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Grotto sculpin final decision set for September

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The grotto sculpin is under consideration to be added to the endangered species list. The grotto sculpin is a cave dwelling fish believed to be found only in Perry County, Mo.
PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The saga of the grotto sculpin will begin a new chapter come September when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will publish its decision on whether to add the fish to the endangered species list.

The species is believed to be found exclusively in Perry County, Mo. The fish can be found in five caves and one stream. They have small eyes, a pale color and other features adapted to cave living.

With this decision, the department will decide whether the area is considered to be a critical habitat. The cost of protecting the finned underground cave-dweller still is unclear, with a formerly reported range of $140,000 to $4 million over the next 18 years.

Cost will depend on the extent of the existing protection measures taken by the community, whether the species is considered endangered and whether the area is classified as a critical habitat.

The lead biologist on the species in Missouri, Shauna Marquardt, said the proposal was submitted last September and the department will publish its decision in the federal register one year from that time. The final ruling can be expected in mid- to late September.

The Fish and Wildlife Service took public comments until June 6 on the proposal, an economic analysis and the conservation plan submitted by community members. The economic analysis evaluates the potential economic impact of classifying the area as a critical habitat.

Marquardt said while regulators didn't receive an abundant amount of comments, all were addressed in the final rule. When it is published, the department will work with its other departments and residents of Perry County to develop a recovery plan.

Perry County economic development director Scott Sattler said he doesn't anticipate the area becoming classified as a critical habitat. According to Sattler, residents, businesses and the agricultural community have been very conscientious over the last several years when it comes to the environment, and efforts to protect the environment will continue.


Pertinent address:

Perryville, MO

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This is what alot of people in our area aren't understanding. When you have a little fish much like the grotto sculpin which is not found any where but in Perry county we should be proud of it. But what's most important people aren't thinking about is this little fish currently is an indicator that the water is of good quality for this fish to exist. Once this fish is gone from polluted water which is what is going to happen, our drinking water quality is questionable. Life forms like these fish are signs on healthy underground drinking water. So those of us with well water should worry once the fish are gone because that's when we can look for our water to become tainted with pollution. Let the wildlife conservation people know that's it's important to stand up to protect them because once they are gone whose going to protect you from the same type of poisoning.

-- Posted by newlg on Tue, Jul 2, 2013, at 7:19 PM

If you had followed this story you would know a couple of things. These fish are not dying from polluted water. A large problem with the fish is the overflow of ponds and other small fish that get into the streams and caves and EAT the grotto sculpin. It has little to nothing to do with polluted water.

Secondly, sculpins are found in massive numbers ALL OVER THE WORLD. They are a fish that is found in the oceans and in fresh water. There are also other blind sculpins found in caves all over this area and in the bootheel region. The fact that a unique NAME was given to a fish found in other areas - blind and in caves - does not make the fish unique in species. This is a government overreach mess and the outcome of the decision on this is so predictable with liberals running the government. There will be no surprises here.

Remember, these are the same people that believe that CO2 - the very air you exhale from your lungs - is a pollutant and a threat to the climate. That's right. Look it up. It's all about the money with these liberals.

-- Posted by Dug on Tue, Jul 2, 2013, at 8:30 PM

Dug you are 1 million present right but when you get the nut balls involved with anything they will run it in to the ground, and when you get the government in it then were done.

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Wed, Jul 3, 2013, at 6:49 AM

Dug, I agree with you 100%. For much too long, we have let the liberal screwballs try to "bully" us into preserving one thing or another. Some of the issues such as air quality, etc. are certainly worthy projects. But to spend this kind of money on a fish that nobody hardly ever even sees is insane. We, as a nation, face much more pressing and critical problems than saving some d*** fish. Another prime example of how the liberals are ruining America.

-- Posted by RELee on Wed, Jul 3, 2013, at 9:55 AM

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