Re: NANFA-- Q for Dave Neely

Dave Neely (
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 14:45:25 CST


>Why don't you agree with the reintroduction of E. cinereum?

Have you seen Shepard, T.E. and B.M. Burr. 1984. Systematics, status, and
life history aspects of the ashy darter, Etheostoma cinereum (Pisces:
Percidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97:693-715.

In it, S&B performed a detailed morphological comparison of the major extant
populations of ashy darter. Populations in the Cumberland, Lower
Tennessee/Duck/Buffalo, and Upper Tennessee drainages have statistically
significant differences in multiple morphometric and meristic characters.
The different populations also have differences in nuptial coloration. After
describing all these differences, they then wussed out and said there's not
enough evidence to even support designating subspecies. Sheesh! (But then,
this WAS back in Brooks' lumping days... ;)

It is my understanding that CFI's source for brood stock of E. cinereum was
the Little River, Blount Co., TN (part of the Upper Tennessee River
population). The areas they plan on releasing these fish are within the
range of the Middle TN pop. There is still an extant population of ashy
darter in the upper Elk River drainage, in Tennessee. If reintroductions are
to be made (and they haven't produced evidence that the problems that caused
the demise of E. cinereum have been corrected), then it should AT LEAST be
of the same form. There is a possibility that E. cinereum still exists in
Alabama. Dumping a bunch of Upper TN fish on top of them could be

One of the areas they were talking about putting E. cinereum is the Elk
River in Alabama- as I think I mentioned in a previous post, the city of
Elkton just built a low-head dam across the river at the state line, to keep
their water intake underwater this summer. No permits, nothing. They put
this right on top of the riffle which is the ONLY known locality for boulder
darter (that IS Federally listed!) in the state of Alabama.

CFI's other efforts typically are well-thought out... don't know what
happened on this one.


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