Grand Canyon Fish No Longer On Brink Of Extinction

March 22, 2018
Several federal agencies are translocating juvenile humpback chub to ensure the endangered fish's survival.

An endangered fish that lives in the Grand Canyon is no longer on the brink of extinction. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will consider reclassifying the humpback chub as threatened within the next year.

The fish, which is characterized by a hump behind its head, numbers about 12,000 near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers.

The chub has survived many obstacles.

When the dams were built to provide electricity and water to the Southwest, the water temperature downstream dropped. This slowed the chubs’ growth. Also, silt blocked up behind the dam, so there was no place to hide when non-native predators were introduced to the river. Many native fish have died off.

Federal officials have gone to great lengths to save the fish. They’ve managed the flow of water from the dam and have removed some predators. But they say the species won't fully recover without more work.