Mudpuppies at Alum Creek Dam

Blake Mathys, Ph.D.

I accompanied Ryan Wagner during his research with Common Mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus). He had been informed that the spillway at Alum Creek Dam would be drawn down on July 28th (2021), and he thought there would be mudpuppies exposed when the water receded. In addition to the mudpuppies, we were also treated to views of many fish species.

The first view of the dam in the morning
Heavy equipment was used to create a temporary dam to prevent the water that was pumped out of the spillway from returning back upstream
Moving one of the pumps
The pumps working to remove the water from the spillway
Ryan Wagner (Left) and Kara Blomgren (center, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Before the water level was sufficiently lowered to look for mudpuppies, we caught a few other animals (shown in the next two pictures below)
Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)
Queen Snake (Regina semptemvittata)
Water levels getting lower
Close view of the dam from the spillway
First mudpuppy of the day
Dead muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) we found in the spillway
Many sunfish were trapped in the spillway
Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)
Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) caught in the spillway
Mudpuppies waiting to be processed
A close view of a waiting mudpuppy
Ryan processing mudpuppies
Blake Mathys holding a mudpuppy (I had slipped and fallen in the mud, as can be seen in this picture)
Releasing water to refill the spillway