The Spotfin Chub was the fourth species to be spawned successfully in the Conservation Fisheries Hatchery as a part of a restoration program. Once one of the more widespread species in clear upland rivers throughout the upper and middle portions of the Tennessee River system, spotfin chubs have suffered a serious decline in both abundance and distribution.
Their sporadic occurrence and declining population densities resulted in their placement on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service list of threatened species. We are propagating this species for reintroduction to Abrams Creek and the Tellico River, using parent stock from the Little Tennessee River in North Carolina. We are also propagating offspring from Emory River parents for reintroduction into Shoal Creek in south-central Tennessee. At this time, reintroductions into Abrams Creek have been suspended. No recruitment has been observed there and the general consensus is that the unimpounded portion of the stream is likely too small to support this species. Reproduction has been documented in the Tellico River for several consecutive years now and we have high hopes that a viable population is becoming established.
The restoration project is still in the early stages in Shoal Creek (1st stocking in late 2007) and wild reproduction has been documented for the first time in 2011! The Shoal Creek monitoring work in 2012 extended down into Alabama where spotfin chubs were found all the way down to Goose Shoals. There is so much great habitat in Shoal Creek that we are very hopeful for this project.