2006 ASB Abrams Crk Talk

2006 ASB Abrams Crk Talk

Propagation and restoration of rare fishes: keys to success. Patrick L. Rakes and J. R. Shute, Conservation Fisheries, Inc. Mission Statement: Conservation Fisheries is dedicated to the preservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the southeastern United States, concentrating

on the conservation and recovery of rare freshwater fishes using captive propagation, habitat assessment, and low impact monitoring techniques 3424 Division Street, Knoxville, TN BTM racks CFI PARTNERS

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U. S. Forest Service; U. S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division; National Park Service; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Environmental Protection Agency; Tennessee Valley Authority; Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Arkansas Game & Fish Commission; Kentucky State Game & Fish Division; Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks; North Carolina Wildlife Resources Agency; Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency; Virginia Division of Game & Inland Fishes; The Nature Conservancy; The Tennessee

Aquarium; The University of Tennessee; Tennessee Tech University; The World Wildlife Fund; ALCOA; and International Paper. How Do You Recover Rare Species? Habitat protection! Habitat restoration! Stocking

Augmentation Reintroduction/population restoration Translocation vs. Propagation Propagation Purposes:

reintroductions / arks life history research (sometimes surrogates) toxicity tolerance mussel hosts How Do You Recover Rare Species?

Who leads? Who pays / funds? Who is responsible to whom?

How do you gauge success? The Abrams Creek Story Formerly held 67 of GSMNPs 79 known fish species Poisoned with rotenone in 1957 to

reclaim for trophy trout fishery Only 35 species persisted/returned from tributaries; smoky & yellowfin madtoms considered extinct after reclamation CFIwith USFWS, TWRA, USFS, NPS began attempts to restore four federally listed species in 1986: Smoky madtom, Noturus baileyi (E) Yellowfin madtom, N. flavipinnis (T)

Duskytail darter, Etheostoma percnurum (E) [now Citico darter, E. sitikuense] Spotfin chub, Erimonax monachus (T) Justification for Restoration

Extinct madtoms & darter rediscovered in Citico Creek ~1980; life histories: UTK M.S. students Abrams Crk extirpations = one-time event; habitat relatively undisturbed; mostly protected public lands/watershed Problem: spotfin chub = only sp. with wild

source population sufficient for translocations Madtoms & darter would require propagation to produce numbers sufficient for reintroductions (efforts initiated at UTK in 1986) post-theses Early Abrams release w/ media Restoration Effort History Each species produced in numbers dependent

on collection permits, life history, and annual collection & survivorship variation:

Madtoms ~25-600/yr/sp. (typically 100-200)[3200] Darters 50-750/yr (typically ~200)[3400] Chubs 0-3500/yr [11,000] Stocked at 1-5 sites/yr Chubs translocated 1988-90 (unsuccessfully) Propagated & stocked 1994-2001 (ditto) Madtoms stocked 1st fall 86-91 / 1st spring 93-Stocking ceased after 2001 for darters, 2002 for madtoms monitoring only since then: Summary / Conclusions

Smoky madtoms, yellowfin madtoms, & Citico darters established, reproducing and expanding population sizes and distributions Success slow required 20 years for this pilot project, but subsequent restoration efforts with same species have benefited / faster success (Tellico River)

Fortuitous issues: Abrams pristine/protected

Recovery Plans called for propagation & reintroductions (funding source available) Abrams in central part of original ranges of spp. all parties agreed to effort! (NEPs required now) PARTNERS U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service [$] U. S. Forest Service [$ / source] National Park Service [site] Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency [$] The Tennessee Aquarium [rearing]

The University of Tennessee [research] Tennessee Tech University [research] The World Wildlife Fund [$--equipment] ALCOA [$] CFI [implementation / knowledge] Future Plans / Work in Progress

Determine why smoky madtoms are only doing well in lower creek, duskytails only in upper Determine total extent of available habitat and percent occupied Develop long-term monitoring program and more quantitative assessments of populations Compare genetic make-up of restored vs source populations Develop long-term fish passage genetic

exchange program between Abrams, Citico, and Tellico populations Additional Information: Shute, J. R., P. L. Rakes, and P. W. Shute. 2005. Reintroduction of four imperiled fishes in Abrams Creek, Tennessee. Southeastern Naturalist 4(1): 93-110. www.conservationfisheries.org Barrens topminnow,

Fundulus julisia (BTM) candidate spp. limited to privately owned springs & headwaters imperilment recognized since 1970s; Conservation Strategy initiated August 2000 propagated fish stocked at numerous restoration sites TTU student research confirmed inability to compete with non-native Gambusia large number of partners:

BTM PARTNERS Arnold Air Force Base Conservation Fisheries, Inc. The Nature ConservancyTennessee Chapter Tennessee Aquarium Tennessee Aquatic Research Institute Tennessee Department of Agriculture Tennessee Tech University Tennessee Valley Authority Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many private landowners Shoal Creek Restoration Effort Boulder darter Etheostoma wapiti Spotfin chub Erimonax monachus

stream entirely on private lands; required NEP for endangered species restoration Clean Water Act recovery example (sewage, heavy metals) deep biogeographic/taxonomic discussions about appropriate spotfin source partners: SHOAL CREEK PARTNERS Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

Conservation Fisheries, Inc. International Paper Iron City, TN Shoal Creek Canoe Run Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS National Fish Hatcheries University of Alabama & St. Louis University World Wildlife Fund

PLR CFI Dr. Carol Johnston Auburn University Jim Herrig Cherokee NF Peggy Shute TVA

Conasauga River Rare Fish Monitoring QUESTIONS?

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