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Bigmouth Buffalo conservation

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#1 olaf

  • NANFA Member

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:42 PM

A lot of new info is emerging about this species, and some of it is pretty mind-blowing. Lives longer than any other freshwater teleost--4x as long as previously thought. Some populations are mostly made up of individuals over 80 years old--alive but not effectively spawning since before dams were built in the 1930s. But the species is poorly studied and mostly unregulated, and bowfishers can shoot them in unlimited numbers. 


New research just published: 

"Bigmouth Buffalo Ictiobus cyprinellus sets freshwater teleost record as improved age analysis reveals centenarian longevity"

Here's the abstract:
Understanding the age structure and population dynamics of harvested species is crucial forsustainability, especially infisheries. The Bigmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus  cyprinellus)isafishendemic to the Mississippi and Hudson Bay drainages. A valued food-fish for centuries, theyare now a prized sportfish as night bowfishing has become a million-dollar industry in thepast decade. All harvest is virtually unregulated and unstudied, and Bigmouth Buffalo aredeclining while little is known about their biology. Using thin-sectioned otoliths and bomb-radiocarbon dating, wefind Bigmouth Buffalo can reach 112 years of age, more than quad-rupling  previous  longevity  estimates,  making  this  the  oldest  known  freshwater  teleost(~12,000  species).  We  document  numerous  populations  that  are  comprised  largely(85–90%)  of  individuals  over  80  years  old,  suggesting  long-term  recruitment  failuresince dam construction in the 1930s. Ourfindings indicate Bigmouth Buffalo require urgentattention, while other understudiedfishes may be threatened by similar ecological neglect


A Minnesota Public Radio story about Bigmouths, bowfishing, etc.:



A petition to urge the Minnesota DNR to protect and help Bigmouth Buffalo:


Please sign it and spread the word.

Redhorse ID downloads and more: http://moxostoma.com

#2 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:07 PM

Well, nuts.  Scratch that Riffles and/or FIF... 


Kon sent me a pic of a very yellow buffalo.  Have you seen that one?  Unfortunately bow-fished. It's gonna be in the stuff I'm sending to ya soon.  


I don't know much about them, but the little bit I have learned looking at that study you listed and a couple other places has been really interesting.  


Signing the petition.


edit, signed it.  Almost up to 1300 signatures.

Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Mike

  • Regional Rep
  • Indiana

Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:57 PM

Signed it

Mike Berg
Northwest Indiana

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