Robust Redhorse Research Projects and Management Activities

Supplement Breeding Program

  • Annual broodfish collection and spawning,
  • Development of propagation techniques and breeding protocols to maximize genetic diversity,
  • Short and long-term cryopreservation studies to preserve healthy sperm and to establish and manage the robust redhorse sperm repository,
  • Fry production and fingerling distribution to state and federal hatcheries, and
  • Establishment of refugial populations to facilitate successful reintroductions by providing larger individuals and a broader age structure.

Early Life History Research

  • Evaluation of the effect of sedimentation and substrate composition on reproductive and emergence success,
  • Investigation of the effect of various contaminants on eggs and larvae,
  • Determination of temperature and flow requirements for young-of-year,
  • Establishment of feeding and culture requirements of larvae through juvenile stages in the hatchery environment, and
  • Development of a hatchery pond management plan.

Population Dynamics Research

  • Maintain a database of all Robust Redhorse captures,
  • Investigation of movement patterns of juveniles using radio telemetry devices to help determine the habitat preferences and fate of this age group,
  • Population modeling, and
  • Otolith microchemistry analysis of the ratio of strontium to calcium to evaluate whether the current wild populations are associated with saline environments during some life-history phase.

Reintroduction Program

  • Annual status surveys of the major rivers in the three states to evaluate the presence and extent of wild populations and introduced individuals,
  • Hatchery pond harvests, river stockings and monitoring through surveys, and
  • Development of culture, broodfish collection and disease protocols.

Genetics Research

  • Investigation of the population structure and genetic diversity in the Oconee, Savannah and Pee Dee rivers,
  • Genetic sensitivity analysis of the supplemental breeding program
  • Development of a molecular approach to identification of larvae, and
  • Comparison of mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA divergence between robust and silver redhorse from three populations.


  • Production of a 30-minute educational video,
  • Exhibition of robust redhorse at the South Carolina Aquarium's Piedmont River Exhibit and educational panels to increase public awareness,
  • Development of three-panel table-top display
  • Development of a mounted spawning triade display, and
  • Development of an Internet site.