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Population Densities of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis, in Kentucky and Tennessee
Tyler R. Black, Jason E. Detar, and Hayden T. Mattingly

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Special Issue 4 (2013): 6–26

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T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 6 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Population Densities of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis, in Kentucky and Tennessee Tyler R. Black1,2,*, Jason E. Detar1,3, and Hayden T. Mattingly1 Abstract - Chrosomus cumberlandensis (Blackside Dace) is a rare cyprinid fish restricted to small tributaries in the upper Cumberland River drainage in southeastern Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee. One hundred and nineteen 200-m reaches within 55 streams were sampled during June–August 2003, 2005, and 2006 via AC and pulsed-DC singlepass backpack electrofishing, thereby representing the most comprehensive quantitative survey conducted for this species to date. Dace were found to inhabit 43 of 55 streams and 78 of 119 reaches, although in two-thirds of the reaches the species was either not detected or was present in low numbers (i.e., catch rates ≤10 dace per 200 m). For the 78 reaches where the dace was detected, single-pass electrofishing catch rates ranged from 1 to 151 (mean ± SD = 27 ± 34) dace per 200 m. Petersen mark-recapture population estimates conducted on 16 reaches within 12 streams were used to build a regression model to calibrate single-pass electrofishing catch for the remaining 62 reaches inhabited by dace. Population estimates for the 78 reaches harboring Blackside Dace averaged 90 ± 121 dace per 200 m, and associated densities averaged 14.1 ± 19.4 dace per 100 m2. Electrofishing sampling efficiency for Blackside Dace was 0.30 as revealed through our mark-recapture efforts. The small population sizes documented in many streams coupled with restricted distributions and relatively limited mobility may render many populations susceptible to local extinction due to stochastic events, poor recruitment, or additional habitat degradation. Introduction Chrosomus cumberlandensis (Starnes and Starnes) (Blackside Dace) is a rare cyprinid fish restricted to small tributaries in the upper Cumberland River drainage in southeastern Kentucky and northeastern Tennessee (Eisenhour and Strange 1998; O’Bara 1988, 1990; Starnes and Etnier 1986; Starnes and Starnes 1978, 1981; USFWS 1987; Fig. 1). It is one of seven described North American Chrosomus species, including C. eos Cope (Northern Redbelly Dace), C. erythrogaster (Rafinesque) (Southern Redbelly Dace), C. neogaeus (Cope) (Finescale Dace), C. oreas Cope (Mountain Redbelly Dace), C. saylori (Skelton) (Laurel Dace), and C. tennesseensis (Starnes and Jenkins) (Tennessee Dace) (Etnier and Starnes 2001, Skelton 2001, Starnes and Jenkins 1988, Strange and Mayden 2009). The Blackside Dace was probably first noticed in 1883 by D.S. Jordan and J. Swain in Whitley County, KY (based on color description), but it was considered a color variation of Southern Redbelly Dace (Starnes and S tarnes 1978). 1Department of Biology, Box 5063, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505. 2Current Address - North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, 1718 US Hwy 56 W, Creedmoor, NC 27522. 3Current Address - Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, 450 Robinson Lane, Bellefonte, PA 16823. *Corresponding author - tyler. black@ncwildlife.org. Ecology and Conservation of the Threatened Blackside Dace, Chrosomus cumberlandensis 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 12(Special Issue 4):6–26 7 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Blackside Dace typically inhabit small streams with cool, clear water (<20 °C), relatively clean rocky substrates, a riffle/pool-area ratio below 60:40, extensive cover (i.e., undercut banks and woody debris), continuous riparian canopy, and moderate amounts of periphytic production for food (Baxter 1997, O’Bara 1990, Starnes 1981, Starnes and Starnes 1981). Their diet includes a mix of diatoms, algal cells, organic detritus, root hairs, and benthic macroinvertebrates (Etnier and Starnes 2001, Starnes and Starnes 1981). In 1978, the Blackside Dace was formally described and known to inhabit 16 locations within Kentucky and Tennessee, some of which were regarded as containing remnant or historic populations (Starnes and Starnes 1978). In 1984 and 1985, O’Bara (1990) surveyed 193 sites in the drainage, and deemed 151 sites as suitable habitat; however, Blackside Dace were present in only 30 sites. Nine previously undiscovered populations were found, and 27 km of stream were estimated to be occupied. Only 13 km of stream contained healthy populations, defined by O’Bara (1990) as containing at least two year classes and representing >25% of the local fish community. Subsequently, the species was federally listed as threatened in 1987 (USFWS 1987, 1988). Laudermilk and Cicerello (1998) then compiled data from 450 fish collections in the Kentucky portion of the upper Cumberland drainage during 1982–1994, with most collections being made during 1993–1994. These authors reported Blackside Dace present in 95 of those collections, thereby establishing a more refined understanding of its distribution in Kentucky. A summary of Blackside Dace distributional studies is provided in an appendix by McAbee et al. (2013 [this issue]). Anthropogenic habitat perturbations are a leading cause of the decline of Blackside Dace populations throughout its range. The upper Cumberland River drainage is a region rich in coal and timber resources, extraction of which often degrades streams that harbor Blackside Dace (Starnes 1981). Coal extraction can cause major changes to water quality within a watershed, including increased sedimentation and acidification (Brake et al. 2001, Wood and Armitage 1997). Logging increases the effects of solar radiation and sedimentation in a stream when vegetation in the riparian zone is removed (Johnson and Jones 2000, Sutherland et al. 2002, Wood and Armitage 1997). Such disturbances result in range reduction, fragmentation, and increasing isolation of fishes (Butler 2002). Drought conditions may have also caused declines in Blackside Dace populations, but additional stressors such as untreated wastes could play a role in affecting survival during these naturally stressful periods (O’Ba ra 1988). These threats to Blackside Dace habitat must be addressed to ensure conservation of this endemic cyprinid. The seriousness of the situation is reinforced by Starnes (1981), who reported that Blackside Dace might have been extirpated from at least 52 streams before its discovery. To date, no comprehensive survey across the species’ current range has been conducted using quantitative estimates of population size or density. The lack of quantitative and comparative information on population status could prevent effective management and conservation of the species. Therefore, the principal objectives of this research T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 8 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 were to: (1) generate Blackside Dace population-estimation models using backpack electrofishing equipment and (2) use the population-density information to evaluate Blackside Dace population status in Kentucky and Tennessee. Methods Fifty-five streams within the known native range of Blackside Dace were surveyed based on USFWS sampling priorities, stream accessibility, ability to be efficiently sampled, and presence of heterogeneous habitat (i.e., riffles, runs, and pools). Within these streams, one-hundred-nineteen 200-m reaches were sampled 20 June–12 August 2003, 28 June–17 August 2005, and 21–22 June 2006 (Fig. 1, Appendix 1). In general, one to four 200-m reaches were established within each stream based on total stream length (i.e., <2 km: 1 reach, 2–4 km: 2 reaches, 4–6 km: 3 reaches, and >6 km: 4 reaches) and accessibility. Blackside Dace populations often exhibit a patchy distribution (Starnes and Starnes 1981); thus, reaches were established throughout the length of a stream to obtain a representative sample. Eighty-five reaches were sampled in 8 Kentucky counties, and 34 reaches were sampled in 3 Tennessee counties. Streams were sampled haphazardly both spatially and temporally to improve sample independence. Whenever possible, reaches were selected in areas that were bounded by natural barriers (e.g., cascades or shallow riffles) to impede fish emigration during sampli ng. Presence/absence and abundance of Blackside Dace were determined via single pass electrofishing with a generator-powered variable-voltage AC backpack electrofisher (in-house design similar to a Coffelt BP-1C) in 2003 and a Smith- Root® Model LR-24 (Vancouver, WA) backpack electrofisher using pulsed DC Figure 1. Upper Cumberland River drainage depicting summer 2003 (triangles) and summer 2005–2006 (circles) sampling reaches (sites) in Kentucky and Tennessee. See Appendix 1 for Blackside Dace presence/absence and density in the 119 reaches sampled within 55 streams. 9 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 in 2005–2006. Electrofisher output was adjusted to the minimum power needed to achieve immobilization and fish capture. A three-person crew conducted each electrofishing pass working upstream through the reach, with one individual operating the electrofishing unit and dipnetting immobilized fish, another dipnetting fish, and a third carrying a bucket containing water and captured fish. Mean ± SD single-pass electrofishing time was 42 ± 13 min per 200 m (n = 104) for all reaches, 47 ± 12 min (n = 69) for reaches inhabited by Blackside Dace, and 33 ± 10 min (n = 35) for uninhabited reaches. Additionally, reaches were not sampled directly after rain events due to reduced visibility associated with increased turbidity. All captured Blackside Dace, Blackside Dace x Semotilus atromaculatus (Mitchill) (Creek Chub) hybrids (see Eisenhour and Piller 1997), and Southern Redbelly Dace were placed in a bucket containing fresh water until they could be identified, enumerated, recorded, and released back into their s tream reach. Population densities were estimated using the Petersen mark-recapture method (Van Den Avyle and Hayward 1999) at selected reaches during single-pass electrofishing efforts. Sixteen reaches were selected for mark-recapture estimates within 12 different streams. Mark-recapture reaches were set up similarly to the other 103 reaches, but the former included block nets at the upper and lower margin of the 200-m reach during the sampling period. After single-pass electrofishing was completed, captured Blackside Dace were placed in a bucket containing aerated water. Dace were then anesthetized with 40 mg/L clove oil (Detar and Mattingly 2005) and marked with a caudal fin clip. Anesthetized fish were placed in an aerated recovery bucket until equilibrium was restored, then the fish were released back into the study reach. A second electrofishing pass using the same gear was completed the next day, and dace captured during the recapture pass were examined for the presence of a fin clip. Fish were recorded as “marked” or “unmarked” and then released. Population estimates were calculated using the Chapman (1951) modification of the Petersen index (Van Den Avyle and Hayward 1999), and confidence intervals (95%) were calculated by using a binomial distribution (Krebs 1989). We first used an equality-of-slopes approach in our analysis because we employed AC gear at 9 reaches in 2003 and pulsed-DC gear at 7 reaches in 2005–2006. We wanted to determine whether the gear type affected the relation between singlepass electrofishing catch rates and Petersen population estimates. Specifically, we used PROC GLM in SAS version 9.2 (SAS Institute, Inc.; www.sas.com) to evaluate the interaction between gear type and single-pass catch for log10-transformed data from the 16 reaches. Our results indicated no significant interaction and, thus, no difference between slopes for the two gear types (F1,12 = 1.49, P = 0.246). Therefore, we pooled the 16 reaches to construct a combined model by regressing log10 (population estimate) onto log10 (single-pass catch). The combined model was then used to estimate the population size for the remaining reaches that contained Blackside Dace. The Working-Hotelling method was used to construct 90% confidence intervals for remaining population estimates (Kutner et al. 2005). Population estimates for reaches harboring <11 or >151 Blackside Dace T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 10 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 should be interpreted cautiously because these values are outside the range of values used to construct the models. An estimate of electrofishing sampling efficiency was obtained by simply dividing single-pass catches by their predicted population estimates across a range of hypothetical catches. For example, if the combined regression model predicted a population estimate of 80 Blackside Dace per 200 m from a single-pass catch of 20 Blackside Dace, then the sampling efficiency would be 20/80 = 0.25, or 25%. Blackside Dace density (number of Blackside Dace per 100 m2) was calculated by dividing the population estimate for each reach by the wetted-surface area (m2) of the reach and then multiplying by 100. The surface area of each reach was obtained by multiplying the length of the reach (200 m) by the mean wetted-channel width (m). The mean wetted-channel width was calculated by averaging the wetted-channel widths (measured perpendicular to stream flow) at the upstream and downstream margin of the reach and at 20-m intervals. We used Spearman rank-order correlation analyses to determine whether Blackside Dace tended to be more abundant in upstream or downstream reaches within streams where more than one 200-m reach was sampled. Three analyses were conducted: one for streams where only 2 reaches were sampled (n = 14 streams, 28 reaches); another for streams where only 3 reaches were sampled (n = 9 streams, 27 reaches); and a third for streams where 4 reaches were sampled (n = 7 streams, 28 reaches). The two variables analyzed were (a) reach number, with 1 indicating downstream-most reaches, and (b) Blackside Dace density rank, with 1 indicating highest density. The density ranks were assigned for each stream by comparing densities for reaches within that stream only. In Brownies Creek for example, we calculated a density of 0.6 dace per 100 m2 at Reach 1, 2.4 at Reach 2, 2.7 at Reach 3, and 15.0 at Reach 4 (Appendix 1). Therefore, reach number-density rank data for Brownies Creek were entered as 1, 4; 2, 3; 3, 2; and 4, 1. With this approach, a positive correlation (i.e., positive value for rs with P < 0.05) indicates an overall tendency for higher Blackside Dace densities in downstream reaches, whereas a negative correlation indicates a tendency for higher densities in upstream reaches. Finally, we used a Kruskal-Wallis test to determine if Blackside Dace population densities were unequal in reaches in Kentucky versus Tennessee (PROC NPAR1WAY). The Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted using density data ranked only from reaches in which at least one Blackside Dace was dete cted. Results We detected Blackside Dace in 43 of 55 streams and 78 of 119 reaches (Appendix 1), although most reaches (78 of 119, 66%) had catch rates of ≤10 dace per 200 m (Fig. 2a). Fifty or more dace were captured in only 14 reaches, representing 9 streams (Table 1, Fig. 2a). Seven of the 12 uninhabited streams were streams without a historical record of Blackside Dace presence; these 7 streams contained 8 of the 41 uninhabited reaches. For occupied reaches, single-pass backpack electrofishing catch rates ranged from 1 to 151 (mean ± SD = 27 ± 34) 11 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 dace per 200-m reach (Table 1). The highest catch rates were documented in Big Lick Branch, Breedens Creek, Mill Creek, Rock Creek, Ryans Creek, and Trace Branch (Table 1). Petersen mark-recapture population estimates conducted on 16 reaches resulted in estimates ranging from 33 to 613 (mean ± SD = 192 ± 167) dace per 200-m reach (Table 2). The mean density estimate for the 16 mark-recapture reaches was 31.9 ± 23.0 (range = 2.7–80.7) dace per 100 m2. Population estimates were then used to build a regression model to calibrate the single-pass electrofishing catch Figure 2. Histograms of the number captured (a) and density estimates (b) of Blackside Dace per 200-m reaches (n = 119) during single-pass electrofishing in summers 2003– 2006. For reaches where dace were detected (n = 78), the mean number captured was 27 ± 34 (mean ± SD; dark square and bar) dace per 200 m and mean density estimate was 14.1 ± 19.4 dace per 100 m 2. T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 12 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Table 1. Seventy-eight 200-m stream reaches in Kentucky and Tennessee where Blackside Dace were detected with single-pass electrofishing during 2003–2006. The stream reaches are ranked from highest to lowest by the number of Blackside Dace caught during electrofishing. Ranks are also provided for the density of Blackside Dace in each reach. Single-pass Density estimate (dace/200 m) (dace/100 m2) Stream reach County, State Catch Rank Density Rank Big Lick Branch 3 Pulaski, KY 151 1 49.8 7 Big Lick Branch 1 Pulaski, KY 126 2 40.6 9 Trace Branch 3 Knox, KY 119 3 91.3 1 Mill Creek 3 Bell, KY 108 4 58.0 4 Ryans Creek 4 McCreary, KY 107 5 34.5 11 Breedens Creek 1 Harlan, KY 96 6 80.7 2 Rock Creek 2 McCreary, KY 94 7 55.3 5 Richland Creek 3 Knox, KY 76 8 51.4 6 Mill Creek 2 Bell, KY 72 9 26.8 13 Terry Creek 2 Campbell, TN 65 10 18.2 18 Mill Creek 1 Bell, KY 63 11 25.3 15 Rock Creek 4 McCreary, KY 62 12 44.4 8 Watts Creek 2 Harlan, KY 60 13 69.3 3 Richland Creek 4 Knox, KY 58 14 36.8 10 Blacksnake Branch 1 Bell, KY 46 15 20.3 17 Archers Creek 3 Whitley, KY 42 16 17.4 19 Trace Branch 1 Knox, KY 41 17 15.5 20 Watts Creek 3 Harlan, KY 36 18 29.6 12 Terry Creek 1 Campbell, TN 33 19 9.9 31 Fall Branch 1 Campbell, TN 32 20 26.7 14 Trace Branch 2 Knox, KY 32 21 13.3 23 Archers Creek 4 Whitley, KY 31 22 12.1 25 Caney Creek Right Fork 2 Bell, KY 31 23 11.0 28 Grubb Branch 1 Knox, KY 29 24 23.2 16 Brownies Creek 4 Harlan, KY 25 25 15.0 22 Little Hurricane Fork 2 McCreary, KY 25 26 6.9 34 Moore Creek Right Branch 2 Knox, KY 24 27 12.7 24 Jellico Creek Trib. 5 Scott, TN 21 28 15.2 21 Richland Creek 2 Knox, KY 20 29 11.3 26 Dogslaughter Ck. S. Fork 4 Whitley, KY 19 30 6.6 35 Ryans Creek 3 McCreary, KY 18 31 6.0 39 Little Hurricane Fork 1 McCreary, KY 18 32 5.3 44 Moore Creek Right Branch 1 Knox, KY 16 33 9.3 32 Smith Creek 1 Letcher, KY 16 34 5.6 42 Brownies Creek 3 Harlan, KY 16 35 2.7 55 John Anderson Br. 1 McCreary, KY 14 36 11.2 27 Mill Creek 4 Bell, KY 14 37 10.7 29 Moore Creek Left Br. 1 Knox, KY 14 38 5.8 41 Ned Branch 1 Laurel, KY 12 39 6.5 36 Roaring Fork 1 Knox, KY 11 40 10.2 30 Richland Creek 1 Knox, KY 11 41 6.5 37 Moore Creek Main Branch 2 Knox, KY 10 42 6.1 38 Ned Branch 2 Laurel, KY 10 43 5.9 40 Breedens Creek 2 Harlan, KY 10 44 3.8 49 13 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 for the remaining 62 reaches inhabited by Blackside Dace (Fig. 3). The combined regression model, Log10 y = 0.4998 + 1.0110 Log10 x (or y = 3.16x 1.0110), where y = Blackside Dace population estimate (dace per 200 m) and x = single-pass electrofishing catch, was significant (P < 0.0001) and explained 81% of the variation in dace population estimates. The mean population estimate for calibrated reaches (n = 62) was 64 ± 91 (range = 3–396) dace per 200 m, and associated mean density was 9.5 ± 15.5 (range = 0.3–91.3) dace per 100 m2. Population estimates for the 78 reaches harboring Blackside Dace averaged 90 ± 121 (range = 3–613) dace per 200 m; however, the median population estimate for the 78 inhabited reaches was only 37 dace. The average population density estimate for the 78 inhabited Table 1, continued. Single-pass Density estimate (dace/200 m) (dace/100 m2) Stream reach County, State Catch Rank Density Rank Mud Creek 4 Whitley, KY 9 45 5.3 45 Hatfield Creek 1 Campbell, TN 9 46 3.1 53 Little Dogslaughter Ck. 1 Whitley, KY 8 47 2.5 56 Brownies Creek 2 Bell, KY 8 48 2.4 57 Davis Branch 2 Bell, KY 7 49 4.2 47 Jellico Creek Trib. 3 Scott, TN 6 50 7.4 33 Elk Fork Creek 2 Campbell, TN 6 51 5.3 43 Elk Fork Creek 1 Campbell, TN 6 52 2.4 58 Caney Creek Right Fork 1 Bell, KY 6 53 1.9 60 Mud Creek 3 Whitley, KY 6 54 1.9 61 Dogslaughter Ck. N. Fork 1 Whitley, KY 6 55 1.8 62 Dogslaughter Ck. S. Fork 2 Whitley, KY 6 56 1.7 63 Chitwood Branch 1 Scott, TN 5 57 4.5 46 Caney Creek Left Fork 1 Bell, KY 5 58 3.1 52 Davis Branch 3 Bell, KY 4 59 4.1 48 Patterson Creek 3 Whitley, KY 4 60 3.7 50 Patterson Creek 2 Whitley, KY 4 61 3.5 51 Little Hurricane Fork 3 McCreary, KY 4 62 1.7 64 Laurel Creek 2 McCreary, KY 4 63 1.6 65 Jellico Creek 6 Scott, TN 3 64 3.0 54 Jellico Creek 4 Scott, TN 3 65 2.3 59 Dogslaughter Cr. N. Fork 2 Whitley, KY 3 66 1.1 68 Brownies Creek 1 Bell, KY 3 67 0.6 73 Laurel Creek 3 McCreary, KY 2 68 1.4 66 Baird Creek 1 Campbell, TN 2 69 1.2 67 Hale Fork 1 Knox, KY 2 70 0.9 69 Little Elk Creek 1 Campbell, TN 2 71 0.8 70 Mud Creek 2 Whitley, KY 2 72 0.8 71 Terry Creek 3 Campbell, TN 2 73 0.4 76 Hunting Shirt Branch 1 Knox, KY 1 74 0.7 72 Buffalo Creek 2 Claiborne, TN 1 75 0.6 74 Gum Fork 2 Campbell, TN 1 76 0.6 75 Mud Creek 1 Whitley, KY 1 77 0.3 77 Terry Creek 4 Campbell, TN 1 78 0.3 78 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 14 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 reaches was 14.1 ± 19.4 (range = 0.3–91.3) dace per 100 m2; however, 75% (i.e., 89 of 119) of the reaches had density estimates of ≤10 Blackside Dace per 100 m2 (Fig. 2b). Efficiency of the combined model was approximately 0.30 across the range of single-pass catches observed in our study, indicating that our 3-person electrofishing crews on average were capturing about 30% of the Blackside Dace present in the mark-recapture reaches. In streams where we sampled only two or three 200-m reaches, there was no apparent pattern in Blackside Dace densities when comparing upstream to downstream locations within individual streams (rs = 0.0, P = 1.0 for two-reach streams; rs = -0.112, P = 0.579 for three-reach streams). However, in streams with four sampled reaches, Blackside Dace tended to be more abundant in reaches located further upstream (rs = -0.463, P = 0.013). Blackside Dace densities averaged 16.4 ± 21.1 dace per 100 m2 (mean ± SD) in the 61 occupied Kentucky reaches compared to significantly fewer dace, 6.0 ± 7.5 per 100 m2, in the 17 occupied Tennessee reaches (Kruskal-Wallis X2 = 5.71, P = 0.017). Discussion Gaining knowledge about fish population dynamics is crucial for species management and evaluation of management success (Van Den Avyle and Hayward 1999). Furthermore, for endangered species, monitoring distribution and Table 2. Summary of Petersen mark-recapture population estimates conducted on sixteen 200- m reaches within 12 streams during July through August 2003 (AC), July through August 2005 (pulsed DC), and June 2006 (pulsed DC), where M = number of Blackside Dace captured and marked during the first electrofishing pass, C = total number of dace captured during the second electrofishing pass, R = number of marked dace recaptured during the second electrofishing pass, and N = population estimate (number of Blackside Dace per 200 m). Confidence intervals (95% CI) are those for N. The density of Blackside Dace per 100 m2 was obtained by dividing N by the wetted-surface area (m2) of each reach and then multiplying by 100. 95% CI Density Stream Site M C R N Lower Upper (dace/100 m2) Brownies Creek 3 16 7 3 33 19 177 2.7 4 25 34 9 90 55 208 15.0 John Anderson Branch 1 14 19 5 49 28 170 11.2 Rock Creek 2 94 85 18 429 293 737 55.3 4 62 90 29 190 140 281 44.5 Archers Creek 3 42 56 14 162 107 300 17.4 4 31 29 12 73 50 137 12.1 Big Lick Branch 1 126 128 64 251 210 315 40.7 3 151 123 60 308 255 387 49.9 Richland Creek 4 58 59 14 235 153 446 36.8 Grubb Branch 1 29 34 17 57 43 91 23.4 Roaring Fork 1 11 22 4 54 26 275 10.2 Fall Branch 1 32 18 5 104 60 320 26.5 Breedens Creek 1 96 151 23 613 417 1067 80.7 Watts Creek 2 60 96 15 369 250 750 69.5 Jellico Creek (trib) 5 21 24 8 60 38 140 15.2 15 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 population size is often a key component required to inform downlisting and species recovery decisions. The present study was designed to provide management Figure 3. (a) Combined regression model for AC and pulsed-DC electrofishing equipment constructed by regressing log10 (Petersen population estimate) onto log10 (single-pass electrofishing catch rate). Model was constructed using mark-recapture data from nine reaches within five streams sampled with AC in 2003 (triangles) and seven reaches within seven streams (circles) sampled with pulsed-DC in 2005-2006. (b) Population estimates and associated 90% confidence intervals predicted by the combined model for 24 nonmark- recapture reaches with single-pass catch rates of ≥1 1 dace per 200 m. T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 16 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 agencies with current quantitative data on the status of Blackside Dace populations, thereby enhancing the management plans to protect this s pecies. Blackside Dace inhabited 43 of 55 sampled streams, five of which represent new occurrence records. One of the new records occurred in Grubb Branch, a tributary known to be a historically occupied stream, Roaring Fork, in Knox County, KY. Notably, four new occurrences were located in an area with no known sampling records: the upper Jellico Creek drainage of Scott County, TN. Additionally, Blackside Dace were observed in an unnamed tributary entering Jellico Creek from the south and upstream of Long Fork, but quantitative sampling could not be conducted due to loss of connectivity between pools. In contrast, Blackside Dace were not detected at 13 reaches within 5 streams that historically harbored dace and probably reflect low population densities or extirpations. Within the 55 surveyed streams, 78 of 119 reaches were occupied by Blackside Dace, and densities for these inhabited reaches ranged from 0.3 to 91.3 dace per 100 m2; however, 75% (i.e., 89 of 119) of the reaches had density estimates of ≤10 dace per 100 m2. Other studies corroborate our findings for Blackside Dace density patterns (Leftwich et al. 1995, 1997; Starnes and Starnes 1981) and fluctuations in abundance (O’Bara 1988, Roghair et al. 2001), although few quantitative density estimates are available for comparison. On the high-density end of the spectrum, Starnes and Starnes (1981) used sodium cyanide to conduct population estimates in three preferred sections of Youngs Creek, the location of one of the largest known populations at the time, and reported Blackside Dace densities of 56.8, 71.2, and 73.1 dace per 100 m2. The five highest densities in our study ranged from 55.3 to 91.3 dace per 100 m2 (Table 1), which are comparable to the Youngs Creek densities from the Starnes and Starnes (1981) study . Natural and human-caused fluctuations in Blackside Dace abundance may explain low densities and possible extirpations encountered in historically inhabited streams. A large decrease in the distribution of Blackside Dace was recorded in the Middle Fork of Beaver Creek by Roghair et al. (2001), who suggested that the decline might have been related to low-flow conditions and associated rise in water temperature from several years of drought. In contrast, Starnes (1981) described Buffalo Creek, in Claiborne County, TN, and Gum Fork in Scott County, TN as containing the healthiest populations of Blackside Dace in Tennessee, though doubt was placed on the longevity potential of these populations due to habitat degradation caused by mining, road construction, and development activities in that area. Unfortunately, our current surveys support the predictions made by Starnes (1981) because only a single Blackside Dace was found in each stream after sampling two reaches per stream (Table 1, Appendix 1). At low densities however, single-pass electrofishing may not be sufficient for detecting rare species, and a related species, Southern Redbelly Dace has been observed to avoid the electric field (Bertrand et al. 2006, Pusey et al. 1998). Detection of Blackside Dace at low densities may be difficult; therefore, in regulatory situations it is recommended that a comprehensive survey be conducted (e.g., multiple-pass 17 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 electrofishing, electrofishing of reaches longer than 200 m, sampling multiple reaches within a stream, repeated sampling through time and space, or use of multiple gear types) to increase the likelihood that dace presence will not be overlooked. Caution should be used when implementing multiple sampling events, because repeat sampling often increases the likelihood of injury to focal species and exposes their habitat to degradation (Kocovsky et al. 1997) . The implementation of electrofishing equipment to assess fish populations in small freshwater streams and rivers is common, but its application to sampling threatened or endangered fishes has been discouraged or prohibited by various resource agencies (Holliman et al. 2003a, Schreer et al. 2004). However, some research suggests that electrofishing equipment can be used to safely capture threatened and endangered cyprinid species if appropriate waveforms are chosen and exposure is minimized (Holliman et al. 2003a, b). No injuries were observed for Erimonax monachus (Cope) (Spotfin Chub) or Notropis mekistocholas Snelson (Cape Fear Shiner) when exposed to various electrical currents (i.e., AC, pulsed DC, or DC), although mortality was a factor when voltage gradients were high (Holliman et al. 2003a, b). Holliman et al. (2003b) suggested that AC should only be used in low-conductivity water (e.g., less than 80 μS), which represented 39% of the reaches we surveyed for Blackside Dace. For pulsed-DC electrofishing, 4 of the 11 reaches with conductivity less than 80 μS were among the five reaches with highest pulsed-DC single-pass catch rates. Monitoring programs for fish are often limited because they are expensive, time consuming, and resource intensive; thus, alternative methods are utilized to collect adequate information on populations (Bertrand et al. 2006, Hill and Willis 1994). One such method is the use of single-pass backpack electrofishing and creation of a mark-recapture population estimate regression model, as done in the present study. Single-pass backpack electrofishing avoids the ef fort and expense associated with multiple-pass sampling, and reduces harmful effects of repeated exposure to electrical current and decreased susceptibility of fishes to capture after the first pass (Bertrand et al. 2006, Cross and Stott 1975, Kruse et al. 1998, Lobon-Cervia and Utrilla 1993). In order to use the regression models developed in this study, single-pass electrofishing efforts should be conducted during summer months (i.e., June to August) on 200-m reaches, by an experienced, three-person crew using one backpack electrofishing unit. In addition, implementation of Blackside Dace electrofishing models should be done in conjunction with double-sampling of a subset (≥10%) of reaches to calibrate the model with new Petersen mark-recapture estimates. When possible, we recommend using pulsed-DC electrofishing units for future sampling to minimize the possibility of injury . Conservation implications Over 75% of the sampled streams contained Blackside Dace, but most populations were small and, presumably, represent remnant populations. A discouraging theme in Blackside Dace population surveys of many streams has been the extirpation or decline in abundance of Blackside Dace noted by researchers T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 18 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 (O’Bara 1988, 1990; Roghair et al. 2001; Starnes and Starnes 1978; Starnes 1981; Underwood et al. 1999). Isolated remnant populations are prone to extirpation because they often suffer from demographic uncertainty, genetic loss, and human-induced or natural catastrophes (Meffe et al. 1997). Therefore, monitoring of Blackside Dace populations should be continued, with an emphasis on understanding patterns in abundance, reproductive biology, dispersal, and impacts of anthropogenic disturbances. Protection for all populations should be enforced, but special priorities should be set for Big Lick Branch, Breedens Creek, Mill Creek, Richland Creek, Rock Creek, Ryans Creek, Trace Branch, and Watts Creek because they represent the most robust populations encountered (Table 1, Appendix 1). Fall Branch and Terry Creek appear to be the strongest Tennessee populations that we surveyed. Additional sampling is recommended for Bunches Creek, Crooked Creek, Laurel Fork, Sims Fork, and Stevenson Branch to investigate suspected extirpations from these historically inhabited streams. Ultimately, strict enforcement of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act will be required to fully achieve the objectives of Blackside Dace recovery (USFWS 1988). Watershed improvements and protection in the upper Cumberland River drainage will also be vital to ensure the survival of Blackside Dace and associated aquatic organisms. Therefore, it seems likely that the combination of habitat protection and restoration through conservation easements, education, and enforcement will support the continued existence of Blackside Dace. Acknowledgments This research project was supported by the USFWS, US Geological Survey, and the Center for the Management, Utilization, and Protection of Water Resources and the Department of Biology at Tennessee Technological University (TTU). We especially thank Jason Hunt, Brena Jones, and Anthony Smith for their extensive field assistance, and numerous private landowners, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, and the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service for allowing us to access their properties to conduct electrofishing surveys. We thank Charles Sutherland for constructing Figure 1. 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Biological effects of fine sediment in the lotic environment. Environmental Management 21:203–217. T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 22 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Appendix 1. Blackside Dace abundance in 55 streams of the upper Cumberland River drainage in Kentucky and Tennessee. Sub-basins are arranged beginning with the headwaters of the Cumberland drainage; streams are listed alphabetically within sub-basins. One hundred and nineteen, 200-m reaches were sampled with backpack electrofishing gear during June through August 2003 (AC) and 2005–2006 (pulsed-DC). Site numbers refer to downstream (1) and upstream (4) locations within the streams. Asterisks (*) by population estimates denote reaches where Petersen mark-recaptures occurred (detailed further in Table 2). Catch = number of dace captured during single-pass electrofishing (dace/200 m). Pop. est. = population estimate(dace/200 m). Den. est. = density estimate (dace/100 m2). Sub-basin Stream County, State Date sampled Site Catch Pop. est. Den. est. Poor Fork Smith Creek Letcher, KY 29-Jul-2003 1 16 52 5.6 2 0 0 0.0 3 0 0 0.0 Clover Fork Breedens Creek Harlan, KY 10-Aug-2005 1 96 613* 80.7 2 10 32 3.8 Brownies Creek Blacksnake Branch Bell, KY 15-Jul-2003 1 46 152 20.3 2 0 0 0.0 Brownies Creek Bell/Harlan, KY 17-Jul-2003 1 3 10 0.6 2 8 26 2.4 3 16 33* 2.7 4 25 90* 15.0 Yellow Creek Davis Branch Bell, KY 14-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 7 23 4.2 3 4 13 4.1 Stevenson Branch Bell, KY 15-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 0 0 0.0 Straight Creek Caney Creek, Left Fork Bell, KY 26-Jun-2003 1 5 16 3.1 Caney Creek, Right Fork Bell, KY 27-Jun-2003 1 6 19 1.9 2 31 102 11.0 3 0 0 0.0 23 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Sub-basin Stream County, State Date sampled Site Catch Pop. est. Den. est. Mill Creek Bell, KY 25-Jun-2003 1 63 208 25.3 2 72 238 26.8 3 108 359 58.0 4 14 46 10.7 Sims Fork Bell, KY 26-Jun-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 0 0 0.0 3 0 0 0.0 4 0 0 0.0 Stinking Creek Grubb Branch Knox, KY 26-Jul-2005 1 29 57* 23.2 Hale Fork Knox, KY 23-Jun-2003 1 2 6 0.9 2 0 0 0.0 Moore Creek, Main Branch Knox, KY 23-Jun-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 10 32 6.1 Moore Creek, Left Branch Knox, KY 23-Jun-2003 1 14 46 5.8 Moore Creek, Right Branch Knox, KY 20-Jul-2005 1 16 52 9.3 2 24 79 12.7 Roaring Fork Knox, KY 26-Jul-2005 1 11 54* 10.2 27-Jul-2005 2 0 0 0.0 Trace Branch Knox, KY 24-Jun-2003 1 41 135 15.5 2 32 105 13.3 3 119 396 91.3 Cumberland River Archers Creek Whitley, KY 23-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 above Cumberland Falls 2 0 0 0.0 12-Aug-2003 3 42 162* 17.4 4 31 73* 12.1 Bunches Creek Whitley, KY 17-Aug-2005 1 0 0 0.0 2 0 0 0.0 Hunting Shirt Branch Knox, KY 20-Jul-2005 1 1 3 0.7 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 24 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Sub-basin Stream County, State Date sampled Site Catch Pop. est. Den. est. Patterson Creek Whitley, KY 25-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 4 13 3.5 3 4 13 3.7 Richland Creek Knox, KY 20-Jul-2005 1 11 36 6.5 21-Jul-2005 2 20 65 11.3 19-Jul-2005 3 76 252 51.4 4 58 235* 36.8 Watts Creek Harlan, KY 9-Aug-2005 1 0 0 0.0 10-Aug-2005 2 60 369* 69.6 11-Aug-2005 3 36 118 29.6 Clear Fork Barley Branch Campbell, TN 29-Jun-2005 1 0 0 0.0 Buffalo Creek Claiborne, TN 1-Jul-2005 1 0 0 0.0 2 1 3 0.6 Crooked Creek Campbell, TN 29-Jun-2005 1 0 0 0.0 2 0 0 0.0 3 0 0 0.0 4 0 0 0.0 Elk Fork Creek Campbell, TN 28-Jun-2005 1 6 19 2.4 4-Aug-2005 2 6 19 5.3 Fall Branch Campbell, TN 4-Aug-2005 1 32 104* 26.7 Little Elk Creek Campbell, TN 28-Jun-2005 1 2 6 0.8 2 0 0 0.0 3 0 0 0.0 Mud Creek Whitley, KY 21-Jun-2003 1 1 3 0.3 2 2 6 0.8 3 6 19 1.9 4 9 29 5.3 Rock Creek Campbell, TN 5-Aug-2005 1 0 0 0.0 25 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Sub-basin Stream County, State Date sampled Site Catch Pop. est. Den. est. Terry Creek Campbell, TN 20-Jun-2003 1 33 108 9.9 2 65 215 18.2 3 2 6 0.4 4 1 3 0.3 Jellico Creek Baird Creek Campbell, TN 30-Jun-2005 1 2 6 1.2 Childers Creek Scott, TN 30-Jun-2005 1 0 0 0.0 Chitwood Branch Scott, TN 28-Jul-2005 1 5 16 4.5 Cordell Branch Scott, TN 28-Jun-2005 1 0 0 0.0 Gum Fork Scott, TN 30-Jun-2005 1 0 0 0.0 30-Jun-2005 2 1 3 0.6 Hatfield Creek Campbell, TN 2-Aug-2005 1 9 29 3.1 Hatfield Creek (Trib.) 2 0 0 0.0 Hatfield Creek 3-Aug-2005 3 0 0 0.0 Jellico Creek (Trib.) Scott, TN 28-Jul-2005 1 0 0 0.0 Jellico Creek 3-Aug-2005 2 0 0 0.0 Jellico Creek (Trib.) 3 6 19 7.4 Jellico Creek 22-Jun-2006 4 3 10 2.3 Jellico Creek (Trib.) 21-Jun-2006 5 21 60* 15.2 Jellico Creek 22-Jun-2006 6 3 10 3.0 John Anderson Branch McCreary, KY 5-Aug-2003 1 14 49* 11.2 Long Fork Scott, TN 3-Aug-2005 1 0 0 0.0 Rock Creek McCreary, KY 5-Aug-2003 2 94 429* 55.3 4 62 190* 44.4 Ryans Creek McCreary, KY 8-Aug-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 0 0 0.0 3 18 59 6.0 6-Aug-2003 4 107 356 34.5 T.R. Black, J.E. Detar, and H.T. Mattingly 2013 Southeastern Naturalist 26 Vol. 12, Special Issue 4 Sub-basin Stream County, State Date sampled Site Catch Pop. est. Den. est. Marsh Creek Laurel Creek McCreary, KY 28-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 2 4 13 1.6 3 2 6 1.4 Indian Creek Laurel Fork McCreary, KY 30-Jul-2003 1 0 0 0.0 Cumberland River Big Lick Branch Pulaski, KY 12-Aug-2003 1 126 251* 40.6 below Cumberland Falls 3 151 308* 49.8 Little Dogslaughter Creek Whitley, KY 7-Aug-2003 1 8 26 2.5 N. Fork Dogslaughter Creek Whitley, KY 7-Aug-2003 1 6 19 1.8 2 3 10 1.1 S. Fork Dogslaughter Creek Whitley, KY 7-Aug-2003 2 6 19 1.7 4 19 62 6.6 Rockcastle River Ned Branch Laurel, KY 30-Jun-2003 1 12 39 6.5 2 10 32 5.9 Beaver Creek Little Hurricane Fork McCreary, KY 24-Jul-2003 1 18 59 5.3 2 25 82 6.9 3 4 13 1.7