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Lewis Center Refuge

The Construction of the Lewis Center's Mohave tui chub Refuge

Deppe Pond and Tui Slough

Deppe Pond History:

When the initial buildings of the Lewis Center's Mojave River Campus was constructed (1999-2000), the site plan included the construction of a south to north running drainage basin on the west side of the campus to intercept all campus runoff. This depression is designed to keep campus runoff from flowing into the marsh and river proper. This drainage basin included a concrete dam on northwest side.

During the 2002-2003 school year, the 7th grade life science and ornithology instructor, Bill Deppe, initiated a year long project with his classes to line the pond, turning it into a fresh water pond for migrating water fowl. The newly created pond became known as Deppe's Pond or Deppe Pond.

In the fall of 2003, two students attended a workshop at the Desert Studies Center in Zyzzx, California. The purpose of this workshop was to revisit the 1984 Recovery Plan for the Mohave tui chub. They attended with the purpose of suggesting that the Lewis center's Mojave River Campus be used to construct a refuge for the fish. Their offer was well received and given serious consideration. Between 2003 and 2005, these students started this web site in anticipation for permission to begin preparations to host a refuge on campus.

In 2007, two year after this project founding student had graduated, a campus visit by three fishery biologists from both the USFWS and the CDFG determined that Deppe Pond would most likely provide adequate water quality and cover to support a refuge population of fish if,
  • A stable supply of well water were provided,
  • Non-native species were first removed (gold fish, mosquito fish),
  • Invasive plant species (cattails and bulrush) were removed,
  • Water aerators were installed, and
  • The existing pond be extended northward to add more habitat space.

Picture Progress! As of...(12 / 19 / 2008)

8 / 2007 - Present (an ongoing management item)

Invasive plants (cattails and bulrush) were removed from Deppe Pond.

12 / 15-23 / 2007

Deppe Pond was drained pumped dry in an attempt to get rid of gold fish and mosquito fish, as well as to eradicate bullfrog tadpoles. Rocks, plant debris, and trash was as so removed.

1 / 5-7 2008

For My Kids Construction INC. graded the access road to the west of Deppe Pond and Tui Slough. Excavated Tui Slough and graded the east shore so that runoff would not erode the banks and drain into the refuge. All this work (an estimated $15-17,000 dollars was donated to the refuge construction effort.

FMK Construction Service Inc. // 11455 Whitehaven Ave., Oak Hills, CA 92344 // Phone: 760-956-2555

1/ 25 / 2008

WDC Exploration and Wells drilled two well. One, a 120 foot well, will be used to provide water for both Deppe Pond and Tui Slough. The second well will be used to monitor the water level in the aquifer that we are drawing water from.

01 - 02 / 2008

Rocks, plant debris, and trash was removed once the water was removed. A water conduit system was laid to bring water from the newly completed well to both Deppe Pond and the Tui Slough.

05 - 06 / 2008

Using a grant from PetSmart, materials were purchased to create an indoor aquarium display which will be a home for as many as four Mohave tui chub. This display will give the public an opportunity to view this normally shy fish. To view this aquarium display via a "Chub Cam" click on this link. Across from the aquarium there is a computer kiosk that can access this web site or the web blog, "Working with Mohave tui chub".

09 / 2008

Shannon Denmark and his crew from Conco Construction built the concrete dam on the north end of Tui Slough. Rock was donated by Mitsubishi Cementin Lucerne Valley.

09 - 10 / 2008

An education kiosk (built by Sea Reach, ltd.) was installed on the west shore of Deppe Pond. Students will be designing the panels and preparing written descriptions of the pertinent natural history items and current studies surrounding this refuge for the endangered Mohave tui chub. Note the aerator's "bubbles" in the bottom right corner of the left photo. This was installed by students during the spring of 2008

10/ 2 /2008
AAE Students released 473 Mohave tui chub transplanted from the Lark Seep Refuge in China lake. A second introduction added 75 more fish from Lark seep refuge. These transplants represent the first of two planned transplants for Deppe Pond. A second transplant of more than 500 fish was expected from Zyzzx's Lake Tuendae refuge but as of 8/22/2012, the refuge on consists of fish taken from the China Lake/Larks Seep refuge.

11/ 8 - 15 /2008

Between November 8th and the 15th, to satisfy his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, Nelson Estes, from Troop 454, Victorville, worked with 10 boys and three adults on two successive weekends to prepare Tui Slough before and after the side were trenched on 11/13/2008 for lining.

11/ 13 /2008

Shannon Denmark, from Conco Construction, and his helper spent five hours using their backhoe to dig 250 feet of anchor trenches for the liner along both sides of Tui Slough.

11/ 2008

CETCO donated three rolls of their Akwaseal clay pond liner that will be used to pad and line the bottom of Tui Slough. During the sam week we also received a 250 foot long by 48 foot wide 30 mil two tone pond liner from BTL Liners.

11/ 21 / 2008
A combined effort between the AAE's facilities staff, equipment that was donated by CONCO Construction, and many students hands (200+) from the AAE PE (MS & HS), AFJROTC, and science classes made laying out the clay and plastic pond liner possible

CETCO Akwaseal Clay Subliner Install

BTL Liners 30 mil Pond Liner Install


11/ 22 / 2008

On November 22nd, to satisfy his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, Nelson Estes, from Troop 454, Victorville, worked with 8 boys and three adults on to anchor the top liner around Tui Slough, at bot dams and put into place the "shore-side" protective liners. We expect the first late fall rains in a few days.

11/ 26 / 2008

Here is what the refuge looked like after its first rain storm (1/2 inches of rain). Note the new grading work on the west shore to decrease erosion into "Tui Slough". All that remains to do is to fill the "Slough" with 6-8 inches of sand, install 525 feet of four foot high fencing around the perimeter and fill the pond. We hope to be completed by Christmas 2008.

12/ 19 / 2008

On the 12/5/2008, 10 dump trucks of sand were poured into Tui Slough. The four-wheel drive tractor and and dump truck were donated to us by CONCO Construction. On the 12/7/2008, 575 feet of four foot fence was installed. By 12/15/2008 all of the sand had been spread with the help of our PE students and Nelson Estes (to complete the final phase of his Eagle Project). On 12/16/2008 we bolted the liner to Tui Slough dam. On 12/17/2008, we received enough precipitation in the form of rain and snow to fill the Slough.

To be continued...(12 / 19 / 2008)

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