Howard Jelks is responsible for assisting the in planning, organizing, coordinating, and reporting research on faunal surveys, distributional analyses, species biology, experimental field and laboratory ecology, limiting factors, and behavior of rare, threatened, and endangered freshwater fishes of the southeastern United States. He designs studies, collects and processes samples, compiles, and statistically analyzes data, and assists with interpretation of the results and preparation of written research findings as publishable additions to fisheries science and technical presentations at meetings. He has recently assisted in study design and analysis on a survey of cryptic fish at Buck Island National Monument, St. Croix, VI, completed a book on the life history and risk assessment of the black carp. Jelks has been a leader in the research and recovery effort for the federally endangered Okaloosa darter at Eglin Air Force Base over the past decade. He led in coordinating and drafting the 1998 Revised Recovery Plan for the Okaloosa darter. Jelks is completing a book on the Fishes of Eglin Air Force Base which details the distribution, life history, and identifying characteristics of the species that inhabit those waters. He regularly participates in meetings at Eglin to help guide management of aquatic systems and their upland watersheds. Jelks collaborates with Frank Jordan, of Loyola University New Orleans, and Robert Dorazio, USGS, in developing removal sampling methods and statistical analyses that permit the simultaneous estimation of the abundance and detection of darters at multiple sites across Eglin. These estimates will contribute toward the assessment of the Okaloosa darter. Jelks has also participated in multi-species efforts to assess imperiled aquatic fauna both in the southeastern U.S. and throughout North America.
Science and Products
This website provides access to the list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America as determined by the 2008 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Endangered Species Committee (ESC) on Fishes.
This website provides access to the list of freshwater gastropods (snails) in Canada and the United States as determined by the 2013 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Endangered Species Committee (ESC) on freshwater gastropods.
This website provides access to the list of crayfish in Canada and the United States as determined by the 2007 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Endangered Species Committee (ESC) on Crayfishes.
USGS' and Loyola University New Orleans' innovative research techniques played a role in the decision to downlist the Okaloosa Darter, a freshwater fish endemic to northwest Florida, from Endangered to Threatened.
Characterizing the early life history of an imperiled freshwater mussel (Ptychobranchus jonesi) with host-fish determination and fecundity estimation
Conservation of imperiled species is frequently challenged by insufficient knowledge of life history and environmental factors that affect various life stages. The larvae (glochidia) of most freshwater mussels in the family Unionidae are obligate ectoparasites of fishes. We described the early life history of the federally endangered Southern...Mcleod, John; Jelks, Howard L.; Pursifull, Sandra; Johnson, Nathan A.
Characterizing the early life history of an imperiled freshwater mussel (Ptychobranchus jonesi)
Conservation of imperiled species is frequently challenged by insufficient knowledge of life history and the environmental factors that affect various life stages. The larvae (glochidia) of most freshwater mussels in the family Unionidae are obligate ectoparasites of fishes. We describe the early life history of the federally endangered Southern...Mcleod, John; Jelks, Howard; Pursifull, Sandra; Johnson, Nathan A.
Response of imperiled Okaloosa darters to stream restoration
The Okaloosa Darter Etheostoma okaloosae is a small percid endemic to six stream drainages in northwestern Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Okaloosa Darters as endangered in 1973 and downlisted them to threatened in 2011 because of habitat improvements and increasing abundance across much of their geographic range. Delisting is...Reeves, David B.; Tate, William B.; Jelks, Howard L.; Jordan, Frank
Book review: Black bass diversity: Multidisciplinary science for conservation
These proceedings are from the third symposium dedicated to management and conservation of black basses in the genus Micropterus. The first symposium was held in 1975 (R. H. Stroud and H. Clepper. Black Bass Biology and Management. Washington (DC): Sport Fishing Institute) followed 25 years later by Black Bass 2000 (D. P. Philipp and M. S. Ridgway...Jelks, Howard L.
Evaluating the piscicide rotenone as an option for eradication of invasive Mozambique tilapia in a Hawaiian brackish-water wetland complex
Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus were recently discovered in ‘Aimakapā Fishpond, a 12-hectare brackish-water wetland complex in Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, on the Island of Hawai’i. As a possible eradication method, we evaluated rotenone, a natural piscicide used in fish management and the active...Nico, Leo; Englund, Ronald A.; Jelks, Howard L.
Marine and inland fishes of St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands: an annotated checklist
An historical account is given for the ichthyological research at St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands, followed by an annotated list of 544 species of mostly marine shore fishes known or reported from the island to depths of 200 m. Color photographs are included for 103 of these species. Collections made at Buck Island Reef National Monument with the...Smith-Vaniz, William F.; Jelks, Howard L.
Movement and longevity of imperiled Okaloosa Darters (Etheostoma okaloosae)
Movement and longevity studies inform management and conservation plans for imperiled organisms. We used a mark–recapture study to reveal information about these key biological characteristics for imperiled Okaloosa Darters (Etheostoma okaloosae). Okaloosa Darters were captured from 20 m reaches at six separate streams, marked with VIE on the left...Holt, Daniel E.; Jelks, Howard L.; Jordan, Frank
Abiotic and biotic controls of cryptobenthic fish assemblages across a Caribbean seascape
The majority of fish studies on coral reefs consider only non-cryptic species and, despite their functional importance, data on cryptic species are scarce. This study investigates inter-habitat variation in Caribbean cryptobenthic fishes by re-analysing a comprehensive data set from 58 rotenone stations around Buck Island, U.S. Virgin Islands....Harborne, A.R.; Jelks, H.L.; Smith-Vaniz, W.F.; Rocha, L.A.
Discovery of South American suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae, Pterygoplichthys spp.) in the Santa Fe River drainage, Suwannee River basin, USA
We report on the occurrence of South American suckermouth armored catfishes (Loricariidae) in the Suwannee River basin, southeastern USA. Over the past few years (2009-2012), loricariid catfishes have been observed at various sites in the Santa Fe River drainage, a major tributary of the Suwannee in the state of Florida. Similar to other...Nico, Leo G.; Butt, Peter L.; Johnston, Gerald R.; Jelks, Howard L.; Kail, Matthew; Walsh, Stephen J.
Variation in reproductive life history traits between two populations of Blackbanded Darters (Percina nigrofasciata)
We examined the life history of Blackbanded Darters (Percina nigrofasciata) from two streams in the Choctawhatchee River drainage, Florida, over a three-year study period. Blackbanded Darters from Turkey Creek were longer than fish from Ten Mile Creek; however, size-adjusted clutch and egg sizes were similar between populations. Larger females...Hughey, Myra C.; Heins, David C.; Jelks, Howard L.; Ory, Bridget A.; Jordan, Frank
Weapons testing and endangered fish coexist in Florida
Okaloosa darters (Etheostoma okaloosae) are small fish found only in a few streams in the Florida panhandle. This species has been listed since 1973 as endangered due to habitat alteration resulting from erosion, the potential competition from brown darters (E. edwini), and a limited geographic distribution. In recent years, however, Okaloosa...Jelks, Howard; Tate, Bill; Jordan, Frank
Fish as major carbonate mud producers and missing components of the tropical carbonate factory
Carbonate mud is a major constituent of recent marine carbonate sediments and of ancient limestones, which contain unique records of changes in ocean chemistry and climate shifts in the geological past. However, the origin of carbonate mud is controversial and often problematic to resolve. Here we show that tropical marine fish produce and excrete...Perry, Chris T.; Salter, Michael A.; Harborne, Alastair R.; Crowley, Stephen F.; Jelks, Howard L.; Wilson, Rod W.