Monday, November 12, 2007

An Upset Victory For Our Side

Native fish returned to Fossil Creek
Populations vanished decades ago after power plants were constructed

Shaun McKinnon The Arizona Republic

Nov. 10, 2007 12:00 AM

Native fish returned to Fossil Creek as state and federal agencies and volunteer groups continue restoration work on the Verde River tributary. Loach minnow and Spikedace were released into the creek with the help of biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based conservation group, also participated."Fossil Creek is truly one of the most spectacular natural places in Arizona and extremely important for protecting and recovering native fish populations that are spiraling toward extinction," said Michelle Harrington, rivers conservation manager for the center. "This place offers them hope."

Native fish populations all but vanished decades ago with the construction of the Irving and Childs hydroelectric power plants. Much of the creek's flow was diverted from its bed into flumes that moved water in and out of the plants. In 2005, Arizona Public Service Co. decommissioned the power plants and restored full flow back to the creek's channel. Some habitat areas have recovered quickly as water formed into the natural pools the native fish like.Fossil Creek flows down the Mogollon Rim from Strawberry to its meeting with the Verde River south of Camp Verde. Most of the water bubbles up from Fossil Springs at a year-round rate of about 43 cubic feet per second and a steady temperature of about 70 degrees. The mineral-laden water creates layers of travertine that form pools and waterfalls, turning the water itself a sparkling aquamarine. As part of the restoration work, a fish barrier was constructed above the creek's confluence with the Verde River. The barrier helps keep non-native fish from swimming upstream into the creek.

State and federal agencies will continue to return native fish, with plans to stock razorback sucker, Gila Topminnow, Desert Pupfish, Longfin Dace and others. Many of the native fish are listed as threatened or endangered under federal law. In recent months, environmental groups have petitioned federal land managers to restrict public use until a management plan was in place. The U.S. Forest Service plans to meet later this month with stakeholders in the creek."It is particularly important now that visitors to the creek respect it as a nursery and place of recovery," Harrington said.

This is, simply, the most SPECTACULAR VICTORY YET. First we get them to REMOVE US FROM THE AREA. Then we get them to PUT US BACK with NOBODY THE WISER.

What next? A Vampire Squid in the White House, leader of the Free Monkey World? A Central Committee in the Kremlin made up entirely of Tuna?

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Blogger Duamuteffe said...

They couldn't possibly do a worse job than what's being done now, so why not?

3:59 AM  

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