Whittier, T.R., D.B. Halliwell, S. Paulsen. 1997. Cyprinid distributions in northeast USA lakes: evidence of regional-scale minnow biodiversity loss. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 54:1593-1607.
Fish assemblages were sampled in 195 randomly selected lakes in the northeastern United States during the summers of 1991-1994. Most lakes in northern Maine had three to seven minnow species, constituting 40-80% of species in each lake. Lakes in New Jersey, southern New York, and southern New England rarely had minnows, other than golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas). Lakes in the Adirondacks and the remainder of northern New England had intermediate numbers. We examined minnow native ranges and autecology and evaluated species richness related to littoral predators and human disturbance. Sample data suggested alteration in the minnow assemblages over much of the region. The most consistent factor related to minnow species richness was the presence of littoral predators. Median number of minnow species was two in lakes lacking predators and zero in lakes with predators. Non-native predators, especially Micropterus spp., have been introduced throughout the Northeast; 69% of the sampled lakes had non-native predators. In the absence of predators, minnow species declined with increased human activity in the watershed and along lake shorelines. Only in northern Maine did lake minnow assemblages seem relatively intact.