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Lyons, John (John D.); Cochran, Philip Andrew; Fago, Don / Wisconsin fishes 2000: status and distribution

Materials and methods,   pp. 3-4 PDF (555.7 KB)

Page 3

We compiled information for this update 
from many different sources, including 
data and specimen collections held by 
government agencies, colleges and universities, 
and private individuals. All told, we considered 
information from about 3500 locations on 1200 
Wisconsin streams, rivers, and lakes sampled 
from 1981 through 1999. For new distribution 
records we relied on published literature, the 
Master Fish File, and voucher specimens or pho- 
tographs deposited in the fish collection of the 
University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum 
(UWZM) in Madison or the WDNR Research 
Center in Monona. A portable sea lamprey assess- 
ment trap (Schuldt and Heinrich 1982) operated 
below the DePere Dam on the Lower Fox River 
(Brown County) from 1979 to the present pro- 
vided especially useful information on exotic 
species and trends in fish abundance (Cochran 
1994, Cochran and Hesse 1994, Cochran and 
Marks 1995), although it was relatively inefficient 
at collecting large, deep-bodied species. We 
accepted unpublished records without specimens 
or photographs if they had been observed by one 
of the authors or by a biologist that we judged 
competent to identify Wisconsin fishes. 
We have used common and scientific names 
from the most recent American Fisheries Society 
list of fish names (Robins et al. 1991a, 1991b, 
Kendall 1997), and we have indicated where 
these names differ from those in Becker (1983). 
The American Fisheries Society list will be 
updated soon and will probably include name 
changes for several Wisconsin species to match 
the nomenclature proposed by Mayden et al. 
(1992), so we list these alternative names in 
We defined three categories of Wisconsin 
fishes. Native species are those that had estab- 
lished populations in the state prior to European 
settlement in the early 1800s. Most of these 
fishes are able to complete their whole life cycle 
in Wisconsin waters, but two, American eel 
(Anguilla rostrata) and skipjack herring (Alosa 
chrysochloris), spend only part of their lives in 
Wisconsin and spawn outside the state (Becker 
1983). Non-native species were not present prior 
to European settlement and entered Wisconsin 
because of human activities subsequent to settle- 
ment, either through intentional or accidental 
introductions or through modifications of 
waterways that allowed them to bypass natural 
barriers. An example of the latter is the construc- 
tion of the Welland Canal, which circumvented 
the barrier at Niagara Falls and permitted the 
invasion of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) 
and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) from Lake 
Ontario into the upper Great Lakes. We split 
non-native species into two categories: "estab- 
lished species," with one or more self-sustaining 
populations in the state as of 1999, and "tran- 
sient species," which are not self-sustaining in 
the state. Some transient non-natives, such as 
the rainbow sharkminnow (Epalzeorhynchos 
frenatum) or striped bass (Morone saxatilis), are 
known only from a single individual; others, 
such as the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) 
or Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), are represented 
by several records because they have been regu- 
larly stocked in Wisconsin or nearby states. 
The following species accounts are divided 
into the three categories of native, established 
non-native, and transient non-native fishes. 
Species are listed by category and then alpha- 
betically by scientific name within family, with 
families ordered taxonomically according to 
Robins et al. (1991a). Note that this taxonomic 
order differs from that of Becker (1983), reflect- 
ing an improved understanding of phylo- 
genetic relationships. 

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