Fish believed to be extinct in Ohio found alive and swimming

A longheaded darter fish declared extinct 82 years ago was discovered recently in the Ohio River.

Local fish management crews discovered two longheaded darter fish during an Ohio River electrofishing bass survey last fall, according to a Facebook post by the Ohio Division of Wildlife on Jan. 6.

In 1939, Milton B. Trautman came upon seven longhead darters in east-central Ohio along the Walhonding River where he had first captured them.

👀 Who dis? Believe it or not, it’s a longhead darter! Why are we so excited? This striking creature, native to Ohio,...

Posted by Ohio Division of Wildlife on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Longhead darters can stretch up to 4.5 to 5 inches long and are usually green with black marks connecting together, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

They were thought to be extirpated as they had not been found in years, wildlife officials said.

“What does ‘extirpated’ mean? The term refers to species that are locally extinct but not gone completely from the planet. Fortunately for the longhead darter and for those of us concerned, this species is not extirpated in the Buckeye State,” the division wrote in a Facebook post.

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