Re: NANFA-L-- I'm blogging fish; really.

Bruce Stallsmith (
Thu, 27 Apr 2006 10:17:01 -0400

The Barrens Topminnow, Fundulus julisia, was collected from one of its few
remaining spring runs in Coffee County (if I remember correctly), TN, by
several enthusiasts about 15 years ago. They removed about two dozen adult
fish. This is from a small, isolated population of maybe 100-150 fish. The
species is protected by the state of Tennessee, and because one of the
enthusiasts is a federal employee, when word got out they had the fish(!),
he was confronted by his employer, fined, and forced to turn over the fish
and the progeny they'd produced in captivity.

Was the population destroyed? No, but it was weakened. This species is maybe
found in three isolated spring systems in the Barrens, and the people-in-CFI
may have saved one population during a drought by removing them in buckets
until the spring revived. (Agricultural activities have also altered the
hydrology of these springs, so as usual it's a one-two series of blows.)
Keeping the species in captivity seems to produce a different phenotype; the
Tennessee Aquarium has had them on display, and they get much bigger in
captivity; maybe just from living longer?

So the potential is there for harm from overcollecting. Some amphibians have
certainly suffered from that, like green salamanders.

--Bruce Stallsmith
along the sunny Tennessee
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: Derek Parr <>
>Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- I'm blogging fish; really.
>Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 09:43:08 -0400
>well.. I've certainly garnered a sense of paranoia occasionally from this
>list.. but I've yet to hear any stories of any horrible things happening
>as a result of collecting. From what I've seen, all the real world dangers
>have come from habitat loss and pollution. I for one, would love to hear
>some stories of non-game fish being decimated or hurt by collecting in your
>region. It would fill this obvious void in my knowledge on the subject.
> -derek parr
>Chapel Hill, NC
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