Public Comment Sought on Protecting Darters in Etowah Basin

Submitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

More than a dozen cities and counties surrounding Lake Allatoona in northwest Georgia, working with federal and state partners, have created a development plan to protect threatened and endangered darter fish in the Etowah River and its tributaries, including the Conasauga River.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is accepting public comments through Aug. 31 on the plan, which encompasses 932,000 acres from the Etowah’s headwaters in the Chattahoochee National Forest to metro Atlanta’s northwestern edge. FWS is seeking additional information on the status of the three darter species through Sept. 4. The three species are among 23 threatened and endangered fish, amphibian, reptile, mussel, snail and plant species the FWS is reviewing in the Southeast.

“By protecting these fish, we are helping protect water quality and drinking water, recreation in Lake Allatoona and the quality of life of the people who live up there,” said Robin Goodloe, the FWS’ lead biologist on the conservation plan.

Comments may be mailed to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Regional Office at 1875 Century Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30345, or e-mailed to [email protected].