The proposal: Habitat Improvement Projects for Stream and Oxbow Fish of Greatest Conservation Need, that was submitted as a Competitive State Wildlife Grant (SWGc) was funded. The project involves a collaboration with several state and federal agencies as well as two other NREM faculty members (Clay Pierce and Mike Weber). An overview of the project is below.
Iowa and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources propose habitat restoration for a number of stream fish of greatest conservation need, including Topeka shiners and plains top minnows, along with ten other species of concern. Partnering States will first inventory and analyze known locations of the target species to prioritize conservation actions spatially. Habitat connectivity will be restored through dam removal and modification to allow upstream movement. A minimum of seven off - channel habitats will be restored, as well as at least 25 acres of degraded upland areas causing water quality degradation through erosion. At least 50 acres of habitat will be acquired and permanently protected. Effectiveness of restoration activities will be monitored through survey on at least 20 sites, using genetic analysis, so that future conservation actions to benefit the species build upon this adaptive management approach.