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NFC: Darter in peril

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bruce Stallsmith <fundulus at hotmail_com>

I found this AP story in the Huntsville Times today; I've reproduced all
the article.

ROME, Georgia--Much of the Etowah darter's habitat has been wiped away by

dams, timbering, mining and the degradation of water quality.
     According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the fish may be 
imperiled further by Georgia's plan on sharing water from the 
Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin with Alabama.
     Georgia's formal water allocation plan, as it stands now, would not 
satisfy new federal guidelines that were established to protect
species found in the Etowah River, said Gail Carmody, project leader for
Fish and Wildlife Service.
     The Etowah and Oostanaula rivers, which form the upper reaches of
Coosa River Basin, are believed by the federal agency to hold more
fish and invertebrates than any other rivers in the Southeast, the Rome
News-Tribune reported.
     In addition to the Etowah darter, a federally endangered species,
Etowah River is also home to its cousin the Cherokee darter, which also
federally protected.
     Other aquatic species found only in northwest Georgia, including the

endangered triangular kidneyshell mussel, also live in the river.
     Officials from Georgia and Alabama were meeting today to continue 
discussions on how to divide river water flowing through Georgia and into

Alabama. In 1990, Alabama filed a lawsuit over Georgia's plan to dam the 
Tallapoosa River near the state line.
     Different plans for sharing the river basin, which stretches from 
Tennessee to Mobile Bay, have been proposed.
     Sticking points have included how much water each state needs to
and whether new reservoirs will need to be built. [Ed. remark--!!!no,
do it!!!]
     Proposed plans on how to control water flow could also affect
     If the stream flow is extremely high or low, creatures that inhabit
water could be harmed, officials with the Fish and Wildlife Service said.