Southeastern Outdoors Backpacking in the Brooks Range
Home > Wildlife > Fish > Rio Grande silvery minnow
Web Site Promotion

Endangered Fish May Once Again Swim in the Rio Grande in Texas

August 3, 2005

It has been more than fifty years since the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow inhabited the river in the Big Bend region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is working with the people of Texas to determine if reintroducing the silvery minnow to this reach of the Rio Grande holds potential for improving the species' future.

The Service is asking residents, state, county, and local officials, landowners, farmers, recreationists and others to comment on its proposal to reintroduce experimental populations of the small fish that once inhabited the entire river. Three scoping meetings are scheduled to receive input from residents. All meetings start with an informational session at 5:30 p.m. The formal meeting begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation followed by people giving comments, suggestions or recommendations.

-- September 20 in Sanderson at the Sanderson Community Meeting Hall, 108 Hackberry St

-- September 21 in Alpine at the Sul Ross State University, Gallego Center, Room 129, East Highway 90

-- September 22 in Presidio at the Presidio Activity Center, 1400 East O'Reilly St.

The Endangered Species Act encourages experimental reintroductions as a way to help recover a species while keeping federal regulations to a minimum.

"We believe the long-term survival and recovery of this species can be better secured by establishing experimental populations under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act within the fish's historical range," said Larry Bell, Acting Deputy Director of the Service's Southwest Region. "Under this scenario, we have much more flexibility in working with the community to manage experimental populations so that current and future land or water uses and activities should not be restricted while helping to recover the fish."

The Service will be preparing a draft Environmental Assessment to look at the potential impacts of reintroducing endangered fish into the Rio Grande. We have scheduled information sessions and public scoping meetings in Presidio, Alpine, and Sanderson to receive input from residents. People can also provide written comments. The deadline for all comments is October 7 (please note this date has been corrected from Sept. 9). Information received by the deadline will be used to explore a range of approaches to reintroducing experimental populations of the minnow. When complete, the Environmental Assessment will be available for public review and comment.

The notice was published in today's Federal Register and is available on the internet at To request a paper copy or a compact disc of the proposal, please call (505) 761-4710, or write or visit the field office at 2105 Osuna NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87113, during business hours.

The Rio Grande silvery minnow was historically one of the most abundant and widespread fishes in the Rio Grande Basin, occurring from Espaņola, New Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico, but now only survives in a 170-mile stretch in New Mexico.


Fish Main
CWD by State
Bird Forums
Mammal Tracks
KY Peregrine Nest
Boulder Darter
Sponsor Links
Dale Hollow Marina
Related Links
Rehab Directory
Rehab Discussions
Fish Books