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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Habitat and Fish Guild Variation and Lack of Genetic Differentiation In The Presence of Two Low-Head Dams

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AUTHORS: Shannon C.F. Smith*, Eastern Illinois University; Ryan Hastings, Eastern Illinois University; Trent Thomas, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Scott Meiners, Eastern Illinois University; Devon Keeney, Le Moyne College; Rob Colombo, Eastern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Artificial impoundments such as dams have been shown to decrease hydrologic connectivity and disrupt the natural flow regime of river systems. These physical changes can lead to altered habitat types dominated by a shift from lotic to lentic habitats. Habitat modifications can influence fish movement and dispersal, leading to changes in fish community assemblages over time. Impounded rivers are extremely prevalent in the Midwest; two low-head dams on two rivers in east-central Illinois have been in place for nearly a century and are scheduled for removal in the near future. We semiannually assessed habitat quality and fish assemblages in six sites on each river using DC electrofishing to investigate the extent of the impacts of these dams. Our sites included two below each dam, two sites in the pool created above the dams, and two sites upriver of the pool extent. Additionally, we analyzed microsatellite loci of longear sunfish Lepomis megalotis and bluntnose minnow Pimephales notatus to evaluate genetic structuring of these species among our sites as a result of the dams. Habitat quality scores were lowest in the pool sites and highest in upriver sites (p

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
Gerald Ford