By B.G. Justus and James C. Petersen
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A fish inventory was conducted at Pea Ridge National Military
Park, Arkansas, during base-flow conditions in September
2003. Six sites including four streams and two ponds were sampled
using conventional electrofishing equipment (a seine also
was used at one site). There were 653 individuals collected
comprising 18 species (plus 1 hybrid) and 15 genera. The number
of species collected at the four stream sites ranged from 1
16. Most fish species collected generally are associated with
small streams in the Ozark Plateaus. The two most common
species were the banded sculpin and the southern redbelly dace.
Three species and a sunfish hybrid were collected from the
quarry pond. No fish were collected from the unnamed pond.
A preliminary expected species list incorrectly listed 42 species because of incorrect species range or habitat requirements. One species not on the original list was added to the revised list. Upon revising this list, the inventory yielded 18 the 40 species (45 percent) and 1 hybrid.
No previous fish inventories have been completed for park but some observations can be made relative to species distributions. There were only five fish species collected in three headwater streams, and it is unlikely that many other species would occur in these three streams because of constraints imposed on the fish community by stream size. Little Sugar Creek, a medium-sized stream, had the most species collected, and it is likely that additional species would be collected from this stream if additional sampling were to occur. Distribution records indicate that all 18 species occur in the general area.
Although no species collected in this study are federallylisted threatened or endangered species, three species collected at Pea Ridge National Military Park may be of some special interest to National Park Service managers and others. Two the species collected (cardinal shiner and stippled darter) are endemic to the Ozark Plateaus; both are rather common in certain parts of the Ozark Plateaus. The white sucker has a restricted range in Arkansas because northern Arkansas is at southern edge of the white sucker's distributional range.
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