Regional Offices > Pinedale Region > Pinedale Region News > G&F Keeps Tabs on Nongame Fish, Too

G&F Keeps Tabs on Nongame Fish, Too

July 16, 2019
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Showing some love for roundtail chubs!

Pinedale - Most people, even some of Wyoming's most ardent anglers, have never heard of a roundtail chub. No they aren't one of the state's famous trout species, or even a game fish at all. They are considered a nongame fish, but that doesn't mean they aren't an important component to some of the Cowboy State's pristine waters. 

Roundtail chubs are native to the Colorado River drainage of the southwestern United States and are in serious decline. In fact, there are just a few southwest Wyoming waters where this rare species can be found including Muddy Creek near Baggs, the Black's and Ham's fork rivers near Green River and several lakes near Pinedale.

Pinedale fisheries technicians, Claire Bickford and Taylor Spradlin, haul in a nice catch of roundtail chubs from Burnt Lake near Pinedale.

Unfortunately, several populations in Wyoming appear to be reflecting the declining trend across their range. In fact, it appears the species has been lost from at least two Wyoming waters. The last record of a roundtail chub in Boulder Lake, near Pinedale, was in the 1970s, and for the Green River above Fontenelle Reservoir, it was the 1990s. There is a great deal of concern for the future of the species across their range and with fisheries managers for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.

A PIT tag and syringe used to insert the tag into the fish's body cavity for later identification.

Recently, members of the Pinedale fish crew spent a few days catching roundtail chubs in Burnt Lake to insert PIT tags in their body cavity. PIT tag antennas have been placed at the lakes inlet and outlet and at an island in the middle of the lake to document congregations of fish at a time when the fish are spawning. The Burnt Lake population is spawning somewhere since it has persisted, but the location hasn't been documented. In fact, most populations spawn in flowing water, so locating spawning areas in a lake would help provide an understanding of the habitat needs of this colorful native fish. 

A nice-sized roundtail chub is released back into Burnt Lake near Pinedale.

- WGFD -

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