Court Orders Reconsideration Of Lower Colorado River Roundtail Chub Status

Kris Stahr with the Arizona Game & Fish Department shows a young roundtail chub at Bubbling Ponds Fish Hatchery in Cornville. Chub usually grow to about 11 inches, but some are stunted because they were raised in a smaller tank; they’re used for educational purposes. (Photo by Nicole Neri/Cronkite News)

A federal judge on Thursday overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2017 withdrawal of a proposed rule to protect the lower Colorado River basin roundtail chub as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The judge ordered the agency to reconsider within a year whether the fish warrants protection.

The Center for Biological Diversity sought the ruling after the Trump administration in April 2017 withdrew the agency’s proposal to protect the lower Colorado River basin population of roundtail chub. The administration argued that the fish could not be listed because it was not distinct from two other chub species: the endangered Gila chub and the headwater chub.

The Fish and Wildlife Service first identified the roundtail as needing protection in 1982.

According to Arizona Game and Fish, the roundtail chub is native to Arizona and is considered a sport fish because of its “hardy fighting ability and willingness to take many of the same baits and lures used for trout.”

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