Utah Nursery Gives Endangered Fish a Place to Grow

Blueish olive fish with a yellowish belly, and a unique, bony, razor-like keel that rises abruptly behind the head. The fish is elongate and fairly robustly buit, with a dorsal fin that is highest at the head end, and declines in height toward the tail. It is swimming across a stony substrate with a good deal of algae.

A Nature Conservancy preserve in Moab, Utah offers hopeful news for endangered razorback suckers: this fall, 51 juvenile suckers were recorded on the property’s fish nursery, which began operation in 2020. “When we survey the river, we find adult suckers.  We find baby suckers,” says Sam Brockdorff, a biologist with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “The problem is, we don’t find juvenile suckers.”. Those juvenile suckers lack the flooded wetland habitat they need for protection. That’s the need that the Matheson Preserve, and its Fish Nursery, is fulfilling. The nursery also presents another opportunity: for outreach. Attention and love for native fishes is growing in local communities and beyond.

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