Distribution and habitat affinities of the blackmouth shiner (Notropis melanostomus) in Mississippi, including eight newly discovered localities in the Upper Pascagoula River Drainage

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Lakes, ponds and sloughs of the Upper Pascagoula River Drainage, Mississippi, were surveyed for the blackmouth shiner (Notropis melanostomus) from April to June, 1995. Because of its limited distribution, the species is federally listed as threatened. Blackmouth shiners were discovered in eight previously unknown sites. These newly discovered Mississippi populations of N. melanostomus are similar to Florida populations in that they are associated with clear, stained, acidic waters and abundant submerged vegetation. Unlike Florida populations, the Mississippi populations occupy isolated oxbow lakes and temporary floodplain pools that are only interconnected during floods of the Pascagoula River. The ephemeral nature of some of these habitats may explain why Mississippi populations of N. melanostomus appear to be less abundant than Florida populations. This knowledge of the specific habitat affinities of N. melanostomus should prove useful in management of the species.

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Southeastern Fishes Council Proceedings