Native Fishes Committee Takes a Dive

The newly formed Native Fishes Committee is responsible for promoting the awareness and conservation of California and Nevada’s native fishes through education and outreach activities, public recognition of outstanding work towards native fish conservation, and serving as an outlet for the discussion and dissemination of information pertinent to California and Nevada’s native fishes.  The committee is also committed to holding annual “Native Fishes” Workshop’s and symposia at the annual Chapter meetings.

In an effort to increase awareness of local native fishes, the First Annual “Native Fishes Workshop” was held in South Lake Tahoe on September 7th and 8th, and highlighted fish native to the Tahoe Basin and Lahontan subprovince. Participants included representatives from state and federal agencies, water agencies and consultants and as well as retired individuals, but also included a middle school and a high school student.  The Friday afternoon program was put together by Zachery Bess, a graduate student at UNR, with assistance by Tom Taylor. Tom also presented slides to help people identify Tahoe Basin fishes.

About two-dozen attendees were treated to an afternoon of excellent talks with subjects ranging from Cui-ui Sucker and Tui Chub, to restoring the Upper Truckee River, native fish through the lens of a camera, and a fascinating look at the ecological changes to Lake Tahoe over time. The workshop was followed by a Cal-Neva sponsored social and dinner at the “Taylor Cabin” on beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake with a keg of beer provided by the Natural Resources Group, Inc. The following day, attendees eagerly donned their wetsuits to get close up looks at native and introduced fishes at two sites, one in Taylor Creek and one in a restoration reach of the Upper Truckee River.  The group saw Tahoe and Mountain Suckers, Lahontan Redside, Lahontan Speckled Dace, and some (non-native) Rainbow Trout. Future workshops will focus on native fishes in other regions of California and Nevada.

The Native Fishes Committee is also hard at work planning a native fishes symposium for the 2019 National Meeting in Reno.  This endeavor is being spearheaded by Larry Brown and Fred Feyrer.  If you are interested in presenting at the Native Fishes Symposium, please contact Larry at lrbrown@usgs.gov.

For more information on the committee and upcoming workshops, please contact me at shawnc@scwa.ca.gov.

Shawn Chase, Native Fishes Committee Chair