Gilt Darter

Gilt darterGilt darter Percina evides.  Not seen in the State of Ohio for over 100 years until it was captured by a private environmental consulting agency (EA Engineering, Science and Technology) in the Ohio River below the Gallipolis Dam, and subsequently by the Fish Division crew at that site plus two more upstream of the dam in the Ohio River.  Gilt darters were only historically recorded from two localities in Ohio; one was taken from the Ohio River near Gallipolis and the other in the Maumee River (Lake Erie watershed).  Key in spread of this species has been the refugia; upper reaches of watersheds where water quality and habitat were sufficient to enable survival of small populations that upon improvement of conditions reoccupied areas where they formerly existed.  It is known that the species had persisted in refugia in the Elk River of the Kanawha River system that enters the Ohio River upstream of the Gallopolis Dam, while the Big Sandy River watershed has several more records far upstream of where the Big Sandy enters the Ohio River at the Kentucky-West Virginia border upstream of the Greenup Dam were a few more sites where Brian Zimmerman's Fish Division crew captured several more gilt darters.  There is one new record for the Allegheny River system in Pennsylvania that joins the Ohio River when the Brian Zimmerman led team found gilt darter in the upper Ohio River not far downstream from the confluence with the Allegheny River.  More information is available for the Gilt darter from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.