RE: NANFA-L-- Flame Chubs In Alabama Update

Dave Neely (
Fri, 04 Aug 2006 18:24:31 -0500

Hi Bruce,

That's an interesting data set, they've dropped out of other parts of their
range (and are barely hanging on in the Coosa) so the trend may be real, but
I'd be a little hesitant to claim a 64% range reduction from single site
visits where you didn't find flame chubs. A lot of factors could contribute
to failure to capture flame chubs at a site (seasonal movements, a tendency
to inhabit dense vegetation, patchy micro-distribution at a site, etc.), and
a lot of those UAIC collections are based on single or a few specimens... Do
you plan on expanding this to include Tennessee populations?

One thing is without doubt - they're awfully neat fish.


along the mighty Mississip', St. Louis, MO

>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 story. > >--Bruce Stallsmith >we at least have some flame chubs left along the Tennessee >Huntsville, AL, US of A /----------------------------------------------------------------------- / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes / Association (NANFA). Comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of NANFA. For more information about NANFA, / visit Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are / consistent with the guidelines as per / To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get / help, visit the NANFA email list home page and archive at /