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First Reintroduction of the Native Fish, spikedace and loach minnow, in 27 years
Southwest Region, October 4, 2007
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Helicopter for transporting fish, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshe Ranch
Helicopter for transporting fish, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshe Ranch - Photo Credit: n/a
Loach Minnow, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch
Loach Minnow, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch - Photo Credit: n/a
Group photo of team, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko, Oct. 4, 2007 @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch
Group photo of team, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko, Oct. 4, 2007 @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch - Photo Credit: n/a
University of Arizona Volunteer transplanting fish, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch
University of Arizona Volunteer transplanting fish, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch - Photo Credit: n/a
Transplanting fish at Hotspring, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch
Transplanting fish at Hotspring, courtesy of AGFD/George Andrejko @ TNC's Muleshoe Ranch - Photo Credit: n/a

On October 4, 2007, approximately 2,800 Gila topminnow, desert pupfish, spikedace, and loach minnow were reintroduced into streams and springs on the Muleshoe Conservation Management Area (CMA).  The Muleshoe CMA is located in southeast Arizona, and is managed jointly by The Nature Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service.  The project involved seven crews totalling approximately 35 people.  A collection crew at a TNC pond near Dudleyville, Arizona, collected Gila topminnow and desert pupfish, which were transported in 55-gallon drums by helicopter to three crews at three different locations on the Muleshoe CMA.  An additional team collected spikedace and loach minnow from Aravaipa Creek, where they were transported by helicopter to two additional teams on the Muleshoe CMA.  Two of the teams placed fish in five-gallon buckets and hiked into the appropriate locations before placing the fish into the stream.

The project, which was completed in one day, is the result of a three-year planning effort carried out by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Lands Department, Arizona State University, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and Fish and Wildlife Service staff.  The planning effort entailed completion of appropriate NEPA and ESA documentation, and was truly a cooperative effort between multiple partners.  The end result of the project is the initial establishment of three new populations each of topminnow and pupfish, and two new populations each of spikedace and loach minnow.  It also represents the first reintroduction effort for spikedace and loach minnow in 27 years.  The cooperating agencies have already developed a strategy for follow-up monitoring and augmentation of populations, which begins next month and will be carried out for at least the next five years.


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



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