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How are Wildfires Affecting Gila Trout Recovery?

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Join biologist Jill Wick at Brown Bag Seminars on April 4 and 6.

How are Wildfires Affecting Gila Trout Recovery?

Gila trout. Photo by Craig Springer/USFWS.

April 3, 2013

Jill Wick, a biologist with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, gives a talk on the threatened Gila trout on April 4 and 6 from 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Pack a lunch and join us for this month's Brown Bag Seminar at the Aquarium. There is no charge for the talk.

"Native fishes like Gila trout face many threats," said Tallie Segel, Aquarium Education Coordinator. "We are excited to have an aquatic habitat specialist discuss New Mexico's freshwater ecosystems and the recovery program for this threatened species."

The 2012 Whitewater Baldy Fire was the largest wildfire in New Mexico's history, burning more than 465 square miles of the Gila National Forest. The fire came just one year after captive-raised Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae gilae) were released to suitable water habitats to help restore wild populations. The devastating fire threatened to litter freshwater streams with ash and debris and suffocate Gila trout and other fishes.

Biologists quickly responded to the burn and backpacked into the forest to transport hundreds of Gila trout to safe hatcheries. Find out the status of Gila trout and their native habitat. The presentation is in the Education Building, which is located in the Main Plaza of the Aquarium and Botanic Garden. After the talk, check out the Gila trout on exhibit in the Aquarium's Shark Reef Cafe. This event is open to the public and there is no charge.

Brown Bag Seminars are a series of informal lunchtime lectures presenting the science of conservation. Brown Bags take place twice a month on Thursdays and Saturdays, alternating between the Aquarium/Botanic Garden and Zoo. For more information, email [email protected] or dial 311 locally (505-768-2000).

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