Red Hills roach, fish believed extinct due to California drought, lives on

By on August 26, 2014
Peter B. Moyle, professor of fish biology in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, finds a few Red Hills roach in his net (Credit: Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Peter B. Moyle, professor of fish biology in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, finds a few Red Hills roach in his net (Credit: Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

California’s Red Hills roach, a small cyprinid fish, was feared to have gone extinct during the state’s ongoing drought. But fish biologists at the University of California, Davis, have found that isn’t the case, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The Red Hills roach is only found in creeks and pools surrounding foothills near the town of Sonora, California. As researchers made their way toward that area, they expected to find few of the fish and even planned on taking any they did find back to their lab for protection.

But instead of the low populations they had predicted, scientists found hundreds of the Red Hills roach surviving in a small creek. So many were found, about 200, that none of the fish had to be captured for species conservation.

Image: Peter B. Moyle, professor of fish biology in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, finds a few Red Hills roach in his net (Credit: Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

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