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Dialogue: Revisiting the Tennessee Story of the Snail Darter


The US Fish and Wildlife Service is removing a number of species from the Endangered Species Act and the snail darter is among them. On the next Dialogue, we'll take a look at the Tennessee fish that stopped a Tennessee Valley Authority dam project in its tracks, at least temporarily, and that ultimately became a success story of the Endangered Species Act.

WUOT's Chrissy Keuper and a panel of guests dedicated this special episode of Dialogue to Dr. David Etnier, professor emeritus of the University of Tennessee Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, a specialist on freshwater fishes of the southeastern United States, and the discoverer of the snail darter. 


Wayne Starnes, Former Director, Research Lab Facility/Research Curator at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Zygmunt Plater, Professor of Law at Boston College Law School and lead counsel in the endangered species litigation over the Tennessee Valley Authority's Tellico Dam

Peggy Shute, Volunteer Public Liaison and Technical Writer at Conservation Fisheries

J.R. Shute, Co-Director of Conservation Fisheries

Charles Sims, Director of the Energy and Environment Program at Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy

Credit Photo by J.R. Shute
The Snail Darter (Percina tanasi)

Chrissy is WUOT's News Director, as well as host of monthly talk show Dialogue. Her first job with the station was as a weekend student announcer while earning her bachelor's in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee. From 2004 to 2015, she served as the station's local host for Morning Edition. In 2019, she returned to the station as the local host for All Things Considered.