Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Endangered - Pygmy Madtom

Pygmy Madtom. Credit: USFWS

Pygmy Madtom. Credit: USFWS

The pygmy madtom, an endemic species for the Tennessee River drainage, is listed as endangered species. Etnier and Starnes (1993) reported the pygmy madtom as one of the rarest fishes in North America with fewer than fifty individuals collected from two widely separated locations within the Tennessee River Valley. One location is on a short reach of the Clinch River in upper east Tennessee and the other on the Duck River in Humphreys County. The habitat requirements are described in the recovery plan as “shallow shoals, where the current is moderate to strong and where there is pea-sized gravel of fine sand substrates, in moderately large rivers”.

The refuge extends up the Duck River to and the pygmy madtom has not been located on the refuge. However, it is possible that it may occasionally occur on the refuge. Since most of the Duck River within the boundary of the refuge is strongly influenced by the slack waters of Kentucky Lake it is unlikely that suitable habitat exists on the refuge.


Last updated: December 7, 2009