Moapa dace Apcar Box Culvert
Apcar Spring is one of 25 thermal source springs for the Muddy (aka Moapa) River in the ‘warm springs’ area of Clark County, Nevada state and historically home to four endangered species. It was originally carpeted with aquatic vegetation but following invasion by non-native Gambusia, Poecilia andTilapia had become seriously degraded by the mid-1990s. The upper Apcar was rehabilitated from 2007 onwards via removal of non-native species and habitat restoration.
Moapa dace were reintroduced to the system and a stable population developed, but it was separated from additional habitat in lower sections of the system by an under-sized, raised culvert. In 2011 a DFHP team of volunteers installed a much larger box culvert which allowed the spring to flow freely once more and restored connectivity to an important section of the spring system.
Work ongoing during the latter part of 2012 and into 2013 include projects to restore habitats for a host of species including Shoshone pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis shoshone), Big Spring spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis), Meadow Valley Wash speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.), Meadow Valley Wash desert sucker (Catostomus clarkii ssp.), Conchos pupfish (Cyprinodon eximius), Chihuahuan shiner (Notropis chihuahua), Mexican stoneroller (Campostoma ornatum), Roundnose minnow (Dionda episcopa), Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus), Bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), Utah sucker (Catostomus ardens), Colorado cutthroat (Oncorhyncus clarkii pleuriticus), speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), Longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae), Redside shiner (Richardsonius balteatus) and many more.
How can I help?
The conservation of freshwater fishes is basically impossible without effective habitat protection or in extreme cases, restoration, and this is a priority for the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership.
As a result of this physical aspect were always looking for volunteers and can be contacted using the details at the bottom of this page, so if you live in or close to the area covered by the group simply get in touch!
Many fish species such as pupfishes, Cyprinodon spp., and goodeids, the group within which Crenichthys spp. are included, are endangered across their ranges. Some have already disappeared in the wild and are kept alive only via breeding programmes in zoos and private aquaria.
For example the Potosi pupfish, C. alvarezi, is now considered extinct in nature but is being maintained by a number of aquarists around the world, and the same is true of the goodeid Allodontichthys polylepis among others.
The former was originally native to a handful of localities in San Luis Potosi State, Mexico but these are now desiccated due to water extraction and it hasn’t been recorded there for a number of years while the latter hasn’t been collected in the wild since 2000 despite its former habitats appearing in an acceptable state.
Article found on the Seriously Fish website
For the full article click here
Bureau of Land Management
Desert Fish Habitat Partnership
Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Nevada Department of Wildlife
Nevada Fish and Wildlife Office, Las Vegas Suboffice
Southern Nevada Water Authority