Monitoring and Assessment of Aquatic Life in the Kaskaskia River for Evaluating IDNR Private Lands Programs: Phase II.

Brian A. Metzke, Leon C. Hinz Jr., Lisa Beja

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Sixty-five reaches were surveyed during summer 2017 (Table 3, Figure 2), bringing the total reaches over five survey seasons to 240 (Table 1). Several of these reaches have been surveyed in multiple years to allow for the evaluation of interannual variation or to compliment concurrent studies, and therefore the total number of monitoring events throughout the entire survey (i.e., efforts to characterize the physiochemical and biological attributes of a stream reach) is 1300. Water quality (temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, pH, total reactive phosphorus, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen and turbidity) was assessed at basin-wide assessment and paired reaches during the low flow index period. Water quality (temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, pH, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total nitrogen, phosphorus and total suspended solids) was assessed during three high flow events at a subset of paired reaches(between four and eight reaches assessed during each event). Forty continuous temperature recorders were deployed at basin-wide assessment and paired reaches in spring 2017 and will be retrieved in winter 2017-2018. Data from these recorders will be used to evaluate the thermal regime.Habitat evaluations were completed at each surveyed reach using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI; OEPA 2006) and the Illinois Habitat Index (IHI; Sass, et al. 2010). The QHEI provides a qualitative index of habitat characteristics and can be viewed as a measure of biological potential. The IHI indexes landscape disturbance by qualifying relevant stream characteristics. Benthic macroinvertebrates were surveyed at basin-wide assessment reaches twenty times, paired reaches nine times and at student research reaches seventeen times using a standard rapid assessment method (IEPA 2011). Collected organisms were preserved in ethanol for processing at a later date. Benthic samples collected during the 2015 and 2016 surveys were sorted during calendar year 2017 and 300-count subsamples were shipped to EcoAnalysts, Inc. (Moscow, IA) for identification. Fish were surveyed using IDNR Basin Survey procedures (IDOC 1994) at all reaches. Length and weight of individuals from fish species identified as sensitive to sedimentation (Table 2) were measured at paired and sensitive species reaches. Mussels were surveyed at fourteen paired and two sensitive species reaches. Surveys employed tactile and visual techniques to locate mussels. Eight person-hours were expended at each reach, although 2 each hour was recorded separately to facilitate comparisons with previous IDNR and INHS surveys which use four person-hours.Progress towards a fish stock index occurred during the reporting period. IDNR electrofishing data (survey location, date, length and weight of individual fish) from non-wadeable streams of the Kaskaskia River basin were acquired, sorted and filtered in preparation for constructing this index.One full-time professional worked on objectives 1-3 , while one part-time professional provided assistance completing field work. Four student technicians aided field work. One full-time professional staff member provided GIS support to the IDNR CREP (objective 4).
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Dec 6 2017

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2017 (34)


  • INHS


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