Missouri cave fish may go on endangered species list

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) -- A federal agency's plan to put a tiny, cave-dwelling fish on the endangered species list has some southeast Missouri officials questioning the move's impact on economic development.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to add the Grotto sculpin to the endangered list and designate its critical habitat for protection. The two-and-a-half inch fish is found only in five cave systems in Perry County.

Federal regulators want to designate 36 square miles of underground aquatic habitat and 19 miles of surface stream in the county as critical habit.

City Manager Brent Buerck says most of Perryville and its rural surroundings are included in the proposed critical habitat area.

The wildlife agency is conducting a public meeting Tuesday night in Perryville to present its plans.


Information from: Southeast Missourian,