Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program

Long Term Resource Monitoring


Illinois River Biological Station

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The La Grange Reach Long Term Resource Monitoring (LTRM) Field Station is operated by the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), a division of the newly organized Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The station is located in a leased facility on the bank of the Illinois River at Havana, Illinois.

Major funding for the station is provided through the LTRM for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), a cooperative effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the natural resource agencies of five UMRS States (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin). A primary responsibility of the field station's LTRM staff (eight full-time biologists and technicians) is monitoring water quality, vegetation, macroinvertebrates, and fish along an 80-mile reach of the Illinois River.

In addition, field station staff have been involved in a variety of other projects, including research on native mussels along the entire Illinois River and Reach 15 of the Mississippi River; studies of zebra mussels, their larvae, and other zooplankton; evaluations of the impacts of dredge spoil on fish and invertebrate communities; investigations of larval fish dynamics; and biological monitoring at Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects.

Most research beyond the LTRM monitoring is funded through grants or contracts. Total staff at the station varies from 8 to 25, depending on the season and the number and scope of additional research projects. Field station staff collaborate with INHS scientists from the Survey's main office on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the nearby Forbes Biological Station at Havana, and four other INHS field stations.

Other collaborative efforts include scientists from the LTRM's Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center at La Crosse, WI, the other five LTRM field stations, and the University of Illinois. Currently the La Grange Reach Field Station facility is under renovation. Upon completion it will consist of 2460 square feet of office space, a 2000 square foot wet lab, a shop (2880 square feet), and approximately 3000 square feet of additional storage space for field equipment. The station has a total of 15 boats with associated motors, trailers, and support equipment. Among these are three electrofishing rigs, two pontoon houseboats (35-ft and 43-ft long), a hovercraft, and a 24-ft pontoon boat/diving platform.

Three field vehicles are owned by the station and five vehicles are on loan from Federal agencies or leased from the state. Other equipment at the field station includes the following:

Field equipment

  • Surface-supply diving equipment capable of supporting two divers, including high-pressure storage tanks, a gas-powered breathing air compressor with air filtration system, wet and dry diving suits, and miscellaneous accessories.
  • Two scanning telemetry receivers with various antennas including airplane mounts RACAL ranging system.
  • Two transponders and one transceiver with a cpu and computer interface.
  • Three Garmin global positioning system units.
Laboratory equipment
  • Turner fluorometer with continuous flow-adapter.
  • Satorius analytical balance.
  • Buehler ISOMET, low-speed saw.We have used the saw for sectioning mussel shells and fish otoliths and spines for age and growth work.
  • Video imaging and analysis system with computer, color video camera, lens with macro capabilities, and binocular microscope. We have used this equipment for identifying, measuring, and counting zooplankton (i.e., zebra mussel veligers and Daphnia lumholtzi) and adult zebra mussels, and for determining age and growth from fish scales, otoliths, and spines.
  • Varian 3600 programmable gas chromatograph.
  • Twelve IBM-compatible computers connected via a Novell network.

Jim Lamer, Field Station Team Leader
Telephone: 309-543-6000
Fax: 309-543-2105

Illinois Natural History Survey
Havana Field Station
704 North Schrader Avenue
Havana, IL 62644

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