Traditionally, the spawning season at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources & Recovery Center kicks-off in March and ends in mid-June. The primary techniques the Center employs are induced spawning and natural spawning. Fifteen different species on the endangered and threatened list are spawned at the Center.
Broodfish from these species are reared at the Center for spawning. Each year the Center will spawn over 350 pairs of the broodfish using induced spawning methods. These pairs will produce over 3.5 million eggs. This count does not include those that will spawn naturally in the earthen ponds, substrate is added to provide spawning ques for the fish. Fish from each spawn will be taken and held at the station for future broodstock, ensuring genetic diversity. Different pairs of each species are spawned each year, discouraging spawning of the same fish year after year.
The success the Center has experienced in spawning techniques, directly translates into the current distribution of the many species introduced into their natural habitat. Without this type of intervention the chances of these species becoming extinct would almost be certain.
If you require further information on Fish Culture, please contact Fish Biologis William Knight at (575) 734-5910 ext. 52.
Currently the Center uses four different methods. These methods are used as an identification tool. Biologists both in the field and on-site are able to identify fish that are reared at a facility versus those that are wild and also as a quality assurance tool at the Center to distinguish between year-class and species.
Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE): Colored fluorescent elastomer material is injected into tissue with a hypodermic syringe. The material then cures into a pliable, solid well-defined mark, which fluoresces under blue light.
Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT): Small microchips (about the size of a grain of rice) that are injected with a hypodermic syringe and read with a hand-held scanner.
Calcien Marking: Immersion fluorescent marker that adheres to boney parts of the fish. The fins and cranium seem to be the most susceptible parts of the fish. When placed under blue light, the marked areas exhibit fluorescence.
Wire Tagging: The Mark IV Tagging device emits a small magnetic wire tag that is injected just below the surface skin in various locations on the fish. Tags are read using a hand-held wand detector.
Tagging/Marking sessions are coordinated in advance; volunteers, sister agencies and staff tag/mark over 150,000 endangered & threatened fish per year. Some fish remain on station while others are transported and returned to their natural habitat.