Officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the publication of “The Atlas of Inland Fishes of New York” as New York State Museum Record Series, Volume 7.
Authored jointly by DEC and NYSM staff in a multi-year collaboration, the Atlas describes present and historic distribution of all 181 native and introduced freshwater fish species in the state.
The Atlas contains an illustration of each species, a brief description of its habitat and native range, and maps for all but two species.
Atlas of Inland Fishes of New York Highlights:
– Significant changes in the distributions of many species have occurred since the first comprehensive surveys were performed by the Conservation Department in the 1920s and 1930s. Warm water loving species in particular have seen increases of 100 percent or more in the number of sites where they were detected.
– Green sunfish have expanded their range across most of the state. Green sunfish are characterized as aggressive and the expansion will have unknown consequences for other species.
– Deepwater sculpin, a state endangered species found in Lake Ontario, was thought to be extirpated from New York in 1985. In recent years, new deep trawling efforts in Lake Ontario have turned up regular catches of sculpins.
– Largemouth bass have increased their range across the state since the 19th century and occupy nearly every small watershed of the state.
– Lake sturgeon have regained significant portions of their native range across New York. Lake sturgeon populations had been decimated prior to DEC’s (and its predecessors’) record keeping.
The Atlas is available for download at the New York State Museum website (http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/staff-publications/atlas-inland-fishes-new-york).
A companion database showing the catch records included in the Atlas for all species is available for download at the New York State Museum website.
The Atlas project was partially funded by the State Wildlife Grant Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation