The Arroyo Chub (Gila orcutti)

Ever notice how people get all excited about endangered panda bears and such not, but could seem to care less about a critter that's going extinct in their backyards? Let’s change that…

 

The fish species is named for Charles Russell Orcutt (1864-1929), a San Diego-based pioneer naturalist who first began collecting the fish in 1889. UCs’ Mosquito Research Program is putting some effort into studying this fish as a natural mosquito abatement technique – totally non toxic – and said “The California Department of Fish and Game declared the arroyo chub "a species of special concern" in 1995. The fish is absent or rare in much of its native range, which includes the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, San Luis Rey, Santa Ana and Santa Margarita rivers and to Malibu and San Juan creeks. Urbanization threatens its habitat, as does introduced minnow species, including the red shiner.”

 

The chub has even been found fossilized at the La Brea Tar Pits, so we can’t just have upstarts like the red shiner displacing it. There has been a program to re-introduce the arroyo chub to the Arroyo Seco, where it went extinct a while back. In 2009, the Arroyo Seco Foundation added 300 of the little fish to the stream south of Devil’s Gate Dam and north of the Colorado Street Bridge. Apparently they’re doing well, although I have yet to see one.

 

The Desert Fishes Council is keeping pretty exhaustive lists for research purposes http://www.desertfishes.org/na/index.shtml

 

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~ by ravenjake on March 31, 2010.

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