Reaching Out: Notes from NANFA's Regional Outreach Program - Summer 2005
By Charlie Nunziata
Reports from two of our most active representatives:(AZ-NV):
Nine hardy souls and Jim Heinrich (Nevada Division of Wildlife) enjoyed a hot, late May trip to the southern Nevada desert where we camped in the Overton Wildlife Management Area. The first day we traveled to the Warm Springs area in the upper Moapa River, home to the rare Moapa springfish (Crenichthys baileyi moapae) and Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea), where we saw habitat improvements that the Fish and Wildlife Service have been undertaking and spent an hour removing newly sprouted introduced palm trees from a rehabilitated spring outflow. That evening we enjoyed Ellen Siegal's great campsite cooking.
The next day we sampled the middle portion of the Moapa River near Glendale where a number of Virgin River roundtail chub (Gila seminuda) and speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus) were found. After scouting out a potential native fish reintroduction site we headed to the Virgin River. This spring saw a rather large flood event and the river was still significantly higher than normal. This was a very angry looking river that was uncrossable with 3-4 foot high standing waves and extremely turbid water. Jim Heinrich was hoping the high flow had knocked back the invasive red shiner populations and flushed a few natives downstream from Utah. But alas, all we found were red shiner, with a typical haul producing 50-100 individuals. No natives at all were collected. I put pictures from the trip online at www.peter.unmack.net/trips .
The next trip will be October 14-15, 2005, and will be our 10th annual trip to Ash Meadows, home of a number of pupfish subspecies (Cyprinodon nevadensis) and the most famous of all, the Devils Hole pupfish (C. diabolis). This trip provides a chance to visit and see up close the inhabitants of the dozen or so larger springs that comprise this amazing desert oasis. We welcome any out of town visitors and will assist anyone with transportation and accommodations should they wish to fly out. Please contact Peter Unmack or full details can be found at www.pupfish.net/dsac .
25 April: Tyler Strange (LA) assisted instructors in an .Ecological Resources: course for federal employees. The field and classroom course was held at Tara Wildlife where Tyler has conducted floodplain pool research for the past two summers. Tyler demonstrated different types of sampling gear and helped identify fishes. Field sites included a large floodplain pond with abundant larval gar and young-of-year flier, and some small permanent pools with impressive populations of golden topminnow, bantam sunfish, and young-of-year bowfin.
17 June: Joseph Beard (MS, new member) gave tours of the Fish Lab at Waterways Experiment Station to 40 high school students attending the annual Southeast Engineering and Construction Camp. High-lights of the tour included live fish used in previous and ongoing behavioral studies (some of which have been described in previous issues of American Currents). Species included pallid sturgeon, lake sturgeon, paddlefish, bowfin, and alligator gar.
1 July: Jack Killgore, Steven George and Jan Hoover presented a .zoological overview. to over 90 attendees at a day camp sponsored by Central Mississippi Prevention Services. Stuffed, dried, preserved, and live specimens of mammals, fishes, and reptiles were used to illustrate animal diversity and present information on natural history of individual species. There was special emphasis on primitive fishes. Steven exhibited taxidermy he has prepared of sturgeons and gars and several shark specimens that he has recovered from fish rodeos.
Thank you, gentlemen. Your work represents the best illustration of what the Outreach Program should be.