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Independence, KS, United States

Eder B.L.,Missouri River Program | Neely B.C.,Parks and Tourism
Fisheries | Year: 2013

Use of geographic information systems (GIS) in fisheries science has increased in prevalence since its introduction in the late 1980s, but use among and within fisheries management agencies has not been quantified. We surveyed 89 administrators of fisheries management agencies in the United States and Canada to determine the current status of GIS in fisheries management and received 54 responses (61% return rate). Survey respondents indicated that GIS was used to help manage fish populations, and 63% of respondents believed that GIS was either "very useful" or "extremely useful" for meeting agency objectives. However, most GIS work conducted by fisheries management agencies was executed by few individuals within the agency or by contracted service. Barriers preventing more widespread use by managers within agencies included lack of knowledge or training and limited time to use GIS in job duties. Our results suggest that GIS is an important tool for fisheries management. Further, GIS use within an agency might be increased by focusing on increased biologist participation in training exercises, integration with existing job duties, and recognizing diversity among GIS software. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

McCluskey E.M.,Ohio State University | Bender D.,Parks and Tourism
Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2015

Understanding how habitat heterogeneity influences the genetic structure of populations is an important goal of conservation genetics. Species with different evolutionary histories may respond differently to contemporary habitat loss and fragmentation. Recent genetic analyses have shown high levels of genetic structure in two subspecies of Massasauga Rattlesnakes of conservation concern (Eastern Massasaugas, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus and Desert Massasaugas, Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii) living in highly fragmented habitats. Here, we complement those results with an analysis of the genetic structure of the third subspecies (Western Massasaugas, Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus), which has a largely continuous distribution in Kansas but with some isolated populations in Missouri. We found no evidence of genetic structure among the Kansas populations of Western Massasaugas, though our STRUCTURE analysis did identify the two Missouri populations as distinct clusters from each other and from the Kansas populations. Population differentiation estimates were much lower across all Western Massasauga populations compared to those observed in Eastern and Desert Massasaugas. Quantitative analyses of habitat availability and fragmentation confirm that the Kansas landscape is less fragmented than the range occupied by Eastern Massasaugas; this supports a possible influence of habitat fragmentation on genetic structure of these snakes. The more-continuous distribution and relative genetic uniformity of Western Massasaugas found in Kansas contrast with the isolated nature of Desert and Eastern Massasaugas, making the Western subspecies unique within the Massasauga complex. © 2015 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools for analysis and interpretation of spatial data commonly encountered in fisheries science. We presented details of GIS use in fisheries management in a prior study and found cost to be a factor limiting GIS use. This article introduces fisheries managers to free or open-source GIS. Free or open-source GIS are readily available, powerful tools capable of performing a variety of spatial analyses. We strongly encourage managers wishing to perform spatial analyses, but who are unable to purchase software, to consider free GIS. © 2015, American Fisheries Society.

Miller E.J.,Parks and Tourism | Tomasic J.J.,University of Kansas | Barnhart M.C.,Missouri State University
American Midland Naturalist | Year: 2014

Excavations at an archeological site adjacent to the Verdigris River in southeast Kansas unearthed a prehistoric mussel shell midden associated with a probable mussel cooking site. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the midden was created by Native Americans during the Late Archaic Period and used into the Early Woodland Period (4000-1000 B.P.). Over 900 relic mussel valves were identified from the mussel midden. Mussel community characteristics from this archeological site were compared with a recent sampling effort of live mussels from a nearby reach of the Verdigris River. This comparative study demonstrates that the current community composition of mussels differs from that of the prehistoric mussel midden. Four species now considered to be extirpated were found in the mussel midden and several common species differed widely in relative abundance. Measurable midden valves were significantly smaller than recent samples. Seasonal growth-rest lines of well-preserved midden shells suggest that this prehistoric harvest of mussels probably occurred in late summer. © 2013, American Midland Naturalist.

Eder B.L.,Nebraska Game and Parks Commission | Neely B.C.,Parks and Tourism | Haas J.D.,Nebraska Game and Parks Commission | Adams J.D.,Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Journal of Applied Ichthyology | Year: 2016

Habitat selection has been quantified for age-0 and adult pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus Bull. Illinois State Lab. Nat. Hist., 7, 1905, 37, but little is known regarding habitat use of the juvenile fish. The objective of this study was to quantify habitat use and selection of juvenile pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River, Nebraska, USA. Thirty-seven age-4 pallid sturgeon with transmitters were released in July of 2014, plus an additional 21 in September, with habitat monitored using biotelemetry. Age-1 and age-4 hatchery reared pallid sturgeon were found to avoid areas associated with the outside bend and thalweg habitats that were characterized by rapid water velocity (>1 ms−1), which accounted for 50% of the area in the channelized Missouri River. Age-1 pallid sturgeon selected an off-channel habitat and inside bend habitat while age-4 pallid sturgeon selected an off-channel and inside bend channel border habitat. Juvenile pallid sturgeon in unaltered rivers have been shown to associate with island tips and sand bars, habitat that is largely absent in the channelized Missouri River. This study indicates that juvenile pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River, Nebraska are selecting habitats with shallow water and slow water velocity, similar to those associated with island tips and sand bars in unaltered reaches. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH

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