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Volume 76—1996

{Page 89}

Observations on the Propagation of Two Rare Fish Species in Oklahoma

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

Received: 1996 Feb 15; Revised: 1996 Jul 15

On 16 June 1993 we collected 21 young-of-year alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula, from a large, shallow floodwater area below Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam, 15 km south of Sallisaw, on Hwy. 59 (Sequoyah Co., T10NR24ES09). The total length (TL) of these specimens ranged from 15 to 21 mm. This may be the first evidence of reproduction of this species in Oklahoma waters since the early 1980s (1). The specimens were identified by W.J. Matthews at the University of Oklahoma Stovall Museum of Natural History and cataloged (OKMNH 47722).

During the 1994 ODEQ biotrend sampling at two Red River sites, we found two specimens of young shovelnose sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus. On 8 June 1994, during the annual sampling of the Red River, 1.6 km N of Arthur City, TX on US 271, we found a small (34 cm TL), dried specimen on the bank. This site is in Choctaw County, OK (T08SR17ES11). It appeared that a fisherman had caught and discarded the specimen. Colored slides of this specimen have been deposited at the Oklahoma Department of Environment Quality (ODEQ). We discarded the specimen because of its poor condition. On 16 October 1994 we found another small specimen being eaten by a Great Blue Heron on a sandbar on the north side of the Red River, 10 km south of Harris (T10SR25ES16), on US 259, McCurtain County, OK. This specimen was approximately 38 cm in TL; because of its poor condition, we did not save it.

REFERENCES

1.   Pigg, J., Noteworthy Distribution and Habitat Records for Four Oklahoma Fishes. Proc. Okla. Acad. Sci. 62, 93-94 (1982).