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GRAND LAKE ST MARYS WATER QUALITY UPDATE –
APRIL 2021
STEPHEN J. JACQUEMIN
WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY – LAKE CAMPUS,
AGRICULTURAL AND WATER QUALITY EDUCATIONAL CENTER
Fish and Wildlife Education Series
The Fishes of Grand Lake St Marys
A History of GLSM Fishes
• Study of Ohio fishes originates from written accounts
by English settlers in the mid-1700s
• Early 1800s - Constantine Rafinesque and others first
began to document formal descriptions of taxa and
distributions in the state (but not GLSM)
• GLSM first documented through anecdotal reports
and presentations in the mid-1800s
– Charles Dury (1867) – ‘Cincinnati Naturalist’
• Agency based work began with US Commission of
Fish and Fisheries (now US Fish and Wildlife
Service) in the mid to late 1800s (until ~1884 when
commercial fishing was still permitted)
• First formal scientific descriptions from Raymond
Osburn’s 1901 The Fishes of Ohio (limited GLSM)
• Ohio Division of Wildlife began surveys and active
management in 1930s - continues today (Clark 1960)
• Formal scientific descriptions expanded in Milton
Trautman’s 1957 The Fishes of Ohio
• Forward to today . . . EPA, DNR, and WSU surveys
Summer 2020 Fish Mortality Event
• On the evening of July 6th, 2020, a widespread
fish mortality event began on Grand Lake St.
Marys (GLSM) that persisted into the
morning of July 10th, 2020.
• Ohio Administrative Code Water Quality
Standard (OAC 3745-1), which applies to all
lakes and reservoirs (except storage
reservoirs) in the state, stipulates that
dissolved oxygen (DO) levels should not fall
below 5 to 6 mg/L
• Intermittent exposure to low DO can be
tolerated by a wide variety of freshwater
fishes but prolonged exposure to less than
3mg/L results in a combination of behavioral
modifications (e.g. gulping air at the surface,
reduction in activity, etc.), physiological
changes (e.g. changes in gill condition),
and/or mortality in most taxa
• Summer 2020 event presented a unique
opportunity to conduct a full scale fisheries
survey in the modern era
2020 Summer Fisheries Survey
• Conducted with Dr. Mark Cubberley
(WSU-Lake Campus)
• Fishes killed by low DO were surveyed by
boat along shoreline and open water
transects over two-days (7/8-9/2020)
• Fourteen shoreline segments and one
open water transect ranging from 1.5 to 3
km were conducted where fishes within
25m of shore (defined in this study as
shoreline) or 25m of either side of the
boat (open water) were documented
• Summer 2020 shoreline segments
covered roughly 35% of the lake shore
while the open water transect covered
about 0.5% of the open water area
• Overall, a total of 12,351 individual fish,
representing 25 unequivocal taxa, were
identified and counted
A Decade of Seasonal Fluctuation in DO Levels
* Long term DO data from Celina WTP – Special Thank
You To These Persons For Helping With This Project
A Strange and Storied History of GLSM Fishes
• Comprehensive fisheries surveys are difficult
and very rare
– This mostly results from collection gear bias or collector
bias with intent for particular species
• Using the 2020 survey and recent WSU near
data as a modern reference point to compare
to past surveys and observations (see Clark,
1960 and ODNR Stocking Reports) – We know
that the total number of recorded species over
the past century from GLSM is 57
• 30 species are known to occur in the lake today
– Most common are Shad, Carp, Drum
– Least common are Northern Pike, Flathead Catfish
• State stockings have contributed to this total
species number – including several non-native
sport fish (Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass)
– In total – at least 26 different taxa have been stocked
• Recent stocking efforts focus on native Perch,
Walleye (recently switched to Saugeye)
A Strange and Storied History of GLSM Fishes
• Specific to historical records, of the 52
taxa noted in a comprehensive 1960
report, 25 are no longer found in the
lake. Majority of these can still be found
in surrounding watersheds
• Overall, lake gained several taxa
(Flathead, Mosquitofish, Drum) w/ time
• BUT - lost many more taxa (numerous
Sucker and Minnow AND more sensitive
Darters) w/ time
• Changes in fish assemblage over the
past century is a function of habitat
degradation in the watershed –
including the streams and lake
(Subject of a future presentation in the series)
1900-1960 1960-2020
Taxa Stocking
American Eel No
Hornyhead Chub No
Blacknose Dace No
Pugnose Minnow No
Redfin Shiner No
Common Shiner No
Mimic Shiner No
Suckermouth Minnow No
Silverjaw Minnow No
Central Stoneroller No
Northern Hogsucker No
Golden Redhorse No
Tadpole Madtom No
Grass Pickeral No
White Bass Yes
Longear Sunfish No
Warmouth Yes
Rock Bass Yes
Smallmouth Bass Yes
Blackside Darter No
Log Perch No
Sand Darter No
Johnny Darter No
Fantail Darter No
Greenside Darter No
Taxa Stocking
Gizzard Shad Yes
Common Carp Yes
Goldfish No
Spotfin Shiner No
Bluntnose and Fathead Minnow Yes
Golden Shiner Yes
Creek Chub Yes
Sand Shiner No
White Sucker No
Quillback No
Channel Catfish Yes
Yellow, Brown, and Black
Bullhead Catfish Yes
Northern Pike Yes
Brook Silverside No
Blackstripe Topminnow No
White and Black Crappie Yes
Green Sunfish Yes
Bluegill Yes
Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yes
Orangespotted Sunfish No
Largemouth Bass Yes
Yellow Perch Yes
Walleye Yes
Taxa Stocking
Flathead Catfish Yes
Rainbow Trout Yes
Mosquitofish No
Striped Bass Yes
Saugeye Yes
Freshwater Drum No
TODAY
Taxa Stocking Occurrence
Gizzard Shad Yes Historical and Recent
Common Carp Yes Historical and Recent
Goldfish No Historical and Recent
Spotfin Shiner No Historical and Recent
Bluntnose and Fathead Minnow Yes Historical and Recent
Golden Shiner Yes Historical and Recent
Creek Chub Yes Historical and Recent
Sand Shiner No Historical and Recent
White Sucker No Historical and Recent
Quillback No Historical and Recent
Channel Catfish Yes Historical and Recent
Yellow, Brown, and Black Bullhead
Catfish Yes Historical and Recent
Northern Pike Yes Historical and Recent
Brook Silverside No Historical and Recent
Blackstripe Topminnow No Historical and Recent
White and Black Crappie Yes Historical and Recent
Green Sunfish Yes Historical and Recent
Bluegill Yes Historical and Recent
Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yes Historical and Recent
Orangespotted Sunfish No Historical and Recent
Largemouth Bass Yes Historical and Recent
Yellow Perch Yes Historical and Recent
Walleye Yes Historical and Recent
Flathead Catfish Yes Recent
Rainbow Trout Yes Recent
Mosquitofish No Recent
Striped Bass Yes Recent
Saugeye Yes Recent
Freshwater Drum No Recent
Fish and Wildlife Education Series
The Fishes of Grand Lake St Marys

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The Fishes of Grand Lake St. Marys

  • 1. GRAND LAKE ST MARYS WATER QUALITY UPDATE – APRIL 2021 STEPHEN J. JACQUEMIN WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY – LAKE CAMPUS, AGRICULTURAL AND WATER QUALITY EDUCATIONAL CENTER
  • 2. Fish and Wildlife Education Series The Fishes of Grand Lake St Marys
  • 3. A History of GLSM Fishes • Study of Ohio fishes originates from written accounts by English settlers in the mid-1700s • Early 1800s - Constantine Rafinesque and others first began to document formal descriptions of taxa and distributions in the state (but not GLSM) • GLSM first documented through anecdotal reports and presentations in the mid-1800s – Charles Dury (1867) – ‘Cincinnati Naturalist’ • Agency based work began with US Commission of Fish and Fisheries (now US Fish and Wildlife Service) in the mid to late 1800s (until ~1884 when commercial fishing was still permitted) • First formal scientific descriptions from Raymond Osburn’s 1901 The Fishes of Ohio (limited GLSM) • Ohio Division of Wildlife began surveys and active management in 1930s - continues today (Clark 1960) • Formal scientific descriptions expanded in Milton Trautman’s 1957 The Fishes of Ohio • Forward to today . . . EPA, DNR, and WSU surveys
  • 4. Summer 2020 Fish Mortality Event • On the evening of July 6th, 2020, a widespread fish mortality event began on Grand Lake St. Marys (GLSM) that persisted into the morning of July 10th, 2020. • Ohio Administrative Code Water Quality Standard (OAC 3745-1), which applies to all lakes and reservoirs (except storage reservoirs) in the state, stipulates that dissolved oxygen (DO) levels should not fall below 5 to 6 mg/L • Intermittent exposure to low DO can be tolerated by a wide variety of freshwater fishes but prolonged exposure to less than 3mg/L results in a combination of behavioral modifications (e.g. gulping air at the surface, reduction in activity, etc.), physiological changes (e.g. changes in gill condition), and/or mortality in most taxa • Summer 2020 event presented a unique opportunity to conduct a full scale fisheries survey in the modern era
  • 5. 2020 Summer Fisheries Survey • Conducted with Dr. Mark Cubberley (WSU-Lake Campus) • Fishes killed by low DO were surveyed by boat along shoreline and open water transects over two-days (7/8-9/2020) • Fourteen shoreline segments and one open water transect ranging from 1.5 to 3 km were conducted where fishes within 25m of shore (defined in this study as shoreline) or 25m of either side of the boat (open water) were documented • Summer 2020 shoreline segments covered roughly 35% of the lake shore while the open water transect covered about 0.5% of the open water area • Overall, a total of 12,351 individual fish, representing 25 unequivocal taxa, were identified and counted
  • 6. A Decade of Seasonal Fluctuation in DO Levels * Long term DO data from Celina WTP – Special Thank You To These Persons For Helping With This Project
  • 7. A Strange and Storied History of GLSM Fishes • Comprehensive fisheries surveys are difficult and very rare – This mostly results from collection gear bias or collector bias with intent for particular species • Using the 2020 survey and recent WSU near data as a modern reference point to compare to past surveys and observations (see Clark, 1960 and ODNR Stocking Reports) – We know that the total number of recorded species over the past century from GLSM is 57 • 30 species are known to occur in the lake today – Most common are Shad, Carp, Drum – Least common are Northern Pike, Flathead Catfish • State stockings have contributed to this total species number – including several non-native sport fish (Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass) – In total – at least 26 different taxa have been stocked • Recent stocking efforts focus on native Perch, Walleye (recently switched to Saugeye)
  • 8. A Strange and Storied History of GLSM Fishes • Specific to historical records, of the 52 taxa noted in a comprehensive 1960 report, 25 are no longer found in the lake. Majority of these can still be found in surrounding watersheds • Overall, lake gained several taxa (Flathead, Mosquitofish, Drum) w/ time • BUT - lost many more taxa (numerous Sucker and Minnow AND more sensitive Darters) w/ time • Changes in fish assemblage over the past century is a function of habitat degradation in the watershed – including the streams and lake (Subject of a future presentation in the series)
  • 9. 1900-1960 1960-2020 Taxa Stocking American Eel No Hornyhead Chub No Blacknose Dace No Pugnose Minnow No Redfin Shiner No Common Shiner No Mimic Shiner No Suckermouth Minnow No Silverjaw Minnow No Central Stoneroller No Northern Hogsucker No Golden Redhorse No Tadpole Madtom No Grass Pickeral No White Bass Yes Longear Sunfish No Warmouth Yes Rock Bass Yes Smallmouth Bass Yes Blackside Darter No Log Perch No Sand Darter No Johnny Darter No Fantail Darter No Greenside Darter No Taxa Stocking Gizzard Shad Yes Common Carp Yes Goldfish No Spotfin Shiner No Bluntnose and Fathead Minnow Yes Golden Shiner Yes Creek Chub Yes Sand Shiner No White Sucker No Quillback No Channel Catfish Yes Yellow, Brown, and Black Bullhead Catfish Yes Northern Pike Yes Brook Silverside No Blackstripe Topminnow No White and Black Crappie Yes Green Sunfish Yes Bluegill Yes Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yes Orangespotted Sunfish No Largemouth Bass Yes Yellow Perch Yes Walleye Yes Taxa Stocking Flathead Catfish Yes Rainbow Trout Yes Mosquitofish No Striped Bass Yes Saugeye Yes Freshwater Drum No
  • 10. TODAY Taxa Stocking Occurrence Gizzard Shad Yes Historical and Recent Common Carp Yes Historical and Recent Goldfish No Historical and Recent Spotfin Shiner No Historical and Recent Bluntnose and Fathead Minnow Yes Historical and Recent Golden Shiner Yes Historical and Recent Creek Chub Yes Historical and Recent Sand Shiner No Historical and Recent White Sucker No Historical and Recent Quillback No Historical and Recent Channel Catfish Yes Historical and Recent Yellow, Brown, and Black Bullhead Catfish Yes Historical and Recent Northern Pike Yes Historical and Recent Brook Silverside No Historical and Recent Blackstripe Topminnow No Historical and Recent White and Black Crappie Yes Historical and Recent Green Sunfish Yes Historical and Recent Bluegill Yes Historical and Recent Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yes Historical and Recent Orangespotted Sunfish No Historical and Recent Largemouth Bass Yes Historical and Recent Yellow Perch Yes Historical and Recent Walleye Yes Historical and Recent Flathead Catfish Yes Recent Rainbow Trout Yes Recent Mosquitofish No Recent Striped Bass Yes Recent Saugeye Yes Recent Freshwater Drum No Recent
  • 11. Fish and Wildlife Education Series The Fishes of Grand Lake St Marys