Arkansas Darter Not a Candidate for Threatened Species

Jan 5, 2017

The darter is about two inches long and lives in spring-fed streams.
Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Courtesy Kyle Davidson

A small fish native to Colorado and surrounding states is no longer a candidate for the threatened species list. 

The US Fish and Wildlife service officially categorized the Arkansas darter as "not warranted" for federal listing as endangered after a 12-month study.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist Paul Foutz says though the two-inch fish isn't on the federal list, the state will continue to keep its preservation in mind. He says water protection is especially important. 

"Fish obviously need water to survive," he says. "We've seen historically that those anthropogenic disturbances on the eastern plains have impacted the water in our streams."

Human-caused changes to water sources have historically threatened the Arkansas darter. Preservation efforts have included collaboration with private landowners and hatchery propagation.

In Colorado, the fish are found throughout the Lower Arkansas River Basin.