The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve: Fish and Aquatic Vegetation Monitoring Annual Report [2013]

Todd D. VanMiddlesworth, Andrew F. Casper

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report

Abstract

Key Ecological Attributes (KEA’s) for the fish and aquatic vegetation communities have been identified as indicators of the condition and success of the restoration efforts at Thompson and Flag lakes of The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve. A total of 19 KEA criteria related to the aquatic vegetation and fish communities were monitored monthly between 4/15/2013-10/25/2013. Of those goals set by the Emiquon Science Advisory Council, 15 were met in 2013. The 2013 water transparency values were within the desired range (Secchi depths no less than half the maximum water depth when a site is ≤1.5 m deep). When 2013 results are compared to 2012, we see that the mean monthly transparencies for April-May were less than the same period in 2012 and transparencies during June-October in 2013 were greater than the corresponding in 2012. Two invasive aquatic plants (i.e. Eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed) were among the many aquatic plant species collected in 2013. Eurasian watermilfoil was found at fewer sites and at a lower density than in 2012. Curly-leaf pondweed was also collected at fewer sites than in 2012, but at the same density during both years. Aquatic vegetation monitoring in 2013 represents the first year since monitoring began that Eurasian watermilfoil rake densities displayed a reduced density. Invasive aquatic plant species will continue to be monitored closely.The fish community in 2013 continued to be dominated by native species. Despite this, the KEA goal of collecting ≥25 native fish species was not met. More time may be needed for less abundant species to become established and/or additional stocking may be necessary in order to meet this goal. Gizzard shad dominated our catches in 2013. Catches of desirable native fishes including bowfin and shortnose gar were the highest ever observed at the Emiquon Preserve. Of the 19 fish species collected, only one non-native species, the common carp was collected and will continue to be monitored closely.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Jan 15 2014

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2014 (11)
No.11

Keywords

  • INHS

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