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Chihuahua Chub (Gila nigrescens) Spawning
Southwest Region, April 20, 2005
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Ten pairs of Chihuahua chub, a native fish of New Mexico once thought to be extinct, were spawned at Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center (Center) in April. A group of Chihuahua chub were brought to the Center in 1979 and have been there ever since. The 2002-year class produced over 51,000 eggs. Fifty percent of these eggs are expected to hatch while in the comfortable 70 degree Fahrenheit incubators. Once these eggs hatch, the fry will be placed in holding tanks. At that time, the fry will sink to the bottom until they absorb their yolk sac. Once the egg yolk sac is absorbed, the young fish will start to swim around in search of food. When they are able to feed, they will be taken to the outdoor ponds where they will be reared until they are ready to ship out.

The fish will reside at the Center until fall, and are expected to grow to a length of 4 to 6 inches. Growing the Chihuahua chub to a larger size increases their survival rate tremendously in the wild. In the fall, over 5,000 Chihuahua chub will be introduced and released into the Mimbres River in New Mexico returning once again to their natural habitat.

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



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