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To return to the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference website, go to http://www.midwestfw.org/ The following schedule and room names are subject to change (as of February 1, 2017). Please check back for updates. 

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Tuesday, February 7 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Student Research-in-Progress Poster Display. Western South Dakota’s dominant prairie stream fishes: an updated assessment and population dynamics

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AUTHOR: Stephen Jones, South Dakota State University
ABSTRACT: The streams of western South Dakota represent the last frontier in terms of relatively undisturbed prairie streams in the United States and have been minimally altered in comparison to the large-scale disturbance seen across the landscape in prairie stream systems in surrounding states. Our objective was to assess the population dynamics of Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus, Flathead Chub Platygobio gracilis, Western Silvery Minnow Hybognathus argyritis, Plains Minnow Hybognathus placitus, and the Sand Shiner Notropis stramineus in five Missouri River tributaries in western South Dakota. A length stratified subsample was collected for each species from each of the five rivers (Grand, Moreau, Cheyenne, Bad, and White rivers). Channel catfish growth was slow and fell around the 5th to 25th percentile in comparison with the national averages. Catch per unit of effort was high compared to other published studies in the region. Residuals from catch curve regressions suggest little recruitment variability. There are several factors likely contributing to the slow growth of these western South Dakota Channel Catfish populations, high densities of juvenile catfish, poor forage due to mostly homogenous sand substrate, habitat homogeneity, and environmental harshness. Further analysis of habitat characteristics, fish assemblage, and the diet of these populations, in conjunction with the population dynamics of the dominant cyprinid species, will give more insight into the mechanisms driving these populations. In the face of continued landuse change, understanding how these populations behave under relatively unaltered conditions will provide valuable knowledge for the further conservation of prairie stream fishes.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Olive Branch Room