Okay— we didn’t find dino bones, but we did find a non-native and aggressive critter: Mosquito Fish (Gambusia affinis). Widely used in Arizona for mosquito control, these fish not only eat Desert Pupfish eggs, but they also literally stress the pupfish to death by chasing them constantly. They like to eat little Gila Topminnow, too, so basically our find spelled doom for our native fish refugium.
So what did we do? Throw up our hands in despair?
Yes, we did that… and then got busy draining the pond.
The lowered water allows us to trim back our overgrown cattails, improving the habitat for the fish that will be reintroduced when we refill. Cattail can grow back fast—and that’s where YOU come in!
We are looking for a donation of concrete, time, and talent paving a few key areas of the pond’s shore to provide Desert Pupfish with stellar and semi-permanent breeding habitat.
We have about 2 weeks of pond-drying ahead of us before re-stocking the pond. This time, not only are we getting Desert Pups and Gila Topminnow, but also Razorback Sucker and perhaps a few more natives.
When you visit us this fall, be prepared for a new and even prettier pond view and new residents. In the meantime, contact us if you want to help trim cattails and/or can help with the concrete donation.