Meet the Gila Topminnow at TMY

click to enlarge COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Oh you haven’t seen the cute little fish swimming around the Santa Cruz lately? No problem, come meet our rebounding native species for yourself at the Tucson Meet Yourself!

According to Pima County website, the Gila Topminnow will be at the Pima County Library in the Regional Flood Display Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13.

The Board of Supervisors proclaimed the Month of October as “Return of the Gila Topminnow Month”. Listed as endangered since 1967, the Gila Topminnow took a long absence from the Santa Cruz river until it was rediscovered in late 2015. According to a recent Living River report, the species is booming:

“Return of the Gila topminnow highlights the importance of a lot of Pima County efforts along the Santa Cruz, from identifying the river as an important riparian area in the Sonoran Desert Conservation plan, to cleaning up the water that flows into the river, to managing this river for both flood protection and other community benefits,” Evan Canfield, Civil Engineering Manager, Pima County Regional Flood Control District, said.

The Gila Topminnow used to be one of the most common fish in the Gila River Basins, hence it was named after the Gila River. The fish now only exists in pockets, one of which includes the Santa Cruz. A lot of it has to do with the improvement of the reclaimed water that is discharged into the river.

“Water quality in this reach has rapidly improved the last 5 years since Pima County invested over $600 million in upgrades to our water reclamation facilities,” according to the Sonoran Institute.

This small fish really is a big deal. Its reappearance to the Santa Cruz is considered a “living river highlight” and the next annual Living River Report is due to come out on October 14th.

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