Micro Fishing The New with the Old
New River micro species, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Geologically, one of the five oldest rivers in the world, the New River faces challenges each day to support the forty-six native fish species it hosts. Eight of these fish species are endemic to the New River, meaning they only live there. However, some species such as the Telescope Shiner (Notropis telescopus) and Whitetail Shiner (Cyprinella galactura) have been introduced
from the Little Tennessee drainage and may outcompete with endemic species in the New River, notably, the New River Shiner (Notropis scabriceps) and the undescribed “Kanawha” Rosyface Shiner (Notropis species).
Above: Dr. Nick Viole snorkel fishing for Darters, we’ve found this technique to be great with deep dwelling Darter species.
The last time I surveyed the New River with Dr. Nick Viole, we caught a tremendous amount of Telescope Shiners vs years back when we caught very few and tons of New River Shiners. Whitetail Shiners were also present, and being so aggressive in mating and feeding, I can see how their introduction could harm New River’s finest endemics. Moral of the story, watch your bait bucket releases and aquarium releases in the wild.
Special thanks to Dr. Donald J Orth.
1) Bluntnose Minnow (Pimephales notatus).
2) White Shiner (Luxilus albeolus).
3) Crescent Shiner (Luxilus cerasinus).
4) Rosefin Shiner (Lythrurus ardens).
5) “Kanawha” Rosyface Shiner (Notropis species).
6) New River Shiner (Notropis scabriceps).
7) Silver Shiner (Notropis photogenis).
8) Mimic Shiner (Notropis volucellus).
9) Spottail Shiner (Notropis hudsonius).
10) Telescope Shiner (Notropis telescopus). (Introduced)
11) Whitetail Shiner (Cyprinella galactura). (Introduced)
12) Bigeye Chub (Hybopsis amblops).
13) Mountain Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus oreas).
14) Rosyside Dace (Clinostomus funduloides).
15) Central Stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum).
16) Kanawha Darter (Etheostoma kanawhae).
17) Mottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdii).
By Tim Aldridge