Post-stocking survival of bonytail in Lake Havasu

Status:  Ongoing

Though functionally extirpated in the wild, bonytail Gila elegans continue to be stocked into the mainstem lower Colorado River.  Lake Havasu serves as one of the primary stocking locations and is unique among all stocking sites because bonytail there are occasionally contacted during routine monitoring trips and caught by sport fish anglers–events that are encountered nowhere else.  Monitoring data indicate post-stocking survival is extremely low, due in part to predation by nonnative fishes.  Because recaptures are so rare, little is known about the post-stocking dispersal and habitat preferences of bonytail.  This study utilizes the latest advances in acoustic telemetry and remote sensing technologies to address crucial life history information concerning one of the most critically endangered fish in North America.