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The blackside dace (Chrosomus cumberlandensis) is a species of ray-finned fish in the family Cyprinidae. It is endemic to the Cumberland River drainage in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as the Powell River drainage in Virginia in the United States. It is a federally listed threatened species.
The species is threatened by the loss and degradation of its habitat. The rocky riverbed substrates in which it spawns are degraded by erosion and sedimentation, which are increased by human activities such as runoff pipes from septic tanks, and trash being dumped into streams. Several populations have been extirpated by these processes.
In 2007 a large scale die-off of aquatic life, including blackside dace, occurred in the Acorn Fork in Kentucky. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded that the most likely cause was a spill of hydraulic fracturing fluid from nearby natural gas wells. The results of a joint study indicated that the spill caused a spike in acidity, as well as toxic concentrations of heavy metals.
Photo credit: Price Sewell
Blackside dace (Phoxinus cumberlandensis)
Current listing status
- States/US Territories in which the Blackside dace, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:
- US Counties in which the Blackside dace, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:
Federal Register Documents
No critical habitat rules have been published for the Blackside dace.