NANFA-- boulder darter volunteers needed

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 09 Aug 2001 07:51:45 -0400


Next Monday and Tuesday, Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, with personnel
from TVA, TWRA, Conservation Fisheries, Inc. and volunteers will be placing
limestone slabs into the Elk River for use as spawning habitat by boulder
darters (Etheostoma wapiti). This darter is a federally-listed endangered
species, found only in the lower portions of the Elk River (Fayetteville to
Wheeler Reservoir). It was probably found in large river habitats
throughout the "shoals" portions of the Tennessee River system in northern
Alabama, however it is difficult to collect and the only historical record
was from Shoal Creek near Florence (1884). It has not been collected in
Shoal Creek since 1884. The slab-rock habitat needed for this species to
reproduce (attaches eggs to underside of slabs) is limited in the Elk River.
Efforts next week will hopefully provide spawning habitat in two locations
which currently have limited habitat (and few boulder darters). In addition
to habitat placement, CFI will be releasing several hundred captive-reared
boulder darters at each site to augment natural populations. Establishment
of a non-essential, experimental population in Shoal Creek will occur in the
near future.

Volunteers are needed to assist with habitat placement (manual labor placing
rocks in the river bed). Anyone wishing to assist should contact Tyler
Sykes (USFWS) at 931-528-6481, ext. 214. You can volunteer for one or both
days (or even partial days).

Monday, August 13, 2001: Directions: From Fayetteville: At the 231/10
intersection, go south. Continue on past the 231/431/10 intersection. The
Fayetteville site will be on your left. The access point is at the
beginning of a long guardrail at a sharp turn to the right. The access will
be marked with flagging. Rock placement begins at 9:00 CDT.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001: Directions: From Fayetteville, take 64 west to
273. Go south on 273. You will pass Bugtussle Road and Short Creek Road on
your right. After passing Short Creek Road, be watching for flagging at the
beginning of a short stretch of guardrail; this will mark the access point
for the Hamilton Mill site. If you travel into Dellrose or you reach I-65,
you have gone too far. Rock placement begins at 10:30 CDT.

Bring your lunch/drinks each day. You WILL get wet and dirty!

Pass this e-mail along to anyone you know that might be interested.

Damien J. Simbeck
Watershed Specialist, Pickwick Watershed Team
Tennessee Valley Authority
P.O. Box 1010, SB 1H-M
Muscle Shoals, AL 35662-1010
fax - 256-386-2954

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