Distribution, habitat use, and evaluation of potential reintroduction sites for Finescale Dace in Wyoming
July 2017 - June 2020
- Wyoming Game & Fish Department
Aquatic systems that support fish populations in the Great Plains region of North America are endangered due to an extensive disturbance history that includes land use change, hydrologic alteration, and proliferation of non-native taxa within watersheds. Finescale Dace are a Great Plains fish with a highly limited and fragmented distribution in Wyoming. The recent finding of Northern Pike in one of their core sites puts this population at increased risk for extirpation. A better understanding of ecologically limiting factors that may influence the persistence of rare or threatened taxa can be used to inform conservation and management strategies aimed at preservation of regional biodiversity. In collaboration with Wyoming Game and Fish Department we are evaluating the current status of Finescale Dace in Wyoming. Given the limited distribution of Finescale Dace and the threats from Northern Pike and habitat degradation, additional populations need to be established to ensure their persistence in Wyoming. This research will guide the identification of potential reintroduction sites within their historic range.