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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Light Traps Provide Insight About age-0 Fish Use of Restored Shorezone Areas in the St. Clair River

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AUTHORS: Scott A. Jackson, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Edward F. Roseman, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Robin DeBruyne, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, University of Toledo, Lake Erie Center; Jason L. Fischer, University of Toledo; Stacey Ireland, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Ethan Acromite, University of Toledo; Hayley Schroeder, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center; Dana Castle, University of Toledo; Stacy Provo, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Center for Ecosystems Studies Unit, Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Nathan Williams, U.S Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center

ABSTRACT: Light traps are frequently used to sample phototaxic organisms including larval and juvenile fishes. We conducted weekly light trap sampling during spring and summer in 2015 and 2016 to assess the larval fish assemblages at five restored shorezone habitats in the St. Clair River. Light traps were set from shore at twelve sites, three light traps per site, parallel to the shoreline and baited with white light sticks. Traps were fished from sunset to sunrise. Catch-per-effort (CPE) was calculated as number of fish per hour. We captured 1375 individuals from eight families of fish over the two years of sampling. Individuals belonging to the family Gobiiadae were the dominant taxa collected, followed by Cyprinidae, Percidae, Catostomidae, Centrarchidae, Umbridae, Esocidae and Cottidae. Even though overall CPE was not high for the species observed, the presence of the larval fish indicates the restored shorezone habitat serves as nursery habitat in the system and likely plays a role in recruitment for these species. Furthermore, CPE for the total number of fish increased as the water temperature increased, potentially due to the different taxa observed demonstrating varying temperature preferences and life history phenology. Taxa captured from the family Cyprinidae were the first species to be observed once water temperatures reached 10 C, they were followed by Catostomidae (12.0 C), Umbridae and Esocidae (13.7 C), Percidae (14.0 C), Gobiiadae (16.5 C), Cottidae (17.2 C), and finally Centrachidae (21.1 C).  Light traps allowed shorezone habitats to be easily and successfully sampled for a distinct age class of fish.   When used in combination with other sampling methods (e.g., minnow traps, seining, electrofishing), light traps can provide additional insight about fish community structure in shorezone habitats.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Lancaster Ballroom