Establishment of Historic Fish Communities to Restored Illinois River Floodplain Lakes

Michael E. Retzer, Thomas Bland, Michael Wilson

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


From 2006-2009, efforts were made to establish species of fishes that were native to floodplain backwater lakes of the Illinois River. Past restoration at several sites has focused mainly on the sportfish community and centered around largemouth bass, black crappie, white crappie and bluegill. This project focused on the ability to diversify the native fish species that were reintroduced. A total of 35 species were stocked and totaled 1,711,055 individuals. The goal of establishing four to six species at each of the three study sites was achieved and exceeded at Emiquon, possibly met at Spunky Bottoms but add it ional mo nitoring is needed, not met at Hennepin-Hopper as the system collapsed under the weight of the expanding carp population before species could be fully stocked. This project was the largest effort ever to establish native fish communities along the Illinois and required the cooperation of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and The Wetlands Initiative. Additional stocking and monitoring of the lakes are recommended. Studies of other similar lakes are recommended for future establishments of native fish communities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Dec 23 2009

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2009 (46)


  • INHS


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