Web site offers first complete look at Georgia’s freshwater fishes

      Fishes of Georgia Web site <>

  This is no fish tale: A new Georgia Museum of Natural History Web site
offers the most complete look at Georgia fishes, what they are and where
they’re found.

Fishes of Georgia is the work of Brett Albanese, a senior aquatic zoologist
with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Museum of Natural History
Director Bud Freeman and Carrie Straight, a research professional with the
University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology. Behind the lists, photographs
and distribution maps are thousands of hours spent studying records,
sampling streams and inspecting fish preserved in jars.

Results include a Fishes of Georgia Atlas database that features more than
159,000 fish records from 19,028 collections, and an easy-to-use Web site
that documents the state’s deep lineup of freshwater fish. A 1997
publication reported 219 native freshwater fishes for Georgia. Through the
atlas project, that total now stands at 265, placing Georgia among the top
three U.S. states for freshwater fish diversity.

Environmental consultants, city planners, conservationists and elementary
school teachers are all expected to use the site. Species are listed by
scientific and common names. Maps show where each fish lives by basin.
(Drainage systems often have different fishes.) A tab allows viewers to
submit new records.

There are surprises. Twenty-one species listed have not been formally
described, or recognized as new species, although many such as the sicklefin
redhorse are well known to ichthyologists like Freeman and Albanese. These
fish illustrate what is called cryptic, or hidden, diversity.

Anglers who log in will find more bass than expected. The site lists
Bartram’s bass, an undescribed species in the Savannah River basin, and
splits redeye bass into a species in the Chattahoochee and Flint River
basins and another in the Ocmulgee, Oconee and Ogeechee basins, research
Freeman spearheaded.


Dr. Teri Hamlin
North Region Agriculture Education
Georgia Department of Education
204C Four Towers University of Georgia
Athens, Ga 30602
706-542-3679 / 706-540-0032
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