By Donna Cope
The rush darter is a “Houdini” among fish – it’s part escape artist.
“A squirmy, wiggly fish” that easily jumps from your hand, the pinky-finger-long rush darter seems to move from one small puddle to another. So says Bankhead National Forest Wildlife Biologist Allison Cochran who, with her colleague John Moran, works with Alabama Power Environmental Affairs biologists Dylan Shaw and Jeff Baker in studying the little-known fish.
In 2019, Alabama Power joined United States Forest Service (USFS) biologists in uncovering the mysteries of the rush darter. Biologists have learned much about the life of this fish species, listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. Native to Alabama, the rush darter is found only in Jefferson, Etowah and Winston counties. The studies, among others, are being conducted as part of an in-kind service agreement between Alabama Power and the USFS associated with the Warrior Hydro License.
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