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|by Peter Rakes (American Fisheries Society)|
This fish was described from specimens poisoned out of Abrams Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1957 (described in 1969) and declared extinct with the description. Then Dr. David Etnier's students discovered it in nearby Citico Creek. We (Conservation Fisheries Inc., Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Park Service) propagated nests from there and reintroduced the species to Abrams Creek beginning in 1986. By 2001 the species showed signs of successful recovery in Abrams, so we switched reintroduction efforts to nearby Tellico River. Now it is successfully restored to both streams and is a good candidate for Endangered Species Act downlisting from endangered to threatened.
Sister species the Yellowfin Madtom, Notorus flavipinnis (threatened) and the Citico Darter, Etheostoma sitikuense, share similar histories and outcomes. The Yellowfin could even be delisted since it is now more widespread and better recovered.
Reference: Reproduced with permission from the American Fisheries Society 2021.
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