Penn State researchers to boost endangered Chesapeake logperch population

Penn State News –

As fishes go, the Chesapeake logperch is hardly impressive.

The yellow- to olive-colored member of the darter family — distinctive only because of its dark bars, often arrayed in zebra fashion — typically is just a few inches long, with a small mouth and a short, conical snout. It is believed to only ever have inhabited the lower drainages of the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers, and it has not been seen in the Potomac since the late 1930s.

A victim of past pollution and now predation by voracious invasive fishes, including the northern snakehead and flathead catfish, its numbers have dwindled significantly in the Susquehanna and a few of the river’s tributaries it inhabits, according to Jay Stauffer, distinguished professor of ichthyology, Penn State. Already listed as endangered in Pennsylvania and Maryland, the Chesapeake logperch is on the verge of being added to the federal Endangered Species List.

“We don’t want to see that happen, because the logperch being federally listed would cause a lot of problems with development in the lower Susquehanna River basin and also with development around the upper Chesapeake Bay,” he said. “We think that we can restore the Chesapeake logperch to its original distribution in the Susquehanna River by culturing it and reintroducing it to its native habitat.”

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