Recovery Strategies

Recovery Strategy for the Northern Madtom (Noturus stigmosus) in Canada

The Northern Madtom is a small (132 mm, maximum total length) freshwater catfish recognized by an overall mottled colour pattern with three distinct saddle-shaped markings on the back, located at the front of the dorsal fin, behind the dorsal fin and at the adipose fin. Evidence suggests that the Northern Madtom tolerates a wide range of habitat conditions and can be found in small creeks to large rivers, with clear to turbid water and moderate to swift current over substrates consisting of sand, gravel and rocks, occasionally with silt, detritus and accumulated debris.  It is also occasionally associated with macrophytes such as stonewort.  The Northern Madtom is native to North America and has a disjunct distribution throughout parts of the Mississippi and western Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair drainages.  This species is considered to be rare to extremely rare throughout its range and has a global status rank of G3 (vulnerable); a national status rank of N3 (vulnerable) in the United States; and, a Canadian national status of N1N2 (critically imperilled/imperilled).  There are two, possibly three, extant, reproducing populations in Canada: 1. lower Lake St. Clair – Detroit River; 2. Thames River of southwestern Ontario; and, 3. potentially the St. Clair River (a juvenile was caught in 2003, suggesting that reproduction may be occurring). A single specimen was collected from the Sydenham River in 1975; however, this remains the only record of Northern Madtom for this location.

The recovery strategy for the Northern madtom is now posted for public consultation. The document identifies recovery objectives, critical habitat and mechanisms for critical habitat protection including a SARA order prohibiting the destruction of the critical habitat. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites interested Canadians to submit comments.

Consultation period: 2012-02-17 to 2012-04-17


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Contact Person(s)

SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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