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Marking of the Rio Grande silvery minnow
Southwest Region, October 6, 2004
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In 1994 the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus) was placed on the endangered species list. In 2001 the Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center (Center) was selected as a facility to rear and breed the 3.5? silvery minnow. During the month of October, David Hampton (Fishery Biologist at Dexter) along with a crew from the New Mexico Fishery Resources Office, the Albuquerque Bio-Park and Dexter volunteers began tagging 50,000 four-month old silvery minnows. The minnows will be tagged using Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE) tags. The VIE is colored florescent elastomer material injected into tissue with a hypodermic syringe. The material then cures into a pliable solid well-defined mark. The VIE tag is used to identify the origin, fish age, as well as the stocking location in the river. Different color/location of the tag identifies where the fish is placed in the Middle Rio Grande (example: yellow tag placed behind right anal fin will be placed in Section A of the river, red tag placed behind left anal fin will be placed in Section B and so on). Once tagged, the fish will be held indoors until their shipment to Albuquerque in early November. The objective of the Center is to grow the silvery minnow to an acceptable size so they are able to survive in their natural environment. The tagging process provides biologist with a tool to identify how these fish are doing in the wild by distinguishing them from wild fish.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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