The first CO Pikeminnow conquers fish passage
A Pikeminnow is the first of its’ kind to successfully make its way up the Colorado river through the roller dam to Grand Valley where it was collected and released. The hopes are that the pikeminnow will continue upstream and reach its’ historically native waters near Rifle. This is an encouraging discovery for biologist due to the fact that this federally endangered species may potentially start to recovery being that the Grand Valley up to De Beque Canyon is a valuable and important spawning and breeding area for the species. Also, because it provides proof that this fish passage, that was built in 2004 and cost millions of dollars, can allow fish to move upstream to areas that have been unreachable for nearly a century due to two dams that were built on the CO in 1916. Fish tend to follow fish so hopefully this isn’t the only Pikeminnow to navigate this fish passage and others cue in on the pheromones from this one individual encouraging others of the species to follow. To read the article go here.
The Colorado Pikeminnow is also known as the CO squawfish. It is the largest North American minnow. Their diet is primarily other smaller fish but they eat insects and other invertebrates as well. Historically, the species were abundant in the Colorado river system. Their native waters included the Green River in Wyoming all the way to the Gulf of California in Mexico. To learn more about the ecology of the CO Pikeminnow go here.