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Great Plains FWCO
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

420 South Garfield Avenue, Suite 400 | Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605) 224-8693 | Fax: (605) 224-9974 | Email: daniel_james@fws.gov

About Our Office

Station Responsibilities | Current Research | Past Research | Publications and Research | Sikes Act | Tribal Fisheries | Station Employee Contact Information | Open / Close All

Employee with Pallid Sturgeon. Credit: Dane Shuman / USFWS.

Employee with Pallid Sturgeon. Credit: Dane Shuman / USFWS.

About Us

The Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office provides fish and wildlife management technical assistance to Native American Tribes and federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Defense and National Wildlife Refuges within South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

 


Station Responsibilities »

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Fish Population Monitoring.

Fish Population Monitoring. Credit: Dane Shuman / USFWS.

The Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office provides fish and wildlife management technical assistance to Native American Tribes and federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Defense, and National Wildlife Refuges within South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Technical assistance includes:

  • Conducting research and management activities leading to the recovery of federally listed threatened and endangered species such as the pallid sturgeon.
  • Evaluating paddlefish stocking programs to develop management recommendations that maximize survival of hatchery-reared fish.
  • Conducting research and developing management strategies for biologically managing aquatic nuisance species that negatively impact aquatic habitat and recreational fisheries.
  • Conducting research and developing management strategies for aquatic nuisance and invasive species that negatively impact aquatic habitat and recreational fisheries.
  • Assist Federal Agencies and Tribes with management of recreational fisheries on lands under their jurisdiction.

Current Projects and Activities »

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Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program

Sampling in the Missouri River with gill nets. Credit: USFWS.

Sampling in the Missouri River with gill nets. Credit: USFWS.

Population declines of pallid sturgeon throughout the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers led to pallid sturgeon being listed as an endangered species in 1990. The Great Plains FWCO has been responsible for monitoring the pallid sturgeon and associated fish community in the Missouri River from Fort Randall Dam, SD, to Lewis and Clark Lake, NE and SD, as part of the collaborative, multi-agency Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program since 2003. Since 2000, over 11,000 pallid sturgeon have been stocked in the Missouri River between Fort Randall Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake and the Great Plains FWCO has sampled over 1,100 of them. Stocking efforts are likely maintaining the pallid sturgeon population in this section of the Missouri River because the population is composed primarily of stocked individuals (only four non-stocked individuals have been documented during 12 years of sampling). By monitoring pallid sturgeon and the associated fish community, the Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program provides valuable information related to management actions (e.g., stocking and habitat manipulation) on pallid sturgeon and the Missouri River ecosystem.

Paddlefish project

The Great Plains FWCO, in cooperation with South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, will be conducting a paddlefish telemetry project in Lake Sharpe, South Dakota to establish preliminary information for paddlefish restoration efforts in Lake Sharpe. Paddlefish will be tagged with ultra-sonic transmitters, released in Lake Sharpe, and tracked throughout 2015. The objectives are to 1) determine what proportion of stocked paddlefish emigrate from Lake Sharpe through Big Bend Dam, 2) identify geographic locations that stocked paddlefish are found throughout the lake, 3) identify depth, water temperature, and water velocities at locations where stocked paddlefish are located, and 4) determine if resident paddlefish are found at similar locations as stocked paddlefish. This information will improve our understanding of paddlefish ecology in Lake Sharpe and ultimately, aid in determining if development of a stocking program and recreational fishery are a viable option.

Didymosphenia geminata identification and consultation laboratory

The Great Plains FWCO, in cooperation with the USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program, provides expertise and identification of the aquatic nuisance species, Didymosphenia geminata, commonly known as “didymo” or “rock snot.” The laboratory accepts samples of suspect didymo for the purpose of identifying and verifying the diatom. The laboratory can also answer questions regarding didymo ecology and its interaction with aquatic resources.

Tribal

The Great Plains FWCO provides technical fisheries assistance to Tribes in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Most Tribal lands contain few streams or natural lakes and that support recreational fisheries, however, reservoirs on Tribal lands provide for angling opportunities. We provide assistance by conducting fisheries surveys, helping to identify priority areas for fisheries management, providing management recommendations, and also coordinating fish stocking requests through the federal hatchery system. The final fisheries management decisions are left to the respective Tribal fish and wildlife programs.


Past Projects and Activities »

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Pallid Sturgeon Catchability Project

In 2010, the Great Plains FWCO initiated the Pallid Sturgeon Catchability Project to improve our understanding of the effectiveness of sampling gears for capturing pallid sturgeon. We evaluated the effectiveness of sampling gears at two spatial scales: 1) known fish locations and 2) river bend (approximately 3 river km in length). At the known fish location scale, we evaluated how effective trammel nets are at capturing a pallid sturgeon given that the net was fished at the same location as the fish. At the river bend scale, we evaluated the effectiveness of the Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program sampling design (8-10 deployments of gillnets, otter trawls, trammel nets, and trotlines per bend) at capturing an individual pallid sturgeon given that the fish was present in the sample area (i.e., bend) at the time of sampling. Preliminary results at the river bend scale suggest that trotlines are the most effective sampling gear for capturing large (>500 mm) pallid sturgeon. Trammel nets were the second most effective.


Population Characteristics of the Fish Community in the Niobrara River Downstream of Spencer Dam, Nebraska

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2008 Progress Report

Niobrara River. Credit: USFWS.

Sampling in the Missouri River with gill nets. Credit: USFWS.

This research investigated the entire fish community of the Niobrara River downstream of Spencer Dam, Nebraska. The study began in April 2008 and continued through 2009. A variety of gears was used to sample the fish community including drifted trammel nets, trotlines, electrofishing, and seines to target small- and large-bodied fishes. Larval drift nets were used to capture drifting eggs, larval fish, and juvenile fish. A detailed summary of the fish fauna, which incorporated seasonal variation, was related to habitat conditions. An evaluation of relative abundance, size structure, and spatial attributes of the entire fish community was also completed.

Drifting trammel nets in the Niobrara River. Credit: USFWS.

Drifting trammel nets in the Niobrara River. Credit: USFWS.


Pallid Sturgeon Bioenergetics Study

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Brian Spindler using bathymetry to map the Missouri River. Credit: USFWS.

Brian Spindler using bathymetry to map the Missouri River. Credit: USFWS.

The Great Plains FWCO worked in cooperation with the Bozeman Fish Technology Center, Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery, Gavins Point Dam National Fish Hatchery, and the SDSU USGS-SD Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to develop a bioenergetics model to assess habitat quality of remnant riverine segments of the Missouri River for pallid sturgeon growth in relation to water flows and temperatures resulting from various management regimes for the Missouri River mainstem dam operations. Experiments measuring juvenile pallid sturgeon metabolic (respiration) rates were initiated in 2003 and continued in 2005 at multiple temperatures and life stages (fish sizes). In 2005, laboratory feeding trials were conducted to measure the influence of fish body size, water temperature, and ration size on maximum feeding rates that constitute a key physiological component of the bioenergetics model. Beginning in 2006, the bioenergetics model was applied to spatially assess habitat quality and growth potential for hatchery-reared juvenile pallid sturgeon stocked below Fort Randall Dam by collecting macro-invertebrates and detailed, spatially-referenced flow and bathymetry data with an acoustic Doppler current profiler.


Missouri River Macroinvertebrate Study

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Kristen Berg and Steve Heutmaker Sampling for invertebrates. Credit: USFWS.

Kristen Berg and Steve Heutmaker Sampling for invertebrates. Credit: USFWS.

A 2-year, collaborative project that assessed summer macroinvertebrate assemblages and densities in the Missouri River below Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams was completed by the Great Plains FWCO and SDSU-USGS-SD Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in 2007. This study provided estimates of invertebrate prey available to juvenile pallid sturgeon stocked in the Missouri River as part of recovery efforts. In addition, the data on prey availability is useful when linked with pallid sturgeon diet composition and applied in bionenergetics modeling analyses of pallid sturgeon habitat quality and growth potential.


Paddlefish Genetics Study

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Kristen holding paddlefish captured in the White River, SD. Credit: USFWS.

Kristen holding paddlefish captured in the White River, SD. Credit: USFWS.

The Great Plains FWCO office initiated a collaborative study to determine the variability of paddlefish genetics in Lake Francis Case and the Missouri River below Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams in 2004 and continued to collect tissue samples during 2005. Genetics analyses were conducted in cooperation with the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit-University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Additional tissue sample collections were coordinated with South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks and the Nebraska Game Fish and Parks Commission. Prior to this work, knowledge of paddlefish genetic diversity and delineation of potential genetic management units (GMUs) had been lacking. This information is prerequisite for effective, science-based management of the paddlefish resource based on the stock concept and population dynamics. The benefits of definitive paddlefish GMUs include more efficient propagation and supplementation regimes, minimizing outbreeding and inbreeding risks, superior broodstock management and choice strategies, etc. Furthermore, genetic analyses can provide key biological information including estimates of paddlefish effective population sizes, estimates of the number of spawning parents, mean relatedness of a cohort, and sex-specific differences in dispersal


Valentine NWR

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Map of the lakes that are open to fishing on the Valentine NWR.  Direction of water flow is depicted by arrows and refuge trails are depicted dotted lines. Credit: USFWS.

Map of the lakes that are open to fishing on the Valentine NWR. Direction of water flow is depicted by arrows and refuge trails are depicted dotted lines. Credit: USFWS.

The Valentine National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 to provide feeding and resting areas for migrating waterfowl. Public recreation such as hunting and fishing is also compatible with the purposes of the refuge. Management of the fisheries was defined in a 1978 Cooperative Agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). The Great Plains FWCO conducted surveys and managed nine lakes open to fishing until 2013. The lakes included Pelican, Hackberry, Dewey, Clear, Willow, Watts, Duck, Rice, and West Long. In 2014, the NGPC began conducting fisheries surveys at the refuge.



Newsletters »


Publications and Research Reports »

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Peer-reviewed publications

Bothwell, M. L., C. Kilroy, B. W. Taylor, E. T. Ellison, D. A. James, C. Gillis, K. D. Bladon, and U. Silins. 2012. Iron is not responsible for Didymosphenia geminata bloom formation in phosphorus-poor rivers. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69: 1723–1727.


Fincel, M. J., C. M. Longhenry, and D. A. James. 2015. Effects of a protected slot limit on smallmouth bass size structure and angler harvest. Lake and Reservoir Management 31:180-189. doi: 10.1080/10402381.2015.1059912.


Fincel, M. J., D. A. James, S. R. Chipps, and B. A. Davis. 2014. Using cumulative diet data and stable isotope analysis to determine trophic position of walleye in a large, complex system. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 29:441-447. DOI: 10.1080/02705060.2014.910713.


Grohs, K. L., R. A. Klumb, S. R. Chipps, and G. A. Wanner. 2009. Ontogenetic patterns in prey use by pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River, South Dakota and Nebraska. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 25:48-53.


Huenemann, T.W., K.D. Steffensen, G. Mestl, D.A. Shuman, and S. Stukel. 2014. The Status of Fishes in the Missouri River, Nebraska: Emerald Shiner (Notropis atherinoides), Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis), River Shiner (N. blennius), Sand Shiner (N. stramineus), Spotfin Shiner (C. spiloptera). Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 35:15-33.


James, D. A., I. J. Csargo, A. Von Eschen, M.D. Thul, J. M. Baker, C. A. Hayer, J. Howell, J. Krause, A. Letvin, and S. R. Chipps. 2012. A generalized model for estimating the energy density of invertebrates. Freshwater Science 31:69-77.


James, D. A., K. Mosel, and S.R. Chipps. 2014. The influence of light, stream gradient, and iron on Didymosphenia geminata bloom development in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Hydrobiologia 721:117-127. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-013-1654-y.


James, D. A., J. L. Fischer, J. D. Laube, and M. E. Spindler. 2014. An accuracy assessment of ultrasonic transmitter locations determined by mobile telemetry in aquatic systems. Fisheries Management and Ecology 21:421-425. DOI: 10.1111/fme.12089.


James, D. A.,  M. L. Bothwell, S.R. Chipps1,3,7, and J. Carreiro.  2015. Use of phosphorus to reduce blooms of the benthic diatom Didymosphenia geminata in an oligotrophic stream.  Freshwater Science. 34(4):1272-1281. doi: 10.1086/683038.


James, D. A., and S. R. Chipps. 2016. Influence of Didymosphenia geminata blooms on prey composition and associated diet and growth of Brown Trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 145:195-205. doi: 10.1080/00028487.2015.1111255.


Jordan, G. R., R. A. Klumb, G. A. Wanner, and W. J. Stancill. 2006. Post-stocking movements of hatchery-reared juvenile pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River below Fort Randall Dam, South Dakota and Nebraska. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:1499-1511.


Pierce, Landon L. Brian D. S. Graeb, David W. Willis & Jason S. Sorensen (2015) Evaluating Effects of Exploitation on Annual Apparent Mortality Rates of Paddlefish Using Mark–Recapture Data, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 144:337-344


Paukert, C. P., W. Stancill, T. J. DeBates, and D. W. Willis. 2003. Predatory of effects of northern pike and largemouth bass: bioenergetic modeling and 10 years of fish community sampling. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 18:13-24.


Phelps, Q. E., S. J. Tripp, K. R. Bales D. A. James, R. A. Hrabik, and D. P. Herzog. 2017. Incorporating basic and applied approaches to evaluate the effects of invasive Asian Carp on native fishes: a necessary first step for integrated pest management. PLOS One 12(9): e0184081. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184081.


Rapp, T., D. A. Shuman, B. D. S. Graeb, and E. J. Peters. 2011. Diet composition and feeding patterns of adult shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) in the lower Platte River, Nebraska, USA. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27:351-355.


Roush, K. D., C. P. Paukert, and W. Stancill. 2003. Distribution and movement of juvenile paddlefish in a mainstem Missouri River reservoir. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 18:79-88.


Smith, B. J., D. J. Dembkowski, D. A. James, and M. R. Wuellner. 2016. A simple method to reduce interpretation error of estimated ages estimated from otoliths. The Open Fish Science Journal 9:1-7. doi: 10.2174/1874401X01609010001.


Steffensen, K.D., S. Stukel, and D. A. Shuman. 2014. The Status of Fishes in the Missouri River, Nebraska: Blue SuckerCycleptus elongatus. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 35:1-11.


Steffensen, K.D., S. Stukel, and D.A. Shuman. 2014. The status of Nebraska fishes in the Missouri River: Shoal Chub Macrhybopsis hyostoma, Sicklefin Chub M. meeki, Sturgeon Chub M. gelida, Silver Chub M. Storeriana, Flathead Chub Platygobio gracilis, Western Silvery Minnow H. argyritis, Brassy Minnow H. hankinsoni, and Plains Minnow Hybognathus placitus. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies. 34:49-67.


Steffensen, K.D., S. Stukel, and D.A. Shuman. 2014. The status of Nebraska fishes in the Missouri River: Sauger Sander canadensis. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies. 34:68-79.


Steffensen, K.D., S. Stukel, and D. A. Shuman. 2014. The Status of Fishes in the Missouri River, Nebraska: Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus). Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies 34:16-26.


Steffensen, K.D., S. Stukel, and D. A. Shuman. 2014. The Status of Fishes in the Missouri River, Nebraska: Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens). Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies 34:40-45.


Steffensen, K. D., D. A. Shuman, R. A. Klumb, and S. Stukel. 2014. The Status of Fishes in the Missouri River, Nebraska: Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 34:3-15.


Spindler, B. D., S. R. Chipps., R.A. Klumb, B. D. S. Graeb, and M. C. Wimberly. 2012. Habitat and prey availability attributes associated with juvenile and early adult pallid sturgeon occurrence in the Missouri River. Endangered Species Research 16:225-234. http://www.int-res.com/journals/esr/esr-home/


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, R.Wilson, M. Jaeger, T. Haddix, B. Gardner, W. Doyle, P.Horner, M. Ruggles, K. Steffensen, S. Stukel, and G. A. Wanner. 2011. Pallid sturgeon growth, condition, and size structure within the Missouri River basin. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27:269-281.


Shuman, D. A. and E. J. Peters. 2007. Evaluation of pulsed gastric lavage on the survival of captive shovelnose sturgeon. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 23:521-524.


Shuman, D. A., J. E. Parham, and E. J. Peters. 2007. Evaluation of the condition, structure, and growth of shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Platte River, Nebraska. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 23:484-488.


Shuman, D. A., D. W. Willis, and S. C. Krentz. 2006. Application of a length-categorization system for pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Journal of Freshwater Ecology 21:71-78.


Sloss, B. L., R. A. Klumb, and E. J. Heist. 2009. Genetic conservation and paddlefish propagation. American Fisheries Society Symposium 66:307-327.


Stancill, W., G. R. Jordan, and C. P. Paukert. 2002. Seasonal migration patterns and site fidelity of adult paddlefish in Lake Francis Case, Missouri River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 22:815-824.


Wanner, G. A., R. A. Klumb, G. R. Jordan, and W. J. Stancill. 2007. Habitat use and movements of adult pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River downstream of Fort Randall Dam, South Dakota and Nebraska. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 86:21-33.


Wanner, G. A., D. A. Shuman, M. L. Brown, and D. W. Willis. 2007. An initial assessment of sampling procedures for juvenile pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River downstream of Fort Randall Dam, South Dakota and Nebraska. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 23:529-538.


Wanner, G. A., D. A. Shuman, and D. W. Willis. 2006. Food habits of juvenile pallid sturgeon and adult shovelnose sturgeon in the Missouri River below Fort Randall Dam, South Dakota. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 22:81-92.


Wanner, G. A. 2006. Evaluation of a gastric lavage method on juvenile pallid sturgeon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 26:587-591.


Wanner, G. A., R. A. Klumb, D. A. Shuman, K. Steffensen, S. Stukel, and N. J. Utrup. 2010. Comparison of green and white mesh trammel nets and gill nets to assess the fish community in a large river. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30:12-25.


Wanner, G. A., and R. A. Klumb. 2009. Length-weight relationships for three Asian carp species in the Missouri River. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24:489-495.


Reports

James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, and D. A. Shuman. Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska: 2014 zebra mussel survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, SD.


Pierce, L. L., D. A. Shuman, D. A. James, and K. L. Grohs. 2015. 2014 Annual Report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Missouri River Recovery Program. April 2015.


James, D. A. 2015. Base Lake, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska: 2014 Fisheries Survey Report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Pierce, L. L., D. A. Shuman, R. A. Klumb, D. A. James, and K. L. Grohs. 2014. 2013 Annual Report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Missouri River Recovery Program. April 2014.


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, D. A. James, and K. L. Grohs. 2013. 2012 Annual Report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Missouri River Recovery Program. October 2013.


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, D. A. James, and K. L. Grohs. 2011 Floodplain Sampling Report for the Fish Community in the Missouri River: Segments 5 & 6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Missouri River Recovery Program. August 2013.


James, D. A. 2013. A survey for the aquatic invasive species New Zealand mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Prepared for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Region 6, Lakewood, Colorado. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota.


James, D. A. 2013. Risk Potential for the Aquatic Invasive Species Didymosphenia geminata to Bloom in Selected Streams of the Black Hills, South Dakota. Prepared for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Region 6, Lakewood, Colorado. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A. and R. A. Klumb. 2012. 2011 annual report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Missouri River Recovery Program. April 2012.


Klumb, R. A., D. A. Shuman, D. A. James, and K. L. Grohs. 2012. Movement Patterns of Age-1 and Age-7 Pallid Sturgeon Within the Missouri River During Record 2011 Discharges Downstream of Fort Randall Dam. Progress Report Prepared for Western Area Power Administration, Billings, Montana and the Upper Basin Pallid Sturgeon Workgroup U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, G. A. Wanner, and K. L. Grohs. 2011. 2010 annual report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwest Division. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., M. A. Pegg, S. Schainost, R. A. Klumb, and D. A. Shuman. 2011. River geomorphology and fish barriers affect on spatial and temporal patterns of fish assemblages in the Niobrara River, Nebraska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., K. L. Grohs, and R. A. Klumb. 2011. Spatial and temporal patterns and the influence of abiotic factors on larval fish catches in the lower Niobrara River, Nebraska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., D. A. Shuman, K. L. Grohs, and R. A. Klumb. 2010. Population characteristics of sturgeon and Asian carp in the Niobrara River downstream of Spencer Dam, Nebraska in 2008 and 2009. Prepared for Nebraska Public Power District - Columbus, Nebraska. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Grohs, K. L., and R. A. Klumb. 2010. Asian clam sampling on five South Dakota reservations. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Grohs, K. L., D. A. Shuman, and R. A. Klumb. 2010. Asian clam sampling on the Missouri River downstream of the Big Bend Dam in Lake Francis Case, South Dakota. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D.A., R. A. Klumb, K. L. Grohs, and G. A. Wanner. 2010. 2009 annual report. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: Segments 5 and 6. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwest Division. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., M. P. Nenneman, M. Lindvall, and M. A. Kaemingk. 2009. Common carp abundance, biomass, and removal from Dewey and Clear lakes on the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge: Does trapping and removing carp pay off? U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., and R. A. Klumb. 2009. Asian carp in the Missouri River: Analysis from multiple Missouri River habitat and fisheries programs. Prepared for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Region 6, Lakewood, Colorado. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Wanner, G. A., M. A. Pegg, D. A. Shuman, and R. A. Klumb. 2009. Niobrara River fish community downstream of Spencer Dam, Nebraska. 2008 Progress Report. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, and G. A. Wanner. 2009. Pallid sturgeon population assessment project and associated fish community monintoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. 2008 Annual Report. Prepared for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers-Northwest Division. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., G. A. Wanner, R. A. Klumb, and W. J. Stancill. 2008. Pallid sturgeon population assessment project and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. 2007 Annual Report. Prepared for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers-Northwest Division. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Klumb, R. A. 2007. Shallow water fish communities in the Missouri River downstream of Fort Randall Gavins Point dams in 2003 and 2004 with emphasis on Asian carps. Prepared for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator, USFWS, Region 6, Lakewood, Colorado. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Berg, K., and R. Klumb. 2007. Macroinvertebrate sampling in the Missouri River below Fort Randall and Gavins Point dams during 2005 and 2006. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., G. A. Wanner, R. A. Klumb, and W. J. Stancill. 2007. Pallid sturgeon population assessment project and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. 2006 Annual Report. Prepared for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers-Northwest Division. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., G. A. Wanner, and R. A. Klumb. 2006. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. 2005 Annual Report. Prepared for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City and Omaha Districts. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


Shuman, D. A., R. A. Klumb, and S. T. McAlpin. 2005. Pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. 2004 Annual Report. Prepared for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City and Omaha Districts. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, South Dakota.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2003. An evaluation of sampling techniques and life history information on bighead carp in the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam, South Dakota and Nebraska. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Office, Pierre, South Dakota.


James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, D. A. Shuman, and W. Stacy. 2017. Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota: 2016 fisheries survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, SD.


James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, William Stacy, and D. A. Shuman. 2017. Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska: 2016 zebra mussel survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, SD.


Stacy, W. L., D. A. James, and E. Boyd-Valandra. 2017. Rosebud Indian Reservation: 2016 fisheries survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Pierce, L. L., D. A. Shuman, D. A. James, and W. L. Stacy. 2017. 2016 annual report: pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Recovery Program. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


James, D. A., D. A. Shuman, L. L. Pierce, and W. L. Stacy. 2017. Offutt Air Force Base Lake, Nebraska: 2016 Fisheries Survey Report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Pierce, L. L., D. A. James, D. A. Shuman, and R. A. Klumb. 2016. Pallid sturgeon detectability, catchability and post-handling survival with four standardized sampling gears, and movement of pallid sturgeon during the 2011 flood. Final report prepared for the Western Area Power Administration, Billings, MT, and the Upper Basin Pallid Sturgeon Workgroup. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Reese, S. E., and D. A. James. 2016. Offutt Air Force Base Lake, Nebraska: 2016 zebra mussel predation report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Jacobson, R. B., M. L. Annis, M. E. Colvin, D. A. James, T. L. Welker, and M. J. Parsley. 2016. Missouri River Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon) effects analysis - integrative report 2016. U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5064, 154 p. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165064.


Pierce, L. L., D. A. Shuman, D. A. James, and W. L. Stacy. 2016. 2015 annual report: pallid sturgeon population assessment and associated fish community monitoring for the Missouri River: segments 5 and 6. Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Recovery Program. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, W. Stacy, D. A. Shuman, G. Galinat, and T. Berdan. 2016. Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota: 2014/2015 fisheries survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, SD.


Stacy, W. L., D. A. James, and R. Goodman. 2016. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: 2015 fisheries survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, and D. A. Shuman. 2016. Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska: 2015 zebra mussel survey report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Service, Pierre, SD.


James, D. A., L. L. Pierce, and D. A. Shuman. 2016. Offutt Air Force Base Lake, Nebraska: 2015 Fisheries Survey Report. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Pierre, SD.


Jacobson, R. B., M. J. Parsley, M. L. Annis, M. E. Colvin, T. L. Welker, and D. A. James. 2016. Development of working hypotheses linking management of the Missouri River to population dynamics of Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon). U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1236, 33 p. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151236.


Jacobson, R.B., M. J. Parsely, M. L. Annis, M. E. Colvin, T. L.Welker, and D. A. James. 2015. Science information to support Missouri River Scaphirhynchus albus (pallid sturgeon) effects analysis. U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2015-1226, 78 p. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151226.


Jacobson, R. B., M. J. Parsley, M. L. Annis, M. E. Colvin, T. L. Welker, and D. A. James. 2015. Development of conceptual ecological models linking management of the Missouri River to pallid sturgeon population dynamics. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015-1038. 47 p. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151038.


Sikes Act Work” »

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The Sikes Act, enacted in 1960, created a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state fish and wildlife agencies. At the Great Plains FWCO, we help the Department of Defense protect and conserve fish and wildlife resources without compromising the military mission at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska and Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. We assist to develop, update, and implement the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan for each installation on an annual basis. We also evaluate potential impacts of military activities on fish and wildlife, ensure that important habitat is maintained, identify recreation and conservation opportunities such as hunting and fishing, provide for invasive species management, and manage wildlife to support the safety and operational effectiveness at each base. By doing this, we conserve natural areas and maximize opportunities for public recreation on both Offutt and Ellsworth Air Force Base. Currently, specific projects at both bases include recreational fish management, fisheries habitat assessment, zebra mussel monitoring and management, wetland habitat monitoring and evaluation, and endangered species surveys.


Tribal Fisheries »

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The Great Plains Fish and Wildlife Conservation office provides technical assistance to Tribes in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Most Tribal lands lack natural lakes and contain few streams that will support recreational fisheries. Most angling opportunities are provided in impoundments developed for livestock and are the focal point of most fish management on Tribal lands. We help identify priority areas for fisheries management, make recommendations, and provide technical assistance for fishery surveys; however, the final decisions are left to the respective Tribal fish and wildlife program.

Tribal Fisheries Management and Reports (tribal lands within the state in parentheses):


Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

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Map of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation identifying major rivers and reservoirs managed for fishery recreation. Credit: USFWS.

Map of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation identifying major rivers and reservoirs managed for fishery recreation. Credit: USFWS.

Since 1951, the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have cooperated in the management of the fishery resources on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The USFWS provides technical assistance and fish stocking as needed for management. The Tribe provides man-power and program direction. Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (OSPRA) has adopted fishing regulations including: bag limits, license fees, and maintains a staff of conservation officers to enforce the regulations.

Stunting, overpopulation of rough fish (e.g., common carp Cyprinus carpio , white suckers Catostomus commersoni), and winter-kill have been the most frequent fish management problems in the impoundments. Heavy rains have periodically “flushed” the creeks and reestablishment of trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fisheries has been required. Stunting of game fish and overpopulation by rough fish in impoundments have been treated by chemical eradication and restocked with game and forage fish. Winter kills have been treated by restocking with fish resistant to winter kill (e.g., yellow perch Perca flavescens and northern pike Esox lucius) or stocking largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and bluegill Lepomis macrochirus in good water years, with hopes that these conditions hold long enough to establish a recreational fishery. A small, catchable rainbow trout program was carried out between 1951 and 1992 and was popular with local residents. However, this program was discontinued because of poor return to the creel. Sedimentation has contributed to declining stream habitat conditions and the impoundments are poorly suited for trout due to elevated temperatures and low dissolved oxygen concentrations during the summer months.

Most streams on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are low gradient, silt laden, and generally unsuitable for game fish. However, these streams contain numerous native cyprinids and catostomids. A few streams that originate in the sandhills (e.g. Denby creek) or in pine covered canyon areas (e.g. No Flesh Creek and Corn Creek) are relatively clear and cool and have held trout populations prior to the 1990’s.

Currently, most game fish populations are found in six reservoirs across the reservation ranging in size from 6 to 283 ha (15 to 700 acres) including: Oglala, White Clay, Wolf Creek, Denby, Kyle, and Yellow Bear reservoirs (Figure 1). Currently, Wolf Creek Dam structure is being renovated which limits fishing opportunities at this time.

Resources


Lower Brule Indian Reservation

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The prairie on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation provides excellent habitat for both migratory and resident birds, elk Cervus canadensis, buffalo Bison bison, pronghorn Antilocapra americana, whitetail Odocoileus virginianus and mule deer O. hemionus, coyote Canis latrans, badger Taxidea taxus, and prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus. Low dams have been constructed across the Lower Brule Indian Reservation to collect precious water for livestock including buffalo. These small reservoirs provide additional habitat for birds and mammals while providing recreational fishing opportunities.

Lower Brule has been assisted by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in managing their fishery resources (with varying degrees of assistance) since 1958. During this time, several different management approaches have been tried including netting and electrofishing surveys, stocking fish, and attempting to establish and maintain a cold water trout fishery.

Today, emphasis has been focused on managing reservoirs as sport fisheries for cool and warm water fish including northern pike Esox lucius, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, yellow perch Perca flavescens, and black crappie Pomoxis nigromaculatus. This involves surveys with electrofishing gear. The collected data is then used to help Tribal personnel with the establishment of regulations and fish stocking strategies that will allow them to meet there management goals.

Resources


Rosebud Indian Reservation

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Map of reservoirs managed for recreational fisheries on Rosebud Indian Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

Map of reservoirs managed for recreational fisheries on Rosebud Indian Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

Resources


Kickapoo Tribe

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Resources



Station Employee Contact Information »

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Station Employees

Vacant
Project Leader
Phone: (605) 224-8693 ext. 233


Photo of Dan James on the River. Credit: USFWS.

Photo of Dan James on the River. Credit: USFWS.

Dan James
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Phone: (605) 224-8693 ext. 225
daniel_james@fws.gov

Dan James joined the Great Plains FWCO in 2011 as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist. After earning both Bachelor (1999) and Master (2002) of Science degrees in Biology from the University of South Dakota, he worked as a fisheries biologist for more than five years before pursuing and receiving a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Fisheries Science from South Dakota State University in 2011.

Dan works primarily as a USFWS liaison to the US Air Force to provide assistance for scientific research, fish and wildlife management, invasive species management, and conservation of native, threatened, and endangered species. He participates in research and conservation activities related to the endangered pallid sturgeon and associated Missouri River recovery efforts. In addition, he works with the FWS Aquatic Invasive Species program specializing in issues related to the diatom Didymosphenia geminata and also works with seven Native American tribes in SD, NE, and KS to support their fisheries management programs. Finally, Dan serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at South Dakota State University, where he serves on graduate student committees.


Photo of Kristen Grohs and a large adult Pallid sturgeon. Credit: USFWS.

Photo of Kristen Grohs and a large adult Pallid sturgeon. Credit: USFWS.

Kristen Grohs
Administrative Officer
Phone: (605) 224-8693 ext. 228
kristen_grohs@fws.gov

Kristen Grohs joined the Great Plains FWCO in 2003.  For the last 13 years, she has been working on the Missouri River Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program and was the lead for the Lake Sharpe Paddlefish Project.  Kristen received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at South Dakota State University in 2004 and then earned her Master of Science Degree at South Dakota State University in 2008 with an emphasis in Fisheries Sciences.

Kristen is currently the Administrative Officer, managing a variety of administrative activities essential to the office operation.  She administers the annual budget, oversees purchasing, is responsible for payroll for station personnel, and assists employees on various administrative matters.  She also serves as the Property Officer and Collateral Duty Safety Officer for the Great Plains FWCO.


Photo of Landon Pierce. Credit: USFWS.

Photo of Landon Pierce. Credit: USFWS.

Landon Pierce
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Phone: (605) 224-8693 ext. 230
landon_pierce@fws.gov

Landon Pierce joined the Great Plains FWCO in February 2014 and leads the Pallid Sturgeon population assessment for this office.  Landon is also a member of the Missouri River Recovery Program Pallid Sturgeon Effects Analysis Team.

Landon received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska, and a Master of Science from South Dakota State University.  He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Missouri.


A biologist holding a fish.

Dylan Turner holding a walleye. Credit: USFWS.

Dylan Turner
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Phone: (605) 224-8693
dylan_turner@fws.gov

Dylan Turner joined the Great Plains FWCO in July 2017 and works on the Missouri River Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program along with Tribal and Sikes acts projects. He is also the lead for a collaborative USFWS paddlefish reintroduction project on Lake Sharpe, SD.

Dylan received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife in 2014 and his Masters of Science in 2017 from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


A biologist holding a fish.

Jessica Johnson holding a sturgeon. Credit: USFWS.

Jennifer Johnson
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Phone: (605) 224-8693
jennifer_johnson@fws.gov

Jennifer Johnson joined the Great Plains FWCO in 2018. Jennifer leads the Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program for the segment just below Gavins Point Dam to Ponca State Park. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri in 2004. Jennifer is nearing completion of a Geographic Information Systems Technician certificate through Southeast Community College.


A biologist holding a fish.

Jason Kral holding a sturgeon. Credit: Jason Kral, USFWS.

Jason Kral
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
Phone: (605) 665-3352
Jason_kral@fws.gov

Jason Kral joined the Great Plains FWCO in May of 2018 and is continuing his efforts on Missouri River Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program. Jason has been working on this project since 2005.

Jason received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries at South Dakota State University in 2003. During and after college he worked on six different fisheries projects for the University. There he specialized in fish identification, streams sampling, and working with rare, threatened and endangered species.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: November 21, 2018
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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