NANFA-L-- Flame Chubs In Alabama Update

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 04 Aug 2006 17:37:53 -0400

The list has been quiet this week, so I thought I'd throw in some food for
thought. For the past 15 months I've been working on a stream survey project
in the Tennessee Valley of north Alabama to determine the status of the
flame chub, Hemitremia flammea. I've been working off of a list of historic
collection records from the University of Alabama Ichthyology Collection. My
team (which varies...) has visited and been able to sample 50 of these
historic collection sites, usually small creeks but sometimes even smaller
spring systems. We have found at least a single flame chub at 18 of these
historic collection sites (often it IS only a single flame chub, too). This
is an apparent range reduction of 64%. This pattern is fairly steady across
the seven counties of north 'bama we've visited, although the Cypress Creek
system in the NW corner of the state is in the best shape. We've also found
4 previously unreported populations, including one in Hurricane Creek on the
now-protected state lands of the Walls of Jericho tract in the far NE corner
of the state. Top officials in the State Lands Office were actually
interested to hear about flame chubs being present in Hurricane Creek, so
that population could become of the few (maybe only?) actively protected
populations in their current range.

Some streams without flame chubs are obviously degraded by human activities,
others appear to be pristine. The last point is the puzzling part of the

--Bruce Stallsmith
we at least have some flame chubs left along the Tennessee
Huntsville, AL, US of A
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