New Publication on Long Term Monitoring of Upper Mississippi River Pool 26

Article by: Ted Kratschmer,
Illinois Natural history Survey scientists John Chick, Lori Soeken-Gittinger, Eric Ratcliff, Eric Gittinger, Ben Lubinski and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Commercial Fishing Manager Rob Maher recently released a publication in the peer-reviewed Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin, Volume 39, September 2013, titled "A Decade of Monitoring on Pool 26 of the Upper Mississippi River System: Water Quality and Fish Data from the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program." The authors all are based at the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station. The four-chapter publication The 98-page publication can be purchased in print from here.

Since 1991, the Illinois Natural History Survey has operated the Great Rivers Field Station, one of six field stations associated with the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Environmental Management Program. This bulletin presents detailed findings for water quality and fish monitoring from 1994 to 2004 in Pool 26 of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) collected and analyzed by scientists at the Great Rivers Field Station. We present this information with the goals of 1) demonstrating the value of these data for management of the natural resources of the UMRS, 2) to serve as an easily accessible vehicle for persons searching for information on environmental conditions in this reach of the UMRS, and 3) to generate hypotheses and questions that can be addressed further in future analyses of LTRMP data and/or through focused research studies. We hope that the findings we present will be useful to river scientists and managers, but we are also hopeful that nonscientists, such as nongovernmental organizations, decision makers, and the general public, will also find this work informative. With this in mind, we have limited ourselves to presenting only basic statistical analyses (e.g., graphs of central tendency and linear regression) with the exception of the last chapter. Long-term monitoring data for natural resources are rare and our understanding of the ecology of great rivers lags far behind most other ecosystems. Improving our management of these important natural resources will require more than the support of scientists and managers; society at large ultimately provides the funding necessary for these efforts and it needs to be informed so that they can judge the value and efficacy of programs such as the LTRMP. We hope that this bulletin will be informative to a wide audience.

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