(F) Chemical treatments to support humpback chub. Below, we summarize the conditions for the upper and lower basins. The process of culturing and stocking individuals can also result in take via hatchery methods or incidental mortality of stocked individuals. By minnow standards it is a big fish, though not like the giant of all minnows – the Colorado pikeminnow. Establishing and maintaining humpback chub refuge populations is an important consideration for long-term humpback chub viability because refuge populations safeguard genetic diversity against catastrophic declines in wild populations and can be necessary to protect a population from extirpation. 1), Flaming Gorge Dam (US Bureau of Reclamation 2006, pp. Approximately 1,000 individuals from the Grand Canyon population are managed as a refuge population at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources and Recovery Center (SNARRC) in Dexter, New Mexico; additionally, a small number of adults from the Black Rocks population reside at the Horsethief ponds near Grand Junction, Colorado. Furthermore, anglers do target species that co-occur with humpback chub at some locations. 2018, p. 21). 2018, p. 7). While the humpback chub is not currently a species that is prized for its recreational or commercial value, the species is a large-bodied, catchable-sized fish that could offer potential recreational value in certain situations. offers a preview of documents scheduled to appear in the next day's The humpback chub evolved in an environment relatively free of predators and competitors. Existing regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) are discussed below. documents in the last year, 646 Although current resource conditions are acceptable in the upper basin, the risk for substantial and rapid degradation is present. The humpback chub's canyon habitats are largely protected by Federal, State, and tribal land ownership, and humans primarily use humpback chub habitats for recreation. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov. Federal Register issue. We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. Evidence of natural recruitment indicates that the western Grand Canyon aggregations could be an extension of the core Grand Canyon population, or potentially a second, reproducing population in the Colorado River. This site displays a prototype of a “Web 2.0” version of the daily Although the humpback chub does not have the swimming speed or strength of the Colorado pikeminnow, its body is uniquely formed to help it survive in its whitewater habitat. The Public Inspection page The SSA report documents the results of the comprehensive biological status review for the humpback chub and provides an account of the species' overall viability through forecasting of the species' condition in the future (Service 2018b, entire). documents in the last year, 43 Additionally, the SSA report contains our analysis of required habitat and the existing conditions of that habitat. The Upper Basin Recovery Program and Glen Canyon Dam AMP are key regulatory mechanisms that shape the current and future condition of humpback chub. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American Tribes, the scientific community, industry, or other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. However, preservation of genetic diversity in refuge populations outweighs any losses to wild populations if performed in a deliberate, well-designed process. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to reclassify the humpback chub (Gila cypha) from an endangered species to a threatened species on the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, due to partial recovery. The President of the United States communicates information on holidays, commemorations, special observances, trade, and policy through Proclamations. 12-14). (2) Investigate the mainstem Colorado River's role in the Grand Canyon population. Learn more here. Scenario 1 describes a reduction or elimination in current voluntary management actions for the species, but recognizes that conservation actions established under binding operational plans and agreements would continue; as such, Scenario 1 can be considered a future with reduced conservation actions. are not part of the published document itself. (2) Before the establishment of any captive or wild refuge population, the Service must approve, in writing, the designation of the refuge population, and any removal of humpback chub individuals from wild populations. edition of the Federal Register. It is generally believed that morphologic adaptations of the humpback chub aid the fish in negotiating turbulent waters in deep canyons of the Colorado River. Control of nonnative fishes is conducted by qualified personnel in the upper basin via mechanical removal using boat-mounted electrofishing, nets, and seines, primarily focusing on removal of smallmouth bass, northern pike (Esox lucius), and walleye (Sander vitreus). Future conditions of river flow and temperature are uncertain because conditions are shaped by regional climatic patterns and water availability, and regulated by the operation of large dams. Written comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The provisions of this rule are one of many tools that the Service will use to promote the conservation of the humpback chub. Any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate as possible. Low river flows and warm water temperatures may also act cumulatively to increase predation by nonnative predators. The humpback chub is named for the fleshy hump behind its head, an adaptation to the turbulent waters it typically inhabits, Chart said. (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R6-ES-2018-0081; U.S. It is important to continue to protect humpback chub from intentional angling pressure in the six core populations (five extant and one extirpated) because of their importance to the recovery of the species. The 1979 recovery plan also recognized the possible impacts to humpback chub from hybridization with other native chub species and from competition with nonnative fish species. We revised the recovery plan on September 19, 1990, and we further amended and supplemented the 1990 revised plan with new recovery goals on August 1, 2002. An additional population, Dinosaur National Monument (the Yampa and Green rivers in Utah and Colorado), declined after the construction of Flaming Gorge Dam and became extirpated in the mid-2000s. Endangered Currently, active nonnative fish removal is widespread in the upper basin, but is less common in the lower basin. Things are looking up for a rare Colorado River fish, the endangered humpback chub. headings within the legal text of Federal Register documents. However, the conservation support that angling provides can outweigh losses to humpback chub, if the angling program is designed appropriately. We also propose a rule issued under section 4(d) of the Act that is necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the humpback chub. 12/09/2020, 138 Where the best available information allows the Services to determine a status for the species rangewide, that determination should be given conclusive weight because a rangewide determination of status more accurately reflects the species' degree of imperilment and better promotes the purposes of the Act. The process of translocating wild individuals can result in take to wild individuals, including possible mortality to fish that are moved. Because of the high turbidity of the Colorado River prior to the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, humpback chub are not adapted to "sight predators" such as non-native rainbow and brown trout. Any mortality of humpback chub associated with the actions authorized under this special rule must be reported to the Service within 72 hours, and specimens may be disposed of only in accordance with directions from the Service. better and aid in comparing the online edition to the print edition. Scenario 2 and 3 differ in their confidence in the effectiveness of the conservation actions. This rule would allow recreational catch-and-release fishing of humpback chub in specified waters, not including the six core populations. The humpback chub is a relatively small fish by most standards – its maximum size is about 20 inches and 2.5 pounds. Necessary precautions and planning should be applied to avoid impacts to humpback chub. Criterion 3 is not met for delisting because the next largest population, Desolation and Gray Canyons, was last estimated as approximately 1,700 adults in 2015 (Howard and Caldwell 2018, p. 18). The fish is very streamlined, with a thin c… Matthew E. Andersen The Dinosaur National Monument, Desolation and Gray Canyons, Black Rocks, Westwater Canyon, and Cataract Canyon populations are the “upper basin populations,” and the Grand Canyon population is the “lower basin population.”. 1-2), and Glen Canyon Dam (U.S. Department of the Interior 2016, pp. In this population, there are no barriers to movement except for those created by natural falls or chutes, and translocated humpback chub placed above these natural barriers helped improve connectivity. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rule box to locate this document. That adaptation coupled with large, curved fins allows the species to maintain position in the turbulent flows. But, in 1973, the humpback chub became famous by winning federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. (D) Nonnative fish removal. Humpback chub in the Green River portion of the Dinosaur National Monument population were negatively affected by the cold releases from the Flaming Gorge Dam starting in 1963, and the Yampa River portion was negatively affected by low river flows, especially in the early 2000s. Register (ACFR) issues a regulation granting it official legal status. More than 1,000 adults occur in the Desolation/Gray Canyon core population in the Green River. publication in the future. This proposed 4(d) rule describes nonnative fish removal excepted from take prohibitions as any action with the primary or secondary purpose of mechanically removing nonnative fishes that compete with, predate, or degrade the habitat of humpback chub, and that is approved in writing by the Service for that purpose. Therefore, the risk of extinction is currently low, and therefore the species is not in danger of extinction. Lower elevations of Lake Powell enhance risk of nonnative predator establishment in the Grand Canyon via increased risk of fish escaping through Glen Canyon Dam and warmer water releases that support nonnative predators. Currently, through active flow management and nonnative predator removal, nonnative predators are not limiting four of the five extant humpback chub populations, but are moderately impacting two (one extant and one extirpated) populations. Using estimates from 2006 to 2015, the adult abundance estimates for Desolation and Gray Canyons show no conclusive pattern because estimates are too variable (Service 2018b, p. 109). Section 4(d) of the Act states that the “Secretary shall issue such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation” of species listed as threatened. Based on these successes, translocation appears to be a possible tool to reintroduce individuals into the Dinosaur National Monument population or to expand the range of humpback chub into other areas. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act. We ask the public, particularly State agencies and other interested stakeholders that may be affected by the proposed 4(d) rule, to provide comments and suggestions regarding additional guidance and methods that the Service could provide or use, respectively, to streamline the implementation of this proposed 4(d) rule (see Information Requested, above). 4321 et seq. (7) Control problematic nonnative fishes as needed. Elimination of the Upper Basin Recovery Program would introduce severe uncertainty about continued implementation of important management actions for humpback chub in the upper basin. 34-100). documents in the last year, 236 To evaluate the biological status of the humpback chub both currently and into the future, we evaluated the overall viability of the humpback chub in the context of resiliency, redundancy, and representation (Smith et al. 15-33). Reclassifying a species as an endangered or threatened species can only be completed by issuing a rule. As a result, otherwise legal angling activity in humpback chub habitats could result in the unintentional catch of humpback chub by the angling public. Federal Register provide legal notice to the public and judicial notice Effects of water temperature, turbidity, and rainbow trout on humpback chub population dynamics. Habitat alterations, such as changes in flow and water temperature caused by dams, and the introduction of nonnative fish have contributed to population declines in humpback chub and other native fish. (v) Sale or offer for sale, as set forth at § 17.21(f). The hump that gives this fish its name acts as a stabilizer and a hydrodynamic foil that helps it maintain position. the Federal Register. Any chemical treatment that takes place in an area where humpback chub may reside would need written approval from the Service, but treatments of unoccupied habitat would not need to be approved. This table of contents is a navigational tool, processed from the In the lower basin, current densities of nonnative predators are low, and management actions are in place to prevent establishment of new species. Both programs implement management actions that benefit all resource needs of the humpback chub. As such, the 2018, 5-year review of the status of the species recommended revising the 2002 recovery goals to incorporate new information about the species. These tools are designed to help you understand the official document This feature is not available for this document. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. (G) Reporting and disposal requirements. (2) In areas outside of the six core populations, angling activities may include targeted catch and release of humpback chub in accordance with Federal, State, and tribal fishing regulations. Then, click on the Search button. The flannelmouth sucker was historically the most abundant large fish species in the UCRB but the population declined in the LCRB and was thought to be extirpated from the LCRB by the 1970s. Information about this document as published in the Federal Register. If you are using public inspection listings for legal research, you Control of nonnative fishes is vital for the continued recovery of humpback chub because predatory, nonnative fishes are a principal threat to humpback chub (see Summary of Biological Status and Threats, above). For example, if humpback chub were stocked into a new area, but did not successfully establish, landowners may want to restore this location for another purpose. Abundance estimates for the Desolation and Gray Canyons population were approximately 1,750 adults in 2014 and 2015 (Howard and Caldwell 2018, p. 18). Finally, fish passage structures installed over the last 20 years in the Colorado and Green rivers allow the humpback chub to move between habitats. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). They have a large, stocky body, their underside is black or white, usually white, and a blue, black or dark grey upper side. We summarize these stressors below, with more detail provided in the SSA report (Service 2018b, pp. Introducing individuals into new areas can provide increased redundancy and decreased risk to catastrophic events by expanding the range of the species. Therefore, it is ill-adapted to living with the many nonnative fish that have been introduced into the Colorado River basin because it is a soft-rayed fish with no defense mechanisms for protection from predators. We determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. Many of the translocated fish have either remained resident in new habitats or moved into the mainstem. The humpback is adapted to the Colorado River system, one of the most severe swift-water fish habitats in North America. A number of factors have contributed to the decline of humpback chub and other native Colorado River fish. The humpback chub (Gila cypha) is a federally protected fish that lived originally in fast waters of the Colorado River system in the United States. New locations of humpback chub are being discovered (western Grand Canyon) or established (Havasu Creek) in the lower basin, providing resiliency to the large Little Colorado River core area. However, nonnative removal activities in humpback chub habitats are designed to be selective, allowing for the removal of predatory, nonnative fish while humpback chub are returned safely to the river. Subsequently, the humpback chub retained classification as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 (16 U.S.C. They have a small hump in front of their fin and a low stubby dorsal fin with a broad base. We propose to allow incidental take of humpback chub from angling activities that are in accordance with State and tribal fishing regulations in the six core humpback chub populations, but that do not target humpback chub. 2018, p. 306). The basis for our action. All upper basin humpback chub populations have dense nonnative predator populations nearby, but only one of the four extant populations and the site of the extirpated population currently undergo periodic increases in densities of nonnative predators within humpback chub habitats. for better understanding how a document is structured but Adaptations to swift, silty flow include compressed skull, small eyes, a lateral line that senses vibrations of insect prey, large fins, forked tail, narrow caudal peduncle and a dorsal hump that acts as a stabilizer. Humpback chub are typically omnivores with a diet consisting of insects, crustaceans, plants, seeds, and occasionally small fish and reptiles. State partners in the Upper Basin Recovery Program no longer stock certain nonnative predators and instead implement harvest regulations that promote the removal of predatory fish throughout the upper basin. Research activities will exam- ine, among other questions, how the March 2008 high-flow experiment affected habitat used by native fish and whether high flows disadvantage nonnative species. We selected the years 2034 and 2058 for our evaluation of future scenarios because they account for multiple generations of humpback chub. Consequently, recovery criteria specifying little to no change in demographics for a five year period may not be appropriate for the species. All translocations of wild individuals and stocking of individuals from captivity must involve reasonable care to minimize the effects of that taking. 134-135). Like the other endemic fish, the humpback chub is specifically adapted to natural conditions of the Colorado River-high turbidity, and seasonally variable flows and temperatures. However, in 1976 the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked 611 adult … Conversely, below Glen Canyon Dam in the lower basin, the condition of the humpback chub populations has decreased due to low aquatic insect diversity and declining stream productivity. However, the majority of the areas inhabited by Start Printed Page 3591humpback chub, including the Little Colorado River and western Grand Canyon, are dominated by native fish (van Haverbeke et al. (2) Qualified person means a full-time fish biologist or aquatic resources manager employed by any of the Colorado River Basin state wildlife agencies, the Department of Interior bureaus offices located within the Colorado River basin, or fish biologist or aquatic resource manager employed by a private consulting firm, provided the firm has received a scientific collecting permit from the appropriate state agency. Based on the updated scientific knowledge of humpback chub, the 2002 recovery goals should be reviewed and updated. Aug. 24, 2018), did not address this issue, and our conclusion is therefore consistent with the opinion in that case. But the trend of the Desolation and Gray Canyons population is uncertain, with conflicting data indicating that the population is either stable or declining. The Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan prescribes the release patterns from the Glen Canyon Dam, helping to reduce and minimize impacts to Grand Canyon habitats. Human demand for water has remained relatively the same over the last 20 years, but recent and ongoing drought has reduced river flows. For Start Printed Page 3595example, the cooperative agreement establishing the Upper Basin Recovery Program expires in 2023. v. Gale Norton et al., No. Subsequent to those approvals, under this proposed 4(d) rule, the Service would no longer regulate the take associated with maintenance of that population. Consequently, the life history of the species is one in which reproductive success and mortality rates can fluctuate greatly from year to year. the official SGML-based PDF version on govinfo.gov, those relying on it for In preparing this proposed rule, we incorporated the results of these reviews in the final SSA report, as appropriate, which is the foundation for this proposed rule. All methods must be conducted by qualified personnel and used in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and tribal regulations. (1) Methods of allowable take under this paragraph (cc)(2)(iv)(B) include, but are not limited to: (i) Removing wild individuals via electrofishing, nets, and seines from the six core populations; (ii) Managing captive populations, including handling, rearing, and spawning of captive fish; (iii) Sacrificing individuals for hatchery management, such as parasite and disease certification; and. Because the SSA framework considers not just the presence of the factors, but to what degree they collectively influence risk to the entire species, our assessment integrates the cumulative effects of the factors and replaces a standalone cumulative effects analysis. Successful translocation efforts into Havasu Creek and upstream portions of the Little Colorado River have expanded the range of the species into new habitats. (7) Any additional actions that we should consider for inclusion in a 4(d) rule, especially research, monitoring, and additional management and restoration activities. The SSA explained that the largest population of humpback chub, which is found in the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, is a stable population of about 12,000 adults. on 1531 et seq. By the 1960s, researchers concluded that the humpback chub was likely in decline; they suspected extirpation of a population near Hoover Dam, constructed in the 1930s, and the… Refuge populations may also allow for stocking of individuals into new areas that expand the range of the species (see Translocation or Stocking of Humpback Chub, below). Existing populations in the upper basin are mostly independently susceptible to catastrophe because they are located in different river basins and are many miles apart. This proposed 4(d) rule describes translocation and stocking of humpback chub excepted from take as any activity undertaken to expand the range of humpback chub or to supplement existing wild populations. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. In 1967, the humpback chub was added to the federal list of endangered species and is today The Glen Canyon Dam AMP was established under the Record of Decision to operate Glen Canyon Dam needed to comply with the Grand Canyon Protection Act of 1992 (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 1996, pp. We, the U.S. to the courts under 44 U.S.C. We expect to revise the recovery plan for humpback chub when this rulemaking process is complete. Chemical treatments of water bodies could take humpback chub if individuals reside in the locations that are treated and cannot be salvaged completely prior to treatment. Our review of the best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the humpback chub meets the definition of a threatened species. The humpback chub was listed prior to the 1996 distinct population segment (DPS) policy, and the U.S. The current distribution of the humpback chub in five extant populations across the upper and lower basins provides redundancy, although at a low level. 15-33). In the lower basin, the Glen Canyon Dam AMP coordinates the protection of natural resources of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon, including the humpback chub, from Glen Canyon Dam to the Lake Mead inflow. Charismatic is hardly the best word to describe the humpback chub, a fish with a frowny eel face jammed onto a sportfish body in a way that suggests evolution has a sense of humor. Humpback chub (Gila cypha) The humpback chub is an endangered, native fish of the Colorado River that evolved around 3-5 million years ago. To maintain body temperature, all whales have blubber. 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