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Wednesday, April 22 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Fall and Winter Movement Patterns of Translocated Adult Sicklefin Redhorse (Moxostoma sp.) in the Oconaluftee River, North Carolina

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The southeastern United States contains the most diverse freshwater fauna in North America. Although there is a great diversity within our local ecosystems of North Carolina, 26% of these species are federally or locally listed as imperiled. The Sicklefin Redhorse is currently an undescribed species of the genus Moxostoma, endemic to the Hiawassee and the Little Tennessee river basins of western North Carolina and northern Georgia. They are listed as a priority wildlife species of North Carolina with a state status of “significantly rare” and are expected to gain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act within the next year. Like many potamodromous fishes, the Sicklefin Redhorse population is at risk due to fragmentation due to stream impediments, habitat degradation, and restriction of natural home range. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of release site and individual variation on distance moved and home range size for adults that have been translocated into a river that is historically within its home range, but from which they have since been extirpated. Ten native Sicklefin Redhorse were collected from the Tuckasegee River, surgically implanted with radio transmitters, and translocated into the Oconaluftee River, a river that is historically within its home range, but from which they have since been extirpated. The fish were tracked individually using radio telemetry for six months. Movement patterns for newly translocated fish and seasonal patterns for females are comparable to patterns found for Sicklefin Redhorse within their current range. Although some fish moved extensively, the sedentary winter patterns observed in females is indicative that the habitat provided by the Oconaluftee may be suitable. Continued observation throughout the spawning season will help in fully determining suitability of the Oconaluftee river for the future restoration of this threatened species to its native home range.


Wednesday April 22, 2015 1:40pm - 2:00pm PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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