Re: NANFA-- Conservation Fisheries Inc
Thu, 21 Sep 2000 08:48:54 EDT

In a message dated 9/21/00 12:47:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

<< << Right now, one of the primary threats seems to be the proliferation of
Gambusia on the Barrens plateau. Anyway, things don't look very good for
Barrens topminnows!

That's unfortunate; do you guys net out a lot of those exotics in the
topminnows' habitat? Do you think that you will be able to significantly
reduce the gambusia pops in the foreseeable future? How difficult would the
gambusia be to eliminate from that area? I'm guessing very much so; I'm
the impression that they are very prolific.

Weeellllll...... In the past, we undertook and annual collection to the type
locality to remove Gambusia. This locality is a small spring pond with a
small barrier dam at the foot of it. We would go in every fall and seine out
as many Gambusia as we could. After we started doing this, we saw increases
in topminnow numbers, but, of course, the Gambusia would begin to increase by
the middle of the next summer.

Last fall, the spring dried up, completely! We were called in by the Nature
Conservancy to rescue the remaining topminnows before it completely dried up.
We got around 75 specimens and put them up in the CFI Bed and Breakfast over
winter. The spring refilled in the Spring and we returned the topminnows
then. The only good this is that in the process of drying up, so went the
Gambusia! Since there's a barrier on the pond, we're hoping that they won't
be back! So far, this year, they're still absent. The drought's really bad
this year, but, so far, the spring still has water. Many others in the area
are now dry!

So, our present task is: survey to make sure topminnows are indeed gone from
most sites; look for suitable reintro sites (this is a good time to do it
because it's so dry. We need to know which ones are permanently watered); and
look for potential refugia sites....ones where Gambusia can be excluded. We
have a number of potential sites picked out. The Nature Conservancy and F&WS
have to then work with the landowners to see how cooperative they are and if
they're willing to participate in the recovery program. It's a long road, but
we're trying to chip away at it!


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