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Unusual dominance by desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) in experimental ponds within the Salton Sea Basin

January 1, 2011

In October 2006, months after shallow experimental ponds in the Salton Sea Basin were filled with water from the Alamo River and Salton Sea, fish were observed in several ponds, although inlets had been screened to exclude fish. During October 2007–November 2009, nine surveys were conducted using baited minnow traps to document species and relative abundance of fish. Surveys yielded 3,620 fish representing five species. Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius), the only native species encountered, was the most numerous and comprised >93% of the catch. Nonnative species included western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis, 4.1%), sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna, 2.8%), and tilapia (a mixture of hybrid Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus × O. urolepis and redbelly tilapia Tilapia zillii, <0.1%). Dominance by desert pupfish, which persisted over our 2 years of study, was unusual because surveys conducted in nearby agricultural drains yielded relatively few desert pupfish.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Unusual dominance by desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) in experimental ponds within the Salton Sea Basin
DOI 10.1894/F12-CMT-06.1
Authors Michael K. Saiki, Barbara A. Martin, Thomas W. Anderson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Southwestern Naturalist
Series Number
Index ID 70034506
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Salton Sea Science Office