Fish in Focus:   Male Comanche Springs pupfish, Cyprinodon elegans

Comanche Springs pupfish, Cyprinodon elegans
Garold W. Sneegas and Aquatic Kansas Images

Nikonos II, 35mm Hydro Photo T1 close-up lens, f/16 1/60, Ikelite Ai & Ms substrobes, Fujichrome Velvia. Water 76 F.

This image was taken on March 17, 1996, at 12:30pm, at the San Solomon Spring pool, in Balmorhea State Park, Reeves Co. TX.

The Comanche Springs pupfish Cyprinodon elegans originally inhabited Comanche Springs located at Fort Stockton, but has since become extinct at this site. A refugium, consisting of canals and a large spring-fed pool, was constructed in 1975 at Balmorhea State Park to provide a permanent habitat for the Comanche Springs pupfish and the Pecos gambusia, Gambusia nobilis. The canals and pool are fed from San Solomon Springs, at a rate of 22-26 million gallons of water a day. After the water leaves the park it is available for human consumption by the surrounding population.

The park is also a popular summer recreation site with its large pool facilities maintained for swimming and Scuba diving. The park is a real oasis in this arid region of Western Texas, were clean freshwater is a precious resource.

Balmorhea State Park is an excellent example of what can be done through cooperation between a state agency's effort to save an endangered species and the water rights of the surrounding human population.

For more information contact:
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744-3291


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