USACE/NMSU Professionals Publish Joint Article

Published May 12, 2020


Albuquerque, New Mexico – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Mexico State University professionals published a Joint Paper which was released on May 12, 2020. The article, Sustainability management of short-lived freshwater fish in human-altered ecosystems should focus on adult survival, was published by PLOS ONE, a nonprofit research publisher located in the United Kingdom.

The six authors include: Michael Hatch, Ph.D. student, Water Science and Management Program, NMSU; Fitsum Abadi Gebreselassie, assistant professor, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, NMSU; Wiebke J. Boeing, professor, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, NMSU; Sabela Lois, affiliated faculty, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, NMSU; Michael Porter, fishery biologist, USACE, Albuquerque District; and David E. Cowley, professor emeritus, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology, NMSU.

The article and population model was produced for the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program by NMSU through funding provided by USACE.

According to Cowley, many fish species are threatened with extinction from exploitation and habitat modifications by humans which cause unpredictable population size over time.

"Our work, aimed at understanding water management strategies to benefit native fishes, suggests that short-lived freshwater fish populations in human-altered rivers should respond to reduced adult survival in the same way as longer-lived, exploited marine and freshwater species," he said. "This paper encourages managers of aquatic resources to identify causes of adult mortality and to implement ways to mitigate them."

According to Porter, the paper simulates population dynamics for several species of fish including the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow. "The model provides a baseline for comparison with other analyses to identify opportunities and limitations for managing species habitat," Porter said.

"Sustainability management of a species like the Rio Grande silvery minnow, and restoration of its habitats, is unlikely to be accomplished without provision of environmental flows of water," Cowley said.

To read the paper, please follow this link:


Ronnie Schelby

Release no. 20-032