US agency fights invasive bass that threatens humpback chub and other protected fish in the Grand Canyon


PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has completed its environmental review of a plan to protect humpback chub and other protected fish species in northern Arizona. The agency is now allowed to release cold water from Glen Canyon Dam to control an invasive species of bass that loves warm water and threatens the native population, it said Wednesday.

The Bureau of Reclamation said the completion of the environmental case will allow it to use cooler water from Lake Powell to disrupt the spawning of non-native smallmouth bass and prevent them from establishing themselves below the dam in the Grand Canyon, where they prey on federally protected native fish such as the humpback chub.

It’s the latest step in the fight to keep non-native smallmouth bass and sunfish in check in an area of ​​the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. The predatory fish have been able to move downstream from Lake Powell as water levels have dropped and water released by Glen Canyon Dam has warmed.

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Previous efforts to rid the area of ​​invasive fish used a chemical treatment that was lethal to fish but approved by U.S. environmental agencies.

The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior. It is a leading supplier of the nation’s water and a producer of hydroelectric power.

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