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Status of Fishes in New York: Increases, Declines and Homogenization of Watersheds

TitleStatus of Fishes in New York: Increases, Declines and Homogenization of Watersheds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsCarlson, DM, Daniels, RA
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Keywordsfish assemblages, New York, species distribution, watersheds

Fishes present in 19 watersheds in New York are inventoried. One hundred seventy-six taxa (171 species) reside in these watersheds. Eighteen taxa are extra-limital exotic fishes, that is, they are not native to any New York watershed. The remaining 158 taxa are native in at least one New York watershed, although transfer of species among watersheds within the state is, and has been, widespread. Sixteen species are diadromous or estuarine and eight of these species support land-locked populations, so 150 taxa are strictly freshwater and native. Watersheds differed markedly in richness and composition. Over 100 taxa are reported from five watersheds and seven have fewer than 75 taxa. Twelve species are now extirpated from all New York watersheds and 28 other species have disappeared from at least one of their historic watersheds. Fifty-seven native species are infrequently caught, are considered rare and are candidates for special consideration. Within the state, patterns of species distribution are complex and are affected by environmental differences among the watersheds, the presence of suitable dispersal routes and widespread introductions.