2020 FOCAL PROJECTS
Continued from 2019: SWG FUNDED WESTERN PEARLSHELL MUSSEL (WEPE) LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION VIABILITY STUDY (MSU, MFWP, UMW & USFWS)
MBS teamed with FWP, MSU CO-OP and U of M Western faculty in 2019 and 2020 to achieve a 5- watershed study evaluating the reproductive success and failures of WEPE. We believe WEPE populations are viable because of robust fish numbers and high quality stream habitat. Host Fish Density (based on CPUE) is Positively Correlated with WEPE Viability. By shocking fish and checking gills for baby mussels at 25 WEPE populations, our initial results show that suitable host fish densities are positively correlated with viable WEPE pop. 2) sites with low to zero trout numbers are not recruiting new mussels. Brook and rainbow trout work as host fish, but native fish (cutthroats) work better. In non-viable sites with decent fish numbers, benthic sediment is a limiting factor in baby mussel survival.
Continued since 2014: BLACK BUTTE MINE AQUATIC MONITORING PLAN (SANDFIRE RESOURCES BLACK BUTTE COPPER PROJECT)
MBS with our collaborators, Rhithron (Periphyton), Energy Laboratories (fish tissue metals analysis & CHL-a), and Peter Brown, Ph.D (Fish), continue to collect and analyze fisheries/aquatic assessment data under the BBC Aquatic Monitoring Plan (AMP) in 2020, as we did from 2014-2019. See 3 year summary report: http://www.tintinaresources.com/ In addition to the aquatic communities previously evaluated, the past 4 years we have collected rocky mountain sculpin for and performed spawning redd counts in the fall. MBS's Aquatic Ecologist has provided scientifically-robust, data for other controversial projects, including Otter Creek Coal Tracts, Spring Creek/Big Metal Coal Mine Expansion, Absoluka Mine and Coal Bed Natural Gas monitoring in Wyoming and Montana (see Past Projects).
BIGHORN RIVER BASELINE MACROINVERTEBRATE STUDY, BIGHORN RIVER ALLIANCE (BHRA)
BHRA contracted MBS's Aquatic Ecologist in 2019 to develop a SAP and began the Bighorn River Baseline Monitoring program, and we continued this study in 2020 to accomplish the sampling and laboratory analysis component. This study was initiated to fill the need of establishing baseline monitoring stations, especially for benthic macroinvertebrates and water chemistry on the Bighorn River between Yellowtail and the Yellowstone River. This study will allow us to document and understand the shifting insect communities, including explosions of scuds and isopods, decreased caddisfly hatches and missing cohorts of BWO mayflies.
Continued Projects From 2018: O'DELL CREEK EFFECTIVENESS MONITORING PROJECT (Northwestern Energy: NWE & River Design Group: RDG)
O’Dell Spring Creek on the Longhorn and Granger Ranches in the Madison River Watershed has undergone significant channel restoration activities over the past ~15 years (RDG). While fisheries and wetlands have been evaluated since restoration, aquatic insects have not. In 2017 NWE began the Odell Macroinvertebrate Monitoring program. This is the 3rd year of the study and our results show that macroinvertebrate community health and stream temperatures have improved significantly at the newly restored reaches, and the older restoration reaches are beginning to closely resemble the control site. New Zealand Mudsnails are expanding populations out from a private fishing access area.
MISSOURI AND MADISON RIVER LONG-TERM MACROINVERTEBRATE MONITORING STUDY, NORTHWESTERN ENERGY (NWE)
CLARK FORK RIVER LONG-TERM MACROINVERTEBRATE MONITORING STUDY, EPA-ASARCO-CH2M
Type your paragraph here.
Montana Biological Survey and Stag Benthics, SP