Federal officials have given “threatened” status to a fish that’s smaller than your little finger but swims upstream to spawn like salmon.
The trispot darter is found in parts of the Coosa River Basin in southeastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, and northern Alabama.
It’s less than 2 inches long and lives about 2 to 2½ years. Adults spend from April to October in the slow-moving water along river edges. In late November or early December, they begin moving to spawn in “intermittent seepage areas and ditches” that are nearly standing water.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it had declared the fish threatened on Tuesday. It says people and businesses have until Feb. 26 to comment on proposed critical habitat and proposed exemptions.