As displayed in the following
map of the Northern
Mojave watersheds, there are currently four established refuges
and one newly created refuge for the Mohave tui chub (as
of 8/2012). In 2011, a new refuge was established in water filed pit mine in the East Mojave. This refuge is called the Morning Star Mine Refuge in the Mojave Desert National Preserve. In October 2011, 1,000 Mohave tui
chub from Lark Seep and Soda Spring were introduced to the Morning Star
Mine in the Mohave National Preserve. The 1-acre, groundwater fed
site is an abandoned mining pit. As more information and picture become available, the following list and map will be updated (8/12/2012).
At present, the established,
self sustaining refuges are Larks
Seep (located on Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake in Ridgecrest
Tuendae (located at the Desert
Studies Center, in Zzyzx, California), and Camp Cady (located at
Cady State Wildlife Area in the Mojave Desert). Unlike the other
refuges, Mohave Chub/Soda Springs might be considered as a true refugia,
a protected habitat for a species created by nature (or so we think
is the case for MC/Soda Spring). If you are interested in understanding
the conventional wisdom surrounding the difference between a man-made
"refuge" and a natural "refugia" follow this link.
A newly created
refuge was stocked in October, 2008, when 548 Mohave tui chub, all less
than 101 mm in total length, were released into Deppe
Pond on the Lewis
Center's Mojave River Campus in Apple Valley California. All the fish
were collected from among three major habitat areas in the Lark Seep refuge.
Spring Refugium (?) and Lake Tuendae Refuge (Est.1955)
Springs, or MC Spring, is a naturally occurring spring. However, it has
been excavated to form a cylindrical shape. No one is really sure just
how chub originally got there, but there is supposition they arrived after
the Mojave River flooded in either 1862,
1917, 1934 or 1938. Before this population of Mohave tui chub was
proven to be genetically pure in 1997, assuming genetic purity, individuals
from this population were initially used to populate the Lake Tuendae
refuge, which in turn were used to provide fish for all the other refuges
that have been established or may be in the future.
is MC Spring, located in the Mojave National Preserve.
In 1944, Curtis
Howe Springer established Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Resort at Soda
Springs. For ten years he built an extensive infrastructure to support
his operation. Around 1955, Springer excavated an artificial pond about
125 wide by 500 feet long, calling it Lake Tuendae. It has a surface area
of 1.4 acres and maximum depth of 3.3 feet (prior to dredging the westerly
end in 2001). Lake Tuendae lies about four feet above the dry surface
of Soda Lake and is surrounded by Mexican fan palms. A fountain in the
middle of the lake, dubbed the "Enrico Caruso Fountain," runs
when groundwater is being pumped into the lake. The Lake has no protection
from evaporation. It sustains an annual evaporative loss of about 410,000
cubic feet (9.4 acre-feet), five times its volume. Lake Tuendae is connected
to the Soda Lake aquifer by seepage, which has probably prevented a long-term
buildup of salinity. It gradually fills in with sediments and cattails
that must be dredged about every 10 years. Springer or his associates
most likely introduced the Mohave tui chub into Lake Tuendae, which now
provides one of its few remaining habitats.
Lake Tuendae is a man-made lake located at the Mojave National
Preserve in Zzyzx, California.
chub were introduced at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in 1971.
From the point of their initial placement, beginning with Lark Seep,
chub naturally immigrated into a series of channels and seeps that had
been constructed to drain waste water away from residential developments.
Chub have been surveyed in Lark Seep, G1 Channel, G1 Seep, George Channel,
and North Channel.
Seep habitat started out as a sewage problem. The city of Ridgecrest
had grown up to serve China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), a
1.1 million acre military reserve managed by the Department of Defense
(DOD) for the purpose of testing Navy air weapons and training troops.
Disposal of waste water lead to the mounding of a shallow groundwater
table. In 1945 the City of Ridgecrest built a waste water treatment facility
and the treated waste water discharge became Lark Seep. As the area of
surface water increased and channels were excavated to drain water away
from the facilities (G1 Channel, G1 Seep, George Channel, and North
Channel) habitat for the Tui chub increased. From Lark Seep, 425 Mohave
tui chub immigrated into the G1 Channel in 1971, and demonstrated a
remarkable ability to migrate between seeps. Cattails are removed annually
and DOD has widened a channel in an attempt to maintain open water.
Populations have been surveyed since 1979, with large confidence intervals
due to low recapture rates, and the mosquito fish is widely abundant.
information about the China Lake refugia check out this
the traps are collected, the Chub are measured. weighed, and
tagged. They are then released back into the area where they
Camp Cady is
a designated State Wildlife Area in the Mojave River drainage northeast
of Barstow, California. Around 1986, the California Department of Fish
and Game excavated two ponds to a maximum depth of 2.75 meters, lined
them with clay, and stocked them with Mohave tui chub. The east pond suffered
water loss problems and was eventually drained and lined with plastic
in 1991. Each pond continues to support approximately 500 Mohave tui chub.
One pond is in poorer condition, and the population suffers from problems
similar to Lake Tuendae.
is a picture of Camp Cady just as the river approaches the Cady
Mountains. This is where the water of the Mojave River that flows
underground begins to well to the surface.
Established in the fall of 2008, the Lewis Center Refuge consists of two artificial ponds named Deppe Pond and Tui Slough. To learn more about the history surrounding the creation of this refuge and its management follow this link; a blog on its management can be found by following this link.
Morning Star Mine Refuge (Est. 2011)
The Morning Star Mine Refuge, established in within the Mojave Desert National Preserve, first received MTC In October 2011, when 1,000 Mohave tui
chub from Lark Seep and Soda Spring were introduced to the mine's 1-acre, groundwater fed abandoned mining pit. More will be added here as more information and picture become available (8/12/2012).
Possible Sites for Future
for the chub to be down-listed from endangered to threatened, two more
permanent refuges (as of 2008,) must be established to bring the total
number up to six. In order for a refuges to be considered permanent it
must have a viable population of chub. Several different locations have
been used to try to establish a permanent refuges. These locations include
both private and public lands. There are still a few more areas that have
not yet been tried and are under consideration. These include Coxey Meadow
and lake in the San Bernardino National Forest and existing ponds and
lakes on the campus of Victor Valley Community College.
and lakes on the campus of Victor Valley Community College.
Meadow and lake in the San Bernardino National Forest. View