Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
1996 Report of Region 1 - Northeast
It should come as no surprise that Bob Jenkins at Roanoke College is consumed once again by redhorses. His systematic studies of all species of Moxostoma and several of Scartomyzon progressed amply in 1995, from much field, museum, and home-lab studies. Earliest manuscripts are likely in late fall 1996. Moxostoma n. sp., thinlip redhorse (tentative name), sister species of M. erythrurum, is now known from nine specimens from the Pee Dee drainage (mid to upper Coastal Plain), and in the Cape Fear drainage, in the upper Cape Fear river and lower Deep and Haw rivers. It is rare in the Pee Dee, maybe less so in the Cape Fear; however, sampling is planned in 1996. Range of sicklefin redhorse, Moxostoma sp., is now known as middle Hiwassee and Little Tennessee systems; five counties in NC, one in GA. This species is known from small strewns to medium rivers, and was taken in Hiwassee and Fontana reservoirs near the dam of each. Beyond the middle Oconee River population of robust redhorse, M. robustum, searches in 1995 failed to find it in the Pee Dee and Yadkin rivers or the Little River of the Pee Dee system. Further sleuthing of the itinerary of E.D. Cope during 1869 in NC, from which he described M. robustum, located the house (being restored) from which Cope sampled the Yadkin. Three weeks later, Hank Bart, Joe Buckley, Bud Freeman, Lee Hartle, and Jenkins boat-electrofished Cope's Yadkin site, and in a boating accident, Lee was almost lost to the river. They figured the ghost of Cope caused this. Among zooarchaeological material at Wake Forest University, Jenkins identified bones of M. robustum from two sites, one in the Yadkin River well above Cope's type locality, the other from Hunting Creek, a tributary of the South Yadkin River. Possibly the latter bones are remains of fish brought to the Hunting Creek Indian village after capture in the Yadkin or South Yadkin rivers. Striped jumprock, Scartomyzon rupiscartes , shows apparently rapid dispersal after introduction in the upper Yadkin system. Menhinick (1991) plotted valid records for the upper South Yadkin River, the fish taken in mid-1970s. Far above the South Yadkin, striped jumprock were found in the uppermost Yadkin River in 1988, and much downstream, at the head of the Great Bend of the Yadkin River in 1995. Perhaps two introductions occurred in the Yadkin River and South Yadkin River.
Mike Pinder at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries conducted surveys for Phoxinus tennesseensis by reexamining documented sites for P. oreas in western VA. He found one new population and two highly probables (fish not in color). This raises its known occurrence from two streams to five. He plans on conducting a habitat inventory in 1996. Mike re-surveyed Etheostoma acuticeps in the South Fork Holston River. It is still present. Funding has been obtained to do a life history study of E. osburni. The Forest Service conducted a basin wide survey of Big Stony Creek to quantify habitat and numbers for the candy darter. Mike plans on revisiting all known sites of E. osburni and doing basin-wide habitat inventories in 1996. Stream restoration work was done in Percina rex streams.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences finally has a Curator of Fishes. Welcome back south, Wayne Starnes. Wayne has his work cut out for him since the Museum still hasn't published the endangered and threatened freshwater fishes report. It is already dated since many of the accounts were written 10 years ago.
Peter Ruhl, USGS NAWQA Program in NC, has been conducting stream surveys in the Albemarle-Pan-Aico drainage in eastern NC the past several years. Fish community data are being analyzed to explore relations among fish community structure and land-use, habitat, and water chemistry.
Mary Moser at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is surveying NO coastal rivers for additional populations of shortnose sturgeon. She and Fritz Rohde (FCR) of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries are sampling fish populations of the Waccamaw River drainage in a gear comparison study. They collected (as did Wildlife Resources Commission biologists) the first state records of Labidesthes sicculus.
Rudy Arndt of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and FCR are continuing their study of South Carolina's freshwater fishes. Last year, a "brook lamprey" ammocoetes was collected in north-central SC. Upon examination, it turned out to be Petromyzon marinus.
Tom Abrahamsen of the USGS NAWQA Program in SC will be surveying (with assistance from FCR) streams in the Santee drainage in the fall of 1996.
John Dean of the University of South Carolina will be surveying fishes in Francis Marion National Forest in 1996. Joe Quattro of the same university has been studying the mtDNA of Noturus.