The relationship between native fish diversity and reintroduction success of the Tippecanoe Darter (Nothonotus tippecanoe) in Ohio.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The Ohio State University

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


Since 1980, the Tippecanoe Darter (Nothonotus tippecanoe) has seen a significant increase in its distribution. This follows decades of decline due to poor water quality, physical barriers, and habitat loss. Their recovery coincides with the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1977 but can also be attributed to better sampling methodology and true range expansion. Despite this increase, the species was listed as threatened in Ohio in 1990. In 2018, a five-year reintroduction project began for the Tippecanoe Darter in its historic range of the Muskingum River basin. Darters were collected, marked, and translocated to six sites in the basin: two in the Kokosing River, one in the Tuscarawas River, two sites in the Walhonding, and one in the Muskingum. Results of five years of capture/recapture data suggest that natural recruitment varied across the sites during post-reintroduction surveys. Specifically, there was greater recruitment and higher abundance at two sites on the Kokosing and one on the Tuscarawas River, whereas the two sites on the Walhonding and one on the Muskingum River had lower abundances. In this study, I aimed to understand whether the variation in darter abundance following translocation was associated with native fish diversity at a site. Analyses indicated that sites with high reintroduction success of the Tippecanoe Darter had variable relationships with diversity and community indices. Through calculating these metrics and analyzing a multi-year dataset, I hope to better understand the relationship between native fish diversity and relative reintroduction success. This research may help inform future restoration efforts of similar species.


Southeastern Fishes Council Poster Competition, 2nd place