Protecting native fish and other species
Isolation from other rivers for thousands of years has resulted in the evolution of a unique group of aquatic species at Warm Springs Natural Area. Most significant is the endangered Moapa dace, which is found nowhere else in the world but in these warm, spring-fed waters.
Protection of native fish through habitat restoration and population recovery is a priority at the Warm Springs. Southern Nevada Water Authority scientists help protect fish habitat by stabilizing stream banks and channels, restoring and enhancing spring pools, and managing invasive plants and animals.
The SNWA team works to protect native fish by:
- Installing fish barriers to control the travel of fish populations.
- Eradicating or controlling non-native species.
- Restoring and protecting the flow of streams and springs.
- Stabilizing stream banks and restoring plants along the waterways.
- Connecting springs with streams to increase spawning opportunities for the Moapa dace.
- Installing drift stations to improve the dace’s habitat.
In the case of the Moapa dace, these efforts have helped the population of this small fish increase over the past several years.
A February 2018 census conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Nevada Department of Wildlife, found 1,138 Moapa dace. Stream restoration, improved habitat and the removal of non-native fish species have increased the fish population from a low of 459 in February 2008.
Protected species management
In addition to the endangered Moapa dace, other federally and state protected species live at Warm Springs. The property is managed for protected species and rare or sensitive species that could receive protection status in the future due to habitat loss or population declines. Protected species and those considered for protection are identified within:
Endangered Species Act of 1973
Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapters 501 & 503
Nevada Natural Heritage Program
Nevada At-Risk Species Tracking List
Nevada Plant and Animal Watch-List