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Brigham Young University personnel conduct Least Chub research at Fish Springs NWR By Jill Ayala
Least chub(lotichthyes phlegethontis) were once widely distributed in the Bonneville Basin in a variety of habitats. They now exist in only nine isolated spring pools in the west desert region of Utah. Consequently, least chub are candidates for the federal list of endangered species, but conservation agreements by the state of Utah have forestalled this action pending future review of recovery status.
Currently, one of the major threats to remaining populations of least chub is the introduction of mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis). In Utah and elsewhere they have been widely introduced for mosquito control. Once introduced, mosquito fish can rarely be eliminated from a site. We can only attempt to control their harmful impact.
|Brigham Young University professors Dr. Russel Rade
and Dr. Mark Belk
(red hat) have
designed studies to understand how least chub populations decline with mosquito
Many of their studies have taken place at Walter Spring at Fish Springs NWR.
|In 2002, graduate students Mike Mills and Jill Ayala researched mosquito fish predation of least chub and least chub habitat selection in the presence and absence of mosquito fish. Scientific findings will increase the chances of survival of this unique species endemic to Utah’s Bonneville Basin.|
|Water temperature, water depth and dissolved oxygen is recorded prior to pulling Fish Traps.|
|After recording all data, fish traps are pulled and dumped into a bucket.|
|Samples from each trap are counted and documented.|
|Walter Spring research site||Fish populations are sampled from multiple sites every 4 hours day and night.|
Last Updated: May 9, 2011