Early October 2012

A new site for freshwater fish was found in an unexpected stream just north of Athens. Members of IMBRIW WFD Water Monitoring team were out on a survey round Attika to locate sites for water/ecological quality sampling during the beginning of the month. We had been informed by a local Athenian naturalist, Dimitris Zarris, that a population of fish were evident near Agios Stephanos, one of Greater Athens northernmost suburbs.
Now, in our Med-type thermo-xeric tiny and degraded streams you do not often find resident freshwater fish! But in this case the tiny streamlet had four pools (along a 100 m stretch) and they were FULL of fish. We collected the fish for examination in the lab. I placed them in a formalin solution and collected some in ethanol.
The result is that we have a species of Chub Squalius– a species probably native of Greece – but perhaps not a indigenous of this tiny stream. However, they are surviving, reproducing and large individuals over 20 cm. are common here. The species is called “Potamokephalos” in Greek and belongs to the widepread Squalius. We cannot yet identify the exact species – since several are found in this country and the taxonomy is still difficult (if not totally confusing even to some professional ichthyologists). So the large fish in the photos below are of Potamokephaloi (Greek Chub)…
We also found a globally threatend fish here: the Marathon Minnow (Pelasgus marathonicus). This is 6th site the species has been located in Attika (two sites are right on the border with Beotia). The photo below with the small fish is the Marathon Minnow (Attikopsaro, in Greek).
The map shows the site – it is a streamlet with perrenial water that enters Marathon reservoir – very interesting – that such a small stream in flowing perennialy and hosts fish!

Reported by Drs. S. Zogaris & I. Karaouzas