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Monday, February 6 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Technical Session. Status and Habitat Use of the Topeka Shiner in the Boone River Watershed, Iowa

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AUTHORS: Nicholas T. Simpson, Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Clay L. Pierce, U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University; Michael J. Weber,  Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Kevin J. Roe, Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management

ABSTRACT: The Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka) is a federally listed endangered species that has been in decline in Iowa for decades. A key reason for the decline is the alteration of naturally flowing streams and associated off-channel habitats due to land use changes. One area where Topeka Shiners have declined is the Boone River Watershed in North Central Iowa. A goal of this study is to determine the status of the Topeka Shiner throughout the watershed and to identify habitat characteristics associated with the occurrence of this species. We sampled 44 in-stream reaches and off-channel oxbows throughout the watershed in summer 2016 via electrofishing and seining. We also measured width, depth, velocity, substrate type, and canopy cover in streams and length, width, depth, substrate, turbidity, and canopy cover in oxbows. Topeka Shiners were collected at 35% of off-channel oxbows compared to 30% of in-stream reaches, including many sites where they had not been detected before. These results strengthen the argument that oxbows are an important habitat for Topeka Shiners, as they access these habitats during flooding events and persist in them when stream flow is low. This study will contribute efforts aimed at restoring Topeka Shiners to the Boone River Watershed. Currently, off-channel oxbows that have filled in with sediment are being restored, which will create more habitat for this federally endangered species. Results of this study may also inform discussions about whether to reintroduce the species to other HUC-10 and HUC-12 watersheds within the Boone River Watershed where they may have been extirpated.

Monday February 6, 2017 2:20pm - 2:40pm CST
Grand Ballroom F