Endangered razorback suckers are spawning in the Grand Canyon again

By on June 30, 2014
Karin Eldridge, a Fisheries Program Biologist in the Southwest Region, with an endangered razorback sucker (Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, via Flickr)

Following construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, populations of the razorback sucker began declining in the Colorado River, according to LiveScience. But biologists at Grand Canyon National Park say recent protection measures may be paying off after some of the endangered fish were spotted spawning in the park in early 2014.

Those razorback suckers found are only in the larval stage, but experts are hopeful that the fish can survive into adulthood. That would have them growing up to three feet long, with distinctive bony keels near their tails and blue bulges behind their heads.

In addition to finding razorbacks spawning in the park, scientists released tagged adults into a stream in March to see how they’d fare. A month later, several of the released razorback suckers were still surviving and researchers found new ones had migrated upstream from Lake Mead.

Image: Karin Eldridge, a Fisheries Program Biologist in the Southwest Region, with an endangered razorback sucker (Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, via Flickr)

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