The DARTER is a bimonthly publication of the North American 
Native Fishes Association (NANFA). Topics reported in this news
letter include fish studies, rare or unusual occurrences, manage
ment and recovery programs, environmental issues, trivia, col
lecting trips, meetings, aquarium care, and breeding accounts. A 
Trading Post section is also provided for members to sell or 
trade fish, plants, books, and merchandise. Send news items, want 
ads, comments, changes in address, and membership dues ($15/yr.: 
North American residents - $17/yr.: other continents) to Konrad 
Schmidt, Darter Editor at the return address, phone: (612) 776-3468, 
or email: schmi144 at tc_umn.edu

ASSISTANT DARTER EDITOR WANTED Next issue will mark two years 
since I resurrected the Darter and have enjoyed very much report
ing on NANFA and our native fishes. I wish to continue, but my 
summer field work creates a major pinch period in preparing the 
July-August and September-October issues. Any members interested 
in lending a fin to edit these issues while I've gone 
fishing, please let me know. 

Outdoor California reported on efforts to stem the decline of the 
Clear Lake hitch (Lavinia exilicauda chi). The word chi was 
what the Pomo Indians of the Clear Lake basin called this large 
minnow which reaches lengths of 14 inches. Negative impacts on 
the species include barriers on tributaries used for spawning, 
irrigation which dries up streams prematurely, and introduction 
of non-native fish (e.g., largemouth bass). Restoration efforts 
have focused on capturing and transporting hitch above barriers 
and designing or retrofitting dams and road crossings with fish 
passage features. Even though hitch spawning runs do not rival 
historical accounts, the public is encouraged to observe this 
impressive annual event. The Department of Fish and Game's re
gional office in Yountville: (707) 944-5500 can provide addition
al information such as locations and months for optimum viewing 
opportunities. The article also mentioned the demise of the Clear 
Lake splittail (Pogonichthys ciscooides) which has not been seen 
since the mid-1970s. On average, the splittail spawned two weeks 
later than the hitch and the deficient stream flows compounded 
with the other impacts apparently caused its extinction. 

ALGAE MANAGEMENT - Probably the best practice is controlling the 
amount and duration of light entering the aquarium. When setting 
up for the first time, select a room which does not receive 
direct sunlight (e.g., south exposures). Light fixtures should 
provide sufficient light to see into the aquarium, but avoid 
wattage overkill - more is not always better. Duration should 
ideally be around six hours a day and an electric timer is an 
excellent and inexpensive convenience. Another option is live, 
rooted plants which compete for the same nutrients as algae and 
when established usually gain the edge while adding a nice natu
ral touch. One final must is a scraper that won't scratch the 
glass and has no detergents. The best and cheapest is a green 3M 
scrub pad available at grocery stores. However, when working in 
or near the bottom, watch out for gravel sandwiched between the 
glass and the pad.  On thick pastures, a single-edge razor 
blade provides a close shave, but one strip at a time and avoid 
slashing the glass.  

LOST MEMBERS - If anyone knows the current whereabouts of David 
Arbour (Crane, IN) or Charles Stoeckel (St. Cloud, MN), please 
forward their new addresses to the Darter Editor. 

EMAIL EXTRAS - (1) Norman Edelen (Portland, OR) now runs the 
NANFA on-line directory where members can send private email 
messages to individuals or memos to everyone listed in the direc
tory. Anyone with email can join by sending your address to: 
normane at hevanet_com (2) Missing a Darter issue and just gotta 
have the entire set? Free text versions are available for Numbers 
10-22. Just send your email address and list of issues to the 
Darter Editor. (3) Robert Rice (Navarre, FL) is still editing an 
email Trading Post which is provided upon request and new ads are 
always welcomed, but his email address has been changed to: 
robertrice @juno.com (4) Email Membership Directory? Because of 
printing costs, NANFA can afford publishing a hard copy member
ship directory about every other year. Knowing and meeting mem
bers in your region for collecting trips or exchanging informa
tion with others pursuing similar interests have long been very 
important benefits for joining NANFA. Because the Darter Editor 
also maintains the membership database, I can provide a revised, 
albeit bare bones, directory on a quarterly basis which will be 
released to only current NANFA members who have email or at a 
nominal price on diskette. However, to assure the information is 
current, everyone should check their mailing address, phone and 
fax numbers, and email in the May 1996 Directory. New members 
since May should be listed in upcoming American Currents. Any 
additions or corrections should be forwarded to me. Finally, 
NANFA also wants to protect the privacy of members who would 
prefer not having their personal information released. If so, 
please notify me by March 1, 1997. 

APOLOGIES to Gary Carbonneau (Windham, NH). The last Darter 
erroneously reported 4 members had been elected to the Board of 
Directors when there were only 3 open seats. Board communiques 
have been a little murky lately. However, the renewed interest in 
NANFA shown by the turnout of candidates running in the last 
election is commendable.

SHOCKING BEHAVIOR - Electroshockers create a condition in fish 
called galvanotaxis which is a forced swimming that is directed 
toward an electrode where a dipper eagerly awaits the incoming 
catch. However, this doesn't always go as planned with every 
species. The Darter Editor was backpack shocking in St. Croix 
River on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border for western sand darters 
(Ammocrypta clara) which often burrow into sand and cannot be 
seen even in shallow water. A sweep with the electrodes wand 
would, as expected, pull the darters out of the sand, but they 
would fire like mini missiles straight for the surface and 
ricochet in any direction out of the electrical field. The only 
specimens collected were strictly by chance as they skipped at 
blinding speed along the surface into a randomly positioned 
dipnet. What causes this bizarre reaction: body shape, physiolo
gy, or nervous system? I haven't a clue, but have since returned 
to the far more reliable and much simpler seine.

MEMBERSHIP DUES should now be sent to the Darter Editor. Checks 
and money orders should be made out to NANFA and must be in U.S. 
funds. Annual dues are $15 for residents in North American and 
$17 for other continents. 

MAILBAG - Jay DeLong (Bonney Lake, WA) has proposed developing a 
NANFA website and is waiting for the green light from the Board 
of Directors. His initiative has generated a great deal of inter
est and comments among NANFA on-line members about what are home 
page should contain and do. Elmer Guerri (West Terre Haute, IN), 
NANFA regional chairman, is developing a fish database for mem
bers looking for specific species found in Illinois and Indiana. 
The first draft is expected before the first of the year. Dan 
Logan (Albany, OR) is busy planning a NANFA regional and possibly 
a national meeting in Portland, OR on August 8-10, 1997. He has 
already lined up a meeting room, speakers, caterer, and collect
ing trip. Joe Middleton (Portland, OR) ordered the largest quan
tity to date of I'd rather be collecting bumper stickers. He 
works in a collections department of a local bank and intends to 
hand them out to his fellow bill collectors - funny guy. Robert 
Rice (Navarre, FL) announced a fourth electronic bulletin board 
system (BBS) was up and running that has many text files of fish 
related material available for on-line reading or downloading. 
The Emerald Coast BBS phone number is (904) 939-5242. Sayre 
Rodman (Oakmont, PA) would enjoy coverage in the Darter or AC on 
crayfish and whimsically remarked if NANFA had a firm policy of 
Pisces or nothing. He finds the crayfish's feeding techniques 
fascinating and also mentioned how one escapee held his cat at 
bay until rescued. Darter Editor's Note: I would welcome any 
information from members for upcoming issues on desirable cray
fish species, collecting techniques, care and maintenance, or 

PICTURE PROOF - The December-January 1997 In-Fisherman contained 
1996 photographs of the largest Lake Sturgeon ever reported from 
the Red River of the North at Lockport, Manitoba. The fish was 
78.5 inches long and weighed an estimated? 132.63 pounds. The 
other oddity was an albino 6 pound walleye caught in Lake Erie.

WET WEBSITES - (1) The James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History 
at the University of Minnesota has begun development on a website 
which will eventually search the fish collection's database and 
also provide species checklists, distribution maps, and natural 
histories. However at this time, a single natural history is 
available for the gilt darter (Percina evides) by Dr. Jay Hatch 
and includes a spectacular color photograph: http://www.gen.umn.
edu/faculty_staff/hatch/fishes/gilt_darter.html (2) Search the 
fish collections of Cornell, Harvard, and University of Michigan 
from one website: http://www.keil.ukans.edu/forms/fish-search-
que.html/ (3) Fish database browser for surveys conducted from 
1989 through 1995 in The Illinois River and Mississippi River 
Pools 4, 8, 13, and 26: http://www.emtc.nbs.gov/http_data/emtc_
browser/fish/test_query.html (4) Fish photos, range maps, 
databases, and species lists for specific areas: http://www. 

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS has elected Robert Rice (Navarre, FL) 
President, B.G. Granier (Baker, LA) Vice President, Warren Lund 
(Kenner, LA) Treasurer, John Bondhus (Monticello, MN) Secretary, 
and Bob Bock (Silver Spring, MD) Chairman of the  American Cur
rents Editorial Committee. The  Board is also revising the NANFA 
constitution which the entire membership will have the opportuni
ty to review and vote on the final draft. 

TOPEKA SHINER TALES - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
in Manhattan, KS is currently reviewing the species for federal 
status because there has been a drastic decline over the main 
portion of its range in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa. Ironically, 
peripheral populations in Minnesota and South Dakota may hold the 
only remaining stable populations. There have been a few NANFA 
members involved in compiling information about the species and 
identifying threats to its habitat and water quality: (1) Richard 
Baker (St. Paul, MN) who supervises the DNR Natural Heritage and 
Nongame Research Program has submitted comments to the USFWS 
generally supporting federal listing based on the current data 
available, survey effort and needs, status, and protection prior
ities. (2) Ray Katula (Genoa, WI) is expanding his horizons from 
his specialty of spawning darters to culturing the Topeka shiner. 
He is confident captive spawning will be successful this spring, 
but is concerned about finding a starter diet for cyprinid fry 
which are generally much smaller than darters. (3) The Darter 
Editor has also had his fingers in the cookie jar. In October 
1996, I found Topeka shiners at Blue Mounds State Park near 
Luverne, MN which was my third collection made there since 1988. 
I also found a new locality in a Murray County state wildlife 
management area. At both sites, a simple push seine proved to be 
far more effective on Topeka shiners than a backpack electro
shocker. However, there has also been some disconcerting news. 
Blue Mounds State Park has scheduled maintenance work on a dam 
immediately upstream of the Topeka shiner habitat which will 
require a drawdown of the impoundment. This could possibly in
crease turbidity and sediments loads which may be detrimental to 
the species. Also, a U.S. Geological Survey study of pesticides 
found the highest concentration (5.63 ppm) recorded for Aceto
chlor, which is toxic to fish, was in the Rock River at Luverne, 
MN on May 28, 1995. Finally, and on a positive note, I will be 
assisting Dr. Jay Hatch (Associate Curator of the Bell Museum 
fish collection) with a life history study which should begin 
this year.   

GUNG HO GOLDFISH -  Lake Ellyn in the Chicago suburb of Glen 
Ellyn has been overrun (again) with goldfish which are assumed to 
be the result of aquarium releases. Five years ago, the lake was 
drained to eradicate the pesky exotic and stocked with predator 
gamefish. However, the turbidity is so bad from a population now 
estimated at 350,000 that all gamefish have been eliminated. If 
the lake is reclaimed once again, the hefty price tag will be 
$300,000. Darter Editor's Nagging Sermon: Whether exotic or 
native never ever release your aquarium charges into lakes or 
streams. If you can't find a good home at the local pet store or 
through the NANFA Trading Post -  Destroy Them! 

MADTOM MALADY -  The December 1996 Journal of Freshwater Ecology 
reported the slender madtom (Noturus exilis) has vanished from 
67% of its historical sites in southern Wisconsin since the late 
1970s. Causes identified include fish kills from agricultural 
runoff and stream desiccation from hydroelectric dams, but in 
some streams, reasons for extirpation are unknown. Darter Editor's 
Note: The author, John Lyons, acknowledges madtoms are diffi
cult to capture, but did not mention using nocturnal surveys 
which my experience with slenders in Iowa and Missouri has proven 
to be an extremely effective sampling technique.

MADTOM WORD FIND PUZZLE - Can you collect 24 madtoms? Answers on 
page 4.

NEW OUTDOOR ATLAS - Oklahoma  Wildlife Management Areas  contains 
maps and information for 60 units. The atlas is available from 
Department of Wildlife Conservation offices for $5 or $7 by mail. 
Although the information is geared toward hunters and anglers, 
public areas can also provide excellent collecting opportunities, 
but always check first for any required special use permits. 
Mailing address: 1801 N. Lincoln, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, 
OK 73152. 

Service recently reported: (1) A second national fish hatchery in 
Ouray, UT was designated to  culture only endangered species. (2) 
Up to 1200 wetland acres will be restored along the Green and 
Colorado Rivers to benefit young Colorado squawfish and razorback 
suckers which grow much faster in these zoo plankton rich, warm, 
shallow, and slow water nurseries. (3) A water rights settlement 
will increase dry season flows in a 15 mile reach of the Colorado 
River upstream of the Gunnison River which will primarily benefit 
the Colorado squawfish. Up through the mid-1980s, this stretch of 
river occasionally dried up in summer from irrigation and power 
plant operations. (4) A non-native fish stocking agreement was 
reached for the Colorado Basin. Some of the highlights include: 
Critical habitats for endangered species will remain off-limits 
to non-natives. Certain species can be stocked above a 50 year 
flood plain. Below this mark only in three designated lakes after 
berms are raised and screens are installed on outlets. And nine 
species have been blacklisted and banned from stocking anywhere 
in the basin. (5) Endangered fish pins which includes a bookmark 
full of information about the species and its habitat sell for $6 
each. For more information on species availability and wholesale 
orders, contact the Southwest Natural and Cultural Heritage 
Association. Phone: 505-345-9498. 

ANGLING FOR EXOTICS - The Minnesota DNR recently provided updated 
information on a threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) 
occurrence from a North Shore stream of Lake Superior. On May 19, 
1994, an angler turned in a specimen hooked on an earthworm from 
the Poplar River near Lutsen, MN. Sounds like a new state record! 

NATIONAL PROTECTED AREA UNDER SIEGE - A gypsum mine threatens a 
unique natural area rich in endemic flora and fauna near Cuatro 
Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico. Biologists have intensely studied 
this small desert valley which contains thousands of springs with 
unique aquatic and terrestrial habitats that was declared a 
National Protected Area in November 1994. However, when the 
federal government recently closed the mine, the owner success
fully filed suit in court to continue operations. In December 
1996, a federal agency was to begin pleading its case to once 
again close the mine. Interested parties are urged to email Dr. 
Rodolfo Garza, Secretary of Ecology for the State of Coahuila: 
rgarza at technet_net.mx. Additional information about Cuatro Ciene
gas can be found at: http://www.utexas.edu/depts/tnhc/.www/fish/

AQUARIUM CARE AND MAINTENANCE - There isn't a great deal of 
reference material out there restricted to husbandry techniques 
for native fishes. However, don't hesitate to tap the tropical 
fish hobby for tips and pointers and here's a lead which may be 
helpful: Looking after Freshwater Aquarium Fish (1995) by D. 
Alderton. The price is $12.95 and available from Sterling Pub
lishing Co., 387 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016.

lists 25 fishes including subspecies. The most significant change 
is the removal of endangered and threatened status categories 
which previously generated unnecessary confusion. Brief, but 
detailed accounts describe distribution, threats, and management 
needs. Comments are welcomed by January 10, 1997. For more infor
mation, call Kirk Young, Native Fish Program Manager, at 602-789-

COUNTING DARTERS - The July/August 1996 Audubon reported on the 
darterly deeds of Dr. David Etnier who is a professor at the 
University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The article provides a 
brief history of the once endangered snail darter's trials and 
tribulations beginning with Etnier's discovery of the species in 
1973 to its eventual down listing to threatened status in 1984. 
Today, his concerns include darters as a group which are experi
encing an unusually high degree of imperilment. Etnier concluded 
from a 1996 survey of southeastern fishes that 46 darters repre
senting 31% of the perch family were in jeopardy. The very noble 
work of two former students and NANFA members were also high
lighted. J.R. and Peggy Shute run the non-profit Conservation 
Fisheries which cultures endangered and threatened madtoms, 
minnows, and of course, darters for restocking historic habitats.  

ANOTHER PASSING - Biologists at the Great Lakes Science Center 
have declared the shortnose cisco (Coregonus reighardi) extinct. 
This endemic species was once abundant in Lakes Michigan and 
Ontario, but the last sighting came from Lake Huron in 1985. The 
primary cause of decline and extinction for the shortnose, and 
also, deepwater cisco (Coregonus johannae) is attributed to the 
invasion of the alewife and sea lamprey into the Great Lakes. The 
shortnose cisco was also very unique among the whitefishes for 
spawning in the spring instead of the fall.   

NANFA PUBLICATION - Endangered, Threatened, and Special Status 
Fishes of North American (1996) is still available for $10 in
cluding postage from Robert Rice, 2213 Prytania Circle, Navarre, 
FL 32566. 

WRONG WAY WALLEYES - An ongoing study in North Dakota has found a 
few surprises which shoots down a myth that fish always migrate 
downstream to deep, quiet waters after spawning. A female em
barked on the most noteworthy journey taking a cruise 107 miles 
upstream from her spawning grounds. Other preliminary data re
vealed 50% of the tagged fish caught by anglers did not leave the 
spawning site while 26% went upstream, and 24% went downstream.

are available from the Fish and Wildlife Reference Service, 5430 
Grosvenor Lane, Suite 110, Bethesda, MD 20814. The Service also 
publishes a quarterly newsletter of new reports.

RUFFE WORKSHOP - The International Symposium on the Biology and 
Management of the Eurasian Ruffe will be held in Ann Arbor, MI on 
March 21-23, 1997 and in conjunction with the Great Lakes Fishery 
Commission's annual meeting. For more information, contact Mike 
Klepinger, Michigan Sea Grant College Program (517) 353-5508.   

IOWA FISH AND FISHING has been reprinted and the 322 page hard
cover book includes species accounts with range maps and 63 color 
fish portraits. The price is $15 and available from the Depart
ment of Natural Resources, Dept FS, 900 E. Grand Wallace State 
Office Bldg., Des Moines, IA 50319.

IS THE BLUE PIKE ALIVE AND WELL?  The Lower Great Lakes Fishery 
Resources Office in Amherst, NY believes it's a strong possibili
ty. Fishermen during the 1930s and 40s, who preferred the taste 
over the larger, yellow walleye cousin, may have trucked blue 
pike to northern Canadian lakes where populations perhaps still 
exist. Rumors have abounded for years about blue walleyes from 
these lakes, but a video tape documented both blues and yellows 
from the same lake dismissing arguments the color phase was due 
to local environmental conditions. Now the office regularly gets 
samples from scales to whole fish of blue pike suspects, but do 
not have a true-blue to produce a genetic fingerprint because all 
museum specimens had been preserved in formalin which destroys 
the DNA structure. Biologists are doubling as detectives finding 
scales removed from live fish for aging studies and attempting to 
use the mucous as a DNA source. Ecologically the blue pike was a 
coldwater species with larger eyes than walleyes for seeing in 
Lake Erie's deeper eastern basin. Biologists believe this niche 
has never been filled, but now, may be some day with the original 
occupant. Darter Editor Note: Fingerlings of blue pike suspects 
were stocked in a northern Minnesota Lake where distinctly blue 
specimens were examined in the late 1980s, but tentatively iden
tified as walleyes. 

FAKE WILLY - Salmon eating sea lions in the Northwest may have 
gotten a reprieve from the firing squad. A life size killer whale 
scare crow is being tried as a non-lethal alternative to pro
vide protection for returning endangered salmon which have become 
easy pickings below dams and fish ladders. 

TOO MUCH TLC - The Darter Editor's many hats includes a stint in 
a pet store selling tropical fish. The most common problem which 
confronted novice Aquarists was overfeeding their fish. Cloudy 
water and copious amounts of food accumulating (and rotting) on 
the bottom were rarely acknowledged in time to prevent the immi
nent disaster. Some well meaning fish keepers would feed three 
times a day just like people when actually once a day is just 
fine and if you miss a day or even a weekend - no problem. In 
fact, as long as it does not become a regular practice, one 
unnamed NANFA President has admitted to annual two week vacations 
for years without a single loss. Fish are much tougher than they 

THE BLACK HILLS LAKE CHUB - The May/June 1996 South Dakota Con
servation Digest reported the lake chub (Couesius plumbeus) and 
three other natives historically comprised the entire fish commu
nity of area streams. The lake chub which is considered a glacial 
relict was common in the Black Hills until 1962, but now may be 
extirpated. How the species got to the Black Hills in the first 
place is open to debate. One possibility is a geological process 
called stream capture. Lake chubs are present in northeastern 
Wyoming's Little Missouri River, where eroding headwaters of the 
Belle Fourche River may have long ago pirated 110 miles of the 
Little Missouri allowing a transfer of species between the two 
streams. Biologists suspect the lake chub declined in the Black 
Hills because of predation from exotic trout, reduced stream 
flows, loss of pool habitats, warming temperatures, mine pollu
tion, and over grazing of riparian areas. Update: Doug Backlund 
who authored this article recently sent an email message report
ing lake chubs had been found in the central Black Hills reser
voir of Deerfield during an August 1996 fish survey.  

FISHES OF INDIANA - Dr. Tom Simon  would appreciate receiving 
voucher specimens or verifiable localities of any rare and unusu
al occurrences for this upcoming book. Please contact him for 
more information at the Indiana Biological Survey, 119 Diana Rd., 
Box 96, Ogden Dunes, IN 46368.

NANFA FISH ART FUND RAISER -  The works of three artists will be 
raffled off on August 9, 1997 at the NANFA regional meeting in 
Portland, OR. Please see the enclosed flyers and raffle ticket 
for more information. Send purchased ticket stubs and orders for 
additional tickets to Jay DeLong, 19310 77th St. E., Bonney Lake, 
WA 98390 Phone: 206-891-0281. All proceeds will go to NANFA. 
Finally, the raffle items will be on display at other regional 
meetings held before August. 

MADTOM SPECIES LIST: black, brindled, brown, Caddo, Carolina, 
checkered, elegant, frecklebelly, freckled, least, margined, 
mountain, Neosho, northern, orangefin, Ouachita, Ozark, pygmy, 
Scioto, slender, smoky, speckled, tadpole, yellowfin.

                          TRADING POSTaura Burdge, 1711 Cleveland Ave., Hamilton, OH 45013. Want: 
Lepomis humilis, Chrosomus erythrogaster, Enneacanthus chaetodon, 
Cottus bairdi semiscaber, and Catostomus commersoni. 

Robert Carrilio, 509 Genessee Ave., Warren, OH 44483 (303) 847-
1714. Want: sources for native coldwater marine fishes which do 
well in aquariums.

B.G. Granier, 608 Maureen Dr., Baker, LA 70714, (504) 775-6400. 
NANFA T-Shirts - $15 (includes postage). Check first for avail
able sizes and colors. Fish - Have or can get: F. chrysotus, F. 
grandis, F. olivaceus, L. parva, H. formosa, A. xenica, E. zona
tum, and more. Want: Redlip, Saffron, Greenhead, and Pinewoods 

Herman Meeus, De Reet 6, B 2160 Wommelgem, Belgium. Want: back 
issues of American Currents, Darter, and Lateral Line for use in 
the Belgian Killifish Association's Killi Kontakt magazine. Also 
interested in articles on North American killifish and pupfish. 

Peter Rollo, 2308 Cedar Lane, Secane, PA 19018.  610-543-1660. 
WANT: wild caught Elassoma evergladei. HAVE: tank-bred banded and 
blackbanded sunfish, least killifish (Heterandria formosa), and 
E. evergladei., Bred in spring 1996. Sale or trade.