Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Colorado
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Colorado Project

Estimating population size and demographic parameters for Rio Grande Sucker and Rio Grande Chub at Baca National Wildlife Refuge

May 2019 - July 2024


Participating Agencies


The Baca National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of only two aboriginal populations of Rio Grande sucker (Catostomus plebeius) and Rio Grande chub (Gila pandora) in the state of Colorado, the conservation of which is part of their Comprehensive Conservation Plan. These fish have been PIT tagged and re-detected by capture and remote antennas for the last few years, as part of a program to improve fish passage on the refuge. An evaluation and analysis of these data for population size and vital rates is needed to assess the status of these native fish and their response to passage improvements. Training is also needed to increase capacity for demographic analyses within the USFWS. This project is a collaboration with USFWS Region 6, including the Colorado Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Refuge Inventory and Monitoring, and the Baca NWR. Results from the analysis will be used to inform future fish passage management decisions, and the design of future monitoring for these populations.