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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Wisconsin fishes and fishery management,   pp. 18-37 PDF (8.3 MB)

Page 37

Wisconsin Fishes and Fishery Management  37 
utes). I consider the following species endangered: shortjaw cisco (Lake
gan only; common in Lake Superior), kiyi (Lake Michigan only; abundant in
Superior), gravel chub, striped shiner, and bluntnose darter. 
  Threatened fishes are those which appear likely to become endangered within
the foreseeable future. Species I consider to be threatened are: paddlefish,
sucker, river redhorse, goldeye, longear sunfish, pallid shiner, redfin shiner,
Ozark minnow, pugnose shiner, starhead topminnow, crystal darter, western
sand darter (Lake Michigan basin only; common in Mississippi River basin),
mud darter, gilt darter, and slender madtom. 
  Fishes which may or may not be holding their own at the present time are
given watch status. They are species suspected to have some problem which
has not been identified or proved. They require special observation to identify
conditions that might cause further decline, or factors that could help to
their survival in the state. I place the following under watch status: American
eel, lake herring, bloater, pygmy whitefish, lake sturgeon, redside dace,
led chub, pugnose minnow, red shiner, weed shiner, lake chubsucker, black
buffalo, greater redhorse, pirate perch, and least darter. 
  The protection of fish species in trouble is a new concept in many states.
How does one protect a lake or stream inhabited by an endangered species?
What are the specific causes for its being endangered? How does one rally
lic support for preservation of endangered fishes? Fish species in trouble
mostly nongame fishes, often minnows and darters, which may be sensitive
the slightest alterations in their aquatic habitats. And man, the primary
ploiter of and competitor for aquatic habitat with these species, is the
only crea- 
ture capable of restoring damaged habitat and its biotic treasures. 
  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Endangered Species Com- 
mittee (1975:1) observed that 
if wild creatures are disappearing, it is time to consider whether man too
may be endan- 
gered. The survival of fish and wildlife and the survival of man are cut
from the same 
fabric. Wild things are biological indicators of the health of our environment-barome-
ters of the future of all life. 
  What is really at stake is the well being of the total community of nature
of which 
man is a part. We are concerned here with a remarkably interrelated whole,
where each 
species has its place. If we eliminate one, we may lose another. Or we may
cause the 
malfunctioning of the entire ecosystem. We don't know the complete role of
many ani- 
mals in the outdoor community. Until we do we cannot afford to lose any species.

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