Dr. Chris T. McAllister, EOSC Science Professor at Southeastern – McCurtain County Campus, hosted several renown fish parasitologists and a well-known ichthyologist at the Ouachita Mountains Biological Station, east of Mena, AR, from 10 March to 17 March 2017.
According to McAllister, the purpose of the field outing was to collect Ouachita drainage fishes for parasites. Other than the weather being a little cold (which didn’t hinder activities), McAllister said the trip was a great success. Many helminth parasites (nematodes, cestodes, and trematodes) were found as well as myxozoans and monogenean gill parasites.
Drs. Anindo Choudhury (St. Norbert College, DePere, WI), Tomáš Scholz (Institute of Parasitology Biology Institute, Czech Republic), Don Cloutman (retired, Burdett, KS), Henry Robison (retired, Sherwood, AR), and Mr. Matt Connior (NW Ark Comm. College, Bentonville, AR) were along. Drs. Choudhury, Scholz, and Cloutman are world-class fish parasitologists who study their general parasites, tapeworms, and monogeneans, respectively. Dr. Robison, author of Fishes of Oklahoma and Fishes of Arkansas was along to confirm fish identities and Mr. Connior helped in processing salamanders for tapeworms.
The team also traveled to northeastern OK for the day to examine fishes in the Illinois and Verdigris rivers for parasites with help from members of the OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation (see photo) who used a boat electrofisher. A similar trip is tentatively planned next year to examine fishes of the Ozarks of Arkansas for parasites.