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BIOLOGISTS AID RECOVERY OF RARE FISH BY STOCKING IN OCONEE RIVER

WHAT: Juvenile robust redhorse will be stocked in the Oconee River as part of the multi-agency Robust Redhorse Conservation Committee effort.

WHERE: Boat Landing at Oconee River Bridge Crossing on Highway 57 8 miles East of Toomsboro, (Wilkinson/Washington County line)

WHO: Jimmy Evans, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) Chris Skelton, Nongame Section, Wildlife Resources Division, GADNR Greg Looney, Warm Springs Fish Technology Center U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mike Nichols, The Georgia Power Company

WHEN: Wednesday, February 23, 2000, 11:00 a.m.

WHY: The robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum) was first described in 1870 and is believed to have once been common throughout rivers in Georgia and the Carolinas that flow into the Atlantic Ocean. However, it was rarely collected until rediscovered in the 1990s in the Oconee River. Biologists believe that robust redhorse populations declined drastically due to sedimentation, predation from the non-native flathead catfish and altered river flows and blocked passage due to construction of dams and reservoirs along rivers throughout its range. The most healthy population of robust redhorse presently known is found along a 50-mile stretch of the Oconee River between Dublin and Milledgeville. The fish is the largest member of the redhorse sucker family on the Atlantic slope, reaching a length of 30 inches and weighing 15 pounds. The Robust Redhorse Conservation Committee was formed in 1995 to determine why the fish has declined and to restore the species to a sustainable level. The Committee hopes to recover the species without the need to list it under the Federal Endangered Species Act. In fact, this project represents an innovative approach to conserving a species before its listing is required. The robust redhorse project is a cooperative effort between private and public entities including The Georgia Power Company, GADNR, USFWS, as well as other state and federal agencies, hydro-power interests and conservation groups in Georgia and the Carolinas. ###

Department of the Interior

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

North Georgia Field Office

247 South Milledge Ave.

Athens, GA 30605

Phone: 706/613 9493

Fax: 706/613 6059

Contact: Jennifer Koches (843) 727-4707 Ext.19

Kyla Hastie (706) 613-9493 Ext. 36

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2000 News Releases

 

 

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