Impact of Restoration On Fishes, Macroinvertebrates and Habitat Quality in Kickapoo Creek Near Charleston, IL

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 2:40 PM
Harris Brake (The Marriott Little Rock)
Manisha Pant , Biological Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
John L. West , Biological Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
Trent Thomas , Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Gibson City, IL
Robert E. Colombo , Biological Sciences, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
In the Midwestern United States, millions of dollars are spent on the restoration of streams. However, little research has been conducted to assess the impact of habitat enhancement on the aquatic biota.  During fall 2010, IDNR/USGS restored a 1500 m stretch of Kickapoo Creek near Charleston, IL . We sought to assess the impact of this restoration on fish communities assemblage. Beginning fall 2009, we sampled four sites (2 control and 2 restored) twice annually (spring and fall) using an electric seine. Sampling at these sites was conducted twice preceding restoration (fall 2009 and spring 2010), once one week subsequent to restoration (Fall 2010) and thrice after restoration (spring and fall 2011 and spring 2012). During spring 2012 we added an additional historic sampling site to act as a reference to better assess the restoration. In the restored reaches, species richness increased and the fish community assemblage changed (ANOSIM, p < 0.005) subsequent to restoration. Relative density of fishes, particularly Ictaluridae and Cyprinidae, increased after restoration. Seasonally, fall showed higher relative density of Cyprinidae, Ictaluridae, Centrarchidae and Catostomidae compared to spring (P < 0.05). Additionally, diversity of the fish assemblage was significantly greater in fall (D 6.27) compared to spring (D 4.47) (p < 0.05). These data suggest the need for standardized sampling protocols to include season as a variable. Furthermore, the findings also demonstrate that the structure of fish populations and communities are improved by the instream restoration.