Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
1998 Report of Region 1 - Northeast
It's redhorse update time again. Dr. Bob (Roanoke College) is still immersed in Moxostoma systematics. He has been sampling, studying in museums, taking anatomical data, occasionally summarizing to find trends and differences, and occasionally writing parts of manuscripts. In addition to this group he is studying jumprocks, Scartomyzon, and torrent suckers, Thoburnia in order to bring his level of knowledge up with those of redhorses to avoid making conclusions in papers that need to be revised later. One of these papers to be published concerns further phylogenetic analysis. Bob is emphasizing study of young of the year redhorses, partly to identify characters enabling easy identification. He's had good success so far. With Roanoke College students Mark Clements, Aaron Coons, Stephanie Moore, and Loren Walker, three studies of life history aspects of suckers are well advanced: (1) reproductive behavior and habitat of redhorses and jumprocks; (2) age, growth, and maturation of the river and robust redhorses, and maximum age and size of redhorses; and (3) foods of age 0 river redhorse and comparative feeding behaviors in the Moxostoma group. Bob wants feedback from colleagues about his tentative plans to change some common names, some warranted due to taxonomic changes, others because current names have undesirable connotation. Aiming to use best names for all time, after the "dust settles" regarding controversy of name changing, Bob is considering or has concluded: (1) black redhorse to become dusky redhorse. It's not a black fish; it usually is about as brassy as golden redhorse; the name black redhorse has led to many, many misidentifications.
(2) Blacktail redhorse should change to stripetail redhorse. Only two or three caudal rays are dusky or black, and this is often or usually masked in life by red; the highly diagnostic tail has a white and black stripe in preservative. (3) Black jumprock is better termed blacktip jumprock. "Black" jumprock is a misnomer; its best diagnostic field and lab characteristics are small black tip on dorsal fin and caudal lobes. (4) The name V lip redhorse will be reallocated to Moxostoma collapsum (Cope), which he elevates to species from under the synonymy of M. anisurum. (5) Moxostoma pappillosum, which briefly had the name V lip redhorse, will be called slender redhorse. (6) Elevated to species from synonymy under M. macrolepidotum, Moxostoma breviceps will be dubbed hookfin redhorse, partly in contrast to the even more falcate dorsal fin of the undescribed sicklefin redhorse. (7) Bob repeats that the true Moxostoma robustum (Cope) is to be called robust redhorse. (8) The latter's impostering, undescribed species, formerly called smallfin redhorse, will be named brassy jumprock; many southeastern fishery scientists and consultants are using the latter two revised names. (9) the undescribed "grayfin redhorse" is better named Apalachicola redhorse; it's endemic to that drainage and occasionally it has orange in lower fins. (10) Scartomyzon congestus, "gray redhorse", should be called gray jumprock. That's it, folks. Give him your comments. In summer 1998, Bob is slated to complete for VA Game and Inland Fisheries, an updated, annotated distributional treatise on Virginia freshwater fishes.
Gene Maurakis of the Science Museum of Virginia has several manuscripts in progress on chubs with Bill Woolcott and several students. In addition, Gene and Bill published papers on agonistic combat of Nocomis in Va J. Sci. Fall 1997 and nocturnal breeding behavior in N. leptocephalus and micropogon in J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. One of Gene's students is finishing thesis on breeding behaviors in Notropis alborus. They are also wrapping up field studies in the spring on stimulus attraction of nest associates to chub nests and spawning behavior in Nocomis raneyi and platyrhynchus. The Science Museum and VIMS have formed a collaboration to promote marine science literacy in VA and mid Atlantic states.
Mike Pinder (Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries) is very excited on the progress of their mussel and nongame fish cultivation station at the Buller Fish Hatchery along the South Fork Holston River. At this facility they will be testing different techniques used to reintroduce mussels to streams within their historic range. They are also developing techniques to hold, raise, and hopefully propagate a host of nongame fishes. Madtoms, cyprinids, and darters will be especially targeted. They will be using a flow-through system to raise the animals. After a long absence, the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries has reorganized the Fish Taxonomic Committee, now called Nongame Fish Advisory Committee. The committee comprises members of academia, environmental reviewers, and natural resource mangers. The aim is to provide guidance and advice to policies and projects involving nongame fishes. The committee will also help the department in species ranking procedures, develop protocols for the reintroduction of threatened and endangered species, and prioritize protective measures for the commonwealth's fish fauna. The state is currently funding Conservation Fisheries (J.R. Shute and P. Rakes) to augment populations of yellowfin madtom in Copper Creek. Nests will be removed and young reared for a year in aquaria. Hopefully, this will increase the survival rate of this species until the creek's problems are fixed. In 1997, Mike and Paul Bugas, Region 4 Fisheries Manager, continued survey of upper James River streams for roughhead shiner, a state species of special concern. Of the four historical sites known for roughheads, telescope shiners have taken over, fulfilling the prediction of Bob Jenkins back in the 1970's. Mike will continue surveying sites in the 1998 field season.
Welcome to Wayne's World (Starnes). The main thing is the construction of the new NC State Museum Research Laboratory, a 19,000 sq ft facility which will house wet collections and associated researchers. Completion is expected now in early May and movement, consolidation, and organization of the NCSM and former Duke, IMS, and miscellaneous other collections to commence soon after. Sorting and cataloging of backlogs and data basing and GIS linkage of the above collections is to follow over the next several years; this should result in 80,000 or more lots. Meanwhile, construction of the new main museum continues towards a late 1999 completion date. That museum's galleries will have heavy emphasis on regional aquatic habitats, including fishes, as well as a complete marine gallery committee. What time Wayne can squeeze in for other efforts has been devoted to field surveys for Carolina, sicklefin, and robust redhorses (with Jenkins, Bud Freeman and others), rice eel work in GA and FL (populations are now known from Atlanta, Tampa Bay area, and near Miami), and attempting to complete lingering Potomac, Colorado River chubs, and other fish projects. PART IV. A REEVALUATION OF THE FRESHWATER FISHES. ENDANGERED, THREATENED, AND RARE FAUNA OF NORTH CAROLINA is finally, at long last, now out!!! Hallelujah!!!
Mary Moser (UNCW) and Fritz Rohde (NC Marine Fisheries) have finished their work in the Waccamaw River basin gear comparisons and hurricane effects. They report the first occurrence of the brook silverside, Labidesthes sicculus, in Lake Waccamaw. What this bodes for the endemic silverside is unclear.
Rohde, Rudolf Arndt (Richard Stockton College), and Jeff Foltz (Clemson Univ.) are continuing their studies on South Carolina's freshwater fishes. Rohde is collaborating with Joe Quattro (Univ. South Carolina) and Jim Grady (UNO) on genetic variation in the Waccamaw killifish, Fundulus waccamensis.