Chrosomus cumberlandensis (Blackside Dace) is a federally protected stream fish endemic to the upper Cumberland River drainage of Kentucky and Tennessee. Captive propagation of the species has been conducted in only one previous study. Here we report new findings from spawning and rearing the species for the past three years, 2011–2013, at the Conservation Fisheries, Inc. (CFI) facility in Knoxville, TN. Brood stock (n = 80 adults) were collected in 2011–2012 from Big Lick Branch in Pulaski County, KY Spawning at the CFI facility occurred in April and May of each year when CFI water temperatures were between 16 and 21 °C. We compare CFI spawning dates and temperatures to those measured in a 2006 field study. We also provide video footage of spawning behavior, which conformed to that previously described in the literature. Per capita production of fry (i.e., number of juveniles reared per breeding adult) in 2012 was more than twice that achieved in the previous study. We progressively reduced the presence of (and cues from) other fish species in 2011, 2012, and 2013, with the eventual achievement of having Blackside Dace spawn completely independent from any heterospecific cues. Our results collectively increase the capacity to propagate Blackside Dace in captivity to support ongoing recovery efforts for this threatened species.
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Vol. 12 • No. sp4