Etheostoma sitikuense | Citico Darter
The Citico Darter has long been known as the Duskytail Darter, Etheostoma percnurum. Recently, the Duskytail Darter complex was split into four species (Blanton and Jenkins, 2008). The population in Citico Creek (and now Abrams Creek and Tellico River) is now known as the Citico Darter.
This is one of numerous species eliminated from Abrams Creek in the 1950s. In a multi-agency effort to improve trout fishing in the creek, an ichthyocide was applied to the stream in an attempt to remove all “rough” fish, seen as competition to the trout. While some species were able to eventually re-colonize, Citico Darters were not among them. Fortunately, a thriving population was discovered in nearby Citico Creek in the early 1980s. It is from this stock that captively propagated fish are being used to restore the Abrams population.
Citico Darters are one of our best success stories to date. We have been stocking propagated Citico Darters into Abrams Creek since 1993. The reintroduced population is doing well. We have documented both reproduction and recruitment in Abrams Creek.
Reintroductions were initiated in the Tellico River in 2003. Within just a few years we have been able to observe in-stream reproduction and recruitment in the Tellico River. We are hopeful that having these narrowly endemic fishes in Citico, Abrams and Tellico will help insure their long-term survival.