Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports increase in Colorado Pikeminnow population in the Green River below Dinosaur National Park

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From the Associated Press via the Casper Star Tribune (Mike Stark):

In some years, wildlife officials have come up empty when looking for young, torpedo-shaped Colorado pikeminnow on a 120-mile stretch of the Green below Dinosaur National Monument. Last year, though, they found 325, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. “It’s the first year in a long time that we’ve seen a number this high,” said Tom Chart, a fish recovery program director with the agency offices in Denver. The tally was a bright spot in the long road toward recovery for the endangered pikeminnow, which has been federally protected since 1973. The fish occurs naturally in the Green and Colorado river basins and has struggled for decades primarily because of a nonnative fish and a loss of water for human development. There have been encouraging signs in recent years along the Green River. That’s due to several factors, Chart said, including increased water flows from Flaming Gorge dam and efforts to drive down populations of predatory smallmouth bass. Wildlife officials gauge success by looking at trends in the number of adults and young pikeminnows…

Crews also spend five days each September looking for young Colorado pikeminnow on the Green River in northeastern Utah. On average, they’ve found perhaps 50 each time, but sometimes none and sometimes fewer than 10, Chart said. That’s why the most recent count was such a surprise.

More endangered species coverage here and here.

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