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

West Virginia Project

Diamond darter reproduction research

September 2009 - January 2011


Participating Agencies

  • Cooperative Research Unit Program

The diamond darter, Crystallaria cincotta, is a recently described fish species from the upper Ohio River drainage. The only known extant population of the diamond darter is in the lower Elk River of West Virginia. The diamond darter is considered to be extirpated from Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Given the conservation status of this species, one management option is to use captive propagation to learn about life history characteristics and provide individuals for stocking programs. The main research goal is captive propagation of the diamond darter, which will provide an option for future stockings, and will provide an opportunity to study life history and behavioral ecology of this rare species. Results from this study will be directly applicable to the management and conservation of the diamond darter population. Specific research objectives are as follows: - Develop a protocol for the captive propagation of the diamond darter. - Estimate life history parameters associated with egg and larval development - Examine adult behaviors (spawning and habitat use)