Re: NANFA-L-- California Natives - They're All Threatened or

Jerry Baker (
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 08:37:14 -0700

It's almost as if you had read my mind. I had already thought of that,
and have already began preliminary planning. My plan was to document
something that has not been documented about one of the native habitats
of these fishes - the diurnal and seasonal variation in various water
parameters in their native streams. I don't know which parameters will
be most important to document in terms of getting something published,
but I was figuring on-in-least pH, temperature, dissolved O2, and
hardness to begin with.

I live very close to the river I plan on measuring, so to go over there
a couple of times a month for a year or so will be no big deal. The main
problem will be the expense of purchasing an O2 meter. I am currently
exploring various testing methodologies and their accuracy and cost. I
believe that documenting the water conditions will be a valuable data
point in the management of these fish. I also believe that I will gain
more credibility with the local wildlife officials having done so. It
would be a natural extension to take that research to the next level of
putting some of these fish into water where the chemistry can be
carefully altered and the fishes' responses observed and documented as well.

To be honest, it hadn't dawned on me to get some speckled dace that are
not endangered (it's only the particular subspecies that is endangered)
and work with them first. Same for the Santa Ana Sucker (they are a
species in their own right, but very similar to other Catostomus).
Although I would still feel terrible if I accidentally contributed to
the death of some fish I collected, it would not be nearly as bad as if
they had been endangered specimens. I suppose my only concern-in-this
point would be to find a place where Catostomus and Rhinichthys osculus
occur together naturally so that I can keep them together as I would the
local endangered fish. Does anyone know of such a locale?

Todd D. Crail wrote:
> A lot of people would like to get ahold of more imperiled species with the
> premise that they're out to do some good in the world. I believe that, and
> I believe they believe that. I also believe they're quite capable of adding
> to the human consciousness by possessing and working with the animals.
> But if nothing is written or documented about the experience, then-in-least
> in these academic and professional parts, it's said "If it ain't
> published... It doesn't exist". If nothing exists, and you're honestly
> objective... Why should an individual get the stuff that may be crucial to
> that organism's continuing existence?
> I think this is the scenario that gets under the amateur's dander because
> they feel second rate and out of the loop to folks who have equal or even
> less aquaria experience and ability. The amateur isn't familiar with how
> the primary literature process works, it's freakin' intimidating, and
> perhaps worst of all... can really reek of elitism.
> And now for my positive punch :)
> This is where NANFA comes in and is the beauty of this organization... The
> editors of American Currents are willing to work with most any information
> you can provide about the captive husbandry of North American fishes. This
> is everyone's chance to participate and share the intelligence of the
> collective of native fish enthusiasts from husbandry, to collection, to
> grammar, to the publishing process.
> Say you wanted to work with Santa Ana Speckled Dace... If you were the
> person granted control of those animals (the "control" being right, wrong or
> indifferent) and Joe Fishguy walks in off the street and asks if he can be
> permitted to keep these animals because:
> ** He has "many years of experience breeding aquarium fishes and wants to
> try and do some good with his experience"
> - or -
> ** He has "successfully captively bred blacknose and longnose dace, which
> are other species in the genus Rhinichthys, and here are photocopies from
> his two breeding account articles he had published in American Currents"
> Who would you consider? Heck, the guy in control might have been a NANFA
> member and contacted YOU because he saw your address and email!
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