Back from the brink

The Return of the Endagered Roanoke Logperch

October 10, 2023

Along the banks of PLC protected land, the endangered Roanoke Logperch was re-introduced to the Mayo River. Since 2019 there have been coordinated efforts by many to save this fish from extinction. This return of the Logperch to their original habitat is a huge win and if they are able to repopulate the upper Mayo River, it will get us closer to removing the Logperch from the endangered species list.

A small Roanoke Logperch about to be released into the Upper Mayo River

The Roanoke Logperch, a small 6 to 8 inch fish, lives in water bodies primarily along the Virginia and North Carolina border in the Chowan and Roanoke River basins (which includes the Dan and Mayo Rivers).

It’s the only place they can be found in the entire world.

As of the writing of this blog post (November 2023), Piedmont Land Conservancy has protected 951 acres of land along the upper Mayo River in order to help protect the water quality of the river. Last year, PLC purchased and protected the land where the release took place.

We are thankful for the leadership of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the help of many partners like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Conservation Fisheries Inc, and the Dan River Basin Association which led to this momentous day.

The Logperch will continue to be monitored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission each year. It’s been at least 100 years since the Roanoke Logperch last populated this section of the Mayo River.

Thanks to all our supporters and partners, we are optimistic that our work to protect much of the land around the river will help create optimal conditions for them to stay here for centuries more.

Partners carefully navigated their way across protected land on the banks of the Mayo River to release the Logperch.
The Logperch were left in their travel bags just a bit longer to acclimate to the new temperature of the river before being released.

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