Re: NANFA-- pearl dace

Dave Neely (
Tue, 26 Feb 2002 10:27:10 -0600

Pearl dace are weird, seem to occupy acidic, heavily tannic waters in some
areas while in others are restricted to alkaline spring runs. In the Potomac
drainage, they are restricted to cold limestone-buffered springs in the
Great Valley (where they're pretty abundant, in contrast with their official
status). Just across the divide, they occupy high-elevation cranberry bogs
and tannic swamps in the upper Cheat and Youghiogheny drainages... Rather
weird... some of the localities where we found pearl dace to be most
abundant in the Potomac drainage were heavily trounced by cattle, in one
particular case that comes to mind, they were incredibly abundant (>1000 in
a 75m reach) in a stream segment with all silt bottom and no aquatic
vegetation, and cows standing directly in the stream. The deciding factor
thus seems to be temperature, not water chemistry. As long as the water was
cold, they seem to do OK.


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