The Asiatic weatherfish, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, is a generalist species that has invaded numerous physiographic niches worldwide. Asiatic weatherfish populations have been observed to compete with native fish populations in Hawaii and are of major concern in Australia due to the concomitant introduction of an exotic parasite. Asiatic weatherfish populations have been observed in 16 of the contiguous United States (US) since the 1940s. Alabama is the most recent US state to report sustaining Asiatic weatherfish populations. Asiatic weatherfish were first observed by local fishermen in 2000, but reported established in Alabama in 2009 and, more recently, in 2012. From 2013 to 2014, surveys were conducted in NE Alabama on the Coosa River near Logan Martin Reservoir, as well as the surrounding watershed on the eastern side of the reservoir, specifically investigating for Asiatic weatherfish. Sites were surveyed using standard protocols for the surveying of wadeable streams using a backpack electrofisher and seine nets. Weatherfish were collected at 5 of 15 sites surveyed between 2013 and 2014. A total of 112 fish were collected, comprising 15% (112/738) of total catch. At 2 of the 5 sites, weatherfish occurrence was >50% of the total species observed. Weatherfish were collected in numerous habitats including lentic pools, lotic riffles, as well as in dense vegetation. Numerous size class individuals were collected (27–114mm SL) indicating populations are reproducing. Based on its occurrence in Logan Martin Reservoir and surrounding tributaries, the species appears to be expanding its range utilizing Logan Martin Reservoir as a “stepping stone” for migration. Little is known about competition between Asiatic weatherfish and native US fishes although many conservationists suggest competition is inevitable. Currently, Asiatic weatherfish co-occur in Alabama springs alongside a rare endemic fish species (coldwater dater, Etheostoma ditrema) and it is likely to encounter other sensitive species as it expands its range.
White, Lindsay Michelle and Meade, Mark Edward, "Occurrence of the Asiatic Weatherfish, Misgurnus Anguillicaudatus (Cantor, 1842), in Alabama, USA" (2015). Research, Publications & Creative Work. 49.