Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM): Fish Component


Map of the La Grange Reach of the Illinois River using the LTRM Land Cover/Use data.  The red triangles represents a site randomly sampled with one of the standard LTRM gears during Period 1 of 2011.

 webimages_2.JPG As part of the Long Term Resource Monitoring element (LTRM), we have monitored fish communities in La Grange Reach of the Illinois River since 1990.  Sampling from 1990-1992 was at fixed sites throughout the reach. However, beginning in 1993, we implemented a stratified random sampling design to encompass the entire 80 mile La Grange Reach. Currently, we use Wisconsin style fyke nets, minifyke nets large and small hoop nets, trawls, and boat mounted pulsed DC electrofishing to sample approximately 150 randomly selected main channel border, side channel, and backwater sites in La Grange Reach during each of three six week sampling windows annually (June 15-Oct 30); this results in approximately 450 samples and 50,000 fish per year.  During this sampling, many turtles are taken as bycatch; this data is recorded in a seperate database.  Data taken for fish and turtle species includes species identification, length, webimages_1.JPGweight, and any abnormalities/deformities.  Major backwater areas sampled include Pekin Lake, Big Lake, Clear Lake, Quiver Lake, Matanza Lake, Crane Lake, Chain Lake, Treadway Lake, Muscooten Bay, and Lily Lake.  Data collected from 1990 through 2016 are available from the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center's home page ( and at IRBS.  Levi Solomon and Kris Maxson lead the LTRM fish sampling at the IRBS. 


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