Fish Removal Aiding Native Species
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. Efforts to remove non-native fish from parts of the Colorado River appear to be working, with rising numbers of native fish being reported by fish-removal crews.
A years-long effort to remove trout from the river by stunning fish with electrical shocks and netting them is now in its final year. Biologists say the numbers of trout are dropping while the number of natives species the program is designed to help -- speckled dace, bluehead and flannelmouth suckers and chub -- are up.
Crews have stunned, captured and killed more than 17,000 nonnative fish this year. Their remains are ground up for use as fertilizer on a downstream Indian reservation.
While teams used to catch native fish only about five percent of the time, there are now stretches of the river where they are dominant, according to Clay Nelson, the Arizona Game and Fish Department biologist contracted to run the fish removal efforts for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive management program.
Other reports show that the native fish are still in great danger, however.
A U.S. Geological Survey report released last month predicted chub populations could decline from 3,000 adult fish to 1,500 in the next 10 to 15 years, at least partially as a result of impacts from Glen Canyon Dam.
Source: Associated Press