Rare and imperiled fish species of Florida

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Title:
Rare and imperiled fish species of Florida a watershed perspective
Physical Description:
vi, 60 p. : col. ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Hoehn, Theodore S
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Office of Environmental Services, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Place of Publication:
Tallahassee, FL
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Subjects / Keywords:
Rare fishes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Freshwater fishes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Freshwater fishes -- Ecology -- Florida   ( lcsh )
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government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-60).
Statement of Responsibility:
Theodore Hoehn.

Record Information

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
ltqf - AAA0273
notis - AME1925
alephbibnum - 002436761
oclc - 41239955
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UF00000118:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Methods
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Results
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Executive summary
        Page iii
        Section 2
        Section 3
        Section 4
    Discussion
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Recomendations
        Page 55
    Literature cited
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text




RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA:
A WATERSHED PERSPECTIVE


Theodore Hoehn


1998
Office ofEnvironmenaI Se s
orda G-e ad Fsh W r Fsl Comsson
620 Sou Meridian S,
Tallahase FL 32399-1600




I







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


INTRODUCTION


Over the last decade there has been growing
interest in the identification of habitats critical to the
long-term survival of rare and endangered species.
The concern is that if the most important areas are
not soon identified and protected, then the habitats
of rare species will be lost to development and the
species that depend on those habitats will be driven
to extinction. Scott et al. (1993) proposed a method
for the identification of lands critical to biodiversity
conservation for terrestrial environments. The
method, referred to as gap analysis, uses geographic
information systems (GIS) technology to identify
biodiversity hot spots based on an analysis of land
cover data, species occurrence records, and lands in
public ownership. Gap analysis is being implemented
state by state to create a nationwide database of hot
spots of biological diversity. Cox et al. (1994) used a
similar approach to identify terrestrial habitats in
Florida that should be conserved and managed to
ensure the long-term survival of key components of
Florida's biological diversity.

While methods for identifying biodiversity hot
spots in terrestrial environments are fairly advanced,
similar efforts to identify hot spots of biodiversity in
aquatic habitats are still in their infancy. In the past,
the conservation needs of aquatic biota have been
addressed primarily through water quality regulation
and associated water quality and biological monitor-
ing programs. Benthic macroinvertebrates have most
often been used as indicators of the biological health
of river and stream ecosystems due to their sensitivity
to pollution, ease of collection, and often sedentary
life styles. A variety of metrics have been developed
that use benthic macroinvertebrates to measure
stream condition (Plafkin et al. 1989, Barbour et al.
1996). In some areas, these metrics have been supple-
mented with Indices of Biological Integrity (IBI)
based upon the fish communities of streams (Karr
1981, Miller et al. 1988, Lyons 1992, Bass 1993).
However, IBIs based on fishes often have shortcom-
ings due to regional variations in the species compo-
sition and the mobility of fishes.

In the last few years, interest has been building
for the biological conservation needs of aquatic biota,
particularly freshwater fishes and fish communities.
For example, Angermeier (1995) evaluated the
ecological characteristics of 197 freshwater fishes in
Virginia to identify extinction-prone species and to
suggest a means for proactive conservation. He con-
cluded that maintenance of aquatic biodiversity is


dependent on a management strategy built upon the
relationships between riverine biota and landscape
features such as land use, land cover, hydrology, water
quality, and riparian zone conditions. Angermeier
and Schlosser (1995) further recommended that con-
servation programs focus first on the needs of
individual rare species followed by efforts to protect
larger assemblages of species, and that conservation
programs be directed to the landscape level and key
ecological processes. Hughes and Noss (1992) also
have stressed the importance of focusing on the land-
scape as a means of protecting entire ecosystems
which, in turn, can achieve the conservation of rare
species as well as entire communities.

GIS technology is the perfect tool for integrating
the many types of data layers needed to better under-
stand the relationships among aquatic biota and land-
scape-level phenomena. Angermeier and Bailey
(1992) used GIS to evaluate the distributions of rare
and endangered fishes and mussels in relation to pol-
lution sources in several Virginia rivers. They also
assessed the relative protection afforded the species
through public ownership of land along stream seg-
ments. Researchers in New York are also trying to
develop a methodology for aquatic gap analysis that
can be implemented nationwide. To date, GIS is
being used to investigate the relationships among fish
diversity, macroinvertebrate diversity, stream habitat,
hydrology, water quality, and land use, all based on
watershed sub-basins at a fairly detailed scale (i.e.,
1:24,000) (O'Brien-White and Thomason 1995,
Meixler et al. 1996). This approach is appropriate for
defining important stream habitats for macroinverte-
brate assemblages, certain fish species, and site-specif-
ic non-point source pollution loadings. However,
larger scale analyses can often detect primary relation-
ships among upland vegetation types, land use
patterns, and river and stream habitats and biota
(Richards and Host 1994, Imhofet al. 1996).

The purpose for this project was to take a land-
scape-level approach to the identification of hot spots
of diversity among Florida's native freshwater fishes
and to evaluate those hot spots in the context of
landscape-level features. In Florida, the distributions
of native freshwater fishes are fairly well known.
General distribution maps depicting point locations
where fishes have been collected exist for most species
(Lee et al. 1980, Page and Burr 1991, Gilbert
1992a). These maps indicate that the rivers and
streams of north Florida and the panhandle have the







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


highest diversity of fishes, and the fish fauna becomes
increasingly depauperate as one moves down the
Florida peninsula (Swift et al. 1986). Moreover, near-
ly all of the rare and imperiled fishes of Florida
inhabit streams, not lakes. This information led us to
focus our investigation on the patterns of diversity
among Florida's stream fishes.

More than 296 species of fishes have been
recorded from Florida rivers, of which 157 are
marine or euryhaline species, 117 are freshwater
species, 10 are anadromous or catadromous, and 50
are non-native introduced species (Bass 1995). Of the
296 species found in Florida rivers, 41 are rare or
imperiled within the state (Millsap et al. 1990,
Gilbert 1992a). Many rare or imperiled fish species
have life histories that are relatively unknown, or
there is only general knowledge of the individual
species requirements. However, many of the species
have been found to be sensitive to habitat alteration
and changes in water quality and quantity (Gilbert
1992a). Because most rare and imperiled freshwater
fishes inhabit streams, and because many are not well


known or are sensitive to environmental changes, we
chose to limit our investigations to GIS analyses of
Florida's most rare and imperiled stream fishes.

The principal objectives of this project were as
follows.
1. Develop a comprehensive GIS database
of occurrence records for stream fishes in
Florida.
2. Identify and rank individual stream seg-
ments and their watersheds based on the
number and rarity of rare and imperiled fish
species.
3. Determine which high ranking stream
segments are experiencing problems with
water quality or declining habitat conditions.
4. Identify landscape-level factors that may
be affecting in-stream water quality or habi-
tat conditions.
5. Provide recommendations aimed at
resolving problems with data collection and
land management.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


METHODS


BASIC GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM DATA
LAYERS

This project relied upon the use of computerized
information and analysis of selected data sets
available from state and federal agencies. The infor-
mation had to be at a scale that provided data on
both the sub-basin and larger river basin, or drainage,
levels. The following paragraphs provide brief
descriptions of the data sets used in the project.

EPA River Reach File

The River Reach File hydrography coverage
(RF3-alpha) was obtained from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The RF3-
alpha was developed from the 1988 U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS) 1:100,000 scale Digital Line Graph
hydrography and data from previous versions of the
Reach Files. The RF3 was developed by the EPA
"expressly to establish hydrologic ordering, to
perform hydrologic navigation for modeling applica-
tions, and to provide a unique identifier for each sur-
face water feature, i.e., the reach code." Reach codes
uniquely identify, by watershed, the components of
the nation's rivers and lakes. These codes provide a
common nomenclature for federal and state reporting
of surface water conditions as required under the
Clean Water Act. Reach codes, reach types, names,
and stream levels are a part of the attributes of the
RF3-alpha coverage (excerpted from EPA reach files
fact sheet and RF3-alpha technical documentation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1994).

Hydrologic Unit Classification System

Florida has 52 major river basins. These basins
and their sub-basins, or watersheds, were originally
delineated by the USGS and EPA. Before 1994, the
52 major river basins were subdivided into 1,600
sub-basins that were delineated using linear segments
of the rivers, called "reaches," as the basic unit. This
resulted in major river sub-basins that were approxi-
mately five-mile lengths of rivers or five-square-mile
sections of estuaries or lakes. In 1994, the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sub-
divided the state into 4,400 sub-basins based upon
the EPA's RF3 and revised USGS hydrologic unit
classification (HUC) system delineations. In 1996,
further subdivisions were made resulting in 4,534
sub-basins of about five square miles each. Each sub-


basin has a unique identifying code (WBID #) that
provides a link to other databases.

Water Quality Assessment

The 1996 DEP Water Quality Assessment for
the State of Florida (Section 305(b) report) character-
izes water quality conditions and trends in rivers and
streams. DEP used sub-basins as the units for assess-
ing surface-water quality and water quality trends,
and combined data from all water quality sampling
stations within a unit for assessment purposes. DEP
conducted several types of analyses using available
water quality data and included the results in the
attributes of the GIS coverages. A Water Quality
Index or Trophic State Index was used to characterize
water quality. Results were evaluated along with
quantitative biological data, data on non-point source
pollution, exceeded water quality criteria for conven-
tional pollutants and metals, and fish consumption
advisories. DEP analyzed water quality trends using
12 measurements (plus overall Stream Water Quality
Index and Trophic State Index) for 625 watersheds
between 1986 and 1995. For streams, eight water
quality measurements (i.e., bacteria, turbidity, total
suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand,
dissolved oxygen, Secchi depth, nitrogen, and phos-
phorus) plus the overall Water Quality Index were
used to determine the trend. The overall trend for
each water body was determined by comparing
improved and degraded water quality measurements.
If a water body showed no trends, or just one indica-
tor showed a trend, or the number of improved
minus degraded trends was zero or one, then the
trend was classified as "no change."

DEP used the type (i.e., stream, lake, or estuary)
and designated use of each water body within a
watershed to determine which Florida surface water-
quality standards should be used for status and trend
determinations. Designated use refers to the
functional classifications (i.e., Class I through V
waters) applied to all Florida waters. Each functional
classification has its own particular standards and
water-quality criteria as established under Chapter
62-302 of the Florida Administrative Code. An over-
all impairment rating for the watersheds is described
as:
Good (Fully Meets Designated Use)-
surface waters in the watershed are support-
ing their use classification with no or
minimal evidence of water quality problems;







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Threatened-surface waters are attaining
their use classification, but without further
management actions, within five years they
will not meet their designated use;
Fair (Partially Meets Designated Use)-sur-
face waters in the watershed are showing
moderate water quality problems; and,
Poor (Does Not Meet Designated Use)-all
surface waters in the watershed are not sup-
porting their designated uses as evidenced by
serious water quality problems (DEP 1996).
The water quality coverages correspond to the DEP's
six district office boundaries.

Public and Conservation Lands

Public conservation lands include national parks,
forests, wildlife refuges, and military lands; state pre-
serves, reserves, parks, and forests; state-owned
wildlife management areas; water management
district lands; and county-owned nature preserves.
Private conservation lands include areas owned by
groups such as The Nature Conservancy, National
Audubon Society, and other organizations. A compre-
hensive set of coverages for conservation or public
lands has been developed and is maintained by the
Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). FNAI has
also developed coverages depicting Areas of
Conservation Interest and Potential Natural Areas.
Areas of Conservation Interest contain documented
occurrences of rare, imperiled, or outstanding exam-
ples/populations of animals, plants, or natural com-
munities, which are then supplemented by aerial
photographic interpretation of the lands surrounding
the areas containing the occurrences. Potential
Natural Areas are areas that appear to have good
examples of natural communities based on statewide
aerial photographic interpretation of natural commu-
nities by FNAI biologists, but they have not been
field checked (FNAI 1996).

Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas

Cox et al. (1994) identified privately owned
Florida lands that should be protected to ensure the
long-term persistence of most components of biodi-
versity in the state. The targeted lands were referred
to as Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas (SHCA).
SHCAs were intended to provide guidance to
decision makers involved in public land acquisition,
land use planning, private landowner initiatives,
development regulation, and land management. A
complete description of the methodology used in the
identification of SHCAs can be found in Cox et al.
(1994).


Species Occurrence Records

FNAI maintains occurrence data of rare and
imperiled plants, animals, and natural communities.
The occurrence data represent location records of
endangered, threatened, special concern and rare
species, and they ideally represent tracts of land or
water needed to sustain or otherwise contribute to
the survival of populations of species (FNAI 1996).

The Florida Museum of Natural History main-
tains a database of fish species collected throughout
Florida and preserved at the Museum. Specimen
identifications are verified by Florida Museum of
Natural History scientists before the data is entered
into their database. The Florida Museum of Natural
History provided information on museum catalog
number, collection date, collector, and location for
selected fish species. Point locations from the Florida
Museum of Natural History database were digitized
by EPA based upon information provided by the
Museum. Data that had not previously been geo-ref-
erenced was digitized by Florida Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission (GFC) biologists based upon
location information contained in field data sheets.

Additional data on several fish species was
obtained from the museum collections at the
University of Alabama, Tulane University, and
Cornell University. The data contained museum cata-
log number, collection date, collector, and locational
information. The point locations were geo-referenced
by the GFC based upon location information
contained in the data sheets.

Fish Species Occurrence Records from GFC
Collections

GFC fishery biologists have been sampling fish
populations statewide for over 50 years using a vari-
ety of sampling techniques (e.g., seining, electrofish-
ing, various netting procedures, use of rotenone, and
use of explosives). Several statewide river and stream
surveys have been conducted over the past 40 years.
A long-term data collection effort was conducted on
12 major Florida rivers from 1983 to 1993. This
effort was designed to provide a baseline and trend
analysis of fish populations and fish community com-
position in the major river systems. Data collected
prior to the early 1980s can only be found in project
completion reports or on original data sheets. Fish
collection data began to be computerized in the early
1980s with the dates varying depending upon the
region of collection.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


For this project, electronic data was obtained
from GFC regional fishery biologists. This data
included species abundance, sampling gear type,
summary data, and various collection statistics. The
files usually contained a description and location of
sampling sites. Clarification on the locations of some
sites was verified by the GFC regional fishery biolo-
gists. Location descriptions were used to ascertain the
latitude and longitude coordinates of sample sites
using DeLorme Map Expert 2.0 software. Sample
sites were given a unique code using a river system
identifier and a station number. For example,
WITH_Sslal, would translate as strata 1, area 1 of
the Withlacoochee (south) River. Strata (e.g., river
reach) and area designations were developed by
regional fishery biologists and used to establish
collection station numbers. The catch per unit effort
(CPUE) fields were calculated, where absent in the
original data file, for each fish species. The geo-refer-
enced data was compiled and entered into a GIS fish
collection database.

Data was also entered from various completion
reports into the GIS fish collection database using
procedures described above. While all GFC comple-
tion reports have not been entered into the database,
20 years of data are contained in the database for
some river systems. GFC regional fishery biologists
also provided occurrence records for listed or rare
species that may not have been part of GFC routine
quantitative surveys or collections.

The GIS fish database uses common and scientif-
ic names appearing in the American Fisheries Society
Special Publication 20, Common and Scientific Names
of Fishes from the United States and Canada (Robins et
al. 1991). The database uses a point format for the
locations of collection sites since the exact starting
and stopping locations within river reaches are not
precisely geo-referenced. By providing a point for the
collection site, it is assumed that the sampling
occurred within the identified river reach near the
point, unless otherwise noted. Data contained in the
GIS fish database is currently only for flowing fresh
waters and does not include collections from isolated
lakes or marine areas.

The use of the DeLorme Map Expert software to
ascertain the latitude/longitude coordinates was
based, in part, on a comparison and analysis of the
use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Map
Expert conducted by DEE DEP compared
differences between GPS and Map Expert for a vari-


ety of conditions such as road/hydrographic
crossings, political boundaries, and railroad crossings.
It was determined that the Map Expert software had
a mean accuracy of 171 feet between GPS and Map
Expert coordinates (DEP 1994a). The 171-foot error
from the software was well within the expected total
length of river reach sampled by GFC personnel and
maps and descriptions of sample sites contained in
the data reports.

GFC fish sampling records, university
collections, and other state and federal agency fish
data from the Kissimmee Valley and the Everglades is
being compiled under contract for the South Florida
Water Management District. The data was
unavailable from the contractor for use in this phase
of the study. However, when the data has been com-
piled and geo-referenced, and quality control checks
have been made, it will be incorporated into future
phases of the project.

CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFICATION OF RARE AND
IMPERILED FISHES

This project focused on the conservation needs
of rare and imperiled stream fishes in Florida. Fish
species selected for this study met one or more of the
following criteria: (1) listed as endangered,
threatened, or species of special concern by the GFC
or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Logan 1997); (2)
appeared in the most recent Florida Committee on
Rare and Endangered Plants and Animals (FCREPA)
accounts (Gilbert 1992a); (3) ranked G1/S1, G2/S2,
or G3/S3 by FNAI; or, (4) have been assigned a bio-
logical score �24 by Millsap et al. (1990). These
species represent either declining populations in need
of management actions or populations that are
vulnerable due to a restricted range, habitat
preference, or some other limiting factor which has
isolated a population or has the potential to restrict
the population. Fish species meeting these criteria are
listed in Table 1. The scientific names of three
species-the river goby, Florida chub, and Florida
logperch-have been revised, and current nomencla-
ture is reflected in Table 1.

Occurrence information and subsequent sub-
basin analyses were restricted to those species which
occur in freshwater rivers and streams. With the
exception of the Lake Eustis pupfish, most rare or
imperiled freshwater fishes occur in flowing waters.
Restricting the analyses to rivers and streams
eliminated the following species from further consid-
eration in this project: mangrove rivulus, sea lamprey,









FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


opossum pipefish, spottail goby, slashcheek goby, big-
mouth sleeper, Lake Eustis pupfish, and snook. Table
2 lists those freshwater fishes found in Florida rivers
and streams that are the focus of this study.

Species accounts that describe the entire range of
the species, species taxonomic description, general
habitat requirements, and feeding characteristics can
be found in Lee et al. (1980), Page and Burr (1991),
and Gilbert (1992a). In addition, Burgess et al.
(1977), Burgess and Franz (1978), Swift et al.
(1986), and Gilbert (1987) have discussed the
zoogeography of fishes in Florida in a manner which
provides an insight into the occurrence of species
within selected river basins.


WATERSHED-BASED DISTRIBUTION MAPS FOR
STREAM FISHES

Fish species occurrence records were plotted on
the watershed/sub-basin coverage provided by DEP.
Distribution maps or GIS coverages were created for
each species by highlighting the sub-basins contain-
ing occurrence records for each species. An ArcInfo
macro (aml) was written that combined the 31 fish
species coverages into a single distribution map or
coverage. This coverage identifies sub-basins with fish
species occurrences and provides the total number of
species within a given sub-basin.


Table 1. Rare and imperiled fishes of Florida as determined by GFC, FCREPA, FNAI, and Millsap et al. (1990).


Common Name Scientific Name GFC FCREPA FNAI-G FNAI-S Millsap et al.


Shortnose sturgeon
Gulf sturgeon
Mountain mullet
Blueback herring
Alabama shad
Alligator gar
River goby
Snook
Crystal darter
Bluestripe shiner
Lake Eustis pupfish
Blackbanded sunfish
Harlequin darter
Okaloosa darter
Tessellated darter
Goldstripe darter
Cypress darter
Florida chub

Southern starhead topminnow
Bigmouth sleeper
Slashcheek goby
Spottail goby
Cypress minnow
Southern striped shiner
Bandfin shiner
Blacktip shiner
Opposum pipefish
Suwannee bass
Shoal bass
River redhorse
Grayfin redhorse
Southern bluehead chub
Rough shiner
Blackmouth shiner
Southern [=Florida] logperch

Saddleback darter
Sea lamprey
Bluenose shiner
Mangrove rivulus


Acipenser brevirostrum
Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi
Agonostomus monticola
Alosa aestivalis
Alosa alabamae
Atractosteus spatula
Awaous banana [=tajasica]
Centropomus undecimalis
Crystallaria asprella
Cyprinella callitaenia
Cyprinodon variegatus hubbsi
Enneacanthus chaetodon
Etheostoma histrio
Etheostoma okaloosae
Etheostoma olmstedi maculaticeps
Etheostoma parvipinne
Etheostoma proeliare
Macrhybopsis [=Extrarius] n. sp.
cf aestivalis
Fundulus dispar blairae
Gobiomorus dormitor
Gobionellus pseudofasciatus
Gobionellus stigmaturus
Hybognathus hayi
Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis
Luxilus zonistius
Lythrurus atrapiculus
Microphis brachyurus lineatus
Micropterus notius
Micropterus n. sp. cf coosae
Moxostoma carinatum
Moxostoma n. sp. cfpoecilurum
Nocomis leptocephalus bellicus
Notropis bailey
Notropis melanostomus
Percina austroperca [=n. sp.
cf caprodes]
Percina vigil
Petromyzon marinus
Pteronotropis welaka
Rivulus marmoratus


E
SSC


SSC
T

SSC

SSC
E
SSC


T
T
SSC
R
T
E
T
R
R

R
T
T
T
SSC
T
R
R
R
T


S1
S2
S3


S3
S1S2

Si
S1
S2
S3
Si
S2
S1
S2
S2

S2
S1S2
S2
Si
S2
S1S2
S1SE?
S1S2
S2
S2
S2S3
S1
S1S2
S2
S1SE?
S4
Sl


G3
G3
G5


G5
G5

G3
G2
G5T2Q
G5
G5
G2
G5
G4G5
G5

G3
G3G4Q
G5
G?
G4
G5
G5
G3
G4
G5
G2G3
G2
G4
G2
G5
G5
G1G2

G3
G5
G5
G4
G5


SSC
SSC


SSC
SSC


R
T
R
SSC
SSC








RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


SPECIES RICHNESS HOT SPOTS BY WATERSHED

Watershed Ranking Based on Species Rarity

The relative rarity of the species was taken into
account as a further refinement in the identification
of watersheds of high species diversity. Cox et al.
(1994) provided guidelines for establishing minimum
levels of security based upon population size and
number of populations. While these guidelines offer
an adequate measure of protection for conservation
planning, they require relatively accurate information
on the number of individuals within a given popula-
tion and the locations of individual populations. It
may be possible to identify locations where fish
species are present, but the yearly reproductive
success or the number of individuals present at a spe-
cific location is usually not available or practical to
obtain and, furthermore, may not affect species vul-
nerability. Because these biological variables and


other environmental and physical variables often are
not available, using the Cox et al. (1994) guidelines
for fish species is not practical. Therefore, a qualita-
tive scoring system for the rarity of individual species
was developed using rankings reported by FNAI and
FCREPA. FNAI has ranked each species based upon
relative rarity and endangerment statewide and glob-
ally. The FNAI statewide scale is:
S4-apparently secure statewide (may be
rare in parts of range),
S3-either very rare and local throughout its
range (6-20 occurrences or less than 10,000
individuals) or found locally in a restricted
range or vulnerable to extinction due to
other natural or man-made factors,
S2-imperiled statewide because of rarity
(6-20 occurrences or less than 3,000 individ-
uals) or because of vulnerability to extinction
due to some natural or man-made factor,
Sl-critically imperiled statewide and of
extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences or less


Table 2. Rare and imperiled fishes of Florida rivers and streams and status as determined by GFC, FCREPA, FNAI, and Millsap et al. (1990).


Common Name Scientific Name GFC FCREPA FNAI-G FNAI-S Millsap et al.

Shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum E E G3 S1
Gulf sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi SSC T G3 S2 39
Mountain mullet Agonostomus monticola R G5 S3
Blueback herring Alosa aestivalis 24
Alabama shad Alosa alabamae 24
Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula R G5 S3 8
River goby Awaous banana [=tajasica] T G5 S1S2
Crystal darter Crystallaria asprella T T G3 S1 32
Bluestripe shiner Cyprinella callitaenia T G2 S1 25
Blackbanded sunfish Enneacanthus chaetodon R G5 S3 12
Harlequin darter Etheostoma histrio SSC T G5 Sl1 25
Okaloosa darter Etheostoma okaloosae E E G2 S2 34
Tessellated darter Etheostoma olmstedi maculaticeps SSC T G5 Sl 10
Goldstripe darter Etheostoma parvipinne R G4G5 S2 20
Cypress darter Etheostoma proeliare R G5 S2 8
Florida chub Macrhybopsis [=Extrarius]
n. sp. cf aestivalis R G3 S2 11
Southern starhead topminnow Fundulus dispar blairae T G3G4Q S1S2
Cypress minnow Hybognathus hayi T G5 S1S2 22
Southern striped shiner Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis R G5 SISE? 8
Bandfin shiner Luxilus zonistius R G3 S1S2 11
Blacktip shiner Lythrurus atrapiculus R G4 S2 19
Suwannee bass Micropterus notius SSC G2G3 S2S3 17
Shoal bass Micropterus n. sp. cf coosae SSC T G2 Sl 33
River redhorse Moxostoma carinatum T G4 S1S2 23
Grayfin redhorse Moxostoma n. sp. cfpoecilurum T G2 S2 20
Southern bluehead chub Nocomis leptocephalus bellicus R G5 SISE? 20
Rough shiner Notropis bailey R G5 S4 16
Blackmouth shiner Notropis melanostomus E T GIG2 Sl1 29
Southern [=Florida] logperch Percina austroperca [=n. sp.
cf caprodes] R G3 S2 4
Saddleback darter Percina vigil T G5 S1 17
Bluenose shiner Pteronotropis welaka SSC SSC G4 S4 22








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


than 1,000 individuals) or because of
extreme vulnerability to extinction due to
some natural or man-made factor (FNAI
Element Rank Explanations, October 1995).

FCREPA ranked species by the following definitions:
Endangered-Species in danger of
extinction or extirpation if the deleterious
factors affecting their populations continue
to operate. These are forms whose numbers
have already declined to such a critically low
level or whose habitats have been so seriously
reduced or degraded that without active
assistance their survival in Florida is
questionable.
Threatened-Species that are likely to
become endangered in the state within the
foreseeable future if current trends continue.
This category includes: (1) species in which
most or all populations are decreasing


because of over exploitation, habitat loss, or
other factors; (2) species whose populations
have already been heavily depleted by delete-
rious conditions; and (3) species that may
still be relatively abundant but are being sub-
jected to serious adverse pressures through-
out their range.
Rare-Species that, although not presently
endangered or threatened as defined above,
are potentially at risk because they are found
only within a restricted geographic area or
habitat in the state or are sparsely distributed
over a more extensive range.
Species of Special Concern-Species that
do not clearly fit into one of the preceding
categories yet warrant special attention.
Included in this category are species that,
although perhaps presently relatively abun-
dant and widespread in the state, are
especially vulnerable to certain types of


Table 3. Ranking of relative rarity or imperilment of Florida stream fishes based on a scoring system developed from FNAI and FCREPA definitions.
Increasing scores indicate increase in rarity


Common Name Scientific Name Average of Rarity Rank FNAI State Rank FCREPA Rank

Shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum 5 5 5
Gulf sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi 4 4 4
Mountain mullet Agonostomus monticola 3 3 3
Blueback herring Alosa aestivalis 1 1 1
Alabama shad Alosa alabamae 1 1 1
Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula 3 3 3
River goby Awaous banana [=tajasica] 4.25 4.5 4
Crystal darter Crystallaria asprella 3.5 4 3
Bluestripe shiner Cyprinella callitaenia 4.5 5 4
Blackbanded sunfish Enneacanthus chaetodon 3 3 3
Harlequin darter Etheostoma histrio 4.5 5 4
Okaloosa darter Etheostoma okaloosae 4.5 4 5
Tessellated darter Etheostoma olmstedi maculaticeps 4.5 5 4
Goldstripe darter Etheostoma parvipinne 3.5 4 3
Cypress darter Etheostoma proeliare 3.5 4 3
Florida chub Macrhybopsis [=Extrarius]
n. sp. cf aestivalis 3.5 4 3
Southern starhead topminnow Fundulus dispar blairae 4.25 4.5 4
Cypress minnow Hybognathus hayi 4.25 4.5 4
Southern striped shiner Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis 4 5 3
Bandfin shiner Luxilus zonistius 3.75 4.5 3
Blacktip shiner Lythrurus atrapiculus 3.5 4 3
Suwannee bass Micropterus notius 2.25 3.5 1
Shoal bass Micropterus n. sp. cf coosae 4.5 5 4
River redhorse Moxostoma carinatum 4.25 4.5 4
Grayfin redhorse Moxostoma n. sp. cfpoecilurum 4 4 4
Southern bluehead chub Nocomis leptocephalus bellicus 4 5 3
Rough shiner Notropis bailey 2.5 2 3
Blackmouth shiner Notropis melanostomus 4.5 5 4
Southern [=Florida] logperch Percina austroperca [=n. sp.
cf caprodes] 3.5 4 3
Saddleback darter Percina vigil 4.5 5 4
Bluenose shiner Pteronotropis welaka 3 4 2







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


exploitation or environmental changes and
have experienced long-term population
declines; and species whose status in Florida
has potential impact on endangered or
threatened populations of the same or other
species outside of the state (Gilbert 1992a).

A weighting system was developed for rare and
imperiled stream fishes based on the status of each
species according to the above definitions. Scores
were assigned to FNAI and FCREPA rankings with a
numeric range of 1 through 5, with 5 being endan-
gered, critically imperiled statewide, or "most rare."
FNAI often gave a double ranking. When this
occurred, the score was split between the two values.
An example is an S2S3 ranking which would have a
score calculated as (S2 = 4) + (S3 = 3) for a final
score of 3.5. A draft of the "average rarity scores" was
sent to three fish experts knowledgeable about
Florida fish distributions and populations for
comment or re-ranking. While some of their individ-
ual scores differed from the average rarity score, the
combined rankings of the experts did not substantial-
ly change from the average rarity score. Therefore,
the sub-basins were ranked using the average rarity
score as described earlier, since the FNAI and
FCREPA ranking definitions are widely accepted.


Table 3 provides the relative rarity rankings for each
of the fish species. A second aml was developed that
weighted the relative rarity of each fish species. Sub-
basins with rare or imperiled stream fishes were
ranked by summing the rarity scores for each species
occurring in each sub-basin.

Water Quality Status and Trends

Sub-basins were identified that contained rare or
imperiled stream fishes but did not meet designated
use criteria in 1996 or that have degrading water
quality or biological trends. Water quality status or
biological trends analyses for these sub-basins were
obtained from the DEP water quality assessment cov-
erages. However, not all sub-basins had adequate
information for the DEP to conduct a meaningful
analysis. In those cases, the trend field was left blank.

Land Cover and Conservation Lands Acreage

Sub-basins that contained rare or imperiled
stream fishes were overlaid on the statewide land
cover and conservation lands GIS data layers. The
percentage of each land cover type contained within
the sub-basins was calculated based upon the proce-
dures described by Cox et al. (1994).







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


RESULTS

DISTRIBUTIONS OF STREAM FISHES AND WATERSHED WATER QUALITY STATUS


Shortnose Sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum


Figure la. Distribution of shormnose sturgeon.


Figure lb. Watershed water quality status.


The shortnose sturgeon is an anadro-
mous species that spends most of its life in
estuarine areas and migrates up coastal
rivers to spawn. Primary spawning areas
are non-silty, flowing waters with a rocky,
gravel, or hard substrate, where the eggs
are broadcast and adhere to the bottom
substrate. Suitable spawning substrate is
very limited or marginal within its Florida
range. Spawning habitat may have been
available in the Oklawaha River, and
marginal spawning habitat can be found in
Black Creek. However, spawning has not
been recently documented within Florida.
Age to maturity, interval between spawn-
ing events, and reduction or loss in spawn-
ing habitat have contributed to the decline
of the species in Florida (Gilbert 1992b).
Occurrence records indicate that the short-
nose sturgeon is restricted to the lower St.
Johns River basin from the Atlantic Ocean
upstream to Lake George and Lake
Crescent (Figure la). However, collections
of the shortnose sturgeon have been rare in
recent years.

The 1996 DEP water quality data
indicates that the majority of the basin
fully meets its designated use classification
with the exception of that part of the basin
below Jacksonville, which has some param-
eters that do not meet use criteria.
However, the sub-basins that partially meet
designated use have shown an improving
trend over the past 10 years (Figure Ib).


U S Fsh and Wildlift Ser. Rtgion 4







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Gulf Sturgeon
Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi




Gray Bal

The Gulf sturgeon is an anadromous -
subspecies that, in the spring, migrates up ' . -
coastal rivers connected to the Gulf of i.Z
Mexico to spawn. Primary spawning areas
are non-vegetated, flowing waters with a
rocky, gravel, or hard substrate, where the
eggs are broadcast and adhere to the hard
bottom features. Age to maturity, interval
between spawning events, and reduction or curnwih
loss in spawning habitat have contributed
to the decline of the species in Florida
(Gilbert 1992c). Occurrence records indi-
cate that most of the large rivers along the
Gulf coast are used by the Gulf sturgeon
(Figure 2a). Reproducing populations are
known to occur in the Escambia,
Choctawhatchee, Apalachicola, and
Suwannee river basins. The occurrence
record for Tampa Bay was from an individ- Figure 2a. Distribution of Gulf sturgeon.
ual tagged in the Suwannee River. The
Charlotte Harbor occurrence record may
also be due to migration of an individual
from the Suwannee Basin (Frank Paruka,
personal communication).

The 1996 DEP water quality data
indicates that significant portions of sub-
basins which comprise the Gulf sturgeon's
range are only partially meeting their des-
ignated use classifications (Figure 2b).
Only three of the sub-basins partially SE.l
meeting their designated use classifications, Fuly m.
the Blackwater River (WBID #24A), Santa [[ u-, .
Fe River (WBID #3605A), and Tampa Bay I-I P " .
(WBID #1558C), appear to show an
improving 10-year trend. The remaining
sub-basins appear to show a stable 10-year
trend.


Figure 2b. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Mountain Mullet
Agonostomus monticola




WiUMm E Lofth

The mountain mullet is presumed to be a
It ( ,,.. � Y ', catadromous species with the adults ascending
streams to their headwaters. Adults have been
found in a few clear, swift-moving streams in
Florida, but the mountain mullet is more
common in these habitats in Mexico, Central
America, and the West Indies. It is not known
Sn w 'if spawning, which occurs during spring and
summer months, occurs in estuarine areas or
freshwater streams. Eggs, larvae, and juveniles
are presumed to be carried from the estuaries
out to sea. The uncertainty of specific habitat
Requirements for this species and infrequent
observations in Florida are the reasons for the
mountain mullet being classified as "rare."
Channelization, changes in hydrology, and
increased vegetation in streams are major fac-
tors contributing to the loss of populations of
this species (Loftus 1992). Occurrence records
a. Distribution of mountain mullet, show that sub-basins along the Atlantic Coast
have the highest incidence of sightings with a
few exceptions in the Apalachicola, Santa Fe,
S" - - - and Withlacoochee (North) rivers (Figure 3a).

Most of the sub-basins where the moun-
tain mullet has been observed have water
quality problems (Figure 3b). Upper Spruce
Creek (WBID #2674) and Crane Creek
Sbl (WBID #3085) do not meet their designated
use classifications and are showing a declining
d 10-year trend. The Withlacoochee River
* I,, .....,, (North) (WBID #3315), Lower Spruce Creek
, (WBID #2674A), Mosquito Lagoon (WBID
|, _..,_. #2924B), Belcher Canal (WBID #3163),
on ........Basin 6 (WBID #3215), and the C-2 Canal
(WBID #3293) only partially meet their des-
--2 ignated use classifications. The C-2 Canal and
Belcher Canal also show a worsening 10-year
trend. The Mosquito Lagoon is showing an
improving 10-year trend, and the
Withlacoochee River (N) has a stable 10-year
trend.


Figure 3b. Watershed water quality status.


-s
.4


Figure 3


I
I

I







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Blueback Herring
Alosa aestivalis


The blueback herring is an
anadromous species that migrates up
coastal rivers to spawn. Spawning occurs in
areas of deep, swift water over hard
substrate during the spring. Dams, dredg-
ing, and alterations of coastal rivers have
contributed to the inability of the species
to find suitable spawning habitat (Burgess
1980a). Blueback herring have been
observed in the Nassau and St. Johns rivers
(Figure 4a).

The 1996 water quality status data
shows several sub-basins that either do not
meet or partially meet their designated use
classifications (Figure 4b). Alligator Creek
(WBID #2153), within the Nassau River
basin, currently does not meet its designat-
ed use classification. The Nassau River
(WBID #2148B), into which Alligator
Creek flows, shows some water quality
impairment and is also showing a worsen-
ing 10-year trend. The St. Johns River
(WBID #2213A-WBID #2213F) below
the Clay County line has some water qual-
ity impairment and is showing either a sta-
ble or improving 10-year trend. Black
Creek (WBID #2415B-WBID #2415C),
St. Johns River near Deland (WBID
#2893Z), St. Johns River at Lake Monroe
(WBID #2893C), Lake Monroe (WBID
#2893D), and Lake Harney (WBID
#2964A) also have some water quality
impairment and are showing an improving
or stable 10-year trend.


Figure 4a. Distribution of bluehack herring.


Figure 4b. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Alabama Shad
Alosa alabamae




Gry Bau

The Alabama shad is an anadro-
- _ - mous species that migrates up Gulf
. . coastal rivers to spawn. It is very simi-
. - . _ lar to the skipjack herring (Alosa
S- . ..- . - . chrysochloris) which may result in
g , ' - misidentification of this species.
Spawning occurs in moderate current
over sand or gravel bottoms.
Migrations of adults into freshwater
rivers usually occur from January
-o( n u through April. Dams, dredging, and
channel alterations of coastal rivers
have contributed to the inability of
the species to find suitable spawning
habitat (Burgess 1980b). Alabama
shad have been observed in the major
rivers along the Gulf coast west of the
Figure 5a. Distribution of Alabama shad. Suwannee River (Figure 5a). Each of
these river systems has sub-basins that
show some water quality impairment
(Figure 5b). However, most have
either a stable or improving 10-year
S. - -- trend.


11 1.I - ;

I Fully mts

Partially meets us


Figure 5b. Watershed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Alligator Gar

Atractosteus spatula


The alligator gar is a large
species that is typically found in
backwaters and slow-moving
pools of large rivers. It is also
found in estuarine or marine
waters along the Gulf coast.
Because of its large size and the
specialized gear required for
sampling, it has not been
frequently collected. Little is
known about its reproductive or
feeding requirements (Gilbert
1992d). Alligator gar have been
observed in the Escambia River,
Choctawhatchee River, and
Econfina Creek basins (Figure
6a).

The Escambia River has
some water quality impairment
in its sub-basins. The overall
10-year trend in all three river
basins is either stable or improv-
ing (Figure 6b).


Figure 6a. Distribution of alligator gar.


'I ~,. ~
~ ~,LL,
- I'- -


II - -


Figure 6b. Watershed water quality status.


. 'I~It


*5* H







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


River Goby
Awaous banana (=tajasica)




Dr Gram Gdmor

The river goby is a euryhaline species
S" with a larval stage that occurs only in salt
- ,'* -r -- water. Adults prefer fast-flowing, highly
' -. ' oxygenated tributaries with salinities below
S . '. 4.0 ppt. Eggs drift downstream, and larval
development occurs in the estuary or
. , \ ocean. The river goby is sensitive to point
and non-point source pollutants with habi-
tat loss, stream flow manipulations, and
.o-' " . sedimentation being major limiting factors
in the survival of this species (Gilmore
S.1992). The river goby has been observed
in very few locations in Florida (Figure
7a).

S_ r Three of the locations, Gamier Creek
(WBID #655), Oklawaha River below
Distribution of river goby Rodman Reservoir (WBID #2740A), and
Sebastian River (WBID #3129B), have
impaired water quality and only partially
. -" meet their designated use classifications.
'-* ,-~ ,_ .... The Oklawaha River sub-basin is also
" ' 'showing a declining 10-year trend. The
remaining three locations, St. Johns River
(WBID #2213M and WBID #2213N),
North Canal (WBID #3147), and South
'4 Canal (WBID #3158) located north of
Vero Beach, fully meet their designated use
Sub, classifications (Figure 7b).


L~gidi~g


Figure 7a


Figure 7b. Watershed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Crystal Darter
Crystallaria asprella


The crystal darter is found only in
large rivers and is confined to areas with a
combination of sand and fine-gravel bot-
tom. It typically is not found in areas with
a shifting sand bottom. Mettee et al.
(1996) reported that individuals often
move at dusk from their deep water habi-
tats to the shallow sand habitats in search
of aquatic insects. In Florida, the crystal
darter is only found in the upper Escambia
River drainage, the southernmost and east-
ernmost portion of its known range
(Figure 8a). Little is known about the crys-
tal darter's life history, but spawning is pre-
sumed to occur between early March and
late April. The crystal darter is intolerant
of non-point source pollution, sedimenta-
tion, nutrients, and substrate alterations
(Gilbert 1992e). The upper Escambia
River sub-basin (WBID #10C), which
contains occurrence records from Big
Escambia Creek, partially meets its desig-
nated use classification (Figure 8b).


'N -'i : i !u5 I -





-- L - .







Figure 8a Distribution of crystal darter.
















S . bl- P A l . _

Figure 8b. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Bluestripe Shiner
Cyprinella callitaenia


~:

* ,,~i -


Figure 9a. Distribution of bluestripe shiner.


V


Fl u


The bluestripe shiner is endemic to
the Apalachicola River system. It is typical-
ly found in the main stem of the river and
its major tributaries with spawning occur-
.---- ring over gravel or rubble. The bluestripe
shiner does not occur in small creeks or
areas that contain soft or mud bottoms.
Spawning occurs from April to August
with eggs being laid in crevices of large
rocks or between rocks. Loss of spawning
habitat due to rock removal, siltation, and
flow alterations due to water management
of the river are limiting factors (Gilbert
1992f). Records indicate that the
bluestripe shiner is commonly found
throughout the Apalachicola River and in
the middle Chipola River (Figure 9a).

Water quality data indicates that the
sub-basins that contain the bluestripe shin-
er fully meet their designated use classifica-
tions. The Chipola sub-basin (WBID
#51 D) has shown an overall improvement
in the 10-year trend, and the Apalachicola
River has shown a stable trend (Figure 9b).


I




- 1.' -




S.-


Figure 9b. Watershed water quality status.


,_ -7


I


-T- __







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Blackbanded Sunfish
Enneacanthus chaetodon




Noel Burkhead

The blackbanded sunfish is an omniv-
orous species that is usually found near , -- -- __ _
dense, rooted vegetation in the shallow -' ' W- I "'m
margins of sluggish acidic streams, ponds, r , ,
and lakes. Preferred habitat is vulnerable to
habitat alterations (Gilbert and Snelson' . ' .
1992). Occurrence records for the black-
banded sunfish are scattered throughout
northeast Florida (Figure 10a). Because the L
preferred habitat of this species makes sam-
pling difficult, few specimens have been _, ', .
collected.

Several of the sub-basins have partially
impaired water quality (Figure 10b). These
sub-basins include the Aucilla River
(WBID #3310C), Econfina River (WBID ,/-.
#3402), Roaring Creek (WBID #3392), -
Orange Lake Reach (WBID #2749), and
Palatlakaha River (WBID #2839). The Figu 10a. Distribution of blackbanded sunfish.
remaining sub-basins in which the black-
banded sunfish occur currently meet their
designated use classifications. The --
Palatlakaha River has shown a decline over '.'.-_
the last 10 years. However, most of the -..'
sub-basins have improved or remain in a
stable condition. 'i " -- - -'' I


Figure lOb. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Harlequin Darter

Etheostoma histrio


Patruk E. ONel


I.,


5.-
I,
- I -.
-. -L
-.----.----
-


- Oooooo,


Figure 1 a. Distribution of harlequin


~1.

N


The harlequin darter is usually found
in shallow riffle habitat with a strong cur-
rent and a rocky or gravel bottom.
Spawning occurs over gravel or rubble in
fast current usually between mid-March
and May (Mettee et al. 1996). The
harlequin darter is also typically found in
large rivers and major tributaries. Because
of its preference for these conditions, it is
susceptible to habitat alterations and
increased sedimentation. The harlequin
darter in Florida is at the southeasternmost
.- limits of its known range (Gilbert and
Yerger 1992a). The only occurrence
records for the harlequin darter are from
the Escambia River and its major
tributaries (Figure 1 la).


darter. Five of the six sub-basins in which this
species occurs have partially impaired
water quality and partially meet their des-
ignated use classifications (Figure 1 Ib):
- -_ Pine Barren Creek (WBID #5), Canoe
S'- ., Creek (WBID #7), Upper Escambia River
(WBID #10C), Big Escambia Creek
- , (WBID #10), and McCostill Mill Creek
(WBID #118).


4 - r '. 1 -- "^ J '
II



Stble


Figure 1b. Watershed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Okaloosa Darter
Etheostoma okaloosae


The Okaloosa darter is endemic to the
Choctawhatchee Bay system. This species
inhabits clear, small to moderate streams
with submerged macrophytes or detritus
and is very intolerant of sedimentation
(Burkhead et. al. 1992). A U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service endangered species recov-
ery plan was developed for the Okaloosa
darter in 1981 and is currently being
revised. The majority of the known range
of the Okaloosa darter is within the
boundaries of Eglin Air Force Base (Figure
12a).

Most of the sub-basins containing the
Okaloosa darter fully meet their designated
use classifications. However, Boggy Bayou
(WBID #692), Mill Creek (WBID #644),
and Shaw Still Branch (WBID #658) have
partially impaired water quality and
partially meet their designated use classifi-
cations (Figure 12b), due in part to the
City of Niceville's sewage treatment system
and the loss of habitat (DEP 1996).
Within Mill Creek, much of the habitat
loss is due to erosion and culverts. Habitat
loss due to sedimentation is still perhaps
the major threat to the Okaloosa darter
throughout its range. The recovery plan for
the Okaloosa darter calls for correcting
road erosion, restoring clay borrow pits,
and identifying and modifying road
culverts which have contributed to degra-
dation of habitat within Eglin AFB (Jelks
1997).


v - -I*' , -











Figure 12a. Distribu on of Okaloosa darter








, i i. ' --- --- -
,."' ^ ' " ' _ _ .Z"' -'- :: .�...






j .-

.. .
.- _ _' .


Figure 12b. Watershed water quality status.






FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Tessellated Darter
Etheostoma olmstedi maculaticeps


F ~2.,,
/ -J


a ~'- ~


4
J


Figure 13a. Distribution of tessellated darter.


The tessellated darter occurs in small
to medium low-gradient streams and
occasionally in flowing pools with sand,
mud, or rubble bottom. Dense
vegetation (i.e., hydrilla) is encroaching
into its preferred habitat within its limit-
ed Florida range (Gilbert 1992g).
Florida's only known occurrences of the
tessellated darter are from the Oklawaha
River below Rodman Reservoir (WBID
#2740A), Orange Creek (WBID #2747),
Oklawaha River above Rodman
Reservoir (WBID #2740C), and Eaton
Creek (WBID #2771) (Figure 13a).
With the exception of Eaton Creek,
there is impairment of water quality and
designated use classifications within each
of the sub-basins containing the tessellat-
ed darter. Ten-year trend data indicate
that the Oklawaha River below Rodman
Reservoir is deteriorating (Figure 13b).
The remaining sub-basins containing the
tessellated darter show a stable 10-year
trend.


Figure 13b. Watershed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Goldstripe Darter
Etheostoma parvipinne


The goldstripe darter is found in small
to medium creeks, headwater creeks, and
seepage creeks with abundant vegetation
and a sand or fine gravel bottom (Gilbert
1992h). It is susceptible to sedimentation
and loss of flow in its stream habitat. The
goldstripe darter has been recorded from
the Escambia River basin to the
Apalachicola River basin (Figure 14a) in
small headwater type creeks or creeks off of
minor tributaries.

Lower Escambia River (WBID #10D),
Wilder Branch (WBID #326), and
Sweetwater Creek (WBID #728) show
some water quality impairment. However,
10-year water quality trends in these sub-
basins are stable or improving (Figure
14b).


Figu 14 Distribution ofgold ip dart







Figure 14a. Distribution ofgoldssrrpe darter.


Figure 14b. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Cypress Darter
Etheostoma proeliare




Pac-k E O'Ned

The cypress darter is found in slow
moving sloughs, creeks, and flowing
pools in streams and rivers with a mud-
silt vegetated bottom. Spawning has been
reported to occur from late March to
early June (Mettee et al. 1996). This
species is one of the smallest darters, a
factor which may contribute to the limit-
,' ed number of observations available. The
- cypress darter is at the easternmost limits
of its known range (Gilbert and Yerger
1992b). Occurrence records show that
the species has been found only in the
Escambia River and Choctawhatchee
ScurrenRiver basins (Figure 15a). The upper
Escambia River (WBID #10C), lower
" - Escambia River (WBID #10D and
WBID #10E), upper Choctawhatchee
Figure 15. Dstribtion of ypr darter River (WBID #49F), and Bruce Creek
(WBID #343) show some impairment of
water quality, and they partially meet
their designated use classifications (Figure
15b).













Figure 15b Watershed water quality status.






RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


-Florida Chub
Macrhybopsis (=Extrarius) n. sp.
cf aestivalis





The Florida chub is a bottom feeding
species that is found in the main channels
of shallow, low-gradient streams that have -
a moderate to strong current. They usually 7 4
are found over sand or fine gravel bottom. 'U
The species is found only in western
Florida and southeastern Alabama (Gilbert '
and Yerger 1992c). Figure 16a shows the
sub-basins where the Florida chub has
been recorded. The sub-basins containing :-- -
the Florida chub partially meet their desig- " -
nated use classifications (Figure 16b), with >
the exception of Pond Creek (WBID 0o..,,.n-awhe. "d,'
#350) and the middle reach of the
Escambia River (WBID #10A) which fully
meet their designated use classifications.
Figure 16a. Distribution of Florida chub.












--


Figure 16b. Watershed water quality status.







FlilD\ G(AML ANI) FRI-SH I W-l1 R FisH ( COMMItsION


Southern Starhead Topminnow
Fundulus dispar blairae


The southern starhead topminnow's
preferred habitat is clear ponds, lakes, and
bayous, and streams with a slow current. It
typically is found in highly vegetated areas
and is susceptible to pollution. The
Escambia River drainage represents the
eastern limits of this species known range.
This species has recently been designated
as a subspecies within the Fundtllus notti
complex (Gilbert 1992i). Occurrence
records indicate that the southern starhead
topininnow is present only in the
Escambia River drainage (Figure 17a). All
sub-basins containing the southern
starhead topminnow show some
impairment of water quality, and they par-
tially meet their designated use classifica-
tions ,l .... 17b).


Figure ]Ta. lDts b'r o t thr rn M , l hd It..p . rii


"1
-N
'N


Figure L7b. rr l rn







RAR AN II IIPER LHD ill Si�tS ( 0i1 FIORIIo -Hoehn


Cypress Minnow
Hybognathus hayi







The cypress minnow has been found..
in large streams and rivers, usually in back-
waters and sluggish pools having sand and
silt bottoms. In Florida this species is con-
fined to the Escambia River drainage
l l.... 18a), which is near the southeast- '
ernmost extent of its range. Little is known
about the life history of the cypress
minnow, but spawning is presumed to -
occur in the spring (Gilbert 1992j). Several
of the sub-basins inhabited by the cypress
minnow have been reported to have some\
impairment of water quality (Figurel8b).




Figure 18a Drn iiof , .cs .. 5




- L


Figure 18b \lU,,lisd , u. i







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Southern Striped Shiner
Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis


Figure 19a. Distribution of southern striped shiner.







-


The southern striped shiner typically
occurs in medium-sized streams having
clear weedless waters, a moderate to swift
current, and alternating pools and riffles
over a gravel or rubble bottom, often
with some silt. This species is usually
found immediately above or below riffle
habitat. The southern striped shiner was
first collected in Florida in 1975, indicat-
ing that it probably was introduced
(Gilbert 1992k). (A detailed discussion
regarding the introductions of the south-
ern striped shiner, rough shiner, and
southern bluehead chub can be found in
Gilbert [1992a, 159-160]). This species
is common in Alabama throughout the
Big Escambia Creek basin and Mobile
River drainages. Alabama populations
have been reported to spawn from March
through May with nests found in sand or
gravel (Mettee et al. 1996). The species is
currently limited to the Escambia River
basin (Figure 19a), specifically Canoe
Creek (WB1D #7) and Moore Creek
(WBID #111). Both of these sub-basins
have partial impairment of water quality
and partially meet their designated use
classifications (Figure 19b).


~siII,


Figure 19b. W atrshed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Bandfin Shiner
Luxilus zonistius


The bandfin shiner typically occurs
in small- to medium-sized, clear headwa-
ter streams of six meters or less in width,
with a rubble-gravel or sand-gravel sub-
strate and no aquatic vegetation. This
species is found primarily in the
Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint rivers
basin, with the Florida population being
at the southern limits of its range
(Gilbert 19921). The Alabama
populations usually spawn between
March and May with the species being
abundant when encountered (Mettee et
al. 1996). The bandfin shiner is found
only in small tributaries of the
Apalachicola River (Figure 20a).

Of these tributaries, Thompson
Pond sub-basin (WBLD #272) does not
meet its designated use classification. Flat
Creek (WBID #487) has partially
impaired water quality and partially
meets its designated use classification.
The remaining sub-basins currently meet
their designated use classifications (Figure
20b).


V


Figure 20b. WVaCurshd vatcr quality status,


S

(1
V


V / i5
\ ~^~.


tit Byron ]/wIreman


'i~(~a!


Figure 20a. Distribution of bandfin shiner





" -\ - - J* " 1 / ,


= I oY.'-"-
1-71







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Blacktip Shiner
Lythrurus atrapiculus


The blacktip shiner typically inhabits
- deep pools of small- to moderate-sized
(2-11 meters wide) streams. The streams
usually are of a moderate gradient with
pools found between stretches of riffles or
runs. While little is known of its life histo-
ry, the blacktip shiner is probably intoler-
ant of continuous turbidity (Gilbert
1992m). This species, which is at the
southernmost portion of its known range,
has been found in tributaries of the upper
Escambia, Yellow, and Choctawhatchee
rivers (Figure 21a).

The upper Escambia River (WBID
#10C) and the upper Yellow River (WBID
#30) and its tributary, Murder Creek
(WBID #107), currently have some
impairment of water quality. The remain-
ing sub-basins, Big Horse Creek (WBID
#28) and East Pittman Creek (WBID
#55), fully meet their designated use classi-
fications (Figure 21b). There was no cur-
rent water quality data for Mill Creek
(WBID #110), Hurricane Creek (WBID
#63), or Crooked Creek (WBID #404).


Figure 21a. Distribution of blackup shiner.


Figure 21b. Watershed water quahiry status


'_2-- .. -- '


K


I/ , .









RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Suwannee Bass
Micropterus notius


The Suwannee bass occurs in
limestone shoal areas with a moderate to
swift current. The species range is almost
entirely within Florida in the Ochlockonee
River and Suwannee River basins. The pre-
ferred habitat of the Suwannee bass is
moving water with some vegetation
(Gilbert 1978). The GFC conducted an
extensive survey of panhandle rivers
between 1990 and 1993 to determine the
range of Suwannee bass populations in
Florida (Rich Cailteux, personal communi-
cation). Suwannee bass were routinely col-
lected around rocks and other cover with
minimal or no vegetation. A new
collection of a Suwannee bass was
documented from the Wacissa River in
1995. It is not known if this new
collection is due to an introduction into
the Wacissa River. Because of the sporting
quality of this species, it is susceptible to
being introduced into other rivers. Figure
22a shows the current range of Suwannee
bass in Florida.

The middle Suwannee River (WBID
#3341 and WBID #3422B),
Withlacoochee (N) River (WBID #3315),
lower Santa Fe River (WBID #3605A),
upper Ochlockonee River (WBID #129F),
and Ochlockonee River below Lake
Talquin (WBID #1297B) sub-basins have
some impairment of water quality and they
partially meet their designated use classifi-
cations 1 icu. 22b ', hilc heupper
Santa Ft Rrcr , '",. biI a .I. .LD) currently
meets its designated use classification, the
10-year trend analysis indicates that this
sub-basin has a declining trend. The
remaining sub-basins containing Suwannee
bass are either stable or improving over the
past 10 years.


Figure 22a. Distribution of Suwannee bass.



















Figu 22b Watershed water quality status








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Shoal Bass
Micropterus n. sp. cf coosae


-J


Figure 23a. Distribution of shoal bass.


The shoal bass is restricted to large
riverine shoals of the main stem rivers and
large creeks in the Apalachicola-
Chattahoochee-Flint rivers basin.
Spawning usually occurs from April
through June with beds in eddies adjacent
to shoal areas (Gilbert 1992n). The shoal
bass is similar to, and often confused with,
the redeye bass (Micropterus coosae). In
Florida, the shoal bass subspecies only
occurs within the limestone shoal areas of
the Chipola River (WBID #51 D and
WBID #51E) and the shoal area in the
Apalachicola River below the Jim
Woodruff Dam (WBID #375H) as shown
in Figure 23a. The streams in these sub-
basins currently meet their designated use
classifications, and water quality has shown
n .pri' ;t.c- 10-year trend in the Chipola
Ki.. r - l...i.i (Figure 23b).


/>'


N


Figure 23b. Watershed water quality status.


1)'








RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


River Redhorse
Moxostoma carinatum


The river redhorse is normally
confined to large rivers, primarily those
with substantial flow or current. The river
redhorse is intolerant of pollutants,
sedimentation, and modification of its pre-
ferred sand-gravel bottom habitat. The
main food sources of the river redhorse are
insect larvae and molluscs which are
susceptible to excess nutrients and
sedimentation. Marked declines in river
redhorse populations have occurred in dis-
turbed or polluted areas near cities and
heavily farmed areas (Gilbert and Snelson
Jr. 1992a). Spawning appears to occur in
mid-April depending upon water tempera-
ture. In Florida, the river redhorse is con-
fined to the Escambia River basin (Figure
24a), the southeastern extent of its known
range (Gilbert and Snelson Jr. 1992a). The
Escambia River sub-basins containing the
river redhorse have partially impaired water
quality and partially meet their designated
use classifications (Figure 24b), with the
exception of the middle reach of the
Escambia River which fully meets its desig-
nated use classification (WBID #10A).


Figure 24 Distribution of river redhorse.


Figure 24b. Watershed water quality status.


#7









FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Grayfin Redhorse
Moxostoma n. sp. cfpoecilurum


The grayfin redhorse inhabits a wide
range of stream types in the Apalachicola
basin, but it appears to be most common
in larger tributaries and rivers (Gilbert and
Snelson Jr. 1992b). Spawning has been
reported to occur in March and April in
the Alabama reaches of the Chattahoochee
River (Mettee et al. 1996). It has been
found throughout the Apalachicola River
and in the upper Chipola River (WBID
#51D and WBID #51 E) and Merritt's Mill
Pond sub-basins (WBID #180A) (Figure
25a). Most of the sub-basins where the
grayfin redhorse occurs fully meet their
designated use classifications, with the
exception of the Apalachicola river sub-
basin (WBID #375D) which partially
meets its designated use classification
T; ,,,,.. 2,6hi


Figure 25a. Distribution of grayfin redhorse.


-A


Figure 25b. Watershed water quality status,








RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Southern Bluehead Chub
Nocomis leptocephalus bellicus


1 /


The southern bluehead chub prefers
small- to medium-sized, generally weedless
streams 3 to 15 meters wide, and avoids
larger streams and rivers and extreme head-
waters. Most of the clear streams it inhab-
its have a sand, gravel, and rubble bottom
which is needed to build their domed
stone nests. The species is at the southeast-
ern extent of its known range. The south-
ern bluehead chub is presumed to have
been introduced, as previously discussed,
into Florida from the Mobile basin
(Gilbert 1992o). This species is currently
limited to tributaries of the Escambia River
FT;,_,,: '. It has expanded from its pre-
viously published occurrences in Canoe
Creek (WBID #7) and Moore Creek
(WBID #111) to Pritchett Mill Branch
(WBID #9), upper Escambia River
(WBID #10C), Big Escambia Creek
(WBID #10), and Holly Creek (WBID
#74). Pritchett Mill Branch sub-basin does
not meet its designated use classification,
, igu rl-, re ,, 1 ,-i--- . ,h-E-j ,-,. parri.ill,
Fi ur rh2 . . u la;
(Figure 26b).


Figure 26a. Distribution of southern bluehead chub.





















Figu 26b. Watershed water quality status.


(;, .








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Rough Shiner
Notropis bailey
























Figure 27� Distribution of rough shiner.


The rough shiner occurs in small- to
medium-sized (usually 2-5 meters wide),
wooded, moderate to high-gradient
streams with clear water. The species is at
the southeastern extent of its known range.
It also is presumed to have been
introduced into Florida from the Mobile
basin (Gilbert 1992p). The rough shiner
has been reported to be very successful due
to high reproductive capacity, extended
spawning season, and variable feeding
-: habits (Mettee et al. 1996). The species is
currently limited to tributaries of the
Escambia River (Figure 27a). It has
expanded from its previously published
occurrences in Canoe Creek (WBID #7)
and Moore Creek (WBID #111) to
Pritchett Mill Branch (WBID #9), Big
Escambia Creek (WBID #10), and Holly
Creek (WBID #74). Pritchett Mill Branch
does not meet its designated use classifica-
tion, while Canoe Creek, Big Escambia
Creek, Holly Creek, and Moore Creek
have partially impaired water quality and
partially meet their designated use classifi-
cations (Figure 27b).


Figure 27b. Watershed water quality status.






RARE AND IMPERIL ED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Blackmouth Shiner
Notropis melanostomus


The blackmouth shiner has a narrow
range of habitat to which it is apparently
confined at all times. It is found in rather
shallow backwater pools (1m depth) con-
nected to the main stream, but in which
no flow is present. The blackmouth shin-
er's habitat is specific to steeply sloped
shorelines where pond cypress and Atlantic
white cedar are present (Bortone and
Gilbert 1992). Figure 28a indicates the
sub-basins where the blackmouth shiner
has occurred. Bortone (1993) conducted
an intensive survey of the Escambia and
Yellow river basins in an attempt to locate
additional populations of the blackmouth
shiner, but found specimens only from the
lower Pond Creek sub-basin (WBID #176)
and lower Blackwater River drainage
(WBID #24A and WBID #24B). Bortone
(1993) was unable to locate populations
within the Shoal River (WBID #160)
drainage from which populations of the
blackmouth shiner had previously been
reported. It is unknown if this was a
misidentification or if the species has been
extirpated from this sub-basin.

The sub-basins of the lower
Blackwater River currently have partially
impaired water quality. However, they are
showing an improvement in their 10-year
trend (Figure 28b). Pond Creek and the
Shoal River fully meet their designated use
classification and have a stable 10-year
trend.


to


Figure 28a. DlmndlOn ni h11,kmou thh hner


Figure 28b. iiiled w . pl qua.li .i...


mwll,







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Southern (=Florida) Logperch
Percina austroperca (= n. sp. cf
caprodes)


La


Figure 29a. Distribution of southern (=Florida) logperch.


SSab.le

Fully mets ses
] Parually mnes use


The southern logperch is found in
rivers and large creeks having a substrate of
clean sand and gravel. This species is
endemic to the river basins in the western
panhandle of Florida and southeastern
Alabama (Gilbert 1992q). The Florida
"J ^ occurrence records show that the southern
- logperch is restricted to the Escambia River
and Choctawhatchee River basins (Figure
29a).

Most of sub-basins in the Escambia
River basin have some impairment of
water quality, but are showing a stable 10-
year trend (Figure 29b). The
Choctawhatchee River sub-basins generally
meet their designated use classifications,
with the exception of the upper
Choctawhatchee River sub-basins (WBID
#49 and WBID #49F) which have some
impairment of water quality. The majority
of the Choctawhatchee River sub-basins
containing the southern logperch have
shown either an improving or stable 10-
year trend.



/




2.


Figure 29b. Watershed water quality status.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


Saddleback Darter
Percina vigil




(;ray Be

The saddleback darter typically occu-
pies shallow riffles with moderate current
in large creeks and rivers, usually over a
substrate of sand and gravel. This species

tion of the Mobile basin with the
Escambia River drainage being the only
basin in Florida in which it has been col-
lected (Gilbert and Yerger 1992d).
Spawning occurs from late February to
April with eggs being deposited in sand
and gravel areas (Mettee et al. 1996). The
limited occurrence records for the saddle-
back darter are from the upper portion of
the Escambia River basin (Figure 30a).

Mitchell Creek (WBID #71) fully - -
meets its designated use classification,
while Canoe Creek (WBID #7), Big Figure 30a. Distribution of saddleback darter.
Escambia Creek (WBID #10), and the
upper Escambia River (WBID #10C) have
some impairment of water quality and par-
tially meet their designated use classifica- \ - -
tion (Figure 30b). Both the Canoe Creek .
and upper Escambia River sub-basins have
a stable 10-year trend.














Figure 30b. Watershed water quality status.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Bluenose Shiner
Pteronotropis welaka







The bluenose shiner inhabits quiet,
-- often weedy waters, with most of the
,/ ' adults being found in deep pools and holes
S' --' - of streams. The species has two disjunct
" ' - " distributions within Florida, one in the St.
Johns River basin and the other in the
Se . If western panhandle, with no known occur-
' \ rences between the St. Johns and
S.ccu.nc.h. eds , Apalachicola rivers (Gilbert 1992r). Figure
31a shows the sub-basins where the
. bluenose shiner has been observed.

71 \ Within the St. Johns River basin, the
S 2 ' ,e_ - Oklawaha River sub-basins (WBID

Creek (WBID #2918B) have some impair-
ment of water quality (Figure 31 b). The
sub-basin of the Oklawaha River below
Rodman reservoir (WBID #2740A) is
triburion of bluenose shiner showing a degrading 10-year trend. The
remaining sub-basins in the St. Johns River
(WBID "2 - 1 i Lake George (WBID
#2893A), Alexander Springs (WBID
#2918A), and Wekiva River (WBID
- ' - . #2956A) currently meet their designated
use classifications and show a stable 10-
year trend. Panhandle sub-basins that con-
tain populations of the bluenose shiner
predominantly have water quality that
meets designated use classifications.
However, the sub-basins in the Escambia
, , River (WBID #10C and WBID #10D),
r , Canoe Creek (WBID #7), Pine Barren
,,,.. . Creek (WBID #5), and Little Pine Barren
' Creek (WBID #87), and two sub-basins in
nI-I .". 'I the Yellow River (WBID #30 and WBID
S' #3030A), have some impairment of water
quality and partially meet their designated
use classifications. Most of the sub-basins
f r. -- in the panhandle show an improving or
stable 10-year trend.


Figure 31b. Watershed water quality status.


Figure 31a. Di


I







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


SPECIES RICHNESS BY WATERSHED

The individual species distribution maps were
combined into a single statewide map depicting the
number of rare and imperiled fish species that occur
in each sub-basin (Figure 32). The Escambia River
basin contains the highest number of rare and imper-
iled fish species, with the upper Escambia River
(WBID #10C) containing fourteen species within the
19,500 acre sub-basin. The Escambia River sub-basin
at State Road 184 (WBID #10D) contains 12
species, with the upstream Escambia River (WBID
#10A) and Canoe Creek (WBID #7) sub-basins each
containing seven species, and Big Escambia Creek
(WBID #10) containing six species. Big Escambia
Creek may contain seven species, if the crystal darter
is found above its currently observed site in the lower
portion of Big Escambia Creek near the Escambia
River. The Apalachicola River basin and the
Choctawhatchee River-Holmes Creek basins contain
the next highest numbers of rare and imperiled fish
species. The remaining sub-basins in the identified
river basins contain one to four rare and imperiled
fish species.

SUB-BASIN RANKINGS BASED ON SPECIES RARITY

Statewide sub-basin rarity scores ranged from a
low of 1 to a high of 47 (Figure 33). Highest scores
were found in the Escambia River basin. The upper
(WBID #10C) and the middle (WBID #10D) reach-
es of the Escambia River contained the highest ranks
in the state with scores of 47 and 39, respectively.
Two reaches (WBID #10A and WBID #10B)
between the upper and middle reaches of the
Escambia River, the lower reach (WBID #10E) of the
Escambia River, Big Escambia Creek (WBID #10),
and Canoe Creek (WBID #7) contained medium-
high rankings with scores between 15 and 25.

Sub-basins along the main stem of the upper
Apalachicola River also have medium-high ranking.
The sub-basin immediately below Jim Woodruff
Dam (WBID #375H) ranked highest (score = 20)
within the Apalachicola River basin. This sub-basin
contains the remnants of rock shoals which are
important habitat for several of the species which
occur in this reach. Both sub-basins (WBID #375G
and WBID #375H) have been subject to extensive
riverbed degradation and habitat loss due to the con-
struction of Jim Woodruff dam and the federal navi-
gation project.

Main stems of most of the major rivers in the
state and major tributary streams had medium


ranked scores between 7 and 14. The lower Chipola
River, St. Johns River, and the upper Suwannee River
are the exceptions. The lower Chipola River has a low
ranking (score = 1-2). The lower St. Johns has a
medium-low ranking (score = 3-6) up to the conflu-
ence of the Oklawaha River where it has a medium
ranked score. The St. Johns above Lake George
(medium rank) then goes to a low ranking. The
upper Suwannee River has a low ranking above its
confluence with the Withlacoochee (N) river. The
smaller tributaries, streams, estuaries, and minor
rivers typically have medium-low to low rankings.

STATUS OF WATER QUALITY IN SUB-BASINS WITH
RARE OR IMPERILED STREAM FISHES

Of the 259 sub-basins containing rare or imper-
iled fish species, five currently do not meet their des-
ignated use classification. Pritchett Mill Branch
sub-basin (WBID #9), which has a medium-low
ranking (score - 6), is the only Escambia River sub-
basin that does not meet its designated use classifica-
tion. Thompson Pond sub-basin (WBID #272) in
the upper Apalachicola-Chattahoochee river basin has
a medium-low ranking (score - 3) and currently does
not meet its designated use classification. Alligator
Creek (WBID #2153) in the Nassau River basin has
a low ranking (score = 1) and currently does not meet
its designated use classification. Spruce Creek (WBID
#2674) in Volusia County with a medium-low rank
(score - 3), and Crane Creek (WBID #3085) in
Brevard County with a medium-low rank (score - 3),
currently do not meet their designated use classifica-
tions. Although these sub-basins have medium-low to
low ranks, all contain species that are limited in dis-
tribution in Florida. Spruce and Crane creeks contain
some of the only Florida observations of the moun-
tain mullet. Samples of largemouth bass tissues from
the main stem sub-basins of the Escambia,
Blackwater, Yellow, Choctawhatchee, Chipola,
Withlacoochee (N), Suwannee, Santa Fc, and
Oklawaha rivers and Econfina Creek have elevated
levels of mercury which has resulted in mercury
health advisories for fish consumption on these river
systems. Research is continuing throughout Florida
to determine areas that have elevated levels of
mercury due to anthropogenic inputs and those areas
that naturally have high mercury levels (DEP 1996).

In addition, 78 of the 259 sub-basins with rare
or imperiled fish species have some impairment of
water quality or partially meet their designated use
classifications. Of the sub-basins that partially meet
their designated use classifications, the Nassau River
sub-basin (WBID #2148B), Oklawaha River sub-








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


NmberfSpeces


3-i


















-' 1- I'- '
ZZ.-*-.





I - s^ "


FRg. 32. Number of imperiled species of ishes m watersheds







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


*2'


Figure 33. Watersheds ranked by raty of fish


Ranked Watershed

U.w (1-2 4
I-MediumSlow (3- core)
[ Medim (7-14 score)
I Medium-h~ghos-525 ,o

I figh (2647 ore)







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


basin (WBID #2740A) below Rodman Reservoir,
Spruce Creek sub-basin (WBID #2674), and the
Palatlakaha River sub-basin (WBID #2839) are
showing a trend of continued degradation according
to the 10-year trend analysis. The upper Santa Fe
River sub-basin (WBID #3605D), while currently
meeting its designated use classification, also shows a
degrading 10-year trend. Water quality sampling in
42 sub-basins with rare or listed fish species has been
insufficient to determine trends, evaluate compliance
with water quality standards, or to determine if they
meet their designated use classifications. The 126
sub-basins that do not meet or partially meet their
designated use classification, have a degrading trend,
or have insufficient water quality data for use or
trend evaluation are considered Sub-basins of
Management Concern (Figure 34).

Many of the 126 Sub-basins of Management
Concern are located in water bodies that have
Outstanding Florida Waters (OFW) designations.
These water bodies are the Blackwater, Shoal,
Choctawhatchee, Chipola, Apalachicola,
Ochlockonce, Aucilla, Suwannee, Santa Fe, and
Oklawaha rivers; Upper Black Creek; Spruce Creek;
and the Yellow River marsh. OFWs are afforded the
state's highest water quality protection with the goal
of no degradation of water quality, other than specifi-
cally allowed in DEP Rule 62-4.242(2) and (3), and
DEP Rule 62-302.700, Florida Administrative Code.

SUB-BASINS OF MANAGEMENT CONCERN

Many of the problems associated with the
impairment and degradation of water quality can, in
part, be attributed to land use practices and alteration
of upland habitats within the watershed. Each water-
shed has its own topographic, soil, vegetative
community, and land use characteristics which affect
the aquatic environment and which may require area-
specific management attention. DEP has, through
the Section 305b report (DEP 1996), evaluated vari-
ous water quality parameters and determined that
many sub-basins show water quality impairment. In
some cases specific water quality parameters that
indicate impairment are closely associated with spe-
cific land uses or land use activities. Water quality
impairment and land use can be used as primary fil-
ters to identify where further watershed or basin
assessments or some form of active land management
should occur.

Individual water quality parameters may have
differing effects on the fish species of this study, but
the effects of changes in water quality are more pro-


nounced on juveniles, spawning habitat, and food
organisms. The following summarizes the effects of
the changes in major water quality parameters on
fish, fish food sources, and fish habitats (Lagler 1956,
Mackenthun 1969, Welch and Lindell 1980,
Welcomme 1985). Additional or more detailed infor-
mation on water quality effects on aquatic organisms
can be found in most limnology and fishery
textbooks.

Most of the fish species of this study that are
found in small streams or tributaries do not survive
in highly turbid or sediment laden water. Such waters
are characterized by depressed dissolved oxygen levels
and increased temperatures. High turbidity can also
lead to physiological problems like clogging of gills,
and may result in the physical smothering of
preferred food sources, suitable spawning habitats, or
eggs. While fish species typically found in the main
stems of rivers are able to tolerate periods of highly
turbid water, sediments carried in the water may lead
to the physical smothering of preferred food sources,
smothering or alteration of suitable spawning habitat,
smothering of eggs, and increases in water tempera-
ture.

Changes in nutrient levels can affect fish in sever-
al indirect ways. Increased nutrients can stimulate
plant and algae growth, which in turn can alter the
composition of the invertebrate food supply, type of
aquatic plants, and aquatic habitat. In some areas ele-
vated nutrient levels result in a corresponding
increase in blue-green algae, nuisance aquatic plants
like hydrilla, and plant or detrital biomass. Increased
nutrients can cause increased biological or chemical
oxygen demand which decreases dissolved oxygen lev-
els. Low dissolved oxygen levels can affect the viabili-
ty of eggs and the metabolism of fish. Very low
dissolved oxygen levels can result in fish kills and die-
offs of molluscs that are the food sources of several of
the fish species in this study.

The following sections discuss the Sub-basins of
Management Concern within each river basin to
identify water quality constituents that are elevated,
known connections between specific land uses within
the basins and water quality conditions, and specific
threats to rare or listed fish species and their habitats.

Escambia River Basin

Alabama shad, alligator gar, southern bluchead
chub, harlequin darter, river redhorse, saddleback
darter, gulf sturgeon, bluenose shiner, blacktip shiner,
crystal darter, cypress darter, cypress minnow, Florida





RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA Hoehn


1121/4. -e
'~~5 rr~
a ~"'~



t
/ II
1,1*1 rf


Figure 34. Sub-basns of Management Concern







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WAlER FISH COMMISSION


chub, southern logperch, goldstripe darter, rough
shiner, southern striped shiner, and starhead topmin-
now have been observed in the Escambia River Sub-
basins of Management Concern. The Canoe Creek
(WBID #7), Pritchett Mill Branch (WBID #9), and
Pine Barren Creek (WBID #5) sub-basins have
elevated turbidity, sedimentation, and pesticide levels
due to runoff from agricultural lands and dirt-roads
(DEP 1996). These sub-basins also have shown
impairment in the benthic invertebrate community
which the DEP-Northwest District attributed to ero-
sion from dirt roads and to runoff from dairy and
hog farms (Donald Ray, personal communication).
Moore Creek (WBID #111) and Holly Creek
(WBID #74) sub-basins have experienced such severe
sedimentation that parts of the stream channels have
been filled in by sediments eroding from agricultural
lands (DEP 1996). The majority of the streams and
rivers in the Escambia River basin Sub-basins of
Management Concern show changes in nutrient, sed-
iment, and bacterial levels, and habitat modification.
Big Escambia Creek and the eastern portion of the
lower Escambia River sub-basins were identified as
high priorities for additional watershed studies and
corrective action due to non-point source loadings, in
particular, sediments and nutrients from silviculture,
agriculture, and unpaved roads (Northwest Florida
Water Management District [NWFWMD] 1994).
These and several other sub-basins in the Escambia
River basin were identified as priorities for develop-
ing non-point source management plans due to their
sediment and non-point source pollutant
contributions into the Escambia River and Pensacola
Bay System (NWFWMD 1994). The U.S. Natural
Resources Conservation Service is developing
management plans for the Canoe Creek sub-basin
(DEP 1996). Much of the agricultural land in the
upper part of the Escambia River basin has changed
from soybean to cotton production (Gray Bass, per-
sonal communication). However, it is uncertain if
this will change the amounts of runoff and non-point
source loadings that have been observed in those sub-
basins. DEP (1996) reported that the pesticide
guthion is being replaced by malathion as the prima-
ry pesticide for use on cotton fields in Santa Rosa
County due to several fish kills that occurred after
aerial spraying.

Blackwater and Yellow River Basins

Alabama shad, gulf sturgeon, blackmouth shiner,
bluenose shiner, blacktip shiner, and Florida chub
have been observed in the Blackwater and Yellow
River Sub-basins of Management Concern. The


majority of the land within these areas is in silvicul-
tural or agricultural use. While urban areas within the
two basins are limited, agricultural and silvicultural
runoff and wastewater discharge from the cities of
Milton and Crestview enter the creeks and tributaries
that join with the Blackwater and Yellow rivers (DEP
1996). Benthic invertebrate surveys indicate that
Collins Mill Creek (Blackwater River WBID #24a) is
impaired due to urban runoff from Milton and
upstream impoundments (Donald Ray, personal
communication). This sub-basin has been reported to
have partial water quality impairment due to
sedimentation, oils, and flow modifications (DEP
1996). The lower Blackwater River (WBID #24b)
has received increased nutrients, bacterial levels, oils,
and sedimentation due primarily to the U.S. Navy's
Whiting Field wastewater plant (DEP 1996). The
NWFWMD (1994) concluded that nutrient and sus-
pended solids loadings may be elevated in the
Blackwater River basin due to agricultural land use,
agricultural management practices, and local soil and
topographic conditions. They recommended further
site specific studies in this basin. The upper Yellow
River Sub-basins of Management Concern receive
agricultural runoff, the apparent cause of the water
quality impairment (DEP 1996). The Yellow River
basin was also identified as a priority for detailed
basin assessments due to non-point source loadings
from agriculture and urban development
(NWFWMD 1994).

Choctawhatchee River and Bay Basins

Alabama shad, alligator gar, gulf sturgeon,
bluenose shiner, blacktip shiner, cypress darter,
Florida chub, southern logperch, goldstripe darter,
Okaloosa darter, and river goby have been observed
in the Choctawhatchee River and Bay Sub-basins of
Management Concern. The Choctawhatchee River
Sub-basins of Management Concern are
predominantly in silvicultural use (28%) and vegetat-
ed by wetland/bottomland hardwood communities
(33.4%). The upper sub-basins receive agricultural
runoff and domestic and industrial wastewater
discharges from Alabama. They also have received
sedimentation and other non-point pollutants from
runoff originating from silvicultural lands and dirt
roads within Florida. There is a lack of current water
quality data for the upper Choctawhatchec River.
However, discharges from hog and livestock farms
have been reported for several creeks and tributaries
in the upper basin (DEP 1996). The Bruce Creek
sub-basin (WBID #343) has sedimentation problems
stemming from non-point source runoff and nutrient







RARE AND IMPERILED FISii SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


and bacterial problems due to discharges from the the
City of Defuniak Springs wastewater treatment plant
(DEP 1996).

The Choctawhatchee Bay Sub-basins of
Management Concern are more urbanized (30.3%)
than the upstream Sub-basins of Management
Concern due ro the Fort Walton Beach area and the
city of Niceville. The northwestern portion of the
bay's Sub-basins of Management Concern are part of
Eglin Air Force Base and are dominated by pineland
and sandhills (41.3%). Land management activities
at Eglin have increased non-point source runoff
which has resulted in increased sedimentation into
some of the creeks. The city of Niceville's wastewater
treatment facility has caused increases in total nitro-
gen in the Turkey Creek sub-basin (DEP 1996).
Sediments near the mouth of Boggy Bayou (WBID
#692) were found to have high levels of lead, silver,
several pesticides, and aromatic hydrocarbons (DEP
1996).

Chipola River and Apalachicola River and Bay
Basins

Alabama shad, gulf sturgeon, bandfin shiner,
bluenose shiner, grayfin redhorse, and goldstripe
darter have been observed in the Chipola River and
Apalachicola River and Bay Sub-basins of
Management Concern. The Apalachicola River and
Bay basin is subject to flow and channel modification
due to water management activities of the Corps of
Engineers. During the summer months, modified
flows to permit navigation on the river can produce
substantial differences in flow velocities, water
volumes, and river stage. Channel modifications have
resulted in the removal of important rock habitat and
smothering of additional habitat.

The upper Apalachicola River Sub-basins of
Management Concern are characterized as having
steep slopes along the stream banks. Many of the
sub-basin streams are unique geological features
called steepheads, which form from groundwater
seepage flow from the bases of sand ridges as opposed
to flowing over the soil surface. Because of the steep
slopes associated with these sub-basins, non-point
source pollution and sedimentation from agriculture
and silviculture can quickly degrade steephead
streams. Mosquito Creek (WBID #386), Flat Creek
(WBID #487), and Sweetwater Creek (WBID #728)
have elevated turbidity, suspended solids, and bacteri-
al levels. The Mosquito Creek problems are due in
part to discharges from the city of Chattahoochee


and the Florida State Hospital. Recent analysis sug-
gests that nutrient enrichment is occurring in the
sub-basin (DEP 1996).

The lower Apalachicola River and the Chipola
River Sub-basins of Management Concern do not
have steep slopes like those in the sub-basins found in
the upper Apalachicola basin. The lower river sub-
basins have broad floodplains characterized by
bottomland hardwood forests and cypress and bay
swamps. Where the uplands start, pinelands and
hardwood hammocks are the primary land cover.
Silviculture is the main source of non-point source
pollution and sedimentation into these sub-basins.
Silvicultural clear-cuts of the bottomland hardwood
forests have caused turbidity violations in several sub-
basins (DEP 1996). Agricultural runoff has
contributed to the eutrophication of the Dead Lakes-
Chipola River (WBID #51A) sub-basin (DEP 1996).

Ochlockonee River Basin

Alabama shad, gulf sturgeon, and Suwannee bass
have been observed in the Ochlockonee River Sub-
basins of Management Concern. The upper sub-basin
(WBID #1297F) receives high turbidity waters and
increased sedimentation due to agricultural runoff in
Georgia and has elevated levels of bacteria and nutri-
ents from upstream point sources (DEP 1996).
Agricultural and silvicultural practices and impound-
ments within the upper basin are contributing to
increased turbidity and sedimentation (DEP 1996).
The middle reach sub-basin immediately below the
Lake Talquin dam (WBID #1297B) has shown ele-
vated levels of copper at concentrations known to be
chronically toxic. Road maintenance has also
contributed high levels of sediment and increased
turbidity and bacterial levels in Caney and Pine
creeks within this sub-basin (DEP 1996).

Aucilla and Econfina-Fenholloway River Basins

Blackbanded sunfish have been observed in the
Aucilla River and Econfina-Fenholloway River Sub-
basins of Management Concern. The upper Aucilla
River and the Econfina River are typically swampy
with low flows, low dissolved oxygen, and naturally
acidic waters. Both rivers are surrounded by silvicul-
tural and agricultural land uses. DEP reported nutri-
ent, sediment, and turbidity as the major water
quality parameters of concern in the upper Aucilla
River. The Econfina River partially meets water quali-
ty standards for bacterial levels and does not meet
standards for metals, specifically cadmium. Timber








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


companies in the river basins are working to correct
past hydrologic alterations to restore much of the
area's natural flow patterns (DEP 1996).

Withlacoochee River (N), Suwannee River, and
Santa Fe River Basins

Alabama shad, gulf sturgeon, blackbanded sun-
fish, mountain mullet, and Suwannee bass have been
observed in the Withlacoochee River (N), Suwannee
River, and Santa Fe River Sub-basins of Management
Concern. The Withlacoochee River (N) and the
upper Suwannee River share similar features and
land-cover patterns. The major vegetation type in
these Sub-basins of Management Concern in both
the Withlacoochee and upper Suwannee is pinelands.
However, the rivers differ with respect to the poten-
tial causes of water quality impairment. The
Withlacoochee River (N) receives predominantly
agricultural runoff and the discharges from upstream
municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources in
Georgia. The upper Suwannee sub-basins, in particu-
lar the Roaring Creek sub-basin (WBID #3392), are
primarily impacted by phosphate mining operations.
The original Roaring Creek stream channel has been
mined for phosphate, and a new channel was created
(DEP 1996). Most of the soils in the lower Suwannee
River basin are well drained which allows runoff to
percolate through the soil rather than drain directly
into the streams and rivers. The lower Suwannee
River basin has seen an increase in dairy farms and
other agricultural operations which have contributed
to concern over groundwater quality. The primary
discharger into the lower Suwannee is the Gold Kist
poultry processing plant (DEP 1996). Some of the
nutrient, bacteria, and turbidity problems within the
Santa Fe River (WBID #3605D) are probably due, in
part, to cattle farming (DEP 1996). Downstream of
this sub-basin the river goes underground at O'Lcno
State Park and rises after about 3 miles. At the con-
fluence of the Santa Fe River and the Suwannee
River, there appears to be minimal surface water
runoff into the streams and creeks. However, prelimi-
nary testing indicates a strong potential for increased
nitrates in the groundwater and springs from the sur-
rounding dairy farms (DEP 1996).

St. Marys and Nassau River Basins

Blueback herring and blackbanded sunfish have
been observed in the St. Marys River and Nassau
River Sub-basins of Management Concern. Both
rivers drain forests and wetlands and have naturally
low levels of dissolved oxygen and high color and
acidity. The majority of both river basins are relative-


ly undeveloped with silviculture being the dominant
land use. The Alligator Creek/Mills Creek watersheds
(WBID #2153) are moderately impaired due to
nutrients from septic tanks, dairies, and urban activi-
ties. Wastewater effluent from the town of Callahan
also contributes to the nutrient problems of Alligator
Creek (DEP 1996).

Oklawaha River and St. Johns River Basins

Blueback herring, blackbanded sunfish, bluenose
shiner, river goby, shortnose sturgeon, and tessellated
darter have been observed from the Oklawaha River
and St. Johns River Sub-basins of Management
Concern. Agriculture and silviculture are the main
land use activities within the Orange Lake (WBID
#2747) and Orange Creek (WBID #2749) sub-basins
of the Oklawaha River. These sub-basins have shown
problems with dissolved oxygen, bacteria, and various
metals (DEP 1996). The Palarlakaha River (WBID
#2839) and Oklawaha River (WBID #2740A) sub-
basins have shown degrading trends in nutrients, tur-
bidity, and dissolved oxygen which may be due, in
part, to agricultural activities throughout both sub-
basins (DEP 1996). Water quality in the upper St.
Johns River Sub-basins of Management Concern has
suffered primarily due to nutrients, low dissolved
oxygen, and turbidity from wastewater treatment
plant effluent. Many of the smaller wastewater treat-
ment plants have been connected to larger regional
plants. This has resulted in decreases in direct effluent
discharge to the river and an improvement in much
of the area (DEP 1996). The majority of the water
quality problems in the lower St. Johns River Sub-
basins of Management Concern are the result of
municipal and industrial point source discharges. The
lower St. Johns River is one of the state's most indus-
trialized areas. Increased nutrients, sedimentation,
and metals, and low dissolved oxygen have been
reported in the majority of the sub-basins (DEP
1996). The Black Creek sub-basins (WBID #2415)
are showing problems with dissolved oxygen and
metals as a result of urban and agricultural runoff
(DEP 1996).

Upper East Coast, Middle East Coast, and South
Indian River Basins

Mountain mullet has been reported from the
Upper East Coast, Middle East Coast, and South
Indian River Sub-basins of Management Concern
with the exception of the Sebastian River sub-basin
(WBID #3129B). River goby has only been reported
from the Sebastian River Sub-basin of Management
Concern in this area. Water quality and turbidity







RARE AND IMPERILED FISI SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


within Spruce Creek (WBID #2674), Upper East
Coast Basin, is substantially affected by agricultural
runoff, which has resulted in a degrading trend over
the past 10 years (DEP 1996). In the Middle East
Coast Basin high nutrient levels have been found in
the upper Mosquito Lagoon sub-basin (WBID
#2924B), probably due to the number of septic tanks
within the sparse urban areas adjacent to the
National Seashore. In the past, Crane Creek (WBID
#3085) was significantly impacted by two of the city
of Melbourne's wastewater treatment plant
discharges, but these discharges have now been
removed from Crane Creek (DEP 1996). The South
Indian River basin contains the Sebastian River
(WBID #3129B) and the Belcher Canal (WBID
#3163) Sub-basins of Management Concern. The
Sebastian River sub-basin has many dairy farms and
rangelands, the runoff from which has led to elevated
bacterial and nutrient levels and low dissolved oxygen
(DEP 1996). Drainage from orange groves,
grasslands, and urban areas delivers elevated nutrients
and excess fresh water to the estuarine areas in the
Belcher Canal sub-basin (DEP 1996).

IMPORTANT HABITAT AND PUBLIC LAND OWNERSHIP
WITHIN SUB-BASINS CONTAINING RARE OR
IMPERILED STREAM FISHES

The Florida Natural Areas Inventory has identi-
fied 300,057 acres, or 7.3% of the total acreage with-
in sub-basins containing rare or imperiled fish
species, as being areas of conservation interest or
potential natural areas. These areas contain
documented occurrences of rare or imperiled species
or outstanding examples or populations of animals,
plants, or natural communities. The GFC identified
478,671 acres, or 11.7% of the total acreage within
sub-basins containing rare or imperiled fish species as
Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas for various
upland species or plant communities.

Similar percentages of areas of conservation inter-
est, potential natural areas, and Strategic Habitat
Conservation Areas can be found in the Sub-basins of


Management Concern. Of the 2,169,549 acres con-
tained in Sub-basins of Management Concern, only
6%, or 136,759 acres, have been identified as areas of
conservation interest and potential natural areas.
Eight percent, or 177,425 acres, of Sub-basins of
Management Concern has been identified as Strategic
Habitat Conservation Areas. The Sub-basins of
Management Concern west of the Suwannee River
basin contain the majority of the areas of
conservation interest, potential natural areas, and
Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas. A portion, but
not all, of the areas of conservation interest, potential
natural areas, and Strategic Habitat Conservation
Areas are contained on lands identified for
acquisition by the state.

The total area of all sub-basins containing rare or
listed fish species is 4,099,243 acres. The total area of
the sub-basins that is in public ownership is 832,255
acres. Thus, 20.3% of all sub-basins containing rare
or imperiled fishes is in public ownership. Total
length of rivers and streams within the sub-basins
containing rare or imperiled fish species is 8,485 lin-
ear miles, of which 2,546 miles are within public or
conservation lands. The remaining 5,939 river and
stream miles are not within public or conservation
lands and are subject to the effects of the surrounding
land use practices within the watershed.

Figure 35 shows that most of the public lands
within the sub-basins are along the floodplains of
major rivers. Few public lands contain important
tributary streams or their sub-basins. Approximately
357,803 acres of land on the state land acquisition
lists (Conservation and Recreation Lands and Save
Our Rivers) are within sub-basins containing rare or
imperiled fish species. Most proposed land
acquisitions are along the main stems of the rivers in
medium to medium-low ranked sub-basins. The per-
centage of Sub-basins of Management Concern on
public or conservation lands is similar at 19% of the
total acreage. An additional 8%, 169,469 acres, with-
in the Sub-basins of Management Concern is on state
land acquisition lists.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Figure 35. Public lands containing watersheds with rare or imperiled fish species.


O( urrence watersheds on public lands
Public lands
) O..urrence watersheds


l N I, -I




















RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA:
A WATERSHED PERSPECTIVE


Theodore Hoehn























1998


Office of Environmental Services
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
620 South Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600








FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Cover:
Center: Harlequin darter, Etheostoma histrio (photo by Patrick E. O'Neil)
Upper left: Florida occurrence watersheds of the harlequin darter
Upper right: Harlequin darter habitat, Big Escambia Creek (flood stage) at Old Flomaton Highway, Escambia County, Florida (photo by
Donald Ray)
Lower left: Sand and gravel operation, Big Escambia Creek, downstream of the Old Flomaton Highway, Escambia County, Florida (photo
by Donald Ray)
Lower right: Digital Ortho Quad of the Big Escambia Creek watershed













Suggested citation:

Hoehn, T. S. 1998. Rare and imperiled fish species of Florida: A watershed perspective. Office of Environmental
Services, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn ii


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The distributions of 31 freshwater fish species that are either rare, threatened, or endangered were determined
for Florida's rivers and streams. Occurrence records were obtained from the Florida Museum of Natural History,
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida
Natural Areas Inventory, University of Alabama, Tulane University, Cornell University, United States Geological
Survey Biological Resources Division, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Geographic information
systems technology was used to identify the specific riverine sub-basins (i.e., watershed units =5 mi2 in area)
where rare and imperiled fishes have been found. Sub-basins were ranked based upon the total number of rare
and imperiled fish species present. A scoring system based on relative rarity was developed, and sub-basins were
ranked by total cumulative scores. Information regarding land use, public and private conservation lands, and
water quality within the sub-basins was quantified using existing geographic information systems data layers.

Two hundred fifty-nine sub-basins throughout Florida were found to contain the selected freshwater fish
species. The greatest number of rare and imperiled fish species was found in the Escambia River drainage of
northwestern Florida with decreasing numbers occurring further down the peninsula. The 259 identified sub-
basins contain a total of 8,485 river and stream miles, of which 2,546 miles (30% of the total) are contained
within the boundaries of public lands. The remaining 5,939 miles are unprotected or may be subject to voluntary
agricultural conservation measures.

The 259 sub-basins containing rare and imperiled fishes were evaluated for current water quality conditions,
designated use support, water quality and biological indicator trends, and adequacy of water quality data. Water
quality impairment, degrading water quality and biological trends, or inadequate water quality surveys character-
ize 126 of the 259 sub-basins containing rare and imperiled fishes. These 126 sub-basins were designated as Sub-
basins of Management Concern.

While Florida has significant land acquisition programs, only 19% of the Sub-basins of Management
Concern, and 20% of all sub-basins containing rare and imperiled fishes, are currently in public or private conser-
vation lands. An additional eight percent of the Sub-basins of Management Concern are on priority lists for pub-
lic land acquisition. Six percent of the Sub-basins of Management Concern contain lands identified as areas of
conservation interest. The Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has identified Strategic Habitat
Conservation Areas which comprise eight percent of the Sub-basins of Management Concern. Land acquisition
programs have predominantly focused on the main stems and floodplains of the rivers. However, a greater focus
on tributary and headwater areas within priority sub-basins may be necessary to protect many of the species.

New surveys are necessary to determine if species are still present within the 259 sub-basins, to identify addi-
tional sub-basins where species occur but have not been previously recorded, and to determine the status of the
species. Additional research is needed to better understand the life history, food habits, habitat requirements, and
water quality threats to the species. Periodic monitoring of fish populations, water quality, stream habitat
structure, and invertebrate populations should be conducted to determine trends and allow corrective action to be
taken before significant problems develop.

A variety of regulatory mechanisms and voluntary land management techniques can be used to correct water
quality problems and to provide additional habitat conservation. Studies to address agricultural and non-point
source pollution are being planned by various state and federal agencies in several riverine basins. These studies
could be focused on the sub-basins containing rare or listed freshwater fish species. Special attention should be
given to land use planning activities within all 259 sub-basins to avoid alteration or degradation of aquatic habi-
tats and to maintain water flow and water quality. Additional monitoring or surveys to determine the most appro-
priate management strategies for rare and imperiled species of fish is needed within the 126 Sub-basins of
Management Concern. Monitoring and surveys should be followed by immediate implementation of the strate-
gies, interagency coordination, and coordination with landowners to address problems within the sub-basins if the
rare or imperiled freshwater fish species are to survive.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This study could not have been completed without the assistance of many people. Florida Game and Fresh
Water Fish Commission, Division of Fisheries biologists conducted river and stream sampling for many years.
Gray Bass, Jerry Krummrich, Gary Byerley, Sam McKinney, Fred Cross, David Cox, and Tom Champeau provid-
ed fisheries data from their files and assisted in identification of sample site locations. Gray Bass provided
guidance on life history, distributions, rarity of species, and threats to many species, and offered general encour-
agement throughout the study. Michelle Reeves and Deborah Roberts-Williams were instrumental in collecting
and compiling historical data and in processing the GFC fisheries data. Glenn Reynolds and Bill Sheaffer provid-
ed valuable assistance in the development of the fish database.

George Burgess, Florida Museum of Natural History; Charles Dardia, Cornell University; Bernard Kuhajda,
University of Alabama; Dr. Steve Bortone, University of West Florida; Jerry Ziewitz, USFWS-Panama City; and
the staff at the Florida Natural Areas Inventory provided species occurrence data from their databases. Charles
Boydstun, Howard Jelks, and Dr. James Williams, USGS-Biological Research Division, provided ArcInfo cover-
ages of Eglin Air Force Base fish collections containing the Okaloosa darter. Dr. Carter Gilbert, University of
Florida, provided additional data, life history information, and guidance throughout the study.

Joe Hand, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, provided the watershed and water quality trend
information. He also provided additional water quality parameter data for specific watersheds and provided sug-
gestions on the water quality conclusions throughout the course of this study. Analyses of benthic macroinverte-
brate data for the northwest panhandle region were provided by Donald Ray, Florida Department of
Environmental Protection-Northwest District Office.

Photos were provided by Gray Bass, George Burgess, Noel Burkhead, Dr. Byron J. Freeman, Dr. Grant
Gilmore, William E Loftus, Vernon Ogilvie, Patrick E. O'Neil, Donald Ray, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Region 4. John Stys, Maureen MacLaughlin, James Cox, and Eric Songer provided considerable assistance in the
development of the Arclnfo coverages and GIS analyses used in this study. A special thanks to Dr. Carter Gilbert,
Brad Hartman, Brian Barnett, Randy Kautz, Jim Estes, Gray Bass, and Mimi Drew, and her staff at the
Department of Environmental Protection, who provided comments on the draft report. A final thanks to Cavell
Kyser, who spent many hours doing the layout and design for the manuscript. This report is a product of Florida's
Nongame Wildlife Program.







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn



TABLE OF CONTENTS


Executive Sum m ary ................................................................ iii

A cknow ledgm ents .................................................................. iv

Introduction ...................................................................... 1

M ethods ... .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. ... .. ... .. .. .. .. ... .. .. . . . . .. .. .. .. ... . 3
Basic Geographic Information System Data Layers .................................. . . ... 3
EPA River Reach File ............................ ............................. 3
Hydrologic Unit Classification System ......................................... . .. 3
Water Quality Assessment ...................................................... 3
Public and Conservation Lands .................................................. 4
Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas ............................................. 4
Species Occurrence Records ...................................... ............ . 4
Fish Species Occurrence Records from GFC Collections ............................ . .. 4
Criteria for Identification of Rare and Imperiled Fishes ................................... 5
Watershed-based Distribution Maps for Stream Fishes ................................. . .. 6
Species Richness Hot Spots by W atershed ............................................. 7
W atershed Ranking Based on Species Rarity ..................................... . .. 7
W ater Quality Status and Trends ................................................ 9
Land Cover and Conservation Lands Acreage ....................................... 9

R results ............................................................ .......... . 10
Distributions of Stream Fishes and Watershed Water Quality Status ......................... 10
Species Richness by W atershed .................................................... 41
Sub-basin Rankings Based on Species Rarity ........................................ . 41
Status of Water Quality in Sub-basins with Rare or Imperiled Stream Fishes ................... 41
Sub-basins of M management Concern ................................................ 44
Escambia River Basin .......... ....................... ....... ............. 44
Blackwater and Yellow River Basins ........................................... . 46
Choctawhatchee River and Bay Basins ......................................... . 46
Chipola River and Apalachicola River and Bay Basins .............................. . 47
Ochlockonee River Basin .......................... .............. ............. 47
Aucilla and Econfina-Fenholloway River Basins .. . . . . . . . . . .... ........... 47
Withlacoochee River (N), Suwannee River, and Santa Fe River Basins .................... 48
St. M arys and Nassau River Basins ............................................ . 48
Oklawaha River and St. Johns River Basins ...................................... . 48
Upper East Coast, Middle East Coast, and South Indian River Basins ..................... 48
Important Habitat and Public Land Ownership within Sub-basins
Containing Rare or Imperiled Stream Fishes ...................................... . . 49

D discussion ...................................................................... 51
B iogeography ................................................................. 51
Determ nation of Status ......................................................... 51
GIS Data Needs and Applications .................................................. 51
The Need for Additional Survey and Monitoring .................................... . . 52
Best Management Practices ....................................................... 52
Land A acquisition .............................................................. 53
Regulatory M echanism s ......................................................... 53
Comprehensive Land Use Planning ................................................. 54
Future N eeds ................................................................. 54







vi FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION



Recom m endations ................................................................ 55

Literature Cited ................................................................. 56







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoelin


DISCUSSION


BIOGEOGRAPHY

This study identified and ranked the relative
endangerment or rarity of stream fishes within the
geographic boundaries of the state of Florida. Many
of Florida's rarest fishes occur in the panhandle, the
southernmost biogeographic limit of many species.
Many rivers in the panhandle drain inland areas of
temperate North America that have a higher number
of fish species (Swift et al. 1986, Gilbert 1987). The
peninsula of Florida has lower diversity of stream
fishes as a result of its periodic isolation during geo-
logic time when the peninsula was separated from
mainland areas of high faunal diversity, and due to
the relative uniformity of Florida habitats (Burgess
and Franz 1978, Swift et al. 1986, Gilbert 1987).
Therefore, it is not surprising that rivers which
extend into the piedmont or Appalachian plateau
have greater numbers of rare or endangered species,
or, that the number of species within the basins of
individual rivers declines from the panhandle to the
peninsula. The fish community similarities among
Florida river systems and the species that occur with-
in river systems have also been well documented
(Bass 1983, Swift et al. 1986, Gilbert 1987).

DETERMINATION OF STATUS

An issue that has not been resolved is that of
determining the management objectives and needs of
the species evaluated in this report. No standardized
method exists to quantify the threats to or rarity of
the species. The Florida Natural Areas Inventory uses
a scoring method that ranks species based upon pop-
ulation size estimates and occurrences within the state
and globally. However, this methodology has flaws
when applied to fish, since it is difficult to determine
population sizes, and large numbers of individuals
may be present within an entire river system and yet
be subject to considerable threats due to habitat
requirements or pollution incidents. The methods
used by FCREPA, which provide clear definitions,
are more subjective and rely upon collections and
personal observations. Millsap et al. (1990) used a
complex ranking methodology that looked at popula-
tion size, range, distribution, trends, specialization,
reproductive potential, action variables, and various
supplemental variables. Fisheries professionals, when
asked to rank relative rarity or endangerment, ranked
the species based upon their field knowledge of the
species. For the purposes of this study, we took the
approach of averaging the rarity values of FNAI and


FCREPA, since each methodology was based upon
established practices and procedures. I, . 1il- . of
which methodology is used, the rarity or
endangerment of a species is based on how often a
species has been collected, cataloged in museums, or
observed by ichthyologists and fisheries professionals;
or it is based on knowledge of a species habitat
requirements, tolerance of pollutants, and threats to
its habitat.

GIS DATA NEEDS AND APPLICATIONS

Obtaining occurrence records from museum col-
lections and from state fishery professionals is the
first step in developing a picture of a species range
and distribution. Unfortunately, occurrence records
often contain imprecise information on sample loca-
tions. Many collection records are identified only by
section, township, and range. Location descriptions,
such as at the bridge crossing of a specific road or so
many miles from a given location, also are common.
Few records provide accurate latitude and longitude
coordinates useful in creating a GIS database.
However, museum curators are starting the process of
ascertaining latitude and longitude coordinates for
most of their collections. State fishery professionals
are also beginning to use GPS in their routine sam-
pling and reporting. This study has demonstrated one
method of converting locational information into
spatially referenced data points. The recording of lati-
tude and longitude on data sheets from routine sam-
pling or for vouchered specimens should become a
standardized practice since the technology exists to
inexpensively determine accurate locations. Once
fish-sampling records are spatially referenced, GIS
technology can be used for large-scale evaluations of
species presence and status to aid in making manage-
ment decisions.
GIS technology is increasingly being used to link
databases that have been developed by state and fed-
eral agencies, university researchers, and private cor-
porations. The use of a uniform base layer, like the
USGS hydrologic unit code, provides an established
link to many of these databases. Further, the delineat-
ed hydrologic unit or sub-basin allows an analysis of
activities or conditions within specific areas of the
landscape that affect aquatic resources. The use of the
basin or watershed approach in the analysis of aquatic
resources is increasingly common among researchers
(Angermeier and Bailey 1992, Angermeier 1995,
Mcixler et al. 1996, Scott et al. 1996), state agencies
(e.g., Missouri Resource Assessment Program, South







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Virginia
Fish and Wildlife, Pennsylvania Department of Fish
and Game, Florida Department of Environmental
Protection), and federal agencies (e.g., EPA, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, USGS).

THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL SURVEY AND
MONITORING

In this study, linking fish occurrence data with
hydrologic unit or sub-basin delineations revealed
that 259 river or stream sub-basins within Florida
contain records of rare or imperiled fishes (Figure
32). Several of the sub-basins were identified as sup-
porting rare or imperiled fishes based on museum
records over 15 years old. The lack of newer
occurrence information may be either an artifact of
some species occurring in habitats that are not
routinely sampled or it may be a true indication of a
species rarity.

Routine sampling of small streams and rivers has
decreased or has been discontinued by government
agencies in the 1990s. Few academic researchers have
conducted basinwide field surveys since the late
1970s and early 1980s. Sub-basins identified as sup-
porting rare or imperiled fishes using only museum
records older than 15 years need to be resurveyed to
determine whether or not the species are still present.

This analysis has indicated a need to conduct
additional field surveys to better understand the cur-
rent distributions, life histories, and habitat require-
ments of some species. The life histories of most of
the species in this study are not known or have been
poorly documented. Examples of species in need of
additional field surveys to determine population sta-
tus, life history, or habitat requirements, and to deter-
mine if they still occur in Florida, are the crystal
darter, cypress darter, harlequin darter, goldstripe
darter, cypress minnow, bluenose shiner, and river
redhorse.

The 259 sub-basins where rare and imperiled
fishes have been recorded are in need of further
research to identify specific threats to the species so
that conservation or management actions can be
implemented. The majority of the species in this pro-
ject are intolerant of various pollutants, are vulnera-
ble to habitat degradation, or have limited or isolated
populations. Changes to water quality, flow, or habi-
tat may result in the loss of one or more species from
a sub-basin or, ultimately, a species may be extirpated
from Florida. Periodic monitoring of water quality,
stream habitat structure, and invertebrate


populations, along with surveys for the fish species,
should be undertaken to determine water quality and
biological trends in the sub-basins and to allow cor-
rective action to be taken before significant problems
develop.

Of the 259 identified sub-basins, 126 sub-basins
were found to have water quality that is either
impaired or is degrading (84 sub-basins), or past sam-
pling efforts have been insufficient to allow for a
determination of water quality status (42 sub-basins).
The majority of the 126 Sub-basins of Management
Concern (Figure 34) have sediment, nutrient, or dis-
solved oxygen problems that may affect rare or
imperiled fishes, and their spawning habitats and
food supplies. Additional monitoring or surveys are
needed to determine the most appropriate
management strategies, which should be followed by
immediate implementation, interagency cooperation,
and coordination with landowners in the basin to
correct problems within the sub-basins. With
additional monitoring, some of the sub-basins may
be eliminated as Sub-basins of Management Concern
if they meet water quality standards, support their
designated uses, have stable or improving trends, or it
is found that some species are more widespread than
previously thought.

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Many of the highly ranked Sub-basins of
Management Concern in the panhandle have known
water pollution problems (e.g., sedimentation, excess
turbidity, nutrient enrichment) due to land use prac-
tices, steep slopes, and erodible soil (DEP 1994b,
1996; NWFWMD 1994, 1996, 1997). Silvicultural
Best Management Practices (BMPs) suggest the use
of special management zones to protect water quality
and stream-side habitats. These special management
zones, which are buffer zones between forest clear-
cuts and a stream, range from 11 meters to over 90
meters from a stream bank. A recent study of four
north Florida sites by DEP indicates the silvicultural
BMPs are effective in preventing water quality prob-
lems in streams adjacent to lands that are clearcut
(DEP 1997a).

The Northwest Florida Water Management
District, in both the Pensacola Bay System
(NWFWMD 1997) and the Choctawhatchee River
and Bay System (NWFWMD 1996) Surface Water
Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plan, has
developed project outlines to investigate runoff and
non-point source problems that occur within desig-
nated sub-basins of these river systems. An assessment







RARE AND IMPERILED FISH SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hoehn


of how well all existing BMPs are working to reduce
pollution problems is part of the project outline.
However, sub-basins have not been selected to con-
duct the assessments.

DEP (1996) has indicated that the U.S. Natural
Resources Conservation Service has projects to
address runoff in the Canoe Creek and Pine Barren
Creek sub-basins of the Escambia River. Some work
has been completed in the Canoe Creek sub-basin,
but substantial work remains uncompleted. An assess-
ment of the effectiveness of the existing BMPs within
the sub-basins identified as containing rare or imper-
iled fish species should be a priority in each of the
water management districts' SWIM plans, DEP's
Non-point Source and Water Quality Monitoring
programs, and part of U.S. Natural Resources
Conservation Service projects in the panhandle.
However, cooperation with landowners will be neces-
sary for implementation of any recommended
changes in BMPs.

In addition, there is a need to address sedimenta-
tion problems that are due to unpaved roads in many
Sub-basins of Management Concern. Interagency
coordination with local governments may provide
site-specific solutions to remedy some of the
sedimentation problems. One solution would be
paving of dirt roads; however, a funding mechanism
for the paving would need to be developed for the
affected counties. DEP has applied for a grant to
work with the counties to develop BMPs for dirt
road maintenance activities as an alternative to
paving. The development of road maintenance BMPs
would start in 1997 or 1998 (Dick Fancher, personal
communication).

LAND ACQUISITION

Since 1975, approximately 2,061,835 acres have
been purchased through the various state land acqui-
sition programs (Doug Bailey, personal communica-
tion). The focus of the riverine acquisitions has been
along the main stems and floodplains of the major
rivers of the state plus a few tributary streams.
Through the Save Our Rivers program approximately
849,808 acres has been acquired for public use along
rivers and streams (DEP 1997b). However, the
majority of the tributary streams within the sub-
basins identified by this project are not currently
being considered for state acquisition. Tributary
streams with sufficient buffer areas adjacent to the
streams should be considered for acquisition, based
upon the sub-basin ranking, by various state and
local government acquisition programs. The use of


conservation easements, with adequate buffers
around streams, could provide an economical alterna-
tive to fee-simple acquisition.

REGULATORY MECHANISMS

Several regulatory mechanisms, principally per-
mitting and enforcement procedures, could be
employed to address some of the identified problems
in the Sub-basins of Management Concern. Most of
the Sub-basins of Management Concern have water
quality problems. Water quality problems in a few
sub-basins may be attributable to point source
discharges within Florida and some outside of
Florida. More stringent requirements may be neces-
sary for these dischargers as their permits are
renewed. However, in the majority of the Sub-basins
of Management Concern, loss of wetlands, degrada-
tion of stream-side habitat, and non-point source
issues are the primary permitting issues. Often the
permit processor is unaware that a particular rare or
imperiled species may be present within the sub-basin
where a proposed project may occur. This identifica-
tion of sub-basins containing rare or imperiled
species of fishes should easily provide applicants, per-
mit processors, and permit reviewers with new infor-
mation for application to proposed or existing
projects.

While regulatory programs routinely focus on
avoiding or minimizing impacts from a proposed or
existing project, they also allow for mitigation. Many
of the Sub-basins of Management Concern could be
targeted for mitigation or restoration projects as a
condition of a wetland use permit. Mitigation
projects could include construction of sediment
basins to contain runoff prior to entering a stream,
physical removal of sediments that have filled in
streams, planting of canopy trees where vegetative
conversion has occurred along the riparian zone, or
enhancement of existing habitat structure within a
river or stream. However, as in most stream restora-
tion projects, without removing the upslope cause of
the problem, the restoration or mitigation will not be
successful (Roper et al. 1997). Restoration or mitiga-
tion projects should be designed to benefit the func-
tioning of the entire sub-basin and ecosystem
(Kauffman et al. 1997).

Typically, protection and conservation measures
for streams have been focused on upland land use
and water quality permitting. However, recent
changes to state and federal statutes have highlighted
the need for protection of water flows in rivers and
streams through the establishment of minimum flows







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


and levels. While water rights and water issues are
not new, they have been receiving greater attention in
recent years in the eastern United States and in
Florida. The Florida Legislature amended Chapter
373, Florida Statutes, to require the Water
Management Districts to develop and adopt
minimum flows and levels for water bodies through-
out the state. In some cases, interstate coordination
will be required to develop minimum flows and levels
as upstream states' water demands increase, thereby
reducing the flows entering Florida.

Several committees currently are discussing inter-
state river issues on the Perdido River and in the
Apalachicola and Suwannee river basins. The Florida,
Georgia, and Alabama legislatures and the United
States Congress adopted, in 1997, the Apalachicola-
Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Compact. This
compact should lead to the allocation of water
among the three states and the protection of Florida's
riverine and estuarine resources. The Central and
South Florida canal network is under intense study to
determine changes necessary to ensure that adequate
quantities of water flow to the Everglades during the
appropriate seasons. The Central and South Florida
restudy also will be reviewing flows from canals
throughout the populated areas of South Florida. In
South Florida, the river goby and mountain mullet
are two examples of species that are imperiled due to
hydrologic flow alterations within their known habi-
tats. Increased attention should be given to the sub-
basins containing rare or imperiled species as each of
the water management districts works to develop cri-
teria for minimum flows and levels.

COMPREHENSIVE LAND USE PLANNING

One of the most important conservation tools
rests with local governments and regional planning
councils. Each local government and regional
planning council is charged, through the Local


Government Comprehensive Planning and Land
Development Regulation Act, Chapter 163, Florida
Statutes, to develop land use planning documents
which are the blueprints for growth in areas under
their jurisdiction. Comprehensive land use plans
must take into consideration rare or imperiled species
occurrences and habitat information in determining
where and what type of development will occur.
Development along the rivers or streams identified in
this project should be carefully considered to ensure
that riparian zone habitat is not destroyed or altered
and that additional runoff does not enter the systems.
Further, changes in land use should also be carefully
reviewed within these sub-basins. Degradation of the
streams may not occur at first, but, as sub-basins
develop, stream quality becomes increasingly worse
(Klein 1979).

FUTURE NEEDS

This study addressed rare and imperiled fish
species distributions and sub-basins containing these
species at the macro level. Additional stream habitat
and stream morphology data are needed to refine the
analysis of fish habitat needs at the scale suggested by
the national aquatic gap analysis protocols. However,
substantial field surveys will be required to obtain
this level of detail for statewide analysis. Further work
is also needed to define and identify areas of "quality"
fish assemblages, to determine typical habitat require-
ments at the community level, and to look at trends
within fish assemblages. Additional analysis is also
needed to compare benthic macro-invertebrate trends
with changes in land use, water quality, fish
occurrences, and the fish community. As Angermeier
and Schlosser (1995) stated, "Species-specific
approaches should be complemented by efforts to
protect distinctive assemblages (defined to include
guilds, communities, landscapes, and biomes), which
provide the ecological and evolutionary context for
populations."







RARE AND IMPERILED FisiI SPECIES OF FLORIDA-Hochn


RECOMMENDATIONS


* Standardize the criteria used to quantify and
define rare, endangered, and threatened fish species.

* Biologists should routinely record the location
(latitude/longitude) of all field surveys and samples.

* Conduct field surveys to determine fish species
presence and abundance in sub-basins that have not
been sampled in over 15 years.

* Conduct field surveys to better understand the
current distribution, life history, and habitat require-
ments of rare or imperiled fish species. Crystal darter,
cypress darter, harlequin darter, goldstripe darter,
cypress minnow, bluenose shiner, and river redhorse
are in need of field surveys to determine population
status, life history, habitat requirements, and to deter-
mine continued presence in Florida.

* Conduct research to determine the specific
threats to rare or imperiled fish species and their life
histories, and then develop conservation and manage-
ment actions to reduce or eliminate these threats.

* Periodic monitoring of water quality, stream
habitat structure, and invertebrate populations should
be conducted along with surveys for fishes to deter-
mine trends in the sub-basins and to allow corrective
action to be taken before significant problems devel-
op.

* Conduct additional monitoring in Sub-basins of
Management Concern to determine which specific
water quality constituents affect the species, and their
spawning habitats and food supplies. Where applica-
ble, develop and implement an interagency-landown-
er management strategy to address or correct
identified problems, and, if necessary, determine
acceptable loadings for specific water quality parame-
ters.

* Conduct an assessment of existing silvicultural
and agricultural BMPs within sub-basins containing
rare or imperiled fish species, identify recommended


changes to improve the BMPs, and work with affect-
ed landowners and user groups to implement any rec-
ommended changes.

* Develop BMPs for dirt road maintenance in
areas identified as having a history of sedimentation
problems from unpaved roads.

* Acquisition of public or private conservation
lands should focus on tributary streams with
sufficient buffer areas along the streams.

* Additional consideration should be given to sub-
basins containing rare or imperiled fish species by
applicants, permit processors, and permit reviewers
when considering proposed projects or modifications
or renewals to existing projects requiring
environmental resource permits.

* Sub-basins of Management Concern could be
targeted for potential mitigation or restoration
through wetland use permit conditions if a specific
restoration need has been identified.

* Increased attention should be given to sub-basins
containing rare or imperiled fish species in the devel-
opment of minimum flows and levels criteria by
Florida's Water Management Districts.

* Additional consideration should be given to sub-
basins containing rare or imperiled fish species by
local governments in review of their comprehensive
land use plans and in review of proposed land use
changes.

* Future studies are needed to define and identify
areas of "quality" fish assemblages and to assess popu-
lation trends within these assemblages in order to
identify further research and monitoring needs.
Compare changes in fish assemblages with changes in
land use, water quality, and benthic invertebrate pop-
ulations, and develop conservation and management
actions to address adverse changes.







FLORIDA (JAME AND IRESH WATER FiISH COMMISSION


LITERATURE CITED


Angermcier, P. L. 1995. Ecological attributes of
extinction-prone species: loss of freshwater fishes
of Virginia. Conservation Biology 9(l):143-158.

Angcrmcier, P L., and A. Bailey. 1992. Use of
geographic information system in the conserva-
tion of rivers in Virginia, USA. Pages 151-160 in
P J. Boon, P. Calow, and G. E. Petts, editors.
River Conservation and Management. John
Wiley and Sons. New York.

Angermeier, P. I., and I. J. Schlosser. 1995.
Conserving aquatic biodiversity: beyond species
and populations. American Fisheries Society
Symposium 17:402-414.

Barbour, M. T., J. Gerritsen, and J. S. White. 1996.
Development of the stream condition index
(SCI) for Florida. Florida Department of
Environmental Protection, Stormwater and Non-
point Source Management Section. Tallahassee.

Bass., D. G. 1983. Rivers of Florida and their fishes.
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission. Completion Report, North Florida
Streams Research Project, Wallop-Breaux Project
F-36. Tallahassee.

Bass., D. G. 1993. Fish community analysis. Florida
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
Completion Report, North Florida Streams
Rcscarch Project, Wallop-Breaux Project F-36.
Tallahassee.

Bass., D. G. 1995. Checklist of fishes recorded from
rivers of Florida. Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission. Wallop-Breaux Project F-36.
Tallahassee.

Bortone, S. A. 1993. Life history, habitat assessment
and systematics of the blackmouth shiner
(Notropis sp.), Blackwater River drainage. Florida
Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission,
Nongame Wildlife Program Final Report, Project
NG88-025. Tallahassee.

Bortone, S. A., and C. R. Gilbert. 1992. Blackmouth
shiner, Notropis melanostornus. Pages 58-62 in
C.R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered biota
of Florida. Volume 11. Fishes. University Press of
Florida. Gainesville.


Burgess, G. H. 1980a. Blueback herring, Alosa aesti-
valis. Page 61 in D. S Lee, C. R. Gilbert, C. H.
Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. A. McAllister, and J.
R. Stauffer Jr. Atlas of North American freshwa-
ter fishes. North Carolina State Museum of
Natural History. Raleigh.

Burgess, G. II. 1980b. Alabama shad, Alosa
alabamae. Page 62 in D. S Lee, C. R. Gilbert, C.
H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. A. McAllister, and
J. R. Stauffer Jr. Atlas of North American fresh-
water fishes. North Carolina State Museum of
Natural History. Raleigh.

Burgess, G. H., and R. Franz. 1978. Zoogeography
of the aquatic fauna of the St. Johns River system
with comments on adjacent peninsular faunas.
American Midland Naturalist 100(i):160-170.

Burgess, G. H., C. R. Gilbert, V. Guillory, and D. C.
Taphron. 1977. Distributional notes on some
North Florida freshwater fishes. Florida Scientist
40(l):33-41.

Burkhcad, N. M., J. D. Williams, and R. W Ycrger.
1992. Okaloosa darter, Ftheostoma okaloosae.
Pages 23-30 in C. R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and
endangered biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes.
University Press of Florida. Gainesville.

Cox, J., R. Kautz, M. MacLaughlin, T. Gilbert. 1994.
Closing the gaps in Florida's wildlife habitat con-
servation system. Florida Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission, Office of Environmental
Services. Tallahassee.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
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Resource Permitting Division. Report
DCA#930S-07-13-16-004/DER# RG013.
Tallahassce.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
1994b. Florida non-point source assessment
report. 5 vols. Bureau of Surface Water
Management, Stormwater/Non-point Source
Management Section. Tallahassee.






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Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
1996. 1996 Water-quality assessment for the
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Gilbert, C. R., editor. 1992a. Rare and endangered
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992b. Shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992c. Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser
oxyrinchus. Pages 31-39 in C. R. Gilbert, editor.
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992d. Alligator gar, Atractosteus spat-
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992e. Crystal darter, Crystallaria
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992f. Bluestripe shiner, ( i .
callitaenia. Pages 49-53 in C. R. Gilbert, editor.
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992g. Tessellated darter, Etheostoma
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992h. Goldstripe darter, Etheostoma
parvipinne. Pages 169-172 in C. R. Gilbert, edi-
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992i. Southern starhead topminnow,
Fundulus dispar blairae. Pages 163-67 in C. R.
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992j. Cypress Minnow, Hybognathus
hayi. Pages 54-57 in C. R. Gilbert, editor. Rare
and endangered biota of Florida. Volume II.
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992k. Southern striped shiner,
Luxilus chrysocephalus isolepis. Pages 138-142 in
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Florida. Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R. 19921. Bandfin shiner, Luxilus
zonistius. Pages 143-147 in C. R. Gilbert, editor.
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Fishes. University Press of Florida. Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R. 1992m. Blacktip shiner, Lythrurus
atrapiculus. Pages 148-152 in C. R. Gilbert, edi-
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Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R. 1992n. Shoal bass, Micropterus n. sp.
cf coosae. Pages 98-104 in C. R. Gilbert, editor.
Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume 1I.
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Gilbert, C. R. 1992o. Southern bluehead chub,
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Florida. Gainesville.







FLORIDA GAME AND FRESH WATER FISH COMMISSION


Gilbert, C. R. 1992p. Rough shiner, Notropis bailey.
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endangered biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes.
University Press of Florida. Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R. 1992q. Florida logperch, Percina n. sp.
cf caprodes. Pages 177-181 in C. R. Gilbert, edi-
tor. Rare and endangered biota of Florida.
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Gaincsville.

Gilbert, C. R. 1992r. Bluenose shiner, Pieronolropis
wulaka. Pages 188-193 in C. R. Gilbert, editor.
Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume 11.
Fishes. University Press of Florida. Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R., and F. A. Snelson. 1992. Blackbanded
sunfish, Enneacanthus chaetodon. Pages 182-187
in C. R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered
biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University
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Gilbert, C. R., and F. F. Snelson Jr. 1992a. River red-
horse, Moxostoma carinatum. Pages 40-44 in C.
R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered biota of
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Gilbert, (. R., and F. E Snelson Jr. 1992b. Grayfin
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Gilbert, C. R., and R. W. Ycrgcr. 1992a. Harlequin
darter, Ftheostoma histrio. Pages 84-87 in C. R.
Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered biota of
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Gilbert, C. R., and R. W. Yerger. 1992b. Cypress
darter, Ftheotorna proe/iar. Pages 173-176 in C.
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Gilbert, C. R., and R. W. Yerger. 1992c. Florida
chub, Extrariu n. sp. cf aestivalis. Pages 133-137
in C. R. Gilbert, editor. Rare and endangered
biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University
Press of Florida. Gainesville.

Gilbert, C. R., and R. W. Yerger. 1992d. Saddleback
darter, Percina vigil. Pages 93-97 in C. R.
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facility of this agency, write to:
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