Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Targeted surveys to prevent the extinction of Slender Chub Erimystax cahni

November 2021 - October 2023


Participating Agencies

Slender Chub (SC; Erimystax cahni), known only from a few sites in Clinch River and Powell River (TN and VA) has not been formally collected since the mid-1990s. The species’ biology and habitat make it difficult to capture SC without targeted efforts specific to SC. The purpose of this project is to identify the most likely remaining extant locations for the species and survey them with targeted methods to maximize the likelihood of its capture if still extant. If captured, SC specimens will be photographed, then transferred for captive propagation to Conservation Fisheries Inc. (CFI; Knoxville, TN), who have successfully spawned congeneric species in captivity. The primary goal is to survey suitable locations in the Clinch River and Powell River watersheds, and if found, transfer SC to CFI. Selected survey locations will include locations with previous collection records as well as locations with high probability of occurrence based on the species distribution models (SDMs) developed via the proposed work.

1) Conduct targeted field surveys to find and collect Slender Chubs in stream reaches predicted to have high probability of presence;2)Develop multi-scale SDMs for slender chub based on historically (pre-1990) verified collection locations and observed species associations; and3) Use field observations to validate and refine the SDMs so they can inform future survey and/or translocation efforts.