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Volume 76—1996

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Miscellaneous Observations on Percid Fishes in Oklahoma

Jimmie Pigg, Robert Gibbs, and Tim Beard
State Environmental Laboratory, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1295

Received: 1996 Feb 15; Revised: 1996 Jul 15

On 8 June 1992 we collected a single specimen of Etheostoma whipplei from the North Canadian River, 7 km NE of Wetumka in Hughes County (T9NR10ES12). This may be the first collection of a Etheostoma upstream of Lake Eufaula since its impoundment in 1964. The only other Etheostoma record upstream of Lake Eufaula is a specimen of Etheostoma spectabile collected by A. Metcalf in 1962 from the Beaver River, 2 km SW of Optima, Texas County (University of Kansas Museum of Natural History # 8341). The specimen of E. whipplei we collected had a total length (TL) of 23 mm. Additional noteworthy records for E. whipplei include collections of seven and eight specimens (38-49 mm TL) taken on 24 May 1993 from two separate sites on Alabama Creek in the North Canadian drainage, S of Clearview, Okfuskee County (T11NR11ES31). These collections of E. whipplei extend the range for this species in Oklahoma approximately 112 km to the west. These collections were deposited in the Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (OSUS 26767 and 26768).

Since 1979, we have collected small numbers (1-3 specimens) of darters from the mainstem of the river below Lake Eufaula, N of Whitefield, Haskell/Muskogee County (T08NR18ES10) (Table 1). The 1962 preimpoundment survey of the proposed Lake Eufaula by A. Houser and H. Lindsay (Unpubl. OKMNH records) found: E. proeliare (OKMNH 34472), Percina sciera (OKMNH 36234), and P. phoxocephala (OKMNH 35110) in the mainstem of the river.

Etheostoma spectabile appears to occur in good numbers in the upper Washita River. D.J. Orth and R.N. Jones collected a single specimen from the upper Washita River about 8 km NW of Cheyenne, Roger Mills County on 6 June 1979 (1). This species was first reported from the area by A.W. Whipple, who in 1859 made a collection from a tributary in Custer County (2). However, D.D. Distler was unable to find the species in the headwaters of the Washita River in 1962 and 1964 (3). In August, 1992 we found this species at all 10 of our sampling sites between Lake Foss and the Texas state line. At the westernmost site, which was at the Texas state line, this species was very abundant and was the most numerous species collected (Table 1). Three collections were cataloged in the Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates (OSUS 26772, 26775, 26776).

R. Lemmons made collections from the Washita River in Roger Mills County during 1994 (4). He made four collections from three of the same sites where we collected and also found large numbers of specimens (Table 1). We have collected small number of specimens downstream from Lake Foss to Lake Texoma, but never in the number found in the headwaters of the Washita River above Lake Foss.

On 6 June 1995 we took a large Percina caprodes (11.9 cm TL) from the Cimarron River in Harper County (T29R26WS24), Oklahoma (S of Englewood, Kansas). This location is 11.2 km E of the site where we collected the species in 1992. This specimen was deposited in the OKMNH (# 47723). We have included in Table 1 other rare collections of P. caprodes from the Cimarron and North Canadian River drainage.

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REFERENCES

1.   Orth, D.J., and Jones, R.N., Range Extensions of the Orangethroat Darter (Etheostoma spectabile) and the Freckled Madtom (Noturus nocturnus) into Western Oklahoma. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 60, 98-99 (1980).

2.   Girard, C., Ichthyological notices. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 10, 100-104 (1859).

3.   Distler D.D., Distribution and Variation of Etheostoma spectabile (Agassiz) (Percidae, Teleostei). Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 58(5), 143-208 (1968).

4.   Lemmons, R. and Schnell, G.D., Flathead Catfish Ecology and Population Structure in Oklahoma Prairie Streams. ODWC Project Final Report (1994).