Dedicated to the Conservation of Southeastern Fishes
1997 Report of Region 1 - Northeast
Dr. Moxostoma, otherwise known as Bob Jenkins of Roanoke College, has about 14 manuscripts planned on this group. One of the earliest will be a synthesis of anatomy and a key to the 30-species Moxostoma group. He studied nearly all species in 1996 to have comparable amounts of data (much new) for all taxa. The tentatively named Carolina redhorse, new species, clearly is sister to the golden redhorse, M. erythrurum. It is known only from the Carolinas. Five specimens are known from the Pee Dee drainage, all from the Fall Zone (at Blewett Falls Dam) to the middle coastal plain (I-95 bridge). This species is extremely rare in the Pee Dee River, such that it seems not useful to purposefully search for it there. All of the large amount of boat-shocking conducted in the Pee Dee River during 1992-96 (in search of the robust redhorse) yielded two of the four river specimens; the other two were taken in 1979-89. The other Pee Dee drainage specimen is a juvenile from the lower reach of a Fall Zone tributary in 1961. From the Cape Fear drainage, by early 1996 four specimens were known from and near the Fall Zone, from upper Cape Fear and lower Deep and Haw rivers. In two days of May 1996, Wayne Starnes, Gerald Potter, NCWRC personnel with two shockerboats and Jenkins captured 12 Carolina redhorses. They also saw them spawning. Jenkins and Starnes will author the analysis of the two-species erythrurum group. Jenkins and Starnes also plan to complete the systematic study, started with the late Ernie Lachner, of the Atlantic slope barbeled species of Cyprinella. With a cast of several, including Paul Angermeier and Steve McIninch, Jenkins is collating for publication the significant new records, range extensions, etc. of Virginia freshwater fishes.
Gene Maurakis is now with the Science Museum of Virginia. He created an exhibition on freshwater fishes of the James River (19 species from montane, piedmont, and coastal plain) with associated graphics which represents the first installment of a $3 million Life Sciences Gallery. He and Bill Woolcott published an update of Raney's 1950 account of freshwater fishes of the James River in Va. J. Sci. (1996) and are revising manuscripts on Percina nevisense, formerly P. peltata, from Roanoke, Chowan, Tar, and Neuse rivers. Gene also received a grant for stimulants that attract minnows to gravel nests of nestbuilding species.
Mike Pinder (Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries), because of manpower constraints, got little accomplished on last year's proposed projects. He did conduct a stream survey on Indian Creek, a headwaters tributary of the Clinch River in Tazwell Co. They collected 34 species in the 12-mile reach, including Percina burtoni. Indian Creek supports one of the remaining populations of an endangered mussel, the tan riffleshell, as well as the purple bean mussel. There is mining activity in the watershed and Mike has been meeting with them to minimize their impacts. He has several projects planned for 1997 including an evaluation of the diet of stocked muskellunge in the Clinch River. There is concern that muskies may be impacting the host fish species of several mussels. His Department is also starting to rear nongame fishes to stock that may be hosts for endangered mussels. They also might try to induce madtom spawning in the many raceways present at the hatchery. He will also be doing a complete taxa survey of all the wildlife management areas in VA, possibly starting with the Clinch Mountain Management Area.
Wayne Starnes, Curator of Ichthyology, NC State Museum of Natural Sciences, is becoming adjusted to his new role. Much of his time is spent on meetings and the new museum exhibits. He has moved most of the UNC-IMS fish collection (about 60 tons) to Raleigh. He hopes to have the new wet collection facility ready in Fall 1997 although they had to go out for bids again. Stephen Busack is the new Director of Research for the Museum. Steve is a herpetologist who came from the Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Oregon. One of his primary tasks this spring is to get the endangered fish report out. Good Luck! Also, Art Bogan, a malacologist, is the new Curator of Aquatic Invertebrates.
Mary Moser at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is busy again on the Cape Fear and Waccamaw rivers. She will also be investigating the carpsuckers in the lower Cape Fear.
Fritz Rohde at North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, along with Starnes, Jenkins, and J.R. Shute, is working on the descriptions of the broadtail madtoms. The population in the Northeast Cape Fear River may have been extirpated by Hurricane Fran. Rohde and Rudy Arndt of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey are continuing their work on South Carolina freshwater fishes. They would appreciate any records that y'all may have. Rohde is working with Joe Quattro at University of South Carolina on Elassoma phylogenies using mtDNA.