Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
1999 Report of Region 1 - Northeast
Bob (AKA The Big Sucker) Jenkins continues to "pound" (his word, not mine) on sucker specimens, and this spring and early summer, Mark Clements and he will finish field-observing and videoing reproductive behavior of redhorse and jumprock suckers. For all you perverts, it should appear on the Spice Channel sometime later. Bob and Wayne Starnes (NCSM) continue to pursue further distributional and biological information on the recently discovered and undescribed "Carolina" redhorse known from the upper Cape Fear and middle Pee Dee drainages. Pee Dee populations appear to be essentially extirpated and Cape Fear populations are virtually restricted to a reach of the lower Deep River. Current distribution strongly suggests negative impacts from the introduced flathead, and perhaps blue, catfishes. Additional surveys for the robust redhorse in the Pee Dee River of NC and SC and in the Broad-Green system of NC have met with no success. Bob and Bud Freeman (UGA) continue studies of the undescribed "sicklefin" redhorse in tributaries to the Tennessee River in western NC
For those of you haven't heard, Bill Woolcott (Univ. Richmond) died on 18 April 1998. In honor of Bill, an endowment has been established to support university students presenting papers in the Natural History and Biodiversity Section of the Virginia Academy of Science.
Gene Maurakis (Science Museum of Virginia) continues his work with Bill on behavioral studies in nest-building Nocomis platyrhynchus and N. raneyi. He was fortunate last spring in getting the information and a manuscript has been submitted for publication. One of Gene's graduate students, Marie Newman, Longwood College, completed her work on breeding behaviors of Notropis alborus, published in Virginia Journal of Science in fall of 1998. Gene has also published breeding behaviors on Nocomis asper, and a paper on heterogenetic spawning between male Campostoma anomalum and female Nocomis leptocephalus. (They appear to be about as selective as some ichthyologists! - FR comment). Species recognition for Percina nevisense was published in fall of 1998. Mark Sabaj and Gene have submitted a paper on spawning in Nocomis leptocephalus and N. micropogon, with descriptions of newly observed reproductive behaviors. Because of uncooperative weather, field work on attraction of nest associates to nests of pebble nest-building minnows has been slow.
Mark Kopeney (UVA) is working on determining the native range of Noturus gilberti. Preliminary work with mitochondrial DNA indicates that the James River population is an introduction from the Roanoke population. A student (Aubrey Gilbert) is analyzing the spotted form of Noturus insignis from the upper Dan River.
Wayne Starnes (NCSM) reports that on Sunday, Nov. 15, 1998, the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences celebrated the grand opening of its Research Lab, a satellite museum facility. This was momentous because for the first time in many years, the museum will now house all of its alcohol stored collections in a single location. The lab is located at 4301 Reedy Creek Rd in west Raleigh. Collections are stored in separate ranges and arranged systematically. When fully sorted and reshelved, it is estimated that the current holdings will comprise approximately 80,000 lots. Cataloging on an Access based data structure and GIS linking are to begin soon and there are plans for website accessibility. The current holdings represent the combined collections of the UNC - Institute of Marine Sciences (through the generosity of Frank Schwartz), Duke University, NCSU, Mars Hill College, the original NCSM collection, a large collection donated by Wayne, and the voucher materials for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission's massive early 60' surveys. Voucher collections for current surveys of the NC Division of Water Quality, US Army Corps of Engineers, etc. are also housed. Emphasis is on NC, the southeastern US and adjacent Atlantic, but there is surprising representations from across North America and other parts of the world. The permanent staff of the Fishes unit now number three: curator--Wayne Starnes; collection manager--Gabriela Mottesi; and technician--Lynn Fullbright. Meanwhile, construction on the NCSM's new main museum in downtown Raleigh proceeds with opening now scheduled for early April 2000. It will be the largest natural science museum in the Southeast. It will have a major gallery devoted to all major habitat types from the Blue Ridge to the lower Coastal Plain and another treating marine habitats from the salt marshes, sounds, and barrier islands, to offshore habitats, such as the continental shelf, slope, and Sargasso Sea. There will also be a paleo gallery as well as one devoted to tropical connections and general biodiversity. Wayne and Alvin Braswell have been heavily involved with these projects. "Y'all come see us, yah hear?"
Mary Moser (UNCW) is investigating the incidence of parasites in Anguilla rostrata and documenting the spawning habitat for Atlantic sturgeon. She is also studying the impacts of culverts on herring migration.
Fritz Rohde (NC Marine Fisheries), Rudy Arndt (Richard Stockton College), and Jeff Foltz (Clemson Univ) are still poking away on their studies of South Carolina's freshwater fishes. Rohde is collaborating with Joe Quattro (Univ. South Carolina) and students on various studies of the genetics of southeastern freshwater fishes, particularly speciation in the bay lakes. Sampling by them, Starnes, and the Shutes show that Labidesthes sicculus is firmly established in Lake Waccamaw.