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Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States

from the National Fish Habitat Partnership's 2015 Through a Fish's Eye Report


The Crystal Darter (Crystallaria asprella) requires large, clear-water streams with clean sand and gravel bottoms and moderate to swift currents. It is intolerant of siltation and other forms of pollution from various land use practices. Direct habitat degradation from damming, channelization, and dredging has also reduced habitat for this species. Remaining populations have become isolated from one another by dams and impoundments. The Mississippi River most likely no longer serves as a usable corridor for the Crystal Darter because of the silt load. The isolated local populations are then vulnerable to single destructive events such as toxic chemical spills.


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The U.S Geological Survey (USGS) is partnering with the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) to produce the 2015 report entitled, "Through a Fish's Eye: The Status of Fish Habitats in the United States 2015". The information contained within this item is a product of NFHP. The Bureau is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy or the use of the scientific content within this item. This content is considered preliminary pending subsequent review and approval.
Crystal Darter photograph
Crystal Darter photograph


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