Tag Archives: darter

Lawsuit Says Surface Coal Mining Threatens Endangered TN Fish

A coalition of environmental groups have filed a lawsuit claiming federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, unlawfully approved surface mining on Tennessee mountains, according to The Tennessean.
The Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club and others sued the agencies in U.S. District Court in Nashville for not considering how pollution from the mining would impact endangered fish — in particular, the blackside dace and Cumberland darter.
“Extinction of endangered species is too high a price to pay for surface mining,” said the Sierra Club’s Mary Anne Hitt. “Mining pollution from these sites clearly poses a risk to the dace and darter; these permits should have never been allowed to go forward.”
The fish use the creeks downstream of Zeb Mountain and David Creek, both outside of Knoxville (Note: They’re in in Campbell County.). The fish have been dwindling in numbers for years.
Extinction of the fish, the lawsuit says, could harm the area’s entire ecosystem. Citing violations of the Endangered Species Act, the groups contend federal officials have leaned on outdated safety research when approving mining permits.

TN Fish Listed as Endangered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Small fish native to Tennessee and Kentucky are among five species being added to the federal endangered species list.
Among them are the Cumberland darter, found only above Cumberland Falls in Tennessee and Kentucky. The species was historically found in 21 streams in the upper Cumberland River system, but now survives in short stretches of less than one mile along a dozen streams.
Also being listed is the chucky madtom, a small catfish. Since 2000, only three examples of the species have been collected from one stream — Little Chucky Creek in northeastern Tennessee.
The laurel dace, found in only six streams on the Cumberland Plateau, is also being added.
The species’ listing becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register on Tuesday.