As you can see in the picture above, this year’s drought has been pretty devastating. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, biologists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute rescued roughly 750 Barrens topminnows from a nearly dry spring. We are currently holding them at the Aquarium's Animal Care Facility until the spring has a chance to return to the normal water level. Which may take some time given the slim chances for meaningful rain in the near future.
The picture below is what the spring normally looks like. It is a night and day comparison.
This unique fish is limited to 22 small spring seeps across 3 counties in east-central Tennessee. The Barrens topminnow has become threatened by introductions of invasive mosquitofish, which out-compete and harass juvenile topminnows.
Learn more about this conservation effort to save this endangered species by watching this video:
We are working with the following organizations to propagate juvenile fishes for recovery efforts. Aquarist Matt Hamilton leads the propagation effort for the Tennessee Aquarium and TNACI. Other partners include:
Conservation Fisheries, Inc.
Tennessee Technological University
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
United States Fish and Wildlife Service