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Columbia FRO Staff Complete Harlow Island Fisheries Monitoring
Midwest Region, August 23, 2006
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Patty Herman retrieves a mini-fyke net from the muck at the Grand Tower Backwater control site. 
- Photo by Colby Wrasse
Patty Herman retrieves a mini-fyke net from the muck at the Grand Tower Backwater control site.

- Photo by Colby Wrasse

- Photo Credit: n/a
Exposed common carp forage in the shallow conditions at Harlow Island backwater. 
- Photo by Colby Wrasse
Exposed common carp forage in the shallow conditions at Harlow Island backwater.

- Photo by Colby Wrasse

- Photo Credit: n/a

Colby Wrasse, Adam McDaniel and Patty Herman, Columbia FRO, continued the data collection phase of the Harlow Island Fisheries Monitoring project.  The Harlow Island project has been a challenge for the field biologists since the implementation phase. 

Again this year, environmental conditions have thwarted efforts of collecting data by the prescribed plan as extreme heat and drought conditions have nearly dried both the experimental and control sites.  Though the water depth was shallow, the setting and retrieving of mini fyke nets became a difficult task because of the viscous nature and depth of the muddy substrate.  Electrofishing these sample sites was not possible for the month of August. 

Despite these conditions, fish were caught including:  bowfin, short-nose gar, long-nose gar, orangespotted sunfish and mosquito fish.  Anecdotally, common carp were observed foraging along the land/water interface with the dorsal portions of the bodies completely exposed to the air. 

Harlow Island is a remnant side channel of the Mississippi River that is only connected during high-water periods.  Columbia FRO is currently in the pre-project monitoring phase of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funded project which will reconnect this remnant side channel to the main river as part of a program to improve navigation and restore ecosystems of the Middle Mississippi River. 

Ultimately, this project aims to compare changes in the fish community at the modified Harlow Island site with the unmodified control side channel site in an effort to determine the effectiveness of ecosystem restoration efforts in the Middle Mississippi River.


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



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