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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: 
N.America-$17/yr:other  continents)  to  Konrad  Schmidt,  Darter 
Editor  at the return address, phone: (612) 776-3468,  or  email: 
schmi144 at tc_umn.edu

JUST  A REMINDER - The Darter Editor will be on hiatus  from  his 
normal  duties  till  November.  He'll  be  resting  in  northern 
Minnesota  doing stream surveys in some really beautiful  country 
and also hoping to find new localities for a few oddball  fishes.  
It may sound like desertion, but the Darter has been left in  the 
capable  hands of Kaye Goddard who is eagerly awaiting  your  an
nouncements,  news  items, and trading post  ads.   Please  don't 
disappoint her and make a mail drop today.  Address: 3944 N. Farm 
Rd. 39, Ash Grove, MO 65604.  Phone: 417-751-3268. 

WETBACKS   -  George Becker (Eureka Springs, AR) and  the  Darter 
Editor were discussing Robert Rice's article on the  orangethroat 
darter (Etheostoma spectabile) in the Fall 1996 American Currents 
and  pondered  over the possibility that the species,  which  has 
never  been  reported in Wisconsin, had or  does  infiltrate  the 
southern border swimming up the Fox River.  The species' range in 
the  Fox system of northern Illinois is within a stones throw  of 
the state line and the river extends a considerable distance into 
Wisconsin.   I  have  likewise wondered  about  additional  alien 
excursions  from Iowa into Minnesota.  The blackstripe  topminnow 
(Fundulus  notatus) has been reported in the Little  Cedar  River 
(Mitchell County, IA) and the western silvery minnow (Hybognathus 
argyritis)  in the Little Sioux River (Dickson County, IA).  Even 
more suspicious is the presence of the starhead topminnow (Fundu
lus  dispar)  on  the Wisconsin side  of  the  Mississippi  River 
(Trempealeau County), but absent across the shared border on  the 
Minnesota  bank.   Let's  use the DARTER to spread  the  word  on 
potential  range  extensions and beef up our  border  patrols  to 
detect and welcome these pioneering Pisces.  

WELCOMED RASH - The Darter Editor has received dues from  several 
members  who  are  renewing for two and three  years.   There  is 
another extremely encouraging sign that more members are renewing 
before they expire.  For someone who has been in and out of NANFA 
since the 1970s, this is the most exciting and rewarding period I 
have  so  far witnessed in the organization.  I have  never  seen 
this level of member participation and interest.  Definitely  one 
itch  I will never mind scratching and hope there is no cure  for 
my  condition.   By the way, we now have 460 fish  heads  in  our 
ranks  and  steadily add 3-5 new members each  week  including  a 
surfer  or  two  off NANFA's web page.   Editor's  Note:   Please 
continue to send membership dues and changes of address to  Yours 

maps  in  two  editions (north and south) and  shows  all  roads, 
public lands, water accesses; and townships, ranges, and sections 
(handy when species localities are available). Unfortunately  the 
scale  is  so small that on a recent collecting trip,  Jay  Hatch 
(Mpls., MN) had to invert his binoculars to read the fine  print.  
The  atlases list for $19.95 for both editions or $12.95 for  one 
plus  $3  postage  and handling. The  south  edition  covers  the 
Ozarks.   Address: Box 962, Warsaw, MO 65355.  Phone: (816)  438-
2741.   Editor's Note: I lucked out and found the two volume  set 
in a Missouri convenience store for $6.  (2) The Ozark  Interpre
tive  Association carries very detailed and easy to read  atlases 
for  Arkansas ($12.95), New Mexico ($12.95) , and Texas  ($14.95) 
plus postage and handling.  Request a catalog from P.O. Box 1279, 
Mountain View, AR 72560.

CRAZY ABOUT CRAYFISH -   Thanks to Jay DeLong, Elmer Guerri,  and 
Garold  Sneegas for responding to my request for  information  on 
crayfish. I'm still no expert on the subject, but here are a  few 
sources to check out:  (1) The April 1996 Fisheries (Vol. 21, No. 
4)  had an article on the Conservation Status of Crayfish of  the 
United  and  Canada  which reported  on  biology,  rationale  and 
threats,  methods and definitions, and a list of taxa  which  in
cluded  status  and  states/provinces where  species  are  found.  
Publications on crayfish from  individual states and regions were 
also  listed.  (2) Garold has observed crayfish in  the  aquarium 
and  in the wild.  He has seen them posture  defensively  backing 
away from largemouth bass and drive smaller fish away from  food.  
He  suggests  collecting crayfish at night and  advises  using  a 
tight  cover to prevent escape.  His dog taught him  this  lesson 
awaking him late one night to find the little Houdini detained in 
the  living room.  Finally, he highly recommends  Henry  Huxley's 
The  Crayfish;  An Introduction to the Study  of  Zoology  (1880) 
which  was  reprinted  in 1974 by D. Appleton and  Co.  in  their 
International Scientific Series (Volume XXVIII).  (3) The  March-
April 1997 Audubon reported the rusty crayfish (Oronectes  rusti
cus)  is one nasty native which has rapidly spread via bait  pail 
releases from it historic range in the Ohio River basin and  part 
of  the  Great Lakes region.  The species has an  unusually  high 
metabolic  rate,  insatiable taste for greens  which  results  in 
clear  cuts of aquatic vegetation beds, and also superior to  its 
kin in preying on mayfly larvae and snails.  Biologists fear this 
master race of spreading decapods will eventually encounter,  out 
compete,  and eliminate other crayfish with limited ranges.   (4) 
Finally,  The  Crayfishes of Missouri by  NANFA  member,  William 
Pflieger,  was  published  last  year.   I  have  only  had   the 
opportunity to briefly skim this very classy, informative  publi
cation,  but  believe it would be an asset  to  anyone's  aquatic 
reference  collection.   The booklet costs $7 plus  $2  shipping.  
Mail orders to: Department of Conservation, Attn: Fiscal Services 
Division, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

DIVINE REVELATION - Nanfa from Nigeria (Western  Africa)  visited
NANFA's home page on the Internet.  He left a message saying  how
interesting it was to have his name all over the  web  and  added
Nanfa stands for God's Image.

ALTERNATIVE  HUSBANDRY - There aren't a great deal of  references 
out there on keeping natives, but many aspects apply to  tropical 
fish  which  has a book on almost any topic.   One  source  worth 
checking is:  You and Your Aquarium: A Complete Guide to collect
ing and keeping aquarium fishes by Dick Mills (ISBN  0-394-72985-
4).  Contents include: anatomy, species selection, aquariums  and 
accessories, feeding, health care, breeding, and photography. The 
price is $15 U.S./$19 Canada and can be ordered through most book 

MUSSEL MANIA - (1) Illinois Poster showing 32 species in color on 
one side and the back contains anatomy, life history,  commercial 
harvest, conservation, and a glossary.  Single copies are free to 
teachers when requested on school letterhead to: DNR  Educational 
Services, 524 S. Second St.-Room 530, Springfield, IL 62701 or $5 
from  the IL Natural History Survey Distribution Center,  607  E. 
Peabody  Drive, Champaign, IL 61820.  Make checks payable to  the 
INHS.  (2) Robin Engelking (Brooklyn Park, MN) has  had  terrific 
success  with keeping the giant floater (Anodonata grandis),  fat 
mucket  (Lampsilis siliquoidea), and pig toe (Fuconaia flava)  in 
her  aquarium for long periods.  She believes most species  would 
do  fine  in  captivity, but does use a powerhead  to  create  an 
artificial  stream current which carries a plume of uneaten  fish 
food  over the filtering mussels.  She also remarked if the  mus
sels don't like the location she has selected for them, they will 
move uprooting plants and rearranging aquarium decorations.   (3) 
The 1997 Pearly Mussel Newsline reported 24 fishes were tested as 
potential  hosts  for the western  fanshell  (Cyprogenia  aberti) 
which  is  one  of the rarest mussels in  Kansas.   Only  fantail 
darters  (Etheostoma  flabellare)  and  banded  sculpins  (Cottus 
carolinae) supported larvae to the juvenile stage.  The  newslet
ter  also mentioned findings of NANFA member, Mark  Hove  (Falcon 
Hts, MN) who reported the yellow bullhead (Ameiurus natalis)  was 
a suitable host for the pistolgrip mussel (Tritogonia verrucosa).  
Another investigator achieved the same results with the  flathead 
catfish  (Pylodictis  olivaris).  (4)  Aquatic  macroinvertebrate 
biologists (bug pickers) conducting a survey in the Sunrise River 
(Chisago  County, MN) stumbled on to something unusual  in  1996.  
An incredible abundance of empty mussel shells were providing the 
preferred substrates for many benthic (bottom loving) bugs.  They 
relayed  the discovery to the mussel specialist who returned  and 
found several state threatened and special concern species alive, 
but  only  the empty shells of the threatened  purple  pimpleback 
(Cyclonaias tuberculata).  (5) The November-December 1996  Endan
gered Species Bulletin reported that it is not glochidia  (larval 
mussels)  that determine which fishes are suitable host  species, 
but the fish's own immune system.  Non-host fishes quickly detect 
and  reject the perceived alien invaders while host species  pro
duce  only  a low level response and encapsulate  glochidia  into 
tissue.   The  same issue confirmed earlier suspicions  that  the 
freshwater  drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) was a suitable host  for 
the  endangered fat pocketbook pearly mussel  (Potamilus  capax).  
Culturing  methods are now being studied to rear the species  for 
reintroduction.  Finally,  the  endangered  dwarf  wedge   mussel 
(Alasmidonta heterodon) was found last year at two new  locations 
in the upper Connecticut River near Dalton and Lancaster, NH. 

EXOTIC  EPIDEMIC - The November-December 1996 Endangered  Species 
Bulletin  reported in October 14,000 birds, which  included  more 
than 1000 endangered brown pelicans, died in California's  Salton 
Sea from an outbreak of avian botulism.  The suspected source  is 
a massive fish kill of introduced Tilapia. 

FRESHWATER FAUNA POSTERS are 24" x 36", in full color, and avail
able for nongame fishes, mussels, and crayfish.  The price is  $5 
plus $2.50 per poster and available from the Extension  Distribu
tion  Center,  112 Landsdowne St., Blacksburg,  VA  24061.   Make 
checks payable to the Virginia Tech Treasurer.   All proceeds are 
used to reprint and distribute free posters to secondary  schools 
across the US. 

MAILBAG  - Doug Anderson (Plymouth, MN) is a  certifiably  insane 
scooping nut who doesn't hang up his nets like most in the winter 
and  boasts the coldest conditions he has (so far) survived is  a 
windchill of minus 53 F.  In March, spring fever got the best  of 
him  (again) and he couldn't resist some night time  dipping  for 
rainbow darters (Etheostoma caeruleum) in the St. Croix River. He 
stepped  into  a hole which baptized him with  ice  water.   Doug 
wisely called it a night opting to live and collect another  day, 
but  he took a short cut home to shave a little time off  his  40 
minute drive.  Six hours later he finally arrived.  I asked if he 
had any idea where he was and the reply was more a question  than 
an  answer - IOWA? Jay DeLong (Olympia, WA) announced  on  April 
22, 1997 the 1000th visitor of NANFA's web page was B.G.  Granier 
(Baker,  LA) and the prize is the winner buys everyone lunch  and 
Jay suggested a central location like Nebraska for the next  day.  
B.G.  also submitted a trivia question with a cajun slant:   What 
native fish is locally called choupique which is pronounced shoe-
pick  - the bowfin (Amia calva).  George Becker (Eureka  Springs, 
AR)  took  notice  of the Green Eggs and Ham piece  in  the  last 
Darter and would like to settle the toxicity question surrounding 
gar  eggs once and for all.  He has offered to help  fund  either 
laboratory rat trials or a chemistry analysis of the eggs. Do  we 
have   any   interested  researchers  out  there?    Jan   Hoover 
(Vicksburg,  MS) forwarded a paper on experiments involving  mice 
fed a homogenate of longnose and shortnose gar eggs.  All 8  mice 
exhibited  signs  of toxicity, but only one died  from  shortnose 
eggs.   She also included an account from a professor  who  would 
tell  his classes of an individual that became gravely ill  after 
dining  on  gar caviar, but admitted he has never been  able  to 
verify it.  Jay Hatch (University of Minnesota) is still develop
ing  his website of Minnesota fishes and now has about  30  color 
photographs  of nongame fishes.  Several more should be added  in 
the near future.  Address:  http://www.gen.umn.edu/faculty_staff/ 
hatch/fishes  Jay also found a web page put out by Purdue on  the 
ruffe  showing all the known locations in the Great  Lakes.   One 
problem - the cities, states, and provinces don't match the  dots 
on  the maps. Jay's advice: DONUT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU FIND  ON 
THE  INTERNET.   Robert Rice (Navarre, FL) had a  surprise  visit 
from  the county sheriff in uniform one evening.  He  asked,  Are 
you  Robert  Rice? Trying to think what transgressions  from  his 
nefarious  past had come back to haunt him, he responded  with  a 
lump  in his throat, Yes  Sir.  The sheriff then informed him  he 
just got his issue of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium in the  mail 
with  one of Robert's articles and just wanted to stop  and  chat 
about  native  fishes.  Funny guy, but NANFA also  gained  a  new 
member.   Garold  Sneegas (Lawrence, KS)  reported  the  National 
Forest  Service has granted clear cutting permits for  chip  wood 
production on tributaries to the Buffalo National Wild and Scenic 
River.  The Forest Service feels there is no impact since canoers 
will  not see the clear cuts from the River.    Garold also  for
warded  an  article from the December 26, 1996  Lawrence  Journal 
which  reported a researcher from Kansas University  surveyed  40 
reservoirs for an exotic water flea (Daphnia lumholtzi) and found 
it in 5. This clever crustacean comes armed with two spikes which 
makes  it unpalatable to small fishes whose diets comprise up  to 
90%  water  fleas.  Finally, Garold will be  hosting  the  Kansas 
chapter's  annual meeting June 7, 1997. Contact him for  details: 
(913) 842-1407.  Laurie Sovell (Mpls., MN) organized a field trip 
for the annual Take your Daughter to Work Day which was sponsored 
through  the University of Minnesota's  student chapter of  Women 
in  Natural Resources.  No fish were collected in a nearby  pond, 
but the kids were not disappointed with a myriad of aquatic  bugs 
to study.   

GOOD  NEWS FOR OUR UK MEMBERS - A Midwest fish farmer who  raises 
natives  for  the pet trade is cutting through the  red  tape  to 
satisfy  England's stringent fish importation  restrictions.   He 
hopes  to  make  the first shipment  of  southern  redbelly  dace 
(Phoxinus  erythrogaster)  in May and other  species  may  follow 
depending on the demand.   

BOARD BUSINESS - (1) It appears the revised NANFA constitution is 
destined for passage. The running tally was 51 for and 4  against 
(only  10 percent of the membership is required to  cast  votes). 
However,  Gerald Binczik expressed some major concerns   and  the 
BOD  suggested  he chair a committee to review these  issues  and 
make recommendations within one year. Anyone interested in  join
ing  the committee, please contact Gerald at P.O. Box 2426,  Haw
thorne, FL 32640.  (2) Phil Farrell has resigned from the BOD and 
Chris  Scharpf (Baltimore, MD) was voted in to fill  Phil's  seat 
for the remainder of the term.

TOPEKA  SHINER  UPDATE  -  (1) In March, the  Twin  Cities  Field 
Office of US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a draft proposal 
was  under  review to list the  species  endangered.   Additional 
information and a briefing statement about the species in  Minne
sota, can be requested from Chuck Kjos, Endangered Species Biolo
gist,  USFWS,  4101 E. 80th St., Bloomington, MN  55425.   Phone: 
(612)  725-3548.  (2) Garold Sneegas (Lawrence, KS)  forwarded  a 
video from a Topeka PBS station series, Sunflower Journeys, which 
aired  in  February.   The segment  highlighted  cooperative  and 
successful  efforts  between a watershed district which was  pro
posing several flood control dams and the Department of  Wildlife 
and Parks which wanted to prevent any further loss of the  Topeka 
shiner's  range in Kansas.  Garold provided  incredibly  colorful 
underwater  photographs of spawning males with scarlet red  fins.  
The  Darter Editor was also amazed at the crystal  clear  streams 
remaining  in  the Flint Hills region of the state.   (3)  Harold 
Kerns  (Department  of  Conservation)  chairs  Missouri's  Topeka 
Shiner  Working  Group which hopes to culture the  species  in  a 
hatchery.  He would welcome any information from members who have 
spawned  and reared Topekas or have conducted life  histories  on 
the  species.  Address: MDC, 701 NE College Dr., St.  Joseph,  MO 
64507.  Phone: (816) 271-3100.  (4) The Minnesota DNR is planning 
to  conduct a study of habitat and minimum flow requirements  for 
the Topeka shiner in the Rock River near Luverne.  Biologists are 
concerned  the  species may be at risk in the near future  if  an 
increased demand of groundwater occurs. 

TEAMING  WITH WILDLIFE - For half a century, anglers and  hunters 
have  paid  a  federal excise tax on  firearms,  ammunition,  and 
fishing tackle which today annually provides $400 million dollars 
to  states for projects benefiting game species.   Unfortunately, 
nongame  species generally are funded through Chickadee  Checkoff 
donations  on  state income tax forms which only  generate  about 
$100,000  a  year  per state.  New  legislation  referred  to  as 
Teaming with Wildlife is slowly winding through Congress.  It  is 
expected  to  raise  $350 million dollars  annually  for  nongame 
wildlife  (and fish), outdoor related recreation,  and  education 
projects  through a fee on outdoor equipment.  Individually  this 
will  cost each consumer only $6-10 dollars per  year.   Unfortu
nately,  a number of large outdoor recreation companies and  con
gressmen  are  opposed charging this is just another  tax.   The 
bill  currently does not have numbers in either  house,  however, 
NANFA  members who have a concern for nongame species and  under
stand  the  need for an adequate, long term, and  stable  funding 
source should call, write, or email their senators and  represen
tatives voicing support for this pending legislation ASAP. 

CHECKLIST  OF  KANSAS DRAGONFLIES We are often negligent  in  not 
covering other aquatic denizens of the deep even if they are  not 
permanent  residents and may also occasionally dine on our  finny 
friends.   The Kansas School Naturalist (KSN) reports on  a  wide 
variety  of natural science and history topics and  the  February 
1997  issue  was  devoted entirely to the  state's  80  dragonfly 
species.   Sections  included  a key,  checklist  with  preferred 
habitats, abundance, distribution, and probable flight dates; and 
excellent  color photographs of every species.  Issues  are  free 
while  supplies last and available from: KSN, Box 4050,  Emporia, 
KS 66801. 

PISCES  PRODUCTS AND PURPOSES - The January-February  1996  River 
Crossings  reported: (1) Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)  are  now 
being used as a new source of leather.  A Montana leather company 
is turning skins into wallets, checkbook covers, and boots.   The 
eggs  are also being processed for caviar and a 4 oz.  jar  sells 
for $89.95.  (2) Fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) are  being 
used  to monitor storm drainage outfalls which is  comparable  to 
the former practice of caged canaries in the coal mines to detect 
toxic gases.  A free video and manual explains how to install a 2 
liter  soda  bottle of 6 gilled guinea  pigs.   Contact:  Charles 
Howell, EPA Region 6 at (214) 665-8354.

has  been  very impressed with the results after using  clout  on 
advanced  stages of fungal infections and heavy  infestations  of 
fish  lice.  The medication is produced by Aquarium  Products  in 
Glen  Burne, MD 21061.  

NANFA  MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY -  A current hardcopy but bare  bones 
directory will be available after June 1, 1997 which should still 
be  in  time for most of the collecting  season.   Sections  will 
include  the main directory of snail and email  addresses,  phone 
and  fax numbers, and a cross reference of members by  state  and 
countries.   Unfortunately, the funds could not be found to  pro
vide  free  copies to the entire membership, but can  be  ordered 
from the NANFA Library for $3.50 to cover photocopying and  post
age.   Please  send requests and make checks payable  to:  Marcie 
Ceryes,  8681  Pequayan Lake Rd., Duluth, MN 55803.   Free  email 
text versions will continue to be updated quarterly and available 
from Robert Rice: robertrice at juno_com

HIGH  TECH PASSAGEWAYS on two Susquehanna River dams  now  permit 
the American shad (Alosa sapidissima) and other migratory  fishes 
to return to historic spawning waters after almost a century long 
absence.  The entire history of this success story is reported in 
Fish  Restoration and Passage on the Susquehanna River  which  is 
available through the Publications Section, Fish and Boat Commis
sion, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106.  Darter Editors Note: 
Perhaps  this technology would also benefit the skipjack  herring 
(Alosa  chrysochloris) which was also abundant in the upper  Mis
sissippi  River  prior to the lock&dam era.

DARTER  FEST 1997 was organized by NANFA members Bill Voiers  and 
Larry  Page and held on March 21-23 at the Ozark Natural  Science 
Center  south of Eureka Springs, AR.  Friday's  scheduled  events 
included  Informal  Gossip  and Drinking which  was  followed  by 
Formal  Gossip  and Drinking.  The nitty gritty  stuff  began  on 
Saturday  morning with Larry Page presenting a history of  darter 
classification  followed by a Beer and Bladder Break. The  after
noon  session  focused on ecology and behavior with  Bill  Voiers 
ending the presentations on the socioreproductive behavior of the 
spotted  darter  (Etheostoma maculatum).   A  Margarita  Drinking 
Contest followed, but no one recalled who won.  The highlight  of 
the  festivities  was  a banquet honoring  NANFA  member,  George 
Becker, for his distinguished contributions in information  about 
natives  fishes  and  his Fishes of Wisconsin  which  Larry  Page 
eloquently  stated, is regarded as the classic of its  genre  and 
has served as the model for all subsequent state fish books.  On 
Sunday  morning,  the participants split up to pursue  their  own 
ambitious, and for some, wishful collecting plans before  heading 
home.   Darter Fest 1998 is tentatively planned  for  Mississippi 
and  NANFA will attempt to provide an early rather  than  belated 

RAFFLE  TICKETS  - There's still time to try your luck  for  some 
really  exquisite  fish art and also help fund the  NANFA  annual 
convention  in  Portland, OR.  How about a book or two  of  five?  
The  tickets sell for just a buck each. Contact: Jay DeLong,  315 
Puget St. NE 4 #7, Olympia, WA 98506.

ideas  and  suggestions. ANSWERS - aerator (air  pump),  airline, 
algae  pad  (3M),  aquarium, crayfish  (small),  darters  (bottom 
dwellers), fiddler crab (scavenger), filter (undergravel),  food, 
gamefish,  ghost  shrimp  (scavenger),  gravel,  hood,  killifish 
(surface  swimmers), light (bulb), madtoms (bottom hiders),  min
nows  (midwater schoolers), neutralizer (chlorine -  chloramine), 
newt,  plants,  powerhead (water pump), rocks  (landscape),  salt 
(non-iodized:   disease  preventive),  snails  (mystery),   stand 
(aquarium), tadpole, timer (lights), and water.

                          TRADING POST
Dr. Clarence Waldron, 75 Joliette Dr., Napoleon, OH 43545,  (419) 
599-3510.  Have: Livebearer magazine vols. 51-100, 129, and  131-
145 plus index to vols. 1-78.  $50 plus postage.