Missing for over a century, a fish thought extinct is reintroduced to Virginia river

The yellowfin madtom, a small species of catfish, has been reintroduced into the North Fork Holston River of Virginia after being gone for more than 100 years.

It’s the largest of the madtom species, reaching 4 to 4½ inches in length.

The yellowfin is originally native to the region, being recorded as living in eight streams in the Upper Tennessee River Basin at one time before population started disappearing.

Until the late 1960s, it was thought that it was was extinct–thanks to pollution and sediment from development–before examples were found in Copper Creek in Scott County, Virginia.

Now the yellowfin is found in only four streams in the region, with the Holston hopefully raising that number to five.

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