Inland Deserts Region Native Fish Conservation


These are small fish that rarely exceed 50 mm in total length. Reproductive males in nuptial coloration are bright blue with a black band at the posterior edge of the caudal fin. Reproductive females are drab olive-brown and develop 6-10 lateral vertical bars which may be distinct or faint. Pupfish exhibit many adaptations that allow them to live in habitat with thermal and osmotic extremes. Their growth is extremely rapid and they become sexually mature within four to six weeks. Such a short generation time enables the pupfish to maintain small but viable populations. Highest densities and peak breeding season occur during summer when water temperatures are higher and food is abundant. There is additional information on three sub-species being managed in Region 6 (see links below)

Desert | Owens | Cottonball Marsh

Tui chub

The tui chub is a chunky, large-scaled fish. This subspecies has a bright brassy-brown to dark olive back with a bluish-white to silver belly. The average size for adults is four to six inches, while some fish may be as large as nine inches. Smaller tui chub school in shallow water, while medium-sized tui chub (1 to 3 inches) school in water one to two inches deep. Large chub are typically solitary and found in deeper water. Mohave tui chub feed on insect larvae and detritus. There are three sub-species being managed in Region 6 (see links below)

Mohave | Owens

Speckled dace

The speckled dace is the most widely distributed species in the western United States and has been isolated in many small streams and springs. Its taxonomy is poorly understood and highly confusing because the species is naturally so variable, and no one has attempted a taxonomic analysis over its entire range. Speckled dace are small cyprinids with total length of up to 90 mm. Their coloration is highly variable, but consists of a series of dark blotches on a lighter background. In reproductive individuals of both sexes, the bases of the fins become orange to red and males may develop tubercles on the pectoral tins. They are omnivorous. Their diet includes aquatic and terrestrial insects, other invertebrates such as snails and microcrustaceans and filamentous algae. There are three sub-species being managed in Region 6 (see links below)

Long Valley | Owens | Amargosa

Male and female pupfish
Male and female pupfish in the wild

Tui chub
Mohave tui chub in aquarium