From: Associated Press
Published June 19, 2007 12:00 AM

Caverns to Remove Exotic Fish From Pond

CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK, N.M. -- New Mexico Game and Fish officials will help staff members at Carlsbad Caverns National Park remove exotic fish and amphibians from the pond at Rattlesnake Springs.

The effort, which starts Sunday, is aimed at restoring native species, including the roundnose minnow and greenthroat darter. Non-native species that will be removed include the green sunfish, the largemouth bass and the bullfrog.

"The predatory nature of the non-native species is having a significant effect on the native species in the pond," park biologist Danielle Foster said. "The smaller native fishes are having a difficult time surviving."

Park officials will pump water from the pond for one week. When half to two-thirds of the water has been removed, biologists will separate live fish in holding tanks -- one for native fish, the other for non-natives.

Native fish will be returned to the pond and non-natives will be released into another water system managed by the Game and Fish Department.

The project will allow Park Service crews to restore habitat and complete needed maintenance. After repair work is completed, the pond should take up to two days to refill.

Source: Associated Press

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