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Monday, January 25 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Understanding The Risk of Direct Movement of Freshwater Fishes Through The Welland Canal

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AUTHORS: Jaewoo Kim*, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Nicholas E. Mandrak, University of Toronto Scarborough

ABSTRACT: The Welland Canal has been identified as a pathway for direct and indirect bi-directional movement of aquatic invasive species between Lake Ontario and the remaining Great Lakes. However, the direct movement of freshwater fishes including aquatic invasive species through the connecting channels such as Welland Canal are poorly understood. In 2012-2015, we conducted acoustic telemetry studies to examine whether and how freshwater fishes move between Lake Ontario and Erie through the Welland Canal. In 2012-2015, the movement of 179 tagged fishes were tracked using 34 acoustic receivers deployed throughout the canal. Over a million detections were collected. Our results indicate that the movement within the canal is dominant for most fishes. However, seven fishes such as common carp and freshwater drum were detected leaving the Canal. In addition, three fishes were detected re-entering the canal the following year. We also used multi-state mark recapture models to describe the patterns of fish movement within the canal by estimating survival, detection, and transition probabilities. The results of 2012-2015 study have significant implications for developing effective management options to control the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am EST
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