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ILMS Webinar: The Importance of Oxbow Lakes with TNC
September 16, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CDT
This month’s ILMS webinar will cover the importance of Oxbow Lakes and some work done by the Nature Conservancy. Oxbow lakes are an important habitat type found along Indiana’s major rivers in southwest Indiana. They are an integral part of a river’s ecology. Many species of riverine fish use oxbows to reproduce or rear young. Oxbow lakes are also home to many species of rare plants, and they provide wintering and nesting habitat for waterfowl and songbirds.
Despite the ecological importance of oxbow lakes, little is known about their overall health. As a result, there have been no conservation strategies developed around this important habitat-type in Indiana. Oxbow lakes face many threats, including levees, ditching, and field tiling within the lake basins, agricultural runoff, and fragmentation of surrounding woodlands.
To establish a baseline of data and develop conservation strategies around these lakes, we completed an initial ranking process via GIS, followed by an on-the-ground sampling effort in 2017 including monthly water sampling and in 2018 fish sampling.TNC will share our research results to date and discuss the challenges of developing a conservation strategy for a dynamic and large-scale habitat like oxbow lakes along the lower Wabash River.
Our speaker this month will be Brad Smith from the Nature Conservancy of Indiana. Brad started his career in conservation working in the Hoosier National Forest on migratory songbirds as an undergraduate at Indiana University. He worked throughout parts of the US and Canada before landing in Southwest Florida working on Sanibel Island doing wetland restoration and land management. He began working for The Nature Conservancy in 2010 as the Director of Land Management for the New Jersey chapter before transferring, in 2013, to his current position as the Lower Wabash and Wetlands Program Director for Indiana. His efforts are focused on improving water quality, expanding floodplain protection, and improving habitat for migratory birds.
This webinar is part of an on-going ILMS webinar series, new webinars to be held the third Wednesday of every month at noon. Attendance for this and future webinars is free for ILMS members, and $10 for non-members. If you would like to attend multiple webinars, we welcome you to become a member. Membership benefits include special events, access to the members-only web page, including recordings of our webinar series, and a discounted annual conference membership.
This month’s ILMS webinar is being sponsored by: