Brassy minnow in Colorado plains streams : identification, historical distribution, and habitat requirements at multiple scales
Fausch, Kurt D.
Scheurer, Julie A.
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The brassy minnow (Hybognathus hankinsoni) has apparently declined in distribution and abundance in Colorado since the 1970s and was one of three plains fish species to be listed as threatened or endangered by the State of Colorado in 1998. Our research objectives were to determine the historic distribution and critical habitat requirements of brassy minnow. This information will aid fishery managers in efforts to locate suitable habitat and potentially restore the species to more of its native range, thereby precluding need for further listing. By correctly identifying the 134 museum collections of Hybognathus, we were able to clarify the historic distributions of the two species in Colorado and vicinity. The two species were historically sympatric (i.e., found together) in the lower South Platte, North Platte, Republican, and Smoky Hill river basins, whereas plains minnow was allopatric (alone) in the Arkansas River basin. Brassy minnow was allopatric in the Transition Zone tributaries of the upper South Platte and North Platte rivers and Lodgepole Creek.