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New fish species found identified in 2 N. Idaho rivers

New fish species: Sculpin are typically found in North America's major river systems.

By Associated Press / January 31, 2014

The top, side and bottom view of a male Cottus schitsuumsh (cedar sculpin) fish are pictured in this combination photo obtained by Reuters, Jan. 30. The new fish species has been found in two Idaho rivers.

US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station/Reuters

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho

Genetic testing has determined that a new fish species, cedar sculpin, are present in the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe rivers in northern Idaho.

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U.S. Forest Service biologist Michael Young tells The Spokesman-Review in a story on Thursday that for decades biologists thought the minnow-sized fish was the more common shorthead sculpin.

Young says scientists found small variations and sent samples to a lab in Missoula, Mont. He says identifying the fish was a combined effort between the Forest Service and the University of Montana.

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Sculpin are typically found in North America's major river systems.

Young says cedar sculpin probably emerged as a distinct species thousands of years ago.

He says waterfalls on the Spokane River likely blocked fish passage and cut off intermingling with othersculpin.

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