Nevada Wildlife Dept. Saves Thousands of Fish from Drought…by Hand

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Nevada Department of Wildlife volunteer coordinator Kim Toulouse holds one of the large fish salvaged from the Verdi Ditch west of Reno, (photo: Nevada Dept. of Wildlife)

Some Nevada fish threatened by an ongoing drought are getting a helping hand—literally.

Department of Wildlife personnel in that state are gathering fish from ditches usually fed by the Truckee River near Reno to a hydroelectric generating station. Because of the drought, water is not being diverted into the ditches, which would normally result in a fishkill. But last week about 25 people waded into the ditches, electrically stunning then gathering fish to be transplanted back to the Truckee or into a nearby pond.


“We're trying to make sure the fish in there get a second chance,” Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Nobody likes to see a natural resource go to waste. We would have seen a lot of fish go to waste.”


The drought, now in its third year, has caused officials to take other measures to benefit fish. They’ve planted trout in the river and area ponds and in two reservoirs have lifted catch limits so anglers can get the fish before low water levels cause a die-off.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Drought Prompts Fish Salvage In Reno Ditches (by Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazette-Journal)

Largest Reservoir in U.S. Drops to Lowest Level in its 77-Year History (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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