Illustration: Duane Raver
Scientific Name: Menidia extensa
Status: Federally Threatened, State Threatened
Waccamaw Silverside (Photo: NCWRC)
The Waccamaw Silverside is a small, thin fish, almost transparent with a silver lateral stripe. The eyes are large for its size and its jaw is angled upward. The Waccamaw silverside is an imperiled fish endemic (found nowhere else in the world) to the waters of Lake Waccamaw, a Carolina bay lake in Columbus County, NC. his is a natural lake fed by acidic swamp waters; however, as a result of exposed limestone formations, the pH of the lake itself is near neutral. The Waccamaw Silverside can be found in schools near the surface throughout this shallow lake. The Waccamaw Silverside spawns through April and June, and its entire life cycle is typically completed in less than 2 years.
Protected under the federal Endangered Species Act as a Threatened species. No Waccamaw silversides can be collected or killed without a permit from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission monitors the status of the silverside and the other endemic species in Lake Waccamaw on a regular basis.
Wildlife Diversity Quarterly Reports
Protected Wildlife Species of North Carolina (PDF)