Surveying Fish and Amphibians in Missouri Wetlands: Active vs Passive Methods

Date Published: 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Paper Summary/Abstract: 

This Science Note provides a decision tree to help determine which gear type might work best for a wetland manager's needs to monitor fish and amphibians.
Monitoring cryptic species, like fish and amphibians, helps reduce uncertainty and informs management decisions of a broader range of wetland dependent taxa. However, the time and effort required for monitoring are limited, so knowing the trade-offs of different survey methods, site selection, and timing can help managers determine best surveying practices based on monitoring objectives. The following guidelines are based on extensive sampling of 29 wetlands across three ecoregions in Missouri during 2015-2016. Sampling compared two active methods (dipnets and seines) and two passive methods (minnow traps and mini-fyke nets). Identifying a project's objectives are first and fore-most. Once this has been decided, there are a series of trade-offs to consider when selecting appropriate and efficient methodologies for sampling fish and amphibians. The findings of this study should help inform this process.

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