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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

San Bernardino NWR Staff and Volunteers Conduct Spring HCP Monitoring at El Coronado Ranch

Region 2, June 6, 2013
Volunteer Dr. Chuck Minckley (ret. USFWS) and Pathways Intern Rueben Mendoza checking nets for Yaqui catfish
Volunteer Dr. Chuck Minckley (ret. USFWS) and Pathways Intern Rueben Mendoza checking nets for Yaqui catfish - Photo Credit: n/a

On June 4, 5, and 6, refuge staff and volunteers along with Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists surveyed locations on El Coronado Ranch, located on West Turkey Creek in the Chiricahua Mountains, in a supplemental monitoring effort for the Habitat Conservation Plan monitoring that typically takes place in the fall. Because the last two years of Yaqui catfish monitoring have been unsuccessful during the normal monitoring period, it was decided to attempt monitoring in the spring to see if the effort would yield better results. In addition, small fish monitoring was conducted because of the necessity of moving fish between locations on and off the ranch due to the effects of drought and the Horseshoe 2 fire of 2011. In conducting the monitoring, the standard HCP protocol was followed, with the exception of the electro-fishing portion of the protocol. The creek was only visually surveyed due to extremely low water levels. The survey resulted in five Yaqui catfish captures, of which all were recaptures, 223 Yaqui chub from Lower Guesthouse Pond, 563 chub from Upper Guesthouse Pond, 162 chub from Tennis Court Pond, and 98 chub from Lodge Pond. In addition, forty-two non-native fish, several adult bullfrogs, and numerous bullfrog tadpoles were removed from the ponds. In addition to the monitoring, one of the tanks on the ranch was salvaged due to drying. Approximately 430 Yaqui chub were removed and transferred to a nearby tank that had adequate water.

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