Raging N.M. fire prompts rescue of threatened fish

Gila Trout
Washington Post Biologists are trying to save trout that are threatened in southwestern New Mexico from the post-wildfire ravages even as crews nearby and around the West struggle to contain blazes that have charred hundreds of square miles of forested countryside. A team used electroshock devices to temporarily stun the Gila trout so they could quickly be scooped into a net. From there, the fish were being put into a tank to be ferried out of the wilderness via helicopter to a special truck that was waiting to drive them to a hatchery in northern New Mexico for safe keeping. The first load of trout was brought out Friday and the work would continue into Saturday, said Art Telles, a biologist and staff resource officer with the Gila National Forest. The fish are imperiled by the wildfire aftermath — choking floods of ash, soil and charred debris that are expected to come with summer rains. “When we have hot fire in some of these drainages, that can move ash and sediment after the rains start and that is pretty deadly to trout,” he said. Read  More News New Mexico



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