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Manor Kill Loach Investigation (2010)

Region 4 Fisheries were notified on June 23, 2010, of an unusual fish species found in a tributary to the Manor Kill in Schoharie County. Fisheries staff identified these fish as some kind of aquarium loach (known by many names, eg dojo loach, oriental weathervane). Three subsequent visits to the Manor Kill headwaters since June 30, 2010, have turned up almost 200 loaches of various sizes (multiple age groups) indicating the establishment of a breeding population. Loach are native to Eastern Asia, with a high invasive potential (facultative air breathers found in many US states) and known to compete for food items with other fishes. Their potential impact on stream systems is unknown but will likely be negative on resident fishes. The Manor Kill is a pristine trout stream with limited resources for brown, brook, and rainbow trout. It is unknown if loach have found their way downstream into the Schoharie Reservoir, an impoundment on Schoharie Creek that empties into the Mohawk River. Region 4 Fisheries plan to examine the entire watershed to determine the range of this nuisance species. Wild loach have been documented in five DEC Regions (1, 3, 4, 7, and 9).

Loach in a net
Loach sampled from the Manor Kill. The largest is about
8 inches.

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