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LTRMP Technical Report 2014–P001

LTRMP logo A product of the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program, an element of the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration-Environmental Management Program

Long Term Resource Monitoring Program Procedures: Fish Monitoring

By Eric N. Ratcliff, Eric J. Gittinger, T. Matt O’Hara, and Brian S. Ickes

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (15.3 MB)Summary

This manual constitutes the second revision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Upper Mississippi River Restoration-Environmental Management Program (UMRR-EMP) Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) element Fish Procedures Manual. The original (1988) manual merged and expanded on ideas and recommendations related to Upper Mississippi River fish sampling presented in several early documents. The first revision to the manual was made in 1995 reflecting important protocol changes, such as the adoption of a stratified random sampling design. The 1995 procedures manual has been an important document through the years and has been cited in many reports and scientific manuscripts. The resulting data collected by the LTRMP fish component represent the largest dataset on fish within the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) with more than 44,000 collections of approximately 5.7 million fish.

The goal of this revision of the procedures manual is to document changes in LTRMP fish sampling procedures since 1995. Refinements to sampling methods become necessary as monitoring programs mature. Possible refinements are identified through field experiences (e.g., sampling techniques and safety protocols), data analysis (e.g., planned and studied gear efficiencies and reallocations of effort), and technological advances (e.g., electronic data entry). Other changes may be required because of financial necessity (i.e., unplanned effort reductions). This version of the LTRMP fish monitoring manual describes the most current (2014) procedures of the LTRMP fish component.

First posted July 22, 2014

For additional information contact:
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2630 Fanta Reed Road
La Crosse, WI 54603

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Suggested citation:

Ratcliff, E.N., Gittinger, E.J., O’Hara, T.M., and Ickes, B.S., 2014, Long Term Resource Monitoring Program procedures: Fish monitoring, 2nd edition. A program report submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Upper Mississippi River Restoration-Environmental Management Program, June 2014. Program Report LTRMP 2014-P001, 88 pp. including Appendixes A–G,


Purpose of Revision


Monitoring Rationale, Approach, and Implementation


Sampling Gear and Methods

Fish Identification and Measurement

Data Management


Appendix A. Basic Equipment for LTRMP Fish Monitoring

Appendix B. Electrofishing Information (B1–B11)

Appendix C. Net Specifications (C1–C6)

Appendix D. Fish Keys

Appendix E. Lists of Fishes and LTRMP Fish Species Codes (E1–E-2)

Appendix F. LTRMP Turtle Species Codes

Appendix G. LTRMP Data Sheets (G1–G2)

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