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Volume 58—1978

{Page 113}


Jack D. Tyler and Dale R. Mills

Department of Biological Sciences, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma

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According to Miller and Robison (1) the distribution of the goldeye (Hiodon alosoides) in Oklahoma extends northwestward in the Washita River drainage to Fort Cobb Reservoir in west-central Caddo County and in the Red River west only as far as Lake Texoma. Riggs and Bonn (2) reported it abundant in that lake in the mid-1950's.

On 27 May 1976, the junior author caught a goldeye on a trotline baited with large dead minnows in the North Fork of the Red River 19 km west of Mountain Park, Kiowa County. Standard length of the nongravid female was 308 mm, body depth 80 mm, and weight 402.5 g (measurements taken after specimen had been frozen). This length-weight relationship indicates a probable age of five or six years (3). The stomach contained nine partially digested minnows averaging about 40 mm in total length and a willow (Salix sp.) leaf. The specimen is deposited in the Cameron University Museum of Zoology in Lawton (CUMZ 35).

Since 1974, one of us (Mills) has caught a total of at least 10 goldeyes either on trotlines, by seining, or by angling from the North Fork 13 km west and 1-5 km south of Snyder. During a single night he caught four while angling with dead minnows. To judge from personal interviews with local residents, goldeyes, or "fresh water herring," as they are known, have been caught in the North Fork for 30 years or more. No one that either author interviewed could recall having seen small goldeyes. This fact is not very surprising since Riggs and Bonn (2) reported that young-of-year goldeyes were rare in Lake Texoma; only one of 1059 specimens collected there in 1948-49 by Martin (3) was a young-of-the-year.

Populations might have become established within recent years by individuals moving westward up the Red River and thence into the North Fork, but it seems more reasonable to assume that both these drainages were included in the species' original range. Why the goldeye has not been heretofore reported from the Red River above Lake Texoma is unknown. Further collections are needed to assess the relative size and location of upstream populations and to locate spawning sites, if possible.

The Cameron University specimen extends the known range of Hiodon alosoides westward in the Red River approximately 140 miles and southwestward from Fort Cobb Reservoir about 55 miles.


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1.   R. J. MILLER and H. W. ROBISON, The Fishes of Oklahoma, Okla. State Univ. Mus. Nat. Cult. Hist., Nat. Hist. Ser. No. 1, 1973.

2.   C. D. RIGGS and E. W. BONN, Southwest. Nat. 4: 157-168 (1959).

3.   M. MARTIN, Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 33: 37-49 (1952).