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Carterville Fishery OfficeParticipates in Planning and Evaluation of Fish Passage Project at Mel Price Lock Dam and Lock Dam 22 on the Upper Mississippi River
Midwest Region, November 30, 2005
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Biologists Nate Caswell (right) from the Carterville FRO and Dave Gates from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operate a deep-water electrofishing rig next to a lock wall below Mel Price Lock and Dam in November 2005. 
- USFWS photo by Andy Plauck
Biologists Nate Caswell (right) from the Carterville FRO and Dave Gates from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operate a deep-water electrofishing rig next to a lock wall below Mel Price Lock and Dam in November 2005.

- USFWS photo by Andy Plauck

- Photo Credit: n/a

Staff from the Carterville Fishery Resources Office participated in planning and preliminary evaluation of fish passage projects at two of the main stem locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River.  Biologist Nate Caswell attended a March 2005 meeting hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District, to discuss possible construction alternatives for fish passage projects at Mel Price Lock and Dam near Alton, Ill., and Lock and Dam 22 near Hannibal, Mo. 

 

One of the topics of the group discussions was a plan to monitor the fisheries at the dams before, during, and after construction of the fish passage structures.  The purpose of our work was to determine which species were concentrating in the area below the dams on a seasonal basis.  The St. Louis District performed high resolution sonar work below both dams in May 2005.  Concentrations of fish below the dams were mapped, and Carterville FRO personnel used deep-water electrofishing in an attempt to determine the species composition of these concentrations.  Unfortunately, deep-water electrofishing did not produce many fish, because water temperatures were too high for the technique to be effective.  A series of gill nets were then used to capture fish near the substrate in the areas where fish concentrations were mapped.  A variety of species were captured at Mel Price Lock and Dam, but nearly all fish captured at Lock and Dam 22 were sturgeons. 

 

As a follow-up to the May 2005 work, the St. Louis District and Carterville FRO repeated the sampling in November 2005.  This time the water was cooler and deep-water electrofishing was effective in catching a variety of species at depths up to 10m.  Many of the fish located with sonar were suspended 3-7m down in the water column, making them difficult to capture with traditional methods.  This work will be an ongoing part of a multi-faceted fisheries monitoring plan for these fish passage projects, so we hope for continued success with deep-water electrofishing. 

 

Partners in this project include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Southern Illinois University.


Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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