Science Center Objects

November 1 - 2, 2016 – Eight teams of fishery biologists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service - Peninsular Florida Fisheries Office and Welaka National Fish Hatchery (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida International University (FIU), and Zoo Miami sampled 20 sites for non-native fishes in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in southeast Florida in this two-day event. A variety of collection gear was used, including electrofishing boats, backpack electrofishers, seines, fyke nets, minnow traps, hook and line, and dipnets.

Sample sites for Fall Fish Slam 2016

Sample sites for Fall Fish Slam 2016. 1, 2 C-51 canal, 3 Flying Cow Road canal, 4-7 border canal and ditches around Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), 8-10 Hillsboro and L-36 canals, 11 Sunset Lakes, 12 C-9 canal, 13 C-6 canal,14 L-31N canal, 15 Snapper Creek canal (west), 16-17 Pinecrest Gardens and Snapper Creek canal (east), 18 Black Creek canal, 19 East Everglades Detention Area, and 20 L-31W canal.

November 1 - 2, 2016 – Eight teams of fishery biologists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), US Fish and Wildlife Service - Peninsular Florida Fisheries Office and Welaka National Fish Hatchery (USFWS), the National Park Service (NPS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida International University (FIU), and Zoo Miami sampled 20 sites for non-native fishes in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in southeast Florida in this two-day event. A variety of collection gear was used, including electrofishing boats, backpack electrofishers, seines, fyke nets, minnow traps, hook and line, and dipnets.

On day one, several crews worked in Palm Beach County searching for any new non-native fish species as well as monitoring the border canals around Loxahatchee NWR and surrounding waters for bullseye snakehead (Channa marulius) range expansion. No new locations of snakehead were discovered. However, an Asian swamp eel (Monopterus sp.) collection was recorded, a first for Palm Beach County.

On day two, boat and backpack electrofishing crews sampled border canals of Everglades National Park (ENP) for snakehead and other exotic species. No snakehead were collected. However, voucher specimens of banded cichlid (Heros severus), oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), and Asian swamp eel were collected for the Florida Museum of Natural History. A ground crew collected water samples from water control structures along the C-4 canal and the L-31N canal that border ENP for an environmental DNA (eDNA) project that could be used in the early detection of bullseye snakehead.

One ground crew sampled Pinecrest Gardens both days to continue eradication efforts of the bay snook (Petenia splendida). This effort built upon earlier work by FWC and the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (ECISMA) to eradicate the threat of this large, predatory cichlid.

Boat electrofishing crews sampled the adjacent Snapper Creek canal system and found no evidence of bay snook escapees. However, the ground crew inside Pinecrest Gardens found very young juvenile bay snook, indicating reproduction had occurred. Water samples and tissue samples consisting of fin clips were taken for a future eDNA project to provide another level of detection in eradication efforts.

Boat electroshocking crew with bullseye snakehead (Channa marulius)

Boat electroshocking crew with bullseye snakehead (Channa marulius)

Twenty-one species of non-native fishes were collected or observed during the two-day Fall event. Twenty-five lots containing 93 voucher specimens were deposited at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

All native species, along with two non-native species (grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, and butterfly peacock bass, Cichla ocellaris), were returned to the wild alive. All field observations of non-natives were entered into the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (USGS 2016).

The participants of the November 2016 Fish Slam were Christine Beck (Florida International University), Jesse Blanchard (FIU), Ken Blick (USFWS), Mary Brown (USGS), Andre Daniels (USGS),  John Galvez (USFWS), Kelly Gestring (FWC), Silvia Gutierre (University of West Florida), Kristen Humpfrey (Miccosukee Tribe), Andy Jackson (USFWS), Howard Jelks (USGS), Jeff Kline (NPS), Greg Kock (Zoo Miami), Bill Loftus (Cherokee Nation Technologies), Jessica Parks (Zoo Miami), Kristen Reaver (Cherokee Nation Technologies), Pam Schofield (USGS), Brooke Shamblin (NPS), Hannah Shuman (Zoo Miami), Murray Stanford (FWC), Joel Trexler (FIU), Vanessa Trujillo (FIU), Raul Urgelles (NPS), and Kevin Whelan (NPS).

Fish Slam - Fall 2016 - Non-native fish collected or observed

Fish Slam - Fall 2016 - Non-native fish collected or observed.

Special thanks to Barron Moody, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, for assistance with permits for this sampling event.

REFERENCES

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 2016. Nonindigenous aquatic species database. Gainesville, Florida. Available via http://nas.er.usgs.gov/. Accessed November 2016

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