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Project History

"A wish about a fish": Mohave tui chub Project History

(This page was formerly the home page for the original website created by Molly Estes ('05) and Amanda Pearson ('05))

Pleased to Meet You... A wish about a fish. That was how this whole project started. In the fall of the 2003-2004 school year, two high school students learned about a problem brewing in their own backyard. The problem was the displacement of the Mohave tui chub (named by Robert Rush Miller) from its natural habitat, the Mojave River. Armed with internet information and a will to learn, they journeyed to a conference at the Zyzzx Desert Research Center where the idea for this web-page was born. Although they learned much about this little fish, they also found out how hard public information about the chub was to find. The idea for this creating web-resource was conceived and nothing could stand in their way from achieving their goals.

What's the Problem Again?  The Mohave tui chub is the only known fish that is native to the Mojave River. The tui chub, however, has been forced from its native habitat by an influx of sport fish, bait fish, and human encroachment, placing it in danger of extinction. Coupled with floods, storms, and droughts, the tui chub has been eliminated from the river it once called home. A desperate attempt is being made by concerned scientists and government conservatory agencies to create refugia and build up the population to eventually restore this fish to its native habitat. Despite much tribulation, they have been successful in establishing several temporary refuges (3 as 2005) of for the chub, but despite their efforts, there are still several new refuges that need to be established (3 more are need to as of 2005) before this fish can be down-listed its current endangered status to a threatened status.

Mohave tui chub (Siphateles bicolor mohavensis -- formerly Gila bicolor mojavensis) in a non-Mojave River habitat or refuge (G-1 Canal, Larks Seep, China Lake).

Many attempts have been made by this and earlier groups of dedicated conservationists to create refuges for the chub outside of its native habitat, but only a handful have been successful so far. However, they have not given up and are determined to achieve this goal someday of reintroducing the chub into its native environment. Until that time, many are still working to maintain viable, healthy populations of the the Mohave tui chub in man-made refuges.

Students Responsible for the Wish... Molly Estes, Amanda Pearson

[Molly Estes (with blue shirt and baseball hat, center) and Amanda Pearson (standing behind Molly) at Mohave Chub Spring (MC Spring) with the rest of the Fall 2003 Mojave tui chub Workshop participants.]