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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Variation in Fish Communities of the Lower Wabash River

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AUTHORS: Eric C. Hine, Eastern Illinois University; Evan Boone, Eastern Illinois University; Leslie D. Frankland, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Tim Edison, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Robert E. Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: The lower Wabash, which forms the southern border of Illinois and Indiana, is a unique system in that it is part of a 411-mile stretch of free-flowing river and supports a well-used commercial and sport fishery. From Mt. Carmel, Illinois to its confluence with the Ohio River, the discharge of the Wabash is effectively doubled by the confluence of the White River. This Hydrological change influences fish communities above and below the confluence by introducing added flow and sediment. To determine the variation of the fish communities between these reaches of the river, we used pulsed-DC electrofishing at random sites above and below the confluence from 2010-2015. All fish were identified to species and individuals were counted and recorded. Our preliminary counts showed that the total number of fish sampled above the confluence was noticeably greater than that of fish sampled below the confluence and similar results were found in the total numbers of individuals per Family. We expect to see variation in fish communities below and above the confluence based on the individual species’ dependency on discharge. The use of non-metric multidimensional scaling will help identify the variations in these communities and can be useful in determining other environmental factors that affect them as well. In doing this, we can better understand how fishes react to changes in discharge which can then lead to more effective management practices for commercially important species and of the river itself.

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