Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Pahrump Poolfish
(Empetrichthys latos)

Photo: Pahrump poolfish
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Atheriniformes
Family: Goodeidae
Genus: Empetrichthys
Species: latos
Length: about 2 inches
Lifespan: less than 3 years
Feed: available plant and animal material
Habitat: The Pahrump poolfish is endemic to the Pahrump Valley in southern Nye County , Nevada

Official Status:


Life History:

Originally called the Pahrump killifish this species is a member of the Goodeidae family. This species reaches about 2 inches at maturity, and is omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of available plant and animal material.

There are three subspecies to the subgenus E. latos; the Raycraft Ranch springfish (E. latos concavus), Pahrump Ranch killifish (E. latos pahrump), and the Pahrump poolfish (E. latos latos). Both E. l. concavus and E. l. pahrump are now extinct.

Spawning apparently occurs throughout the year and peaks in the spring.

Distribution and Habitat:

  The Pahrump poolfish is endemic to the Pahrump Valley in southern Nye County , Nevada . It is the only fish native to this valley and is one of two fish which constitute the genus Empetrichthys . The other form, the Ash Meadows killifish, Empetrichthys merriami Gilbert, became extinct in the late 1940's. The species is also the last remaining representative of the subgenus E. latos .

Historically, the Pahrump poolfish was found in only in Manse Springs in Nye County , Nevada . In 1975, the Manse Springs dried up due to excess groundwater pumping resulting in the loss of the only natural population of Pahrump poolfish. Three populations of Pahrump poolfish have been established: Corn Creek Spring on the Desert National Wildlife Range, north of Las Vegas, Nevada; Shoshone Springs southeast of Ely, Nevada; and in an irrigation reservoir at Spring Mountains Ranch State Park west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Manse Spring had a constant temperature of 76ºF. In Manse Spring, the Pahrump poolfish inhabited all areas of the spring, with the larger fish using the more open and deeper waters. The young were found in shallower, more weedy areas, and utilized the near surface layer.


  With constant water supplies and periodic renovation of the impoundments to reduce excess vegetation, each location will provide adequate habitat to ensure the continued existence of the Pahrump poolfish.

Prior to the introduction of poolfish into each of the three sites, all previously established fish were removed; however, the potential reestablishment of populations of competitors or predators remains a threat.

Actions / Current Information:


  Date Title
  04/12/2016 Federal Register - Application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit for the Proposed Springs Preserve Safe Harbor Agreement, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada
  04/12/2016 News Release - Las Vegas Valley Water District seeks permit and safe harbor agreement to house endangered Pahrump poolfish
  04/12/2016 Environmental Action Statement Screening Form for Safe Harbor Agreements
  04/12/2016 Safe Harbor Agreement for Pahrump Poolfish at the Springs Preserve
  04/02/2004 Withdrawal of proposal to change the status of the Pahrump poolfish (Empetrichthys latos) from endangered to threatened under theEndangered Species Act.
  04/02/2004 Notice of publication in the Federal Register
Last updated: April 12, 2016