Dear Appalachian Voice,

Thanks for bringing attention to the New River in your last issue (“The Watery Heart of Appalachia” Fall, 2004). The good work of the National Committee for the New River deserves to be highlighted – as does the exceptional smallmouth bass fishery in the New River. However, your readers may also be interested in the remarkable native fishes of the New River and its tributaries. The New River basin is home to several species found nowhere else on earth, including: bigmouth chub, Kanawha minnow, New River shiner, Bluestone sculpin, Appalachia darter, Kanawha darter, candy darter. These species are extremely diverse in coloration, behavior, and habitat use. However, they all can tell us about the health of the watershed and the quality of the rivers – if we choose to listen.

Than Hitt, Blacksburg, VA


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