10 – Protecting native fish (1998)

(This is a part of a series of gleanings from the history of CRC’s 30 years of work; additional posts available here.)
In 1998, the Forest Service, Arizona Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Arizona State University, and the owners of El Coronado Ranch began a project to restore native fish populations in West Turkey Creek, on the west slope of the Chiricahua Mountains.
 
Two native fish species––the Yaqui Longfin Dace and the endangered Yaqui Chub––had survived the floods that followed the 1994 Rattlesnake Fire. Those floods had eliminated all non-native fish from West Turkey Creek. However, non-native Fat-head Minnows had been discovered in West Turkey Creek and in nearby stock tanks, and they had the potential to eliminate the native fish entirely from West Turkey Creek.
 
Details about this successful project to protect the native fish, which CRC endorsed, are in the CRC Newsletter # 12 of November 1999. 
 
During that project, a threat from sediment runoff from the road paralleling West Turkey Creek was discovered, and the Forest Service responded remarkably fast to correct the problem.

Chiricahua creeks hold several species of native fishes
(Photo by Narca Moore)

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