A rich fish assemblage that once thrived in the bays of western Lake Erie, and Ohio's glacial pothole lakes, wetlands, and clear prairie streams has changed over the past century. Three species have been extirpated from many of their historic localities, with surviving members reduced to relict populations. Recognizing that conservation efforts for these sensitive species rely on accurate occurrence records, we present results from 2011–2012 surveys of Ohio’s glacial lakes and associated habitats for 2 native members of this fish assemblage, Etheostoma exile (Iowa Darter) and Erimyzon sucetta (Lake Chubsucker). We found previously undocumented populations of Lake Chubsuckers in 4 glacial lakes and a previously undocumented population of Iowa Darters; however, comparing our results to surveys completed in the 1980s indicates that both species have been extirpated from many localities. A variety of factors including intensive agricultural practices, urban development, and exotic species are likely the cause of their decline.
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Vol. 22 • No. 1