Current Fisheries Research Projects

These projects are currently being conducted by the Lake City Fisheries Research staff as lead or co-investigators:

  • Project 677 - The Effects of Removing Brown Trout from a Driftless Area Stream in Southeastern Minnesota
    • Objectives - This study will identify whether removal of brown trout allows a headwater brook trout population in SE Minnesota to expand in abundance.  Results will quantify changes in growth and survival relative to a control reach, revealing extents of inter-specific interactions and longer term compensatory responses.  Finally, the study will measure the effectiveness of the fish barrier to upstream movement of brown trout, the timing and extent of movement, thus informing managers about the frequency and intensity of brown trout control efforts needed to maintain brook trout within the lower stream reaches.
  • Project 675 - Characterization of Driftless Area Brook Trout Populations in Southeastern Minnesota: Distribution, Population Dynamics, Movement, and Effects of Sympatry with Brown Trout
  • Project 674 - Movement, growth and mortality of brown trout in southeast Minnesota streams.
    • Objective - Quantify spatial and seasonal patterns of survival and movement of brown trout, evaluate the relative importance of survival and movement on brown trout populations, and assess the influence of habitat quality and trout density on spatial and seasonal patterns.
  • Project 659 - Effects of trout density and other factors upon the growth of brown trout in southeast Minnesota streams.
    • Objectives - Quantify amount of variation in brown trout growth that is due to year-to-year changes in environmental conditions versus stream-to-stream differences and assess the effects of trout density and other environmental factors on these year-to-year and stream-to-stream differences in growth.
  • Project 605 - Designing a long-term monitoring program to track the status of fish communities and their habitat in Minnesota lakes, identify efficient indicators, and evaluate mechanisms.
    • Objectives - The goals of this study are to identify the best indicators to assess the overall status of Minnesota lakes - those that most reliably measure habitat quality for native sportfish populations - and to establish baseline monitoring of 24 Minnesota lakes that span a range of geomorphic and disturbance conditions. This four-year pilot project complements our current lake survey program and uses a split-panel design that should allow us to more reliably detect change to lake habitats and fish communities and predict results of large-scale ecological stressors.
  • Project 603 - Review of brown trout ecology in Driftless Area streams and elsewhere with application to management.
    • Objective - To synthesize information on the autecology of wild populations of stream-dwelling brown trout conducted since 1997 and in Driftless Area streams to aid trout management.
  • Project 66_ - The Effects of Removing Nonnative Brown Trout from a Driftless Area Stream in Southeastern Minnesota
    • Objectives - This study will identify whether removal of brown trout allows a headwater brook trout population in southeast Minnesota to expand in abundance, thereby guiding possible sportfish restoration efforts. Results will quantify changes in growth and survival relative to a control reach, shedding light on inter-specific interactions and longer term compensatory responses. Finally, the study will measure the effectiveness of the fish barrier to upstream movement of brown trout, the timing and extent of movement, thus informing managers about the frequency and intensity of brown trout control efforts needed to maintain brook trout within the lower stream reaches.
  • Study IV Project - Comparison of otolith and scale age estimates for bluegill, walleye, white sucker, and yellow perch across multiple Minnesota lakes.
    • Objectives - Our first objective is to determine at which age (if any) scales will no longer provide reasonable age or growth estimates for bluegill, walleye, white sucker, and yellow perch and determine whether there are any regional biases. Our second objective is to determine whether back-calculations are similar based upon scale and otolith measurements.
  • Invasive Species Project - Zooplankton Investigations in Select Habitats of the Mississippi River.
    • Objectives - With the likely invasion of the planktivorous Asian carp into the entire Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), changes in native plankton communities are to be expected. This study will provide baseline zooplankton community information and a basis for understanding ecosystem changes that may occur due to the invasion of exotic species in the UMRS. Also, this study will provide insight into zooplankton size structure and abundance in the UMRS before and after Asian carp invasion, Lake Pepin's contribution of the larger macrozooplankton to the UMRS, and develop relationships between the zooplankton community and water quality.
  • Suspended Sediment Study - Effects of six-hour suspended sediment treatments on white sucker and smallmouth bass in an artificial stream.
    • Objectives - Evaluate the short-term, acute effects of a six-hour dose of two common types of suspended sediment, agricultural soil and fine sand, on mortality and sub-lethal health of white sucker and smallmouth bass.
  • Lake Sturgeon Study - Lake sturgeon population status and demography in the Kettle River, Minnesota 1992-2007.
    • Objectives - Assess the status of the Kettle River lake sturgeon population; estimate key demographic parameters of survival, seniority, growth, and abundance for use in population models; and discuss these findings in relation to the removal of Sandstone Dam in 1995.