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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

San Bernardino NWR Releases Last of Salvaged Fish from 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire

Region 2, August 1, 2013
Yaqui Chub
Yaqui Chub - Photo Credit: n/a
Mexican Longfin Dace
Mexican Longfin Dace - Photo Credit: n/a

In August, San Bernardino NWR staff and volunteers released the last of the captive held native fish that were salvaged during the 2011 Horseshoe 2 fire which burned over 215,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest in and around the Chiricahua Mountains. Refuge staff salvaged the four native species of fish; Yaqui chub, Mexican longfin dace, Mexican stoneroller, and speckled dace; from the three main drainages within the Chiricahua Mountains; Rucker Creek, West Turkey Creek, and Cave Creek. The salvaged fish were held at the Refuge Headquarters and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Over the course of the last two years, fish have been systematically released as their respective creeks became healthy after suffering the effects from the fire, such as ash and sediment laden flows and sedimentation of pools and channels within the drainages. The first fish were released in the spring of 2012. This last group of fish comprised of Yaqui chub and Mexican longfin dace were released on El Coronado Ranch located on West Turkey Creek.

Contact Info: Christopher Lohrengel, 520-364-2104 x.106, chris_lohrengel@fws.gov