Re: NANFA-L-- Brindled Madtoms & Mussels

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Brindled Madtoms & Mussels
From: Lori Austin (
Date: Mon Dec 20 2004 - 21:26:41 CST

I can't say the Little Muskingum in Ohio (Washington County) is lacking completely in mussels, but, I can say that-in-one particular riffle (Lane Farm Canoe Access - first Wayne National Forest camp ground off SR 26) there is an abundance of brindled madtoms but no live beds in the near vicinity. I remember finding one pistal grip and a yellow mucket shell a few years back. Anway, Otterbein and DNAP counted 37 brindleds in one sampling night...and I,-in-the beginning of spring was able to locate many very small (maybe yearlings) brindleds with every seine set in the riffle. I don't know if DNAP got the brindleds in the riffle or out in the long shallow pool below. The area is probably about 10 miles or more from the Ohio River confluence. Same riffle produces Ohio lamprey and slenderhead darters. And, on one night I took sand darters in this riffle..not sure what they were doing there. Nice stream for Ohio...has a spectacular native population of muskies...not documented in
 Trautman's Fishes of Ohio. Let me know if you want to see my 36" taken (released) with fly rod.

matt ashton <> wrote:
wow I dont remeber how I forgot this too....
While doing mussel surveys in Indiana the last two summers on the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers we found Northern Madtoms in the still closed relicts we collected. We would be dumping out or sample bags to sort and open up a mussel and out would flop a fish. ALOT of juvie channel cats too. Sort of the same thing happened in Frech Creek (PA) this fall, although I couldnt ID the Madtom because they would come out of or from under the mussel and substrate and well this was all by my site a couple feet underwater in ripping current and water barely getting out of the 40s so that was the last thing that was on my mind.
I can't think of any populations in Ohio of Brindled's where mussels arent present off the top of my head. Here are some commons....
Little and Big Darby Creek - Yes/Yes
Scioto - Yes/Yes
Muskingum - Yes/Yes
Grand - Yes/Yes
Blancarhd - Yes/Yes
Maumee - Yes/Yes
My points of interest really would be to look-in-that within two major basisns, specifically the Muskingum and Scioto. They both have large drainage areas, high in fish and mussel diversity, and have drainages of diversity hotspots within the major drainage (Darby, Walholding, sub sections of the mainstems of the respective rivers). Probably the best oppurtunities really to find one without the other, in this case fish and no mussels. I have never seen much of the Scioto up close, and nothing above franklin county/columbus, but I know below it I saw a whole lot more relect species than I did live species, let alone the abundance. Also have to think that its alot easier for this fish to make a comeback into the area than a population of mussels, so that is what I think you might be seeing more of the time, is fish and dead mussels but not necessarily no living mussels period. Hm but I guess that gets into the semantics of it considering a time cut off for whe! n large populations
 were last present and how local on the watershed scale you want to get and getting too picky might be searching to prove your point a little too much.
Some other places to possibly look-in-are small Ohio River tribs like (Ohio) Brush Creek, Symmes Creek, things like those. You have historical records of Madtoms, direct connection to the main stem of the Ohio River, within a relatively short vicinity, so the mussels should be there right? Or not......
And it really could just be one big coincidence anyways right? Or-in-least something convergent...
I certainly would find a nice cavernous mollusk shell more appealing than a flat slab of rock or pile of debris. More room to move around, harder to get open and into (predator), and provides the same cover if not better.

"Todd D. Crail" <tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu> wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: matt ashton
In my half of an attempt a couple years ago to overwinter and breed brindleds in a "stream" set up I used flat rocks plants and wood debris and shells of fresh and weathered dead muckets and kidneyshells. The fish seem to prefer those as I found them underneat more. Alas no breeding ....

Yeah. We caught 3 and we really weren't picking up many valves, and the ones we saw were in valves still connected (even less frequently picked up). Man that water was cold. We were actually wishing we'd brough dip nets so we could kick the valves into the net. Oh well. The field season didn't end until December 17th. I ain't complaining ;)
And it was the same story for their winter homes... relict fat muckets and kidneyshells, how ever the heck you tell the difference between the two.
What's also interesting is where we were finding brindleds in the Tippecanoe. Mark or Bill... what was the substrate like-in-the Canoe Camp? Was is that fine sand and then cobble chutes with valves all strewn through it? The segment of the stream through the State Park didn't strike me as madtom habitat (except tadpole up in the slack areas) but they found a horde of them. It's the same story on the Darby. Fox Riffle is all northern madtoms (aw shucks, huh? ;) but no brindleds until you get down around the bend about a half mile and into the flatter, smaller substrates.
I have a strong hunch their success is tied to having copious mussel valves laying around in sand and cobble. Dr. Cavender has asked why there's brindled in the Blanchard (and huge ones too), but not in the Sandusky right next door, which is a great question (they might as well be the same stream). The places where I've been on the Sandusky have been pretty depauperate. Heelsplitter here, creeper over there. But I haven't sampled it much.
I don't know how you would test the hypothesis either... Does anyone know of a big population of brindleds _without_ mussels present?
The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
Do you Yahoo!?
 Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
/ 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-in-

: Sat Jan 01 2005 - 12:42:00 CST