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Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Program (HAMP) completes 2007 field season
Midwest Region, April 15, 2008
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This season's field work for the Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Program (HAMP) conducted by the Columbia National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) concluded on October 31, 2007. Field work concentrated on 18 selected river bends on the Lower Missouri River located between St. Louis and Kansas City.  HAMP is based on a BACI experimental design intended to provide both general monitoring information and data to answer specific questions related to the effect of habitat construction.  With the BACI design we can ask questions about fish communities Before and After, and compare to a Control reference condition, in response to an Impact (i.e., habitat construction).

 

Both the biological and physical portions of HAMP are intended to monitor shallow water habitat that is currently being constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers on the channelized portion of the Missouri River.  These projects are intended to provide aquatic habitat diversity to this portion of the Missouri River.  The Bank Stabilization and Navigation Programs highly modified the river, and fish habitat diversity was lost due to these modifications.  Although the underlying intent of HAMP and other mitigation projects is to recover the pallid sturgeon, it is recognized that improved aquatic habitat will be beneficial to many other species, including those sought by anglers.

 

HAMP technicians process trawl sample.

2007 was the third field season for the biological portion of HAMP and Columbia NFWCO has a sound sampling design in place.  An independent science review panel reviewed the program in 2006 and provided recommendations that were used to refine the program in 2007.  All HAMP data sheets have been sent to Missouri Department of Conservation for electronic entry and the electronic data should be available for analysis during 2008.  Field effort for Columbia NFWCO’s portion of HAMP is an estimated 2,713 samples that yielded 109,043 fish.  Memorable fish captures for the season include 7 pallid sturgeon including one adult with a telemetry tag from a USGS tracking study, and a flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis).  Flathead chubs historically were an abundant species in the lower Missouri River, but now are seldom captured.  Other uncommon fish HAMP collected in the Missouri River included several species of darters (family Percidae) and young-of-the-year skipjack herring (Alosa chrysochloris). 

 

These results will lead to our vision in leadership in science to recover an endangered species and protect sensitive communities.  This project assists the Service’s Fishery Program with meeting its Partnership and Accountability goal of developing collaborative conservation strategies for aquatic resources.

Andrew B. Starostka and Clayton J. Ridenour

Contact Info: Andrew Starostka, 5732342132 x119, andy_starostka@fws.gov



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