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North Carolina biologist TR Russ holding an sicklefin redhorse. Photo by Mark Cantrell, USFWS.

Sicklefin redhorse

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

Power companies, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and state and federal agencies have come together to conserve the sicklefin redhorse, a fish found in only six Appalachian counties worldwide and being considered for the federal endangered species list.

Triggered by the 1992 observations of Roanoke College’s Robert Jenkins, the sicklefin redhorse was only recently discovered to be a distinct species. In 2005, driven by concern over impacts from migration barriers, water quality, non-native fish, and other factors, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the fish a candidate for the endangered species list.

The conservation partnership expands upon efforts established by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The Commission, Duke Energy, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are parties to the agreement.

Partners agree to a suite of measures for the next ten years, including:

  • Collecting and fertilizing sicklefin redhorse eggs from the Little Tennessee, Oconaluftee, Tuckasegee, and Hiwassee rivers.
  • Hatching and -rearing the animals at Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery and the Conservation Fisheries, Inc. facility in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Using these captive-reared fish to stock North Carolina and Georgia streams.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit fws.gov. Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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