Percina rex, Roanoke logperch
The entire known range of the endangered Roanoke logperch comprises five disjunct areas in the Roanoke and Chowan drainages of Virginia, including the upper Roanoke River, middle Roanoke River tributaries, and the Pigg, Smith, and Nottoway River systems (Jenkins and Burkhead 1994). Only recently have reproducing populations also been verified in North Carolina in lower reaches of the Smith River, as well as the Mayo River, both tributaries to the Dan River (Charlotte Observer 5 Feb 2009). All logperch populations, especially those in the upper Roanoke and Pigg systems, continue to be seriously threatened by siltation and contaminants stemming from human impacts such as urban construction, agriculture, and highways. Potential recovery actions include protecting currently occupied habitat, re-establishing historic populations, establishing new populations in suitable habitats within their geographic ranges, and enhancing extant populations. In order to accomplish some of these tasks, laboratory propagation of the species at CFI was deemed necessary.
CFI has had several successful years with propagation and restoration efforts with the blotchside logperch, Percina burtoni, as well as developing protocols and producing large numbers of common logperch, Percina caprodes, for VADGIF.
CFI developed propagation protocols for the Roanoke logperch in 2008 and 2009 and was successful in producing juveniles, 137 and over 400 each year respectively. Tennessee Tech University utilized both the adults and first year’s propagated fish to conduct swimming performance tests that have yielded exhaustion-threshold curves which may be used to predict whether man-made structures such as culverts and bridges are passage barriers for the species (Mattingly et al. 2009).
In 2011 the remaining fish were transferred to VADGIF for use as mussel hosts.