Stephen M. Tyszko, Nerissa N. Michaels, Benjamin J. Lubinski, Timothy W. Edison, John M. Epifanio, John H. Chick, Yong Cao, Greg G. Sass

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


Between 24 August and 20 September, 2011,27sites on the Illinois River waterway and one site in Reach26 of the Mississippi River were sampled using AC electrofishing to monitor fish communities. A total of 5,688 fishes representing 58species (plus four hybrids) from 17 families were collected during 26.52 hours of sampling. Collections made in 2011 indicated continued high catches of emerald shiner and bluegill throughout most of the Illinois River waterway, but indicated low catches of gizzard shad.Several fish species were collected for the first time within a given river reach in 2011, including American eel and spotted bass. Bluegill were the most abundant species collected throughout the waterway in 2011 with 1,300 fish collected comprising 22.9% of the total catch. The sample from Lower Peoria Lake (RM 163.4, Peoria Reach) yielded the highest collection of total fish (433, 7.6%of the total collection), while the sample from Turkey Island (RM 148.0) produced the lowest total fish (69, 1.2% of the total collection). Fish species richness at sites ranged from 25at Hennepin Island (RM 207.6, Peoria Reach) to 12 species at the Sugar Creek Island (RM 95.1, LaGrange Reach). Important sportfish species such as bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish were collected in all six waterway reaches in 2011. Bluegill catch per unit effort in numberof fish collected per hour (CPUEN) ranged from 157.0 in Dresden Reach to 14.8in LaGrange Reach. Largemouth bass CPUEN ranged from 24.5in Dresden Reach to 0.4in LaGrange Reach. Channel catfish CPUEN ranged from 14.6 in Alton Reach to 0.5in Dresden Reach. Biomass catch per hour (CPUEW) was highest in the Peoria Reach yielding194.2pounds per hour. Silver carp biomass ranked first over all reaches at 85.5pounds per hour, comprising 44.0% of the total biomass. Common carp ranked among the top three fish species in CPUEW in every reach in the lower and middle river and in Starved Rock Reach. Catch in weight for silver carp was the highest ever observed in a given reach in F-101-R sampling.We collected 50,486 fish with a total recorded biomass of 14,288.44 lb, representing 92 species and 6 hybrids in 20 families, during 92.50 hours of electrofishing in the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers between June 15 and October 31, 2011. Gizzard shad was the most abundant species by number, (25.80% of catch, 10,748 fish, 116.19 fish/h), followed by emerald shiner (17.26 % of catch, 7,189 fish, 77.72 fish/h), unidentified young of year clupeids (13.92 % of catch, 5,799 fish, 62.69 fish/h), Mississippi silvery minnow (6.60 % of catch, 2,749 fish, 29.72 fish/h), and threadfin shad (5.61% of catch, 2,338 fish, 25.28 fish/h). Common carp contributed the greatest biomass (37.73% of catch, 5,391.56 lb, 58.29 lb/h), followed by silver carp (12.27% of catch, 1,752.48 lb, 18.95 lb/h), smallmouth buffalo (7.27% of catch, 1,038.27 lb, 11.22 lb/h), channel catfish (6.74% of catch, 963.36 lb, 10.41 lb/h), and freshwater drum (4.17% of catch, 595.11 lb, 6.43 lb/h).The highest catch rates of largemouth bass were observed in Dresden Reach of the Illinois River and Pool 19 of the Mississippi River. High catch rates of spotted bass were observed throughout Illinois portions of the Wabash River.This stock is likely underexploited, and measures to promote this fishery should be considered. The Wabash River has the potential to become the premier spotted bass fishery of Illinois.Black bass comprised a minimal proportion of the sample in other reaches throughout t he four rivers sampled. Channel catfish was the most widely encountered sportfish species. Relatively high catch rates were observed among most reaches sampled across all four rivers, with exception of the upper reaches of the Illinois River. The highest catch rates of stock-length sauger were observed in Peoria Reach of the Illinois River.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Jul 31 2012

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2012 (22)


  • INHS


Dive into the research topics of 'THE LONG-TERM ILLINOIS, MISSISSIPPI, OHIO, AND WABASH RIVERS FISH POPULATION MONITORING PROGRAM - 2011'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this