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


Habitat Suitability for Big Spring Spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis) in Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada

January 2024 - May 2025


Participating Agencies

The Big Spring Spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis) is a Federally threatened cyprind fish with a distribution limited to a single 5-km stream reach in Meadow Valley Wash, Lincoln County, NV. Little is known about the life history, habitat requirements, or demographics of this species. In 1994, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set goals and objectives for recovery of BSS that included selection and establishment of refuge populations due to the vulnerability of the existing population to catastrophic events, human-induced habitat modification, and nonnative species introduction, and indicated that information collected on life history and habitat requirements should be utilized to evaluate potential refugia sites.This project is a collaboration among the U.S. Geological Survey, Nevada Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife. We will establish criteria to evaluate Big Spring Spinedace habitat suitability via a literature review and pre-assessment analysis, conduct flow permanence surveys, monitor water levels and temperatures, and survey occupied and potential re-introduction sites for habitat suitability. We expect to recommend a prioritized list of sites that could be used as refuge population(s) for Big Spring Spinedace in and around Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada.