Symposium Summary: Give a Fish Its Due: Nongame Native Fish of the Western United States

Oregon Chapter AFS Native Fish Committee Chair James Capurso (left) presents Paul Scheerer (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) with the 2015 Oregon Chapter AFS Native Fish Conservationist of the Year Award during the symposium. Credit: Michael Gauvin

Oregon Chapter AFS Native Fish Committee Chair James Capurso (left) presents Paul Scheerer (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) with the 2015 Oregon Chapter AFS Native Fish Conservationist of the Year Award during the symposium. Credit: Michael Gauvin

Sponsors: Oregon Chapter AFS Native Fish Committee, The Native Fish Society The “Nongame Native Fish of the Western United States” symposium featured lesser known yet fascinating species that are sometimes relegated to miscellaneous columns of datasheets. Despite the diversity, range declines, and relatively unknown ecology of western nongame fishes, many species are not particularly valued by society. Unless the species is federally listed, they are usually not a priority to project sponsors and are studied less. However, these fishes can have unique traits and play important roles in ecosystems. Using 25 fish species from 14 genera and 6 families, this symposium addressed contemporary fish topics among 30 presentations, including investigating genetics of Speckled Dace, exploring movements of sculpins and desert fishes, highlighting southwestern fish translocations, conserving the Miller Lake Lamprey, and documenting Razorback Sucker spawning in the Grand Canyon. Other papers tested interactions of the environment and fishes, such as how lake levels influence Lost River Sucker spawning, the resilience of minnows to drought, how tributary discharge affects Colorado River fish conservation, and the interactions between endemic fishes like Pahrump Poolfish and Amargosa Pupfish. The symposium also showed how legacies can be made (e.g., delisting the Oregon Chub, Western Native Fishes project) and sustained, like the Desert Fishes Council. — Nathan Cathcart, Kansas State University, jc[email protected] Read the symposium abstracts here.