Fish communities were sampled from eight sites within Hot Springs National Park. Fish were collected by seining and electrofishing during base-flow periods in July and October 2003. All individuals were identified to species. More than 1,020 individuals were collected, representing 24 species. The number of species collected at the sites ranged from 5 to 19. Central stoneroller, orangebelly darter, and longear sunfish were among the more abundant fish species at most sites. These species are typical of small streams in this area.
An expected species list incorrectly listed 35 species because of incorrect species range or habitat requirements. Upon revising this list, the inventory yielded 24 of the 51 expected species (47 percent).
No species collected in 2003 were federally-listed threatened or endangered species. However, two species collected at Hot Springs National Park may be of special interest to National Park Service managers and others. The Ouachita madtom is endemic to the Ouachita Mountains and is listed as a species of special concern by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. The grass carp, which is a native of eastern Asia, is present in Ricks Pond; one individual was collected and no other grass carp were observed. The introduction of grass carp into the United States is a controversial issue because of possible (but undocumented) harmful effects on native species and habitats.