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Lost, a desert river and its native fishes: a historical perspective of the lower Colorado River

Information and Technology Report 2002-0010

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Abstract

The Colorado River had one of the most unique fish communities in the world. Seventy-five percent of those species were found no where else in the world. Settlement of the lower basin brought dramatic changes to both the river and its native fish. Those changes began more than 120 years ago as settlers began stocking nonnative fishes. By 1930, nonnative fish had spread throughout the lower basin and replaced native communities. All resemblance of historic river conditions faded with the construction of Hoover Dam in 1935 and other large water development projects. Today, few remember what the Colorado River was really like. Seven of the nine mainstream fishes are now federally protected as endangered. Federal and state agencies are attempting to recover these fish; however, progress has been frustrated due to the severity of human impact. This report presents testimony, old descriptions, and photographs describing the changes that have taken place in hopes that it will provide managers, biologists, and the interested public a better appreciation of the environment that shaped these unique fish.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
Federal Government Series
Title:
Lost, a desert river and its native fishes: a historical perspective of the lower Colorado River
Series title:
Information and Technology Report
Series number:
2002-0010
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
vii, 69 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
First page:
0
Last page:
0