Arizona Desert Fish Fun

 

Deserts are charming to those who know how to see them –John Muir

When I first arrived in southeastern Arizona, I was a bit dulled by the vast barren landscape of the desert. But after spending the past month here, I have learned a new found appreciation for this delicate region of the arid west and its dependence on aquatic systems.

My internship has allowed me to study in two of the greatest assemblages of native fish in Arizona including Bonita and Aravaipa Creek.  These two systems are home to several threatened and endangered fish species including the Loach Minnow, Spikedace, Gila chub, and Gila Topminnow.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to participate and work with these species as part of an ongoing species composition and relative abundance survey.

Also, as a part of my internship, my team and I are working to restore several wetland habitats located within our field office.  One of these sites is the home of the endangered Desert Pupfish. These fish are amazingly adaptable.  They can withstand water temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit and salinity levels 3 times that of seawater!

I am looking forward to the months to come working here in southeast Arizona and continuing to learn and be involved in new experiences.

Rob Osborne

Safford AZ, BLM

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