Update on the Fourspine Stickleback, Apeltes quadracus (Family Gasterosteidae), in North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team How did this fish, the smallest member of the Stickleback family, get here? And when? As written in our previous blog on sticklebacks (https://ncfishes.com/is-north-carolina-too-far-south-for-sticklebacks/), Dr. Hugh M. Smith, U.S. Commissioner of Fisheries, in 1907 made no mention of Fourspine Stickleback (Figure 1) in the Albemarle or Pamlico sounds (Smith 1907). In … Read more

Is North Carolina Too Far South for Sticklebacks?

By the NCFishes.comTeam In eastern North America, the family Gasterosteidae, known as sticklebacks, is a small family of five species commonly found in shallow brackish inlets, calm, heavily vegetated marshes and estuaries, tidal creeks, lagoons, and in the nearshore and offshore open ocean (Kells and Carpenter 2014; Rohde et al. 1994). Along the Atlantic coast, … Read more

North Carolina’s Imperiled Fish Fauna – A Photographic Essay

This is the first, hopefully, in a series of blogs on North Carolina’s imperiled freshwater fish fauna. There are 258 described and undescribed species of freshwater fishes in North Carolina (Tracy et al. 2020). Unfortunately, 31% (79 species) of the 258 species are Federally or State listed as either Endangered, Threatened, Special Concern, or Significantly … Read more

Paddlefish Mystery in Western North Carolina

Paddlefish, Polyodon spathula, is a unique and ancient fish species with no close relatives in North America (Figure 1). This prehistoric monster has been part of the Upper Tennessee River Basin fish community for millennia, if not longer. Unfortunately, their numbers have dwindled across their range over the last 100+ years due to damming, overfishing, … Read more

Lake Sturgeon Restoration in the French Broad River, North Carolina

Due to habitat degradation, barriers to migration, and pollution, Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens have likely been extirpated from North Carolina and much of the Southeast United States for over 75 years. The first potential Lake Sturgeon record in NC was in 1873, when the newspaper North Carolina Citizen, documented a 4-foot sturgeon weighing over 22 … Read more

Restoration of the Spotfin Chub, a Federal and State Threatened Species

Spotfin Chub, Cyprinella monacha (=Erimonax monachus), is a federally Threatened species that has declined across its historical range primarily due to habitat degradation. It is a crevice spawner that requires clean and clear waterways with an abundance of bedrock. Spotfin Chub habitat is hard to come by in areas with high rates of sedimentation. In … Read more

Update to the “Minnow” Species (Families Cyprinidae, Xenocyprididae, and Leuciscidae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team The recognition by ichthyologists of Koi , Cyprinus rubrofuscus, as a separate species from Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio, its distribution across North Carolina, and the posting of the blog on Koi (https://ncfishes.com/koi-cyprinus-rubrofuscus-lacepede-in-north-carolina/) necessitated an update to the Identification Key to the Barbs and Carps, Asian Carps, and Minnows (Families Cyprinidae, Leuciscidae, … Read more

Update to the American Sole (Family Achiridae) Diversity in North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team On May 10, 2021, we posted a blog on the American Sole (Family Achiridae) diversity in North Carolina (https://ncfishes.com/american-sole-family-achiridae-diversity-in-north-carolina/). Since then, we re-examined all of the material from North Carolina and South Carolina at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and discovered that all vouchered specimens of Lined Sole, … Read more

Koi, Cyprinus rubrofuscus Lacepède, in North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio (Figure 1), has swum in North Carolina’s waters since 1879 (Smith 1907). A long-held belief was that ornamental Koi (Figure 2) was merely a much-varied color morph of Common Carp. However, during post-processing of a photograph taken by the NCFishes team, we discovered that Koi are now … Read more

Recent Publications on the Freshwater Fishes of North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team Two new identification keys to the freshwater fishes of North Carolina have been recently published by the North American Native Fishes Association (http://www.nanfa.org/) in their journal American Currents: Tracy, B.H., S.A. Smith, J.L. Bissette, and F.C. Rohde. 2021. Ahead by a whisker: freshwater catfish (Family Ictaluridae) diversity in North Carolina. American … Read more