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

Biologists Continue Sicklefin Redhorse Recovery Effort in the Little Tennessee River Watershed

A Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) was finalized in 2015 for the undescribed Sicklefin Redhorse, Moxostoma sp., and was signed by primary partners: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NWRC), Duke Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, Eastern Band Cherokee Indians, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The CCA is a formal agreement … 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

A Summary of the Freshwater Fishes of North Carolina

By the NCFishes.com Team This is the last blog in the series focusing on the freshwater fishes of North Carolina, which was launched on June 17, 2020 (https://ncfishes.com/identification-of-north-carolina-freshwater-fishes/). In some respects, this last blog should have been the first, but learning about fishes is never along a straight stream, unless it is in a channelized … Read more

Identification of North Carolina Freshwater Fishes

The first general description of North Carolina’s fish fauna was written by Thomas Ash in 1682. Our first state-specific checklist was provided by John Lawson in 1709 which was received in such high regard that it was later plagiarized extensively by John Brickell in 1737. Since becoming an official state of the Union in 1789, … Read more