Long-term fish monitoring in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam is an essential component of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP). The GCDAMP is a federally authorized initiative to ensure that the primary mandate of the Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992 to protect resources downstream from Glen Canyon Dam is met. The U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center is responsible for the program's long-term fish monitoring, which is implemented in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, SWCA Environmental Consultants, and others. Electrofishing and tagging protocols have been developed and implemented for standardized annual monitoring of Colorado River fishes since 2000. In 2009, sampling occurred throughout the river between Lees Ferry and Lake Mead for 38 nights over two trips. During the two trips, scientists captured 6,826 fish representing 11 species. Based on catch-per-unit-effort, salmonids (for example, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brown trout (Salmo trutta)) increased eightfold between 2006 and 2009. Flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis) catch rates were twice as high in 2009 as in 2006. Humpback chub (Gila cypha) catches were low throughout the 10-year sampling period.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Colorado River fish monitoring in Grand Canyon, Arizona; 2000 to 2009 summary