Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
The goal of the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) is to monitor the ecology of the entire commercially navigable Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). We do not know, however, how well the present LTRMP trend analysis areas (Pools 4, 8, 13, 26, and the Open River of the Upper Mississippi River, and La Grange Reach of the Illinois River) reflect biotic conditions in the unmonitored navigation pools of the system. This study will examine variability within years in UMRS fish populations by comparing selected measures of fish abundance and community structure in the existing LTRMP trend analysis areas to adjacent river pools or reaches. This effort will also be useful for identifying and addressing the logistical challenges associated with expanding LTRMP component sampling from the present six trend analysis areas to other reaches of the UMRS.
Results from this study will test the general assumption that fisheries resources in UMRS pools within the same geomorphic reach are similar and respond similarly to annual environmental variability. The work will establish spatial inference of fish component data collected by active gears. For instance, electrofishing has been shown by previous analyses to be the Program's most robust collection method, providing high statistical power to detect change in fish populations. Field sampling will begin in the spring of 2000.