Homeless fish may find shelter at Springs Preserve

The Pahrump poolfish was forced from its home and onto the endangered species list decades ago by groundwater pumping that drained its spring-fed habitat at the southern tip of Nye County.

Now the Las Vegas Valley Water District wants to establish a new home for the poolfish on a piece of valley property with a similar history.

District officials are working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Nevada Department of Wildlife to establish a reserve population of Pahrump poolfish at the Springs Preserve, the district-owned attraction at U.S. Highway 95 and Valley View Boulevard.

The district plans to introduce the speckled, 3-inch fish to a series of nine ponds now being built where the springs and streams that welcomed the valley’s first settlers were pumped into oblivion in the early 1960s in service of the growing city.

Zane Marshall, director of resources and facilities for the district and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said the poolfish should fit nicely into the story the preserve is trying to tell.

“Part of the Springs Preserve’s mission is to talk about natural resource management in the Southwest,” he said.

The fish also will provide a more tangible service by feeding on mosquito larvae.

“The poolfish will work for us in these ponds,” Marshall said.

Fish without a home

The Pahrump poolfish was listed as endangered in 1967, and it was effectively extinct in the wild by the early 1970s.

As the story goes, noted UNLV biologist and desert fish expert Jim Deacon carried the last native members of the species out of Pahrump in a bucket in 1971 to keep it from disappearing forever.

By 1975, Manse Spring in Pahrump had been pumped dry, taking with it the poolfish’s entire habitat.

Today, roughly 20,000 of the adaptable little fish survive in three man-made lifeboats: Lake Harriet at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park in Red Rock Canyon; Corn Creek at Desert National Wildlife Refuge, 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas; and Shoshone Ponds in White Pine County’s vast Spring Valley, about 250 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The Springs Preserve would become the fourth reserve population and the first new one to be established in 30 years. If the effort proves successful, Marshall said, it could lead regulators to “down-list” or even “de-list” the species.

“This is an opportunity for the poolfish as far as we’re concerned,” said Brandon Senger, a supervisory fisheries biologist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Environmentalists largely agree, though some question the motives behind the move.

Rob Mrowka is senior scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity in Nevada. He said he certainly favors establishing another viable population of Pahrump poolfish, but not if it’s being done to clear the way for the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plan to siphon groundwater from Spring Valley and across rural eastern Nevada.

The Shoshone Ponds and its endangered fish could complicate the groundwater project, so Mrowka wonders if Las Vegas water officials are trying to find a way to replace that population with one at the Springs Preserve.

“It strikes me that with each move, the fish has become more a zoo exhibit rather than a feature of a functioning ecosystem,” Mrowka said in an email. “Unfortunately there are literally hundreds of species that are being threatened by the SNWA project, and most will not be saved by moving them. It is time for the SNWA to abandon its proposed mining of ancient groundwater that the creatures and rural communities rely on.”

‘Not going anywhere’

Even if Las Vegas water officials do want the poolfish out of their way in Spring Valley — and Marshall insists that isn’t their goal — it’s not for them to to decide.

As Senger points out, the Shoshone Ponds sit on public land, and the poolfish that have lived there since 1976 are monitored and maintained by federal and state regulators.

“That population at Shoshone is critically important to us,” he said. “Those fish are not going anywhere.”

If and when the decision is made to establish a new population at the Springs Preserve, Senger said the ponds there probably will be stocked with poolfish from Shoshone, Spring Mountain Ranch or both. But only a small sampling from those groups, perhaps as few as 100 fish, would be needed to start a new refuge population, he said.

Marshall expects it take up to two years for the Springs Preserve to get all the necessary permits in place and its ponds ready to accept poolfish.

The first major step came earlier this month, when the water district board approved what is known as a Safe Harbor Agreement that allows the agency to take in a federally protected species without restricting other activities and land use at the preserve.

If the arrangement works out, Marshall said the ponds there might day serve as a refuge for the endangered relict leopard frog, a rare amphibian once thought extinct along the Virgin and Colorado rivers before being discovered anew near Lake Mead in 1991.

In the meantime, Senger said, the poolfish recovery team is concentrating on trying to maintain and expand the populations it already has.

At Spring Mountain State Park, home to the bulk of the species, biologists are monitoring a growing threat from non-native crayfish that showed up there in 2013.

“We haven’t seen a drastic drop in the poolfish population yet, but it still remains a big concern for us,” Senger said.

A similar crayfish invasion at Corn Creek wiped out all of the Pahrump poolfish there in 1998.

Senger said it took until two years ago to eliminate the crayfish. The first crop of reintroduced poolfish are now swimming around in the spring-fed waters of Corn Creek, doing their part to save themselves.

“It’s promising,” Senger said. “They started spawning immediately.”

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow him: @RefriedBrean

ad-high_impact_4
News
1 dead after shooting near Sahara and the Strip in Las Vegas
Lt. Ray Spencer briefs the news media on a shooting at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South that left one dead. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
2 in custody after chase
Two people were in custody after a chase involving Nevada Highway Patrol and Nye County Sheriff"s office deputies ended in southwest Las Vegas. Las Vegas police blocked off Rainbow Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement personnel prepared to tow a black sedan as part of their investigation. It's not certain what precipitated the chase or where and when it started. Check back for updates.
Police Officer's Vehicle Was Taken During Shooting
Video from body worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday shows an officer realizing his police vehicle has been taken during the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. It was later recovered at Sunrise hospital with the keys in the ignition and nothing removed. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
See Kitty Hawk’s flying car cruise over Lake Las Vegas
Kitty Hawk takes their flying car for a ride in the company’s hidden test facility in Lake Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Las Vegas police wild pursuit through busy Las Vegas streets
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Man shot strolling through park
A man was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after being shot while walking in a central Las Vegas park. Las Vegas police say the man and a woman were in Molasky Park just after midnight when the man was shot. The pair ran to a nearby supermarket where a security guard called for help. The man was hospitalized and as of 3 a.m. was in stable condition. Police have yet to identify the shooter and no suspects are in custody.
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Suspect fires at Las Vegas police before officers shoot, end wild pursuit
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like