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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.
The Bering Cisco (Coregonus laurettae) is endemic to Alaska and is present primarily along the State’s west and north coasts. It is known to spawn in only three river systems – the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Susitna Rivers. Genetic research indicates that each of these populations is distinct. The Bering Cisco has been observed to migrate more than 1,200 miles into freshwater streams to spawn. Unlike salmon, some of these fish survive spawning runs. Since this species is slow-growing but short-lived, it is highly vulnerable to alterations in stream flow or water quality and large-scale environmental disasters.
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Available data for the American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) indicate that, overall, there have been declines in recruitment, population, and escapement during three generations (36 years). A recent report indicated that barriers to migration (dams and weirs), passage through turbines at hydropower dams, habitat degradation or loss, and overharvest were likely the greatest threats by humans across the species’ range. Although eels are able to ascend many smaller barriers, recent studies have documented a tenfold reduction in eel density above each potentially passable barrier. For example, the number of juvenile eels migrating to Lake Ontario passing over hydropower dams fell from 935,000 in 1985 to approximately 8,000...
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The Waccamaw Silverside (Menidia extensa) has a very limited distribution confined to Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina, a lake with neutral pH levels from underlying limestone formations in an area of acidic natural waters. This species is found in large schools and often over dark-colored substrates. Its limited habitat is threatened by nutrient loading caused by the runoff of organic matter and agricultural chemicals.
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The Ironcolor Shiner (Notropis chalybaeus) is found in deep pool areas of creeks and small rivers and is often associated with aquatic vegetation. This species needs clear sandy areas for spawning. Populations of Ironcolor Shiner are in decline due to increased turbidity, siltation, and pollution.
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The Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) is a subspecies of Cutthroat Trout that requires high quality coldwater fish habitat along with connected river segments. It has been in decline because of habitat degradation from logging, road building, overgrazing, mining, urban development, agriculture and dams, and competition and hybridization from introduced non-native trout species. Intensive habitat restoration efforts are underway to improve populations of this important species. In addition, restrictive harvest regulation strategies have been passed as this species is very vulnerable to angling.
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The Checkered Madtom (Noturus flavater) is found in moderate to high gradient, clear, small to medium rivers with strong flow and uses deeper, quiet pools or backwaters of these streams. This type of habitat has been eliminated from part of its former range in the White River, Arkansas, due to dam construction.
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The Sicklefin Chub (Macrhybopsis meeki) requires main channel gravel and sand runs in turbid flowing waters; however, decreased and controlled flows from dam operations have resulted in excessive siltation of these key gravel beds. Dams also reduce turbidity and alter water temperatures, making the habitat unsuitable for this species.
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The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) is native to the Lahontan basin of northern Nevada, northeastern California, and southeastern Oregon. Like other native trout species, the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout is found in a wide variety of cold-water habitats including large terminal alkaline lakes, alpine lakes, slow meandering rivers, montane rivers, and small headwater tributary streams. They currently occupy only about 10 percent of their historic range primarily due to habitat fragmentation from dams and water diversions, changes in water flow patterns, loss of riparian and aquatic habitat quality, severe drought conditions, and the introduction of non-native trout species. One population in Walker...
The Columbia River historically supported one of the greatest salmon and steelhead runs on Earth. Prior to the 1840s, up to 16 million salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia River to spawn each year. Unfortunately, by the end of the 20th century that number declined to less than 1 million fish annually. In response to the severe population declines of Columbia River salmon by the 1990s, as the result of habitat degradation in the basin, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) designated 13 stocks of anadromous salmonids as Federally threatened or endangered with extinction under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are currently 28 listed stocks of salmon and steelhead, plus an additional three more...
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The Delta Smelt (Crystallaria asprella) is only found in the Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta in California and requires estuaries for juvenile and adult habitat along with the ability to migrate into tributary rivers to spawn in the spring. Declines of Delta Smelt can largely be attributed to the changes and fluctuations in flow of the estuarine ecosystem. Reduced flows resulting from water projects have resulted in saltwater intrusion into the Delta, which has reduced the amount of preferred habitat for spawning and nursery areas. When increased amounts of water are released by the water projects, larvae and adults become entrained and die, and both the fish themselves and the food they depend on are washed...
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The Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is widely distributed within the region and occupies a variety of large lakes, small headwater streams and larger river systems. Of all the native salmonids in the Pacific Northwest, the Bull Trout generally has the most specific habitat requirements, which are often referred to as “the four Cs”: cold, clean, complex, and connected habitat. In November 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed all Bull Trout populations within the lower 48 States of the United States as threatened pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2015 Bull Trout Recovery Plan lists historical habitat loss and fragmentation; interactions with nonnative species...
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The Greater Redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi) is sensitive to habitat changes, particularly excessive siltation, and pollution. Other threats include river channelization, alterations to flow regimes, dam construction, and removal of riverside vegetation. Barriers are especially problematic as this is a wide-ranging species that has different flow and habitat requirements for different stages of development.
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The Chesapeake Logperch is native to Maryland and Pennsylvania; populations in Virginia have been extirpated. It requires rocky habitat in larger rivers and is listed as imperiled. This species has suffered from water quality and habitat degradation in the larger rivers in Mid-Atlantic States with mining, agriculture, and wastewater discharges, which causes elevated metal concentrations, suspended solids, nutrient loading, pH, and high oxygen demand in river waters.
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The Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii) is endemic to the spring-fed central Texas rivers and streams. This species is threatened by a number of factors that have contributed to its overall decline including decreased stream flows, habitat loss and degradation, and hybridization with non-native Smallmouth Bass.
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The Prairie Chub (Macrhybopsis australis) requires streams with gravel and rock bottoms and can live with high levels of dissolved salts that occur in intermittent streams in the upper Red River Basin, Texas. This Texas-listed species of special concern is potentially threatened by large-scale chloride removal planned for the upper Red River Basin that could drastically change the stream chemistry required by this unique fish species.
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Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) now inhabits less than 5 percent of its historic river range in the Mountain States. This species requires high-quality coldwater habitat with long, un-fragmented reaches. Historically, glacial relict river populations were found in the Upper Missouri River Basin with another now extinct population in the Midwest (Michigan). The Arctic Grayling has been affected by water withdrawals, barriers to movement, and habitat degradation. One of the last strongholds, the Big Hole River in Montana, was reduced to a trickle in the summers of the 1990s as a result of irrigation withdrawals. Recent cooperative efforts, which include better water management, have improved populations of Arctic...
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The Woundfin (Plagopterus argentissimus) once ranged from southwest Utah to southern Arizona in the Colorado and Gila River basins, but now only occur in 12 percent of its historical range, and is classified as critically endangered. It prefers quiet water adjacent to riffles of swift, warm, turbid small to medium rivers, but spawns in swifter flowing water over gravel. Populations have been affected by habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation caused by dams and water diversions. Woundfin populations have also shown declines in areas where the non-native Red Shiner has proliferated due to changes in water flow patterns caused by dams and diversions. The Red Shiner is both a predator of and a competitor with...
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The Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus ssp. desotoi) as the name implies lives in the estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico but migrates up coastal rivers to spawn (anadromous). It is found in rivers from spring until fall and in the Gulf during the winter. It feeds heavily while in the Gulf, but adults eat very little (or not at all) while in the rivers. The species declined dramatically after the late 1800s. It fell victim to overharvest for its meat and roe, dam construction, and dredging activities. The largest population is currently in the Suwannee River in Florida.
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The Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus) is well adapted to prairie watersheds. It is found in open, shallow river channels of highly turbid rivers and creeks with sandy bottoms, high levels of dissolved solids, and slight to moderate erratic flows, typical of these watersheds. One of many issues affecting the Plains Minnow is that the construction of dams has significantly altered flow regimes in its range. Eliminating flood events has removed the historical cues for spawning and reduced spawning habitat.


map background search result map search result map Habitat Trouble for Ironcolor Shiner in Upper Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Arctic Grayling in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Greater Redhorse in Central Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Sicklefin Chub in Northern Plains States Habitat Trouble for Guadalupe Bass in Southern Plains States Habitat Trouble for Bull Trout in Pacific Coast States Habitat Trouble for Prairie Chub in Southern Plains States Habitat Trouble for Plains Minnow in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Chesapeake Logperch in Mid-Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Delta Smelt in Pacific Coast States Habitat Trouble for Waccamaw Silverside in Southeast Atlantic States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Woundfin in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Checkered Madtom in Central Mississippi River States Habitat Trouble for Chesapeake Logperch in Mid-Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Waccamaw Silverside in Southeast Atlantic States Habitat Trouble for Sicklefin Chub in Northern Plains States Habitat Trouble for American Eel in Northeastern States Habitat Trouble for Crystal Darters in Central Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Greater Redhorse in Central Midwest States Habitat Trouble for Checkered Madtom in Central Mississippi River States Habitat Trouble for Ironcolor Shiner in Upper Midwest States ​Habitat Trouble for Gulf Sturgeon in Eastern Gulf of Mexico States Habitat Trouble for Bull Trout in Pacific Coast States Habitat Trouble for Delta Smelt in Pacific Coast States Habitat Trouble for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Woundfin in Southwestern States Habitat Trouble for Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Arctic Grayling in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Plains Minnow in Mountain States Habitat Trouble for Guadalupe Bass in Southern Plains States Habitat Trouble for Prairie Chub in Southern Plains States