Two Texas Fish Not in Danger of Extinction


ALBUQUERQUE, NM — After a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial information, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the Rio Grande chub and the Rio Grande sucker do not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.

These cool-water fish species often co-occur within the Rio Grande Basin, inhabiting slow-moving waters at mid-to-high elevations. They thrive in waterways with fluctuating water levels and are adapted to withstand these changes.

After completing status reviews and consulting with scientists, state agencies, species experts, and others, the Service concluded that neither species is in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered. The primary factors considered in the analysis included water diversions, groundwater withdrawals, dams, nonnative species, wildfires, and climate change.

For several decades, monitoring and conservation efforts for these fishes have been ongoing. In 2018, a 10-year Conservation Agreement was signed for the Rio Grande chub and the Rio Grande sucker. This multi-partner agreement includes federal agencies, Tribes, states, municipalities, non-profits, and private organizations. The agreement outlines long-term management actions, such as monitoring populations and habitats, securing and enhancing populations, and improving watershed conditions.

Rio Grande Chub

Rio Grande Chub


The Rio Grande chub, a small-bodied fish that can reach up to eight inches in length, is found in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, with 53 current populations across its range. It is an omnivore, feeding on fish, invertebrates, and vegetation, and prefers pools with cover such as woody debris, boulders, or vegetation.

Rio Grande Sucker

Rio Grande Sucker


The Rio Grande sucker, found in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Mexico, has 32 current populations across its range. As a benthic feeder, it inhabits the bottom of riverbeds, consuming algae off cobble and gravel.

A notice of the "not warranted" findings for the petitions to list the Rio Grande chub and the Rio Grande sucker can be found in the Federal Register on June 20, 2024.

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