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Endangered Fish Rescued From Evaporating Texas Streams September 23, 2011
Threatened Texas minnows
Three species of minnows rescued from streams in Texas as the hottest summer on record, and the driest in decades, caused their habitats to disappear.
Wildlife biologists in Texas have rescued thousands of endangered or threatened fish from rivers as the state’s protracted drought is causing many waterways to dry up or recede to a trickle.

The scientists captured smalleye shiners and sharpnose shiners from the Brazos River after earlier collecting dozens of Arkansas River shiners and peppered chubs from the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle.

“We value these species and they are an important part of the Texas natural heritage, so we're trying to prevent losing them in this drought,” said Texas Tech fish ecology professor Gene Wilde.

Those minnow species are losing the 100 miles of river needed to reproduce, and their disappearance would be a severe blow to the rest of the waterways’ ecosystems.

Such fish rescues are said to be rare, but could become more common if the drought persists.

Photo: Texas State University-San Marcos