Surveying Fish and Amphibians in Missouri Wetlands: Gear Findings

Date Published: 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Paper Summary/Abstract: 

This Science Note shows the catching efficiency of four different gear types among fish and amphibians and highlights some of the research's findings.
A common assumption of seasonal wetland management is that visible and abundant species, like waterbirds, are indicators of a broader community of wetland dependent species that benefit from intensive management. However, there is a degree of uncertainty as to what other species are present and how they may be influenced by various management decisions. Periodic monitoring of cryptic species, like fish and amphibians, can help document these species and inform biologists of the broader wetland community as they seasonally manipulate and mimic wetland conditions in Missouri's altered floodplains. We wanted to identify the most efficient and effective method to survey fish and amphibian communities in wetland impoundments so we evaluated and compared four different sampling techniques. In general, 6-7 mini-fyke nets detected a greater percentage of fish and amphibian species than other gears during most of the seasonal sampling periods. To optimize detection of amphibian communities, a combination of mini-fyke nets and dipnet or minnow trap samples is likely necessary.

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