A meeting will take place at 2 p.m. Jan. 16, 2019, in the basement conference room at the KDWPT Region 2 Office at 300 S.W. Wanamaker Road in Topeka.
Meetings also will take place at:
• 3 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center on the campus of Pittsburg State at 302 E. Cleveland Ave. in Pittsburg
• 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Sternberg Museum, 3000 Sternberg Drive on the Fort Hays State campus in Hays.
• 11 a.m. Jan. 25 in the basement conference room of the KDWPT Operations Office, 512 S.E. 25th Ave. in Pratt.
The Arkansas darter is a small, bottom-dwelling fish that inhabits clear, spring-fed streams with aquatic vegetation, according to the agency. The darter feeds mostly on aquatic insects and it mainly founds in southcentral Kansas. The petition states that it is one of the more common fish species where it occurs and it is resilient to drought and poor water quality. The state says the number of sites where it has been found has increased more than tenfold since 1978, when it was first listed as Threatened.
The cylindrical papershell is a freshwater mussel that lives for about 10 years and was once documented in most northern Kansas rivers. The species is currently only found in limited areas of the Smoky Hill and Saline rivers, a point made in the petition to move it from the SINC list to the Endangered List, the most imperiled category. Mussel larvae, or glochidia, require attachment to a fish host to metamorphose to the juvenile stage before dropping off, according to the KDWPT. While the cylindrical papershell can use several fish species as hosts for its glochidia, the petition cites loss of flowing-water habitat and climate change as factors in the decline of this mussel.
Finally, the Wabash pigtoe is a heavy-shelled freshwater mussel found in eastern Kansas rivers. The petition to remove it from the SINC list is based on evidence of a healthy population in Kansas, including some locations where it is the most prevalent mussel present. The population has actually increased significantly in the Verdigris River since the early 1990s, according to the agency, and is also considered common in other southeast Kansas rivers. It is apparently not limited by fish host availability, because it uses shiners and minnows as hosts, the state says.