management practices exist for Black Terns, in part because of an inability to clearly tie occupancy and productivity to key habitat elements and spatial scales. Modeling of landscape scale characteristics responsible for colony occupancy is ongoing, but has not yet translated into recommendations for landmanagers. Identification of key limiting factors to productivity at important colonies, estimation of limiting demographic parameters of Michigan Black Terns, development of a higher precision population index, use of transponders to clarify important stopover locations and winter areas, and testing the use of artificial platforms and cattail management to increasing productivity, are targets of the initiative. Successful collaboration and multi-pronged, long-term study are prerequisite to reversing population losses of Black Terns in the Great Lakes and beyond.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102B

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-11: Pollutant Stress in the Maumee River: Impacted Physiology and Reproduction in Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas) and Sunfish (Lepomis spp.)
AUTHORS. Nicholas Cipoletti, Heiko L. Schoenfuss - St. Cloud State University

ABSTRACT. Agricultural pollutants are an environmental health concern as precipitation can lead to runoff into aquatic ecosystems, resulting in stress for fish. The biological impacts of mixtures of agricultural pollutants, such as pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and livestock pharmaceuticals have yet to be studied. The objective of this field-based study was to assess the impact of agricultural pollutants on the physiology, reproduction, and population health of two fish species. The health of caged and resident sunfish was assessed in the Maumee River (Toledo, OH) as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Laboratory cultured larval and adult fathead minnows were exposed for 21-days. Sunfish were analyzed for histology and hematological characteristics (VTG, glucose). Minnows were analyzed for alterations in hematological characteristics (VTG, glucose, 11-KT, E2) and reproduction. VTG concentrations in male caged sunfish were significantly higher than in resident sunfish, likely due to greater energy stores in hatchery reared sunfish. Glucose concentrations between treatments varied significantly from upstream to downstream, possibly as the result of pollutant exposure. Biological indices including body condition factor, gonadosomatic index, and hepatosomatic index of resident sunfish also differed significantly across field sites. Fathead minnow fecundity was reduced in fish exposed to environmental samples from downstream, more urbanized sites. The results indicate that agricultural pollutants entering aquatic ecosystem have an impact on fish physiology and reproduction. Further research is underway to determine whether the observed physiological impacts have any effect at the population level.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102C

2:00pm

SYMPOSIA-12: A Cooperative Management Approach Toward the Elimination of Raccoon Rabies from the U.S.
AUTHORS. Richard B. Chipman, Kathleen M. Nelson, Ashlee D. Martin - USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program

ABSTRACT. Effective wildlife rabies management is now possible at the landscape scale as illustrated by the elimination of rabies in foxes in several countries in Europe and near elimination in southern Ontario over the past 30 years. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has revolutionized wildlife rabies management and facilitated the implementation of the largest coordinated wildlife disease management program in North America. Rabies management with ORV in the US has contributed to the elimination of canine rabies, the near elimination of gray fox rabies in Texas and prevented appreciable spread of raccoon rabies since programs began in the mid-1990’s. However, protecting human and animal health and reducing costs to the public through targeted management of wildlife rabies in reservoir populations remains a complex challenge. Rabies control and elimination in raccoons and skunks has proven particularly difficult. To meet the long term goal of rabies elimination in these species, field trials in the US were initiated in 2011 to evaluate ONRAB (Artemis Technologies, Guelph, Ontario, Canada), a vaccine-bait that has been used successfully in Quebec to eliminate raccoon rabies and has shown improved results in skunks at high bait densities in Ontario. Results from the US field trials are promising and have allowed managers to strategically pivot from a focus on stopping the spread of raccoon rabies to a focus on raccoon rabies elimination. Essential program components include international, regional and local coordination, collaborative strategic planning, enhanced rabies surveillance, effective distribution of oral rabies vaccine, intensive program monitoring, implementation of contingency actions and applied research. Success of the program to date is linked to sustained program support, transparency, hyper-communication among multi-agency partners and clearly defined goals and objectives as outlined in the cooperatively developed North America Rabies Management Plan and the US National Plan for Wildlife Rabies Management.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
102E&D

2:00pm

SMALL MAMMALS: American Marten Habitat Use: A Resource Selection Function for Michigan's Northern Lower Peninsula
AUTHORS. Angela Kujawa, Paul Keenlance, Alexandra Locher – Grand Valley State University; Robert Sanders, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians; Joseph Jacquot, Grand Valley State University

ABSTRACT. American marten (Martes americana) are mustelids used as indicators of healthy forest ecosystems. Marten were extirpated from Michigan’s lower peninsula (LP) in 1911 followed by reintroduction efforts in 1985-86. Marten are known to occur near reintroduction sites, but the full extent of their range and habitat preferences in the LP are unknown. Our objective was to create a resource selection function-based model for marten in Michigan’s northern LP to identify regions marten have a high probability of using. Marten in the Manistee National Forest (MNF) were fitted with VHF and GPS collars from 2011-2016 to collect data on habitat use. Kernel-based home-ranges were estimated for marten with at least 30 known locations; which provided a sample size of 18 individuals with a total of 7352 locations. Characteristics commonly associated with marten habitat selection, including highway density, percent canopy cover, stand age, basal area, elevation, and percent of deciduous, coniferous and mixed forest were measured within each home-range and surrounding available habitat. Using forward and backward selection the best fit logistic regression models were chosen and averaged. Marten resource selection was driven by percent canopy cover and percent of coniferous and mixed forest. Following model development, 50 hexagons with an average value within each high (1-0.67), medium (0.66-0.34), and low (0.33-0) probabilities of use were sampled using remotely-triggered cameras to validate our model. Hexagons were the average size of a female’s home-range (7.6km2) and cameras were placed near the center of each for three weeks. Marten were only detected in areas predicted to have a high probability of use, providing support for the model. Our model suggests that suitable habitat for marten is limited and fragmented within the LP. Management efforts should focus on maintaining mature pine stands with large diameter conifer trees with a dense canopy cover. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103B

2:00pm

STURGEON, ESOCIDS & COREGONIDS: Examining Movement and Maximizing Capture of Lake Sturgeon in the Fish Elevator on the Menominee River
AUTHORS. Nicholas Porter, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Dr. Joshua Raabe, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Dr. Daniel Isermann, U.S. Geological Survey, Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Fisheries Analysis Center, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Darren Kramer, Northern Lake Michigan Unit Manager, Escanaba Field Office-Michigan DNR; Michael Donofrio, NR Region Team Supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Robert Elliott, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens are large, iconic, and long-lived fish that migrate from Lake Michigan into tributaries to spawn, but dams often impede access to historic spawning habitats. The Menominee Dam on the Menominee River, Michigan and Wisconsin, is only 3.9 km upriver from Green Bay; therefore, a fish elevator was constructed in 2014 to capture, sort, and trap-and-transfer Lake Sturgeon upstream of the two lowest dams. This is the first elevator specifically targeting Lake Sturgeon, so our first objective was to determine if environmental (e.g., season, photoperiod) or operating procedures (e.g., attraction flow, soak durations) influenced elevator captures. In Spring 2017, a total of 331 elevator lifts (742 h soak time) captured 90 sturgeon including 14 recaptures; mean total length was 1,354 mm and ranged from 991-1,765 mm. Preliminary data suggests higher attraction flow, longer soak times, diurnal operation, and a water temperature near 12.8 ºC may increase elevator efficiency. Relatively little is known about Lake Sturgeon behaviors near dams and how behaviors may influence captures or passage, so our second objective was to learn about movements near Menominee Dam. In Spring 2017, we captured and released 20 individuals downstream of the elevator that were tagged with both acoustic and radio transmitters. We used stationary acoustic receivers to quantify how many and how long tagged individuals were near the elevator, and radio telemetry to triangulate individuals at various times. Preliminary telemetry data indicates abundance of tagged fish peaked at the same time as elevator captures while radio telemetry data suggests that Lake Sturgeon prefer to reside just off the main current. Through additional sampling seasons and analyses, our study goals are to provide guidelines for operating the elevator that will optimize Lake Sturgeon captures and offer information on behaviors near dams that may benefit other managers considering passage.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
103D

2:20pm

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Implementation of an Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection Program on Lake Superior
AUTHORS. Michael Seider, Jared Myers - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. Monitoring for newly introduced species when abundance is low and spatial distribution restricted provides resource managers with the best opportunity to eradicate or control the spread of invasive organisms. In order to achieve program objectives, early detection efforts must undergo consistent review so that rare species are efficiently captured with a reasonable amount of sampling effort. This presentation will outline the development of an aquatic invasive species early detection and monitoring program in Lake Superior, with a specific emphasis on adult and juvenile fish surveys that have occurred in areas that are highest risk for future invasions. Our examination of options for how best to improve sampling efficiency will strengthen future analyses and ensure that the program is implemented responsibly moving forward.

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

2:20pm

FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Range-wide Patterns of Migratory Connectivity and Nonbreeding Distribution of Vermivora Warblers
AUTHORS. Gunnar Kramer, University of Toledo; David Andersen, US Geological Survey, MN Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Minnesota; David Buehler, University of Tennessee; Petra Wood, US Geological Survey, WV Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University; Sean Peterson, University of California - Berkeley; Kyle Aldinger, WV Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University; Lesley Bulluck, Virginia Commonwealth University; Brandon Gray, University of Ohio; Sergio Harding, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; John Jones, Tulane University; David King, US Forest Service Northern Research Station, University of Massachusetts Amherst; John Loegering, University of Minnesota; Donald Miles, Ohio University; Curtis Smalling, Audubon North Carolina; Rachel Vallender, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada; Henry Streby, University of Toledo

ABSTRACT. Golden- and blue-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera and V. cyanoptera, respectively) are closely related Neotropical-Nearctic migrant songbirds exhibiting varied and complex regional population trends within and between species. Intensive landscape management focused on increasing cover types associated with both species has not resulted in observable responses in breeding population trends suggesting that nonbreeding factors may be limiting breeding populations of these species. To investigate the potential for nonbreeding factors to differentially influence breeding population trends of these species we used light-level geolocators to track the annual movements of 43 golden-winged warblers, 24 blue-winged warblers and 4 phenotypic hybrids from 21 sites across both species’ breeding distributions. We identified nonbreeding locations of individual warblers and investigated the potential for population- and/or species-specific nonbreeding patterns to explain breeding population trends. Blue-winged warblers demonstrated weak connectivity with individuals across the breeding distribution occurring throughout Central America during the nonbreeding period. Conversely, golden-winged warblers exhibited strong connectivity with eastern, declining populations occurring exclusively in northern South America during the nonbreeding period, and western populations occurring throughout Central America. Our results suggest that nonbreeding-site factors may explain differences in population trends observed in golden-winged warbler breeding populations, but not trends in blue-winged warbler populations. Blue-winged warblers showed weaker connectivity and occurred in similar areas as stationary or increasing, western-breeding golden-winged warbler populations (i.e., Central America). We discuss the conservation and management implications of species- and population-specific nonbreeding distributions and investigate potential nonbreeding-site drivers of population declines.

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

2:20pm

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Oxbows as Battery Packs: Giving a Much Needed Boost to the Endangered Topeka Shiner
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
103E

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-06: Home Range and Movements of Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone spinifera), Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta), and Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in an Urban Minnesota Lake
AUTHORS. Kirsten D. Hunt, Central Michigan University; Alaini C. Schneider, Central Michigan University; John J. Moriarty, Three Rivers Park District; Timothy L. Lewis, University of St. Thomas; Jennifer T. McGuire, University of St. Thomas; Bradley J. Swanson, Central Michigan University

ABSTRACT. We studied the home range and movements of spiny softshell turtles (Apalone spinifera), painted turtles (Chrysemys picta), and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) in an urban lake at the northern extent of their range (Medicine Lake, Plymouth, Minnesota). From May 2016 to October 2017, we captured and marked 290 individuals and equipped 25 of each species with a radio-transmitter to track regularly for one to two years. We calculated a home range for each individual using asymptote analysis and minimum convex polygons (MCP). Mean home range for spiny softshell turtles (160 ha, N=20) was significantly larger than home ranges for painted turtles (13 ha, N=16) and snapping turtles (16 ha, N=13). We found no significant differences in home range between sexes in painted turtles and snapping turtles; although we found a significant difference in home range between male and female spiny softshell turtles (P=0.014) with greater home range for females. We observed female spiny softshell turtles using the whole lake resulting in overlapping ranges with painted turtles and snapping turtles; while painted turtles and snapping turtles showed overlapping home ranges in regions of the lake.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
101B

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-07: Status and Trends of Smallmouth Buffalo in the Upper Mississippi River System: Application and Use of UMRR-LTRM Data
AUTHORS. Kristopher Maxson, University of Illinois; Levi Solomon, University of Illinois; Rob Maher, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Andy Casper, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT. Long term monitoring of fishes and other biota can be incredibly valuable when assessing the health of a population, giving us the ability to observe trends over an extended period of time that can encompass various disturbances or extreme weather events.  One example of long term monitoring is the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program’s Long Term Resource Monitoring element (LTRM).   Beginning in 1993, the LTRM element monitors fish and water quality in six reaches along the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). Study methods are standardized across the six reaches and employ a stratified random sampling (SRS) design. This standardized design allows comparisons among the six reaches and can help inform management decisions. For example, buffalo (Ictiobus sp.) are one of the most important commercially harvested species on the UMR. Despite this, little work has been done to assess buffalo populations. This study seeks to use Smallmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) catch data collected from 1993-current to track trends in Smallmouth Buffalo populations.  Using catch data from hoop nets and day electrofishing, we calculated the catch per unit effort (CPUE) for Smallmouth Buffalo in each of the six LTRM reaches. CPUE data for the six LTRM reaches indicate a downward trend for Smallmouth Buffalo populations since the program’s inception. In contrast to the trends in LTRM data, Illinois commercial harvest levels of buffalo sp. have remained relatively stable since the 1950s. Future efforts will examine otoliths collected from Smallmouth Buffalo in 2017 to determine the age structure of the fish in each LTRM study reach. Data from this study can be used to help inform management of the Smallmouth Buffalo commercial fishery on the UMRS.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102A

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-08: Mallard Use of Incentivized Conservation Program Wetlands During Winter in Mississippi
AUTHORS. Joseph D. Lancaster, Illinois Natural History Survey, Forbes Biological Station, Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; J. Brian Davis, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University; Richard. M. Kaminski, James C. Kennedy Waterfowl & Wetlands Conservation Center, Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Clemson University

ABSTRACT. Despite significant wetland loss and transformation, the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) remains a continentally important region for wintering mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and other waterfowl. Targeted management on private lands is vital to satisfying regional waterfowl habitat goals, because 90% of the MAV is privately owned. Whether through targeted objectives or side effect of soil and water conservation initiatives, myriad federal, state, and private-sector programs expand waterfowl habitat on private lands through landowner incentives. Incentivized wetland programs are embraced for benefiting waterfowl, but little information exists on waterfowl use of these wetlands in the MAV. We hypothesized that incentivized wetlands are a significant wetland source for female mallards, especially after hunting season when other wetlands are dewatered. We radio-marked 241 female mallards in the MAV of Mississippi in winters 2010-2015 and collected 9,229 locations to examine mallard use of incentivized wetlands representing seven conservation programs, private wetlands managed outside of a program, and public wetlands. We used Dirichlet regression to explore variation in wetland use during and post hunting season and between diurnal and nocturnal periods. Use of incentivized wetlands ranged from 16-35% and females used these wetlands 33.2% (CI95 = 8.0 – 64.3%) more post-hunting season. Incentivized wetlands were used 10.6% (-16.3 – 46.2%) more diurnally than nocturnally post-hunting season, but 19.0% (-18.6 – 73.9%) more nocturnally than diurnally during hunting season. Public wetlands were used more than incentivized wetlands diurnally during hunting season, but similarly otherwise. Although variable, private wetlands managed outside of a program were generally used more than incentivized wetlands, but never less. Programs, such as the Wetlands Reserve Program, that retire cropland and restore native vegetation and hydrology were most used among the seven incentivized conservation programs. Hunting may decrease mallard use of incentivized wetlands diurnally, but incentivized wetlands are an important wetland source post-hunting season.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102B

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-11: Contaminants of Emerging Concern and Fisheries: Considerations for Data Collection and Leveraging of Existing Data
AUTHORS. Ryan Holem, GEI Consultants; John Gondek, GEI Consultants

ABSTRACT. As aquatic toxicologists learn more about the effects of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) on fish in laboratory studies, there is growing interest over the potential effects of these contaminants in natural waters. Additionally, because many of these CECs are known or suspected to cause reproductive toxicity, population-level effects are a real concern. CECs pose a unique challenge because they don’t necessarily fit the typical “bioaccumulation” model of legacy compounds such as PCBs, Hg, and dioxin/furans.  Addressing this issue depends on the collaboration of aquatic biologists and toxicologists and evaluation of the data needs to properly characterize and monitor for potential ecological effects from CECs. Even routine fish survey data, such as sex ratios, species compositions, and incidence of abnormalities, can help inform the assessment of CECs, both from historical perspectives and potentially highlight waterbodies that may be affected and require further study. Pairing environmental chemistry data and fish monitoring provides a more realistic understanding of the past and future ecological risk to fish from CECs and can potentially provide insights into long-term fish population trends. Here we present recommendations for leveraging existing datasets and suggestions for future sampling to support the evaluation of CECs in the environment.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102C

2:20pm

SYMPOSIA-12: Coodinating White-Nose Syndrome: Readiness, Response, Recuperation
AUTHORS. Richard Geboy, Jeremy T. H. Coleman, Jonathan Reichard, Catherine Hibbard, Christina Kocer, Pete Pattavina - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Bloomington, IN; Hadley, MA; Hadley, MA; Hadley, MA; Hadley, MA; Athens, GA

ABSTRACT. White-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease known to cause unprecedented mortality in hibernating bats across eastern North America since 2007, is catching the attention of many in the field of wildlife disease responses.   WNS or the causative fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has now been detected on bats in nearly all states from Texas to Minnesota and east, as well as in an isolated number of cases in the far western edge of Washington State. Collectively, 33 states and 5 provinces are confirmed with evidence of the fungus.  Rapid spread and devastating impacts from the disease have presented the wildlife and natural resource community with considerable challenges, biological and social, which have only been exacerbated by the many unanswered questions continually swirling around the ecology, epidemiology, and management of susceptible bat species and the disease itself.  Although some tools have been developed for managers to combat WNS and conserve vulnerable bat species, adaptive efforts are yielding an improved understanding of the disease and allowing for more informed management decisions.  Given the scope of the problem, the one single strand that has held this investigation together is the greater than 100 state and federal agencies, tribes, universities, institutions, organizations, and private entities involved with the organized response.  The National Plan for Assisting States, Federal Agencies and Tribes in Managing White-Nose Syndrome in Bats, finalized in May 2011, provides the glue for such a coordinated national response, and helps to ensure the science-based approach to the management of WNS. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:20pm - 2:40pm
102E&D

2:20pm

SMALL MAMMALS: Nest Tree Use by Southern Flying Squirrels in Fragmented Midwestern Landscapes
AUTHORS. Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University; Robert W. Klaver, U.S. Geological Survey; James S. Zweep, Western Illinois University; Shelli A. Dubay, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. Southern flying squirrels (SFS; Glaucomys volans) nest in naturally–formed cavities in snags and hardwoods found in mature, undisturbed forests. Intensive forest fragmentation of the Midwest United States limits the number of available nesting trees. We studied annual nest site selection patterns of SFS across fragmented landscapes of west-central Illinois. We used radio telemetry to examine nest tree use by 55 SFS (30 males, 25 females) captured during 2014–2016. Of 105 nest trees used by SFS, live trees and snags comprised 75% and 25%, respectively. Probability of diurnal nest tree use increased 1.08 (odds ratio = 1.075, 95% CI = 1.045–1.1061)/1 cm increase in DBH and by 1.50 (odds ratio = 1.496, 95% CI = 1.138–1.966)/1 unit increase in the number of overstory mast trees between random and nest tree habitat areas (i.e., 300 m2 circular plots). Similarly, probability of diurnal nest tree use increased 1.29 (odds ratio = 1.289, 95% CI = 1.075–1.544)/1 unit increase in the number of snags between random and nest tree habitat areas. Our results revealed no intersexual differences in patterns of nest site selection, which may reflect the tendency for SFS to compensate for reduced availability of key structural attributes (i.e., snags, overstory trees) across fragmented forests by exhibiting similar intersexual patterns of nest tree use. Additionally, patterns of diurnal nest tree use revealed near exclusive use of natural cavities located primarily in live trees, which may be attributed to a propensity of SFS to select cavities with small entrances and avoid cavities that have been enlarged by other species. Use of natural cavities for denning is encouraging, but also underscores the importance of unharvested hardwood forests in contributing essential habitat to SFS populations in fragmented forested landscapes.

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

2:20pm

STURGEON, ESOCIDS & COREGONIDS: Shifting Population Dynamics of the Commercially Exploited Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) in the Wabash River
AUTHORS. Jessica L. Thornton, Eastern Illinois University; Leslie D. Frankland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Craig Jansen, Indiana Department of Natural Resources; Jana Hirst, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Vaskar Nepal KC, Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Rob Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT. The shovelnose sturgeon population in the Wabash River provides an important recreational sport and commercial caviar fishery for both Illinois and Indiana. In fact, it is one of the last commercially viable populations for roe harvest. The Wabash offers vital habitat for shovelnose sturgeon who complete their life cycle in the river. Previous studies have shown that increased harvest pressure in this species can slow maturation and result in recruitment overfishing. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor exploited populations over time. Over the past decade, shovelnose sturgeon were sampled with boat electroshocking, drifting gill nets, hoop nets, trotlines, and trawls. Fish captured between the years 2007 and 2016 had an overall average fork length of 668 ± 0.6mm, and an average weight of 1193 ± 3.41g. The mean relative weight was 87, falling within the target range (80-90), but condition significantly declined over the years. The overall proportional size structure indices for quality, preferred, memorable, and trophy size fish were 100, 98, 70, and 1 respectively. Overall size structure and condition are reflective of a healthy population, but not a stable one, with declines in condition and the proportion of memorable sized fish over time. We also observe greater estimates of mortality (25-35%) in this population driven by just a couple years of data. Gravid F-IV females, the fish directly impacted by roe harvest, also showed a significant decline in both condition and mean fork length over time. This implies that slower-growing and less-rotund females are now being selected for as an effect of commercial harvest pressure placed on larger, better condition females. Further monitoring is necessary to maintain a sustainable population and to support continued sport and commercial shovelnose sturgeon fishing in the Wabash River.

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

2:40pm

ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: A Lakewide Survey of Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea) Distribution at Warmwater Discharges in Lake Michigan
AUTHORS. Bradley J. Smith, Brandon S. Harris, Tyler J. Harris, Lisa A. LaBudde, Cari-Ann Hayer - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT. The Asian Clam Corbicula fluminea is among the most prolific aquatic invaders in the world, but in colder mid-latitude areas, like the Laurentian Great lakes, their population expansion has been limited by poor overwinter survival.  In these areas Asian Clams are typically found in thermal refugia – like warmwater discharges from industrial facilities.  We wanted to identify the current extent of Asian Clam populations in Lake Michigan and waters immediately adjacent to it, specifically at locations most likely to harbor overwintering populations – warmwater discharges.  During April-May 2017 we surveyed 17 locations around Lake Michigan.  We found four sites that had evidence of Asian Clam populations, though live specimens (N=3) were only found at one location, the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal in East Chicago, Indiana.  Shells or fragments of shells were found at Green Bay, WI, Waukegan, IL, and Port Sheldon, MI.  Our findings indicate that although Asian Clams are present in Lake Michigan, they are relatively rare, and occur at low densities where found.   As lake temperatures warm with the changing climate they may become less thermally limited, but currently they remain isolated to a few small pockets of over-wintering habitat.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103A

2:40pm

FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Response of Larval Lepidoptera and Their Avian Predators to Experimental Ice Storms in a Northeastern Forest
AUTHORS. Wendy Leuenberger, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Jonathan Cohen, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Lindsey Rustad, U.S. Forest Service; Kimberly Wallin, University of Vermont and U.S. Forest Service; Dylan Parry, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

ABSTRACT. Large-scale disturbances such as ice storms may increase in frequency and intensity as climate changes. While disturbances are a natural component of forest ecosystems, climatically driven alteration to historical patterns may impart fundamental change to ecosystem function. A novel project at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH, applied experimental ice storms of varying severity to replicate plots of mature northern hardwoods to develop an empirical understanding of their effects on forests. As part of this experiment, we quantified effects of ice storm treatments on leaf-feeding Lepidoptera (caterpillars), the most important herbivores in temperate forests. This group performs vital ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and are a valuable food source for breeding birds. Natural enemies, including insectivorous birds, help regulate their populations. As such, understanding dynamics of these groups after ice storms will aid in forest management and conservation.To assess responses to ice storm damage, we reared caterpillars on leaves from ice storm plots to calculate growth rates. We also deployed and retrieved plasticine model caterpillars and estimated predation from characteristic ‘wounds’ to these surrogates. Insectivorous bird activity was measured using point counts. Caterpillars reared on leaves from the high treatment plots grew faster than those on control or lightly treated plots. Caterpillar predation was not affected by ice storm treatments. Foliage gleaning birds responded to the ice storm treatments as a single diffuse disturbance rather than on a plot level. We conclude that ice storms may serve as a beneficial disturbance for caterpillars and foliage gleaning birds.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:40pm - 3:00pm
103C

2:40pm

RIVERS & OXBOWS: Integrating Reconstructed Oxbows in Watershed Planning to Achieve Habitat and Water Quality Goals
AUTHORS. Keegan Kult, Iowa Soybean Association; Karen Wilke, The Nature Conservancy; Christopher S. Jones, University of Iowa; Keith E. Schilling, Iowa Geological Survey

ABSTRACT. In response to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force 2008 Action Plan, states in the Mississippi River Basin have been tasked with developing statewide nutrient reduction strategies. The Boone River watershed, located in North-Central Iowa, has been identified as a priority watershed in Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy. The watershed has also been identified as a critical habitat for the federally endangered Topeka shiner. In looking for practical solutions that provide multiple ecosystem services, the Iowa Soybean Association, partnering with The Nature Conservancy, began investigating the effectiveness of restored oxbows in