Printer Friendly

The Alabama shad (Alosa alabamae: clupeiformes: clupeidae) in the White River, Arkansas.

The Alabama shad, Alosa alabamae, is an anadromous species that has declined drastically throughout the freshwater portion of its range during the past several decades. This decline is due to a combination of alterations of habitat, including locks and dams blocking or impeding access to spawning sites, dredging, thermal alterations, siltation, and other adverse impacts on quality of water (Robison and Buchanan, 1988). To spawn in late winter and early spring, Alabama shad ascended the Mississippi River and its major tributaries far inland, as well as other eastern drainages into the Gulf of Mexico. its decline in drainages of the Gulf of Mexico during the past 2 decades has been documented by Gunning and Suttkus (1990), Ross (2001), Boschung and Mayden (2004), Ely et al. (2008), Mickle et al. (2010), and J. Barkuloo et al. (in litt.). The largest remaining spawning population occurs in the Apalachicola River system of the Florida Panhandle below Jim Woodruff Dam (Ely et al., 2008). The species has declined even more drastically in drainages of the Mississippi River, where the only remaining spawning areas are in the Gasconade, Meramec, and Osage rivers of Missouri (Pflieger, 1997) and the Ouachita River drainage of Arkansas (Buchanan et al., 1999; T. M. Buchanan, in litt.). In adjacent states, Etnier and Starnes (1993) reported no recent record in Tennessee, and Miller and Robison (2004) were uncertain as to whether the species still occurred in Oklahoma. Alosa alabamae was extirpated from eight of its 14 native states (Meadows et al., 2008) and is now listed as a species of greatest conservation need in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. The National Marine Fisheries Service identified this fish as a species of concern in 1997, the American Fisheries Society listed A. alabamae as threatened, and the most recent international union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List (http://www. iucnredlist.org) categorized the Alabama shad as data deficient, meaning that further research is needed within catchments where it is believed to be extirpated (Mettee and O'Neil, 2003; Jelks et al., 2008). According to The Nature Conservancy, A. alabamae is ranked S1-S2 (critically imperiled-imperiled) in Arkansas (http://www. natureserve.org/explorer).

On 2 August 2006, we collected three juvenile (90, 91, and 95 mm total length) Alabama shad with a 3.6 by 1.8-m (3.2-mm mesh) straight seine at a depth of 1.1 m from the White River near Newport (Newport Reach) in Jackson County, Arkansas (35.62407[degrees]N, 91.29310[degrees]W). Habitat was a sloping sand-gravel bar over a mud-clay and gravelcobble substrate. Water temperature was 27.2[degrees]C and turbidity 0.890 m (Secchi disk). One specimen was released and two vouchers were fixed in 10% formalin and transferred to 45% isopropanol for deposition in the Zoology Collection of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS-2007).

Our specimens of A. alabamae are the first records from the White River drainage of Arkansas. A summary of previous records of 176 A. alabamae from Arkansas is in Table 1. it is likely that the juveniles we captured were spawned in the mainstem White River or one of its nearby tributaries. Spawning adults could only ascend the White River as far upstream as Batesville (35 km upstream from our collection locality) where further migration is blocked by a lock and dam. The only other spawning area in Arkansas is the Ouachita River system. Despite completion in 1985 of six locks and dams on the Ouachita River in Louisiana and Arkansas, A. alabamae moved upstream during 1997-1999 to spawn in the Little Missouri and Ouachita rivers (Buchanan et al., 1999; T. M. Buchanan, in litt.). Juveniles taken from the Ouachita River on 24 July 1998 were 47-50 mm total length, and specimens taken on 10 August 1998 were 103-131 mm total length. Our three specimens from the White River were of comparable size. interestingly, personnel from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission sampled the Batesville site (White River below Lock and Dam 1) noted above on 6 July 2011 by electrofishing (day and night) and collected other clupeids including gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) but no A. alabamae (K. Shirley, pers. comm.). Other fishes collected at the new site included (all common and scientific names follow Nelson et al., 2004): shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus), spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus), shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus), D. cepedianum, cypress minnow (Hybognathus hayi), Mississippi silvery minnow (Hybognathus nuchalis), speckled chub (Macrhybopsis hyostoma), silver chub (Macrhybopsis storeriana), ribbon shiner (Lythrurus fumeus), emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides), mimic shiner (Notropis volucellus), blacktail shiner (Cyprinella venusta), steelcolor shiner (Cyprinella whippeli), bullhead minnow (Pimephales vigilax), river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio), smallmouth buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus), black buffalo (Ictiobus niger), pealip redhorse (Moxostoma pisolabrum), channel catfish (Ictalurus puncta tus), flathead catfish (Pylodictus olivaris), brook silverside (Labidesthes sicculus), warmouth (Lepomis gulosus), orangespotted sunfish (Lepomis humilis), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus), white crappie (Pomoxis annularis), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), logperch (Percina caprodes), and freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens).

A great threat to continued survival of the Alabama shad is loss of spawning habitat in fresh water. The drastic decline of spawning populations in recent decades, particularly in more inland areas of the Mississippi River basin, make increased conservation efforts imperative. When a previously unknown area of successful spawning, such as the White River, is identified, it is critical to do everything possible to preserve that habitat, including maintaining flow regimes that would continue to create large sandbars and preserve accumulation of large woody debris along steep river banks (Mickle et al., 2010). In addition, we suggest that connectivity and effective passage for fish is maintained throughout drainages of watersheds in the state.

We thank the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for funding through the State Wildlife Grant Funding Opportunity to WGL. We especially acknowledge J. Quinn, Statewide Stream Management Biologist (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) for assistance. For field assistance, we thank J. Bunting, B. Crabb, A. J. Handcock, K. Layher, S. Phillips, and M. Spurlock. We also thank B. R. Kreiser (University of Southern Mississippi) for collection of data and K. Shirley (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission) for information concerning electrofishing.

Literature Cited

BOSCHUNG,H.T., AND R. L. MAYDEN. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian institution Press, Washington, D.C.

BOWEN, B. R., B. R. KREISER,P.F. MICKLE, J.F. SCHAEFER, AND S. B. ADAMS. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships among North American Alosa species. Journal of Fish Biology 72:1188-1201.

BUCHANAN,T. M., J. NLCHOLS, D. TURMAN, C. DENNIS, S. WOOLDRIDGE, AND B. HOBBS. 1999. Occurrence and reproduction of the Alabama shad, Alosa alabamae,Jordanand Evermann, in the Ouachita River system of Arkansas. Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science 53:21-26.

ELY, P. C., S. P. YOUNG, AND J. J. ISELY. 2008. Population size and relative abundance of adult Alabama shad reaching Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam, Apalachicola River, Florida. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:827-831.

ETNIER, D. A., AND W. C. STARNES. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

GUNNING, G. E., AND R. D. SUTTKUS. 1990. Decline of the Alabama shad, Alosa alabamae, in the Pearl River, Louisiana-Mississippi: 1963-1988. Proceedings of the Southeastern Fishes Council 21:3-4.

JELKS, H. L., S. J. WALSH, N. M. BURKHEAD, S. CONTRERAS-BALDERAS, E. DIAZ-PARDO,D. A. HENDRICKSON, J. LYONS, N. E. MANDRAK, F. MCCORMICK, J. S. NELSON, S. P. PLATANIA, B. A. PORTER, C. B. RENAUD, J. J. SCHMITTER-SOTO, E. B. TAYLOR, AND M. L. WARREN, JR. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33:327-407.

MEADOWS, D. W., S. B. ADAMS, AND J. F. SCHAEFER. 2008. Threatened fishes of the world: Alosa alabamae (Jordan and Evermann, 1896) (Clupeidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 82:173174.

METTEE, M.F., AND P. E. O'NEIL. 2003. Status of Alabama shad and skipjack herring in Gulf of Mexico drainages. Pages 157-170 in Biodiversity, status, and conservation of the world's shads (K. E. Limburg and J. R. Waldman, editors). American Fisheries Society Symposium, Bethesda, Maryland 35:1-369.

MICKLE, P. F., J. F. SCHAEFER, S. B. ADAMS, AND B. R. KREISER. 2010. Habitat use of age 0 Alabama shad in the Pascagoula River drainage, USA. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 19:107-115.

MILLER, R. J., AND H. W. ROBISON. 2004. Fishes of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.

NELSON, J. S., E. J. CROSSMAN, H. ESPINOZA-PEREZ, L. T. FINDLEY, C. R. GILBERT, R. N. LEA, AND J. D. WILLIAMS. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication, Bethesda, Maryland 29:1-386.

PFLIEGER, W. L. 1997. The fishes of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.

ROBISON,H. W., AND T. M. BUCHANAN. 1988. Fishes of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville.

ROSS, S. T. 2001. The inland fishes of Mississippi. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson.

Submitted 1 April 2011. Accepted 11 May 2012. Associate Editor was Robert J. Edwards.

Thomas M. Buchanan, William G. Layher, Chris T. McAllister, * and Henry W. Robison

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Fort Smith, AR 72913 (TMB)

Layher BioLogics RTEC, Inc., 72333 Camden Cutoff Road, Pine Bluff, AR 71603 (WGL)

Science and Mathematics Division, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Idabel, OK 74745 (CTM)

Department ofBiology, Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, AR 71754 (HWR)

* Correspondent: lujastro@yahoo.com
Table 1--Records of the Alabama shad Alosa alabamae from Arkansas,
1879-2008.

Specimen (a)           Date          Number     River (county)
                                       of
                                    specimens

USNM 22709       15 April 1879          1       Ouachita (Garland)
USNM 36424       1884                   3       Ouachita (Clark)
USNM 62225       1892                   1       Mulberry (Franklin)
NLU 24173        5 August 1972          16      Saline (Ashley)
                                                (Ouachita)
NLU 51696        18 September 1982      2       Little Missouri
NLU 51720        24 September 1982      1       Little Missouri
                                                (Ouachita)
USNM 351074      1997-1998              12      Ouachita (Hot Spring)
UAFS 1551        21 July 1997           9       Little Missouri
                                                (Nevada)
UAFS 1549        22 July 1997           1       Ouachita (Ouachita)
UAFS 1595        4 April 1998           1       Ouachita (Hot Spring)
UAFS 1596        22 July 1998           2       Little Missouri
                                                (Ouachita)
UAFS 1598, 2019  24 July 1998           24      Ouachita (Ouachita)
UAFS 1597        10 August 1998         19      Ouachita (Hot Spring)
UAFS 1677, 1681  21 July 1999           24      Little Missouri
                                                (Clark)
UAFS 1676,       2 August 1999          15      Little Missouri
1679-1680                                       (Clark)
UAFS 1678        9 August 1999          7       Ouachita (Ouachita)
B. R. Kreiser    2003                   11      Little Missouri
(pers. comm.)                                   (Clark/Nevada)
Bowen et al.     2008                   24      Ouachita (Ouachita)
(2008);
B. R. Kreiser
(pers. comm.)
UAFS 2007        2 August 2006          3       White (Jackson)

(a) USNM (United States National Museum of Natural History, Washington,
D.C.); NLU (University of Louisiana-Monroe Museum of
Natural History, Monroe); UAFS (Zoology Collection
of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Fort Smith).
COPYRIGHT 2012 Southwestern Association of Naturalists
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Notes
Author:Buchanan, Thomas M.; Layher, William G.; McAllister, Chris T.; Robison, Henry W.
Publication:Southwestern Naturalist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:1775
Previous Article:Ctenophthalmus pseudagyrtes (siphonaptera: ctenopthalmidae): new to the flea fauna of Texas.
Next Article:Vachellia x cedilloi (L. Rico) Seigler & Ebinger (fabaceae: mimosoideae), a probable hybrid of two species of ant-acacias.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |