The abundance of the Little Colorado River population of federally listed humpback chub Gila cypha in Grand Canyon has been monitored since the late 1980s by means of catch rate indices and capture-recapture-based abundance estimators. Analyses of data from all sources using various methods are consistent and indicate that the adult population has declined since monitoring began. Intensive tagging led to a high proportion (>80%) of the adult population being marked by the mid-1990s. Analysis of these data using both closed and open abundance estimation models yields results that agree with catch rate indices about the extent of the decline. Survival rates for age-2 and older fish are age dependent but apparently not time dependent. Back-calculation of recruitment using the apparent 1990s population age structure implies periods of higher recruitment in the late 1970s to early 1980s than is now the case. Our analyses indicate that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery criterion of stable abundance is not being met for this population. Also, there is a critical need to develop new abundance indexing and tagging methods so that early, reliable, and rapid estimates of humpback chub recruitment can be obtained to evaluate population responses to management actions designed to facilitate the restoration of Colorado River native fish communities. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.
Additional publication details
Abundance trends and status of the Little Colorado River population of humpback chub