(Photo : U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Wikimedia Commons)
The rare Chesapeake logperch, an endangered fish species, is given electronic tags as a strategy for species recovery. This image or recording is the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Chesapeake logperch, an extremely rare and endangered fish, is receiving electronic tags in many state rivers as part of a plan for species recovery.
Chesapeake Logperch in Several State Waterways
To keep it off the federal endangered species list, researchers in Pennsylvania are working to recover a little fish species that is said to have “no commercial value” or “recreational importance.”
According to a Pennsylvania State University press release, the university has been collaborating with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and other wildlife specialists to stop the extinction of the Chesapeake logperch.
The Chesapeake logperch, a unique bottom-dwelling fish with stripes and a greenish-gold hue, is detailed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It inhabits Lower Potomac (Maryland, Virginia) and Susquehanna River (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland) watersheds, both flowing into Chesapeake Bay, according to FWS.
A Rare and Endangered Fish Species
According to a press statement the university released in June, Penn State has also discovered Chesapeake logperch in the Allegheny River from Lake Erie tributaries and the drainage of the Mississippi River from Illinois and Minnesota.
Researchers at Penn State are working to restore the populations of the Chesapeake logperch before it gets put on the federal endangered species list. The Chesapeake logperch is regarded as an endangered fish species in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
They don’t want that to happen, according to Penn State’s Jay Stauffer, an ichthyology (fish zoology) professor, because the Chesapeake logperch’s federal listing would complicate development in the upper Chesapeake Bay and the lower Susquehanna River basin.
Strategies for Species Recovery
The Chesapeake logperch is in danger of going extinct because of pollution and predation by “voracious invasive” fish like the northern snakehead, blue catfish, and flathead catfish, according to Penn State.
For the past four years, scientists have been catching Chesapeake logperch, examining their origins, and labeling the fish before releasing them into nearby waters.
According to Penn State, about 2,000 Chesapeake logperch were bred there and released in a few locations in the Susquehanna River drainage.
The researchers tagged every Chesapeake logperch that was cultured before releasing it, according to Stauffer, so that it could be recognized afterward. The team was able to recapture a few in Columbia.
To determine whether the fish the team released into Conodoguinet Creek migrated to the Susquehanna River, they also added electronic tags on a variety of those fish. Since they were unable to observe if the species returned to spawn, they are now continuing some of their research and looking for further funding.
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According to Penn State, the Chesapeake logperch restoration project will cost $500,000 and will be sponsored by funds from the Wild Resources Fund and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Researchers emphasize proactive conservation even though it is not favored for trade. Stauffer issues a dire extinction warning due to reduced biodiversity.
Despite time-consuming culturing and reintroduction, his team hopes to completely restore logperch across the Susquehanna River.
Researchers from Pennsylvania are not the only ones looking for solutions; the FWS, the Maryland government Natural Resources Department, and wildlife factions all work together. To resurrect logperch and broaden its range, the Northeast Fishery Center directs propagation techniques.
In 2023, the FWS will be evaluating the status of the logperch for potential federal protection. Logperch preservation supports ecosystems and averts irreparable damage.
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