Impact of Introduced Red Shiners Cyprinella Lutrensis on Stream Fishes near Atlanta, Georgia
DeVivo, Joseph C.
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The red shiner, Cyprinella lutrensis, is native to watersheds in the south- and central-plains states west of the Mississippi River, but its use as a bait fish for sport fishing has resulted in its introduction in many watersheds across the country. Cyprinella lutrensis is a tolerant generalist that typically thrives in degraded waters. Historically, the introduction of C. lutrensis has resulted in significant shifts in fish assemblages, either as a result of displacement of native fishes, or by hybridization with congeneric fishes. Cyprinella lutrensis has been introduced into the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basin and thrives particularly in the impacted streams near Atlanta, Georgia. Fish samples collected near Atlanta by the National Water Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in June and November, 1993 have shown C. lutrensis to be the dominant or co-dominant species in degraded streams of urban watersheds, representing up to 77 % of individuals and 12.5 % of species at a site. The continued use of C. lutrensis as a bait fish and the continued degradation of stream systems within the Atlanta metropolitan area constitute a serious threat to native fishes including the bluestripe shiner, C. callitaenia, which is listed as endangered by the state of Georgia and is a C-2 candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.