The Mohave tui chub, Gila bicolor mohavensis, is the only fish native to the Mohave River basin in San Bernardino County, California. Arroyo chubs, Gila orcutti, were introduced into Mohave River headwater reservoirs in the San Bernardino Mountains, and first appeared in the Mohave River during the 1930s.
Aided by the severe floods of March 1938, the exotic species of Gila invaded the Mohave River and subsequently hybridized with the Mohave tui chub. By 1970, genetically pure Mohave tui chubs had been eliminated from the Mohave River by hybridization and subsequent introgression. Fortunately, a small population of genetically pure Mohave tui chubs persisted in isolated ponds at Soda Springs, near the terminus of the Mohave River.
The depleted status of this fish has been widely recognized in government and scientific communities. The Mohave tui chub was listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior as endangered in 1970. Similarly, the State of California classified the Mohave tui chub as endangered in 1971. This prompted the development of the "Recovery Plan for the Mohave Tui Chub, Gila bicolor mohavensis," by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1984.
Current research and efforts continue to ensure the survival and sustainability of this rare species of the high desert.
Last updated: April 6, 2020