Event Title

The Cart Before the Redhorse: Examining Habitat Use of the Threatened River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) to Guide Future Management

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

15-4-2019 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE/SUBJECT: The resiliency of our aquatic ecosystems hinges on our ability to protect the native species that reside there. The River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) is one such example and populations have become low enough to warrant listing by the State of Michigan. Causes of decline include overfishing, habitat alteration, and lack of knowledge of basic life-history attributes including the use of non-spawning habitat. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In order to aid its recovery, we implanted fifteen individuals with radio transmitters and tracked their locations over the course of a summer. ANALYSES: Habitat use data was compared to available habitat using a Kruskal Wallis test and movement patterns were examined in GIS. RESULTS: Tagged River Redhorse were found to move as far as 50 km down river following spawning and establish themselves in small home ranges between 0.04 and 0.12 km2. The presence of mussels and snails, the River Redhorse’s preferred food source, was the primary habitat characteristic selected by tagged individuals and was documented at seventy-nine percent of all tracked locations. CONCLUSIONS: The recovery of the River Redhorse will likely depend on our ability to protect these newly discovered feeding areas as well as maintaining connectivity between distant populations. Future management should therefore focus on the protection of native mussels and snails and should attempt to maintain migration routes between spawning and summer habitats.

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Apr 15th, 3:30 PM

The Cart Before the Redhorse: Examining Habitat Use of the Threatened River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) to Guide Future Management

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE/SUBJECT: The resiliency of our aquatic ecosystems hinges on our ability to protect the native species that reside there. The River Redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) is one such example and populations have become low enough to warrant listing by the State of Michigan. Causes of decline include overfishing, habitat alteration, and lack of knowledge of basic life-history attributes including the use of non-spawning habitat. METHODS AND MATERIALS: In order to aid its recovery, we implanted fifteen individuals with radio transmitters and tracked their locations over the course of a summer. ANALYSES: Habitat use data was compared to available habitat using a Kruskal Wallis test and movement patterns were examined in GIS. RESULTS: Tagged River Redhorse were found to move as far as 50 km down river following spawning and establish themselves in small home ranges between 0.04 and 0.12 km2. The presence of mussels and snails, the River Redhorse’s preferred food source, was the primary habitat characteristic selected by tagged individuals and was documented at seventy-nine percent of all tracked locations. CONCLUSIONS: The recovery of the River Redhorse will likely depend on our ability to protect these newly discovered feeding areas as well as maintaining connectivity between distant populations. Future management should therefore focus on the protection of native mussels and snails and should attempt to maintain migration routes between spawning and summer habitats.