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Evaluating Contaminant Threats to Declining Plains Fish

Date Posted: February 5, 2002

The Service’s Manhattan, Kansas Field Office and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks recently completed the first of two field seasons as part of a study entitled “Contaminant Evaluation of Habitats of Declining Plains Fish in Kansas.” The goal of this study is to determine what role, if any, contaminants are playing in the decline of certain species of plains fish. As part of the study, fish communities in the Lower Arkansas River Basin in south-central Kansas were surveyed and a variety of basic physical and chemical measurements were collected. In addition, 20 samples each of water, sediments, invertebrates and fish were collected and analyzed for chemical contaminants that may be present and affecting the fish community. Samples were collected at sites where the Arkansas darter (Etheostoma cragini), is found and sites where the species has been extirpated. The Arkansas darter is a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Work will be repeated in 2002, either focusing on the federally-listed threatened Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) in the Cimarron/Upper Arkansas Basin or endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) in the Kansas/Lower Republican Basin.

Contacts:
John Miesner, 785-539-3474, ext. 103.

Links:
US Fish and Wildlife, Service Offices in Kansas

US Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

Last updated: February 13, 2013