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

Introduction,   pp. 1-2 PDF (263.2 KB)

Page 1

he publication of George C. Becker's mon- 
umental Fishes of Wisconsin in 1983 was a 
major landmark in Wisconsin ichthyol- 
ogy. However, even as this book was being pub- 
lished, substantial new information was being 
gathered about the fishes of the state. From 
1975-1980, the Wisconsin Department of 
Natural Resources (WDNR) sampled fish from 
nearly 5000 sites on over 1700 lakes, rivers, and 
streams as part of a statewide fish distribution 
survey (FDS) under the direction of Don Fago. 
Only portions of these collections were included 
in Becker (1983). Unfortunately, the FDS was ter- 
minated with just 45% of the waters in the state 
adequately surveyed. Summaries of FDS results 
were published by Fago (1982, 1983, 1984a, 
1984b, 1985a, 1985b, 1986, 1992). As a result of 
the FDS, Fago (1988) created the "Master Fish 
File," a comprehensive database that now 
includes over 22,000 Wisconsin fish collections 
from 1900 to the present. This database is 
updated regularly and can be accessed through 
the WDNR web site ( 
Following the end of the FDS and the publica- 
tion of Fishes of Wisconsin, many additional 
studies of Wisconsin waters were carried out, 
adding greatly to our knowledge of the taxo- 
nomic status, distribution, and abundance of 
Wisconsin fishes. Several noteworthy studies 
about native species were published, including 
the discovery (Cochran 1987) and analysis of 
variation and distribution (Cochran and 
Gripentrog 1992, Lyons et al. 1997) of southern 
brook lamprey (Ichthyomyzon gagei), rediscovery 
of skipjack herring (Alosa chrysochloris) (Thiel 
1985, Fago 1993) and black redhorse (Moxostoma 
duquesnei) (Fago and Hauber 1993), documenta- 
tion of the decline in distribution and abun- 
dance of slender madtom (Noturus exilis) (Lyons 
1996a), and analysis of morphological variation 
and distribution in slimy sculpin (Cottus cogna- 
tus) (Lyons 1990). The initial establishment and 
spread was reported for four non-native species: 
threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) 
(Johnston 1991), white perch (Morone americana) 
(Cochran and Hesse 1994), ruffe (Gymnocephalus 
cernuus) (Simon and Vondruska 1991, Pratt et al. 
1992), and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) 
(Charlebois et al. 1997, Steingraeber 1999). 
Occurrence and abundance trends were pre- 
sented for the entire fish assemblage from 
certain waters, including the Bois Brule River 
system, Douglas County (DuBois and Pratt 
1994); Devils Lake, Sauk County (Lillie and 
Mason 1986); Lake Mendota and other lakes 
near Madison (Lyons 1989a, Lathrop et al. 
1992, Magnuson and Lathrop 1992); the 
Mississippi River (Held 1983a and 1983b, 
Sylvester and Broughton 1983, UMRCC 1983, 
Eckblad 1986, Fremling et al. 1989, Burkhardt 
et al. 1997, Torreano 1998); Sparkling Lake, 
Vilas County (Lyons 1987); the St. Croix River 
basin (Fago and Hatch 1993); Lake Superior 
(Hansen 1994, Hoff and Bronte 1999); and the 
Trout River, Vilas County (Lyons 1988). Factors 
that influenced the distribution of fish species 
and assemblages across broad regions of the 
state were analyzed by Lyons et al. (1988, 1996), 
Lyons (1989b, 1991, 1992, 1996b), Johnson and 
Jennings (1998), and Newall and Magnuson 
(1999) for streams and rivers, and by Tonn and 
Magnuson (1982), Rahel (1984), Brazner (1997), 
Brazner and Beals (1997), and Jennings et al. 
(1999) for lakes. 
In this publication we have updated the 
information in Becker (1983) on the occurrence, 
taxonomic status, distribution, and abundance 
of fishes in Wisconsin. We have also briefly 
summarized nomenclatural changes. 

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