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etowah aquatic HCP overview

about the etowah

about the species
amber darter
bridled darter
Cherokee darter
Coosa chub
Coosa madtom
Etowah darter
freckled darter
holiday darters

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about the imperiled aquatic species of the etowah

Ten imperiled aquatic species (nine fishes, three of which are federally listed as endangered or threatened, and a caddisfly) are known to inhabit the Etowah basin, and five others (mussels) are believed extirpated.

The Etowah Aquatic HCP is proposed to formally cover the three federally listed fish species. The other six fish species are not proposed to be formally covered by the HCP but will benefit from the avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures in ways very similar to the listed species. The Etowah Aquatic HCP can serve as an appropriate basis for an HCP for these six species should they be listed in the future.

The amber darter (Percina antesella) and the Etowah darter (Etheostoma etowahae) are federally listed as endangered, while the Cherokee darter (Etheostoma scotti) is listed as threatened; both the Etowah and Cherokee darters are endemic to the Etowah. The Coosa madtom (Noturus munitus), freckled darter (Percina lenticula), holiday darter (Etheostoma brevirostrum) and bridled darter (Percina sp. cf. macrocephala) are state-listed in Georgia and likely to be considered candidates for federal listing.


photo of Etowah darter, Etheostoma etowahae
Etowah darter (Etheostoma etowahae)

photo of Cherokee darter, Etheostoma scotti
Cherokee darter (Etheostoma scotti)

photo of holiday darter, Etheostoma brevirostrum
Holiday darter (Etheostoma brevirostrum)
In addition, the holiday darters of the Etowah are believed to be two separate species, each endemic to a subwatershed of the Etowah. The Coosa madtom of the Upper Coosa is currently being described as a separate species. An undescribed species of Coosa chub (Macrhybopsis sp. cf. aestivalis) is also believed to be endemic to the Coosa; some of its best remaining habitat is in the Etowah River.

Imperiled fish species of the Etowah basin

Scientific Name

Common Name

Status *

Percina antesella

amber darter

Fed. E

Etheostoma etowahae

Etowah darter

Fed. E

Etheostoma scotti

Cherokee darter

Fed. T

Noturus sp. cf. munitus

Coosa madtom

GA E/ Likely candidate

Etheostoma sp. cf. brevirostrum A

holiday darter

GA T/ Likely candidate

Etheostoma sp. cf. brevirostrum B

holiday darter

GA T/ Likely candidate

Percina kusha, formerly Percina sp. cf. macrocephala

bridled darter

GA Rare/Likely candidate

Percina lenticula

freckled darter

GA E/ Likely candidate

Macrhybopsis sp. cf. aestivalis

Coosa chub

Likely candidate

* Fed.=Federally listed, GA=Georgia/state listed, E=Endangered, T=Threatened, Likely candidate=likely to become a candidate for federal listing

Federally listed mussel species formerly known from the Etowah and possibly extirpated include the upland combshell (Epioblasma metastriata), southern clubshell (Pleurobema decisum), finelined pocketbook (Lampsilis altilis), triangular kidneyshell (Ptychobranchus greeni) and Alabama moccasinshell (Medionidus acutissimus).

Brachycentrus etowahensis is an endemic species of caddisfly that is likely to become a candidate for federal listing. It is apparently restricted only to the Piedmont portion of the Etowah River mainstem above Canton Georgia and a small reach of the Hiwassee River in Polk County, Tennessee. The population reported from the Little Tennessee River is apparently extirpated. The Etowah River harbors the largest population known.

Other imperiled aquatic species in the Etowah basin, including mussels believed extirpated

Scientific Name

Common Name

Status *

Epioblasma metastriata

upland combshell

Fed. E

Pleurobema decisum

southern clubshell

Fed. E

Lampsilis altilis

finelined pocketbook

Fed. T

Ptychobranchus greeni

triangular kidneyshell

Fed. E

Medionidus acutissimus

Alabama moccasinshell

Fed. T

Brachycentrus etowahensis

Etowah caddisfly

Likely candidate

* Fed.=Federally listed, GA=Georgia/state listed, E=Endangered, T=Threatened, Likely candidate=likely to become a candidate for federal listing

For more information:
Eric Prowell, Hydrologist
USFWS, Georgia Ecological Services
105 West Park Drive, Suite D.
Athens GA 30606
(706) 613-9493
Eric_Prowell@fws.gov