Re: NANFA--now pet peeve r (hellbenders plus!)

Steffen Hellner (
Wed, 14 Jan 2004 13:27:33 +0100

> I think fish like the slender madtom here should be listed in WI. They are
> probably only found in one river, and probably not even there anymore. That
> is serious, and an edge of the range thing. I have been to this "river" and
> it is still impacted heavily by run off. Listing did not stop that. Even at
> low flow during this summers drought, it still was chocolate milk.
I totally agree with you. This example shows exactly how weak listings are
if they are not vigorously transfered into environmental action.

> The longear sunfish though, has rebounded in most areas, if it ever was
> rare, after carp eradication efforts in the 70's. It did not come back I
> guess in some metro areas, due to pollution and habitat destruction. But
> these are sunfish, and do what sunfish do. All the sites I have found them
> in the Lake Michigan drainage, they were either the most common sunfish, or
> right up there. I have not been able to make it up north to check out those
> sites. Locally here in the Mississippi drainage I catch a few , and they are
> rare. These may trickle down from sites up north, which most are in the
> Mississippi drainage. These are not an edge of the range thing, but the
> distribution of high density populations follows the eastern edge of the
> state, and supposedly cuts across the north into MN. As far as I know MN
> doesn't list them. There range in MN is just as small and oddly shaped as it
> is here. In other words, they are not in every lake and river like
> bluegills.
> Fundlus dispar is the one WI fish I have the problem with. Like Bruce
> mentioned, these guys can be tough to find. I think their greatest risk is
> global cooling, the onset of another ice age. I doubt they are very tolerant
> of our winters. But nothing listing will do will improve our climate, or
> stop the most hellish winter from doing them in. I believe dams are the only
> thing that are problems with this specie. If they were not blocking them,
> they would spread out on favorable years, and on bad years the population
> would shrink.
> I guess I want to know, why are fish found in several bodies of water, in
> bands around the state listed? The madtom makes sense, one small area, one
> small impact could do something to damage the entire WI population. The
> entire southeast corner of WI could sink into Lake Michigan, and there would
> still be longears and dispar further north or to the west respectivly. If
> something that ridiculous has to happen to take away only a third of the
> habitat of both these fishes ( the ranges over lap there), then why are they
> listed?
Sometimes only God knows. Or ask the state authorities and you will hear a
story about how much they are concerned about this species and want to
protect it from collecting by mean, mean hobbyists and the pet trade.
Especially if the species is completely off interest for the trade. No word
on pollution or habitat degradiation, I bet. The same everywhere.

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