Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Railroad Valley springfish
(Crenichthys nevadae)

Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Cyprinodontidae
Genus: Crenichthys
Species: nevadae
Habitat Thermal isolated springs & associated outflows
Length: 5 inches (maximum)
Lifespan: Less than 10 years
Feed: Filamentous Algae and aquatic insects


Listed as Threatened on March 31, 1986 .



Spawning has never been observed, but is likely similar to that of the White River springfish. Spawning activity is assumed to occur between 82-95°F, typically from March through November. The eggs are adhesive and deposited one at a time, and they may adhere to vegetation. Approximately 10 to 20 eggs are deposited during each spawning and they hatch in 5 to 7 days in similar species. Females may spawn several times per year. Railroad Valley springfish live 3 to 4 years.




Railroad Valley springfish were isolated in six thermal springs distributed in two areas of Railroad Valley as ancient Lake Railroad dried. They are native to Big Warm and Little Warm Springs and Duckwater Creek on the Duckwater Shoshone Indian Reservation and Big, Reynolds, Hay Corral, and North Springs near Lockes Ranch, Nevada . Additionally, they have been introduced outside of their historical range in private ponds at Sodaville, a srping in hot Creek Canyon , Chimney Spring near Lockes, and Warm Spring in Nye County . Railroad Valley springfish have been extirpated at Big Warm Spring. They remain common in Little Warm Spring. However, Duckwater Creek no longer has resident springfish. They remain fairly numerous in Big, North, Hay Corral, and Reynolds Springs. Introduced populations are believed to remain at all but the Warm Spring and Sodaville sites.




Alteration of springfish habitats in Railroad Valley has included diking, outflow diversion and channelization, trampling from livestock watering, pumping of underground aquifers, and nonnative fish introductions.


Actions / Current Information:


  • Safe harbor Agreement with the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe to Recover the Railroad Valley Springfish (Crenichthys nevadae) at Big Warm Springs
  • Draft Environmental Action Statement Screening Form for Safe Harbor Agreement Between the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Recovery of the railroad Valley Springfish, (Crenichthys nevadae) at Big Warm Spring, White Pine County, Nevada
    Last updated: April 16, 2014