An Endangered Fish Out of Water – March 13, 2018
A unique hatchery program is keeping the Rio Grande’s silvery minnow alive. But the long-term fate of this tiny fish is uncertain.
When irrigation was introduced to New Mexico, principally by the Spanish four centuries ago, the Rio Grande began its long decline from a wild, free-flowing river to a channeled ditch delivering water from its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico nearly 1,900 miles away. Dam and water diversion projects built by conservation district personnel, the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the Bureau of Land Management, which manage the river, have inadvertently endangered a number of species—among them, the diminutive Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus).
Photo by I am New Mexico/Flickr