Thursday, November 11, 2010

Endangered Fish Has Big Comeback

Mountain Mail reports

The silvery minnow returns to the Rio Grande.
According to a press release from the Interstate Stream Commission, about 5,500 Rio Grande silvery minnow were released from the Los Lunas Silvery Minnow Refugium by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The release followed completion of the Phase III testing of that facility.
About 10,000 one month old fish, called fry, were stocked into the facility in June as part of Phase III testing of the fish culture systems.
Prior to their release, the fish were weighed and measured to assess their growth over the five months they were in the refugium.
In addition, 30,000 of the small fish are being released into the Rio Grande on after being raised at the Albuquerque BioPark.
The famous fish was placed on the endangered species list back in 1994.
In a related move, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to designate nearly 800 miles of streams and rivers in New Mexico and Arizona as critical habitat for two small Southwestern fish species.
The agency also wants to reclassify the spikedace and loach minnow from threatened species to endangered.
Comments will be taken on the proposal through Dec. 27.
Fish and Wildlife expects to make a final decision in October 2011.
An agency spokesman in Phoenix, Jeff Humphrey, said Fish and Wildlife is proposing about 726 miles of streams as critical habitat for the spikedace and 709 miles for the loach minnow.
Much of that overlaps, for a total of 796 miles.

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