Crenichthys baileyi - (Gilbert, 1893)
White River Springfish
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Crenichthys baileyi (Gilbert, 1893) (TSN 165687)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101185
Element Code: AFCNB01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cyprinodontiformes Goodeidae Crenichthys
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Crenichthys baileyi
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Nov2011
Global Status Last Changed: 20Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Small range in spring systems in the White River system, Nevada; threatened by habitat degradation and interactions with introduced fishes.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2 (05Dec1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Nevada (S2)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies baileyi and grandis (both from Nevada) are listed by the USFWS as Endangered.
IUCN Red List Category: VU - Vulnerable
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered, Threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range is confined to the pluvial White River system, southeastern Nevada, including springs of Moapa River (Lee et al. 1980, Deacon and Williams 1984, Page and Burr 2011).

Extent of occurrence is roughly a few hundred square kilometers (measured as a convex polygon that encompasses all populations).

Subspecies albivallis: spring remnants of uppermost White River drainage, White Pine County; occurs in Preston Big Spring, Indian Spring, Arnoldson Spring and Nicholas Spring, recently extirpated from Cold Spring and Lund Town Spring (Deacon and Williams 1984, Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Subspecies baileyi: spring pool of Ash Springs, Lincoln County.

Subspecies grandis: native to Crystal and Hiko springs, Lincoln County; introduced and established in Blue Link Spring in Mineral County, Nevada (see USFWS 1998).

Subspecies moapae: headwater springs of Moapa River, Clark County.

Subspecies thermophilus: Moorman and Moon River springs, and Hot Creek, Nye County (Minckley et al. 1991).

Area of Occupancy: 11-20 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy is very small, probably less than 20 sq km (based on 1 km x 1 km grid cells). The 4 springs with subspecies albivallis are all within a radius of 2 km (less than 4 km apart) (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by fewer than 20 extant occurrences.

Subspecies albivallis: when described in 1981, reported from 6 spring systems (Williams and Wilde 1981); found in only 4 spring systems in 1991 and in the late 1990s (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is in the 10,000s. Subspecies albivallis: total population in the four inhabited sites in the late 1990s was estimated at about 4,100-4,200 individuals (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Subspecies baileyi: Ash Springs population ranged from approximately 1,200 to 9,800 in the past 10 years (USFWS 1998).

Subspecies grandis: In the 1990s, fewer than 125 Hiko White River springfish occurred in Crystal Spring, but the populations at Hiko and Blue Link Springs contained approximately 5,500 and 12,000 individuals, respectively, when surveyed in 1995 (USFWS 1998).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Declines and extirpations have resulted from habitat alterations and interactions with introduced exotic fishes such as largemouth bass, convict cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum), shortfin molly (Poecilia mexicana), sailfin molly(P. latipinna), and mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) (Courtenay et al. 1985; see also Tippie et al. 1991). Introduced fish species continue to affect most populations.

Ash Springs is a population recreational area for swimming. This is not now believed to be highly detrimental to springfish, but in the past the pool was drained annually to remove algae, and this kept springfish populations low. Cessation of pool draining allowed the springfish population to increase (USFWS 1998). Non-native fish species continue to detrimentally affect the springfish population (USFWS 1998). Habitat changes associated with the presence of cattle resulted in increased mortality at Ash Springs (Taylor et al. 1989).

Hiko Spring population was extirpated in the 1960s after the outflow stream was modified for irrigation and non-native fish species were introduced. Springfish were reintroduced in 1984 and an increasing population was established (USFWS 1998)

Spring systems near the White River have been altered to irrigate pastures and hay crops (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002). A population of subspecies albivallis was extirpated from Lund Town Spring after the system was disconnected from other inhabited springs, possibly from chronic exposure to cooler water temperature (J. Deacon, pers. comm., cited by Scoppettone and Rissler 2002). Another extirpated population of albivallis at Cold Spring had only 10 meters of spring outflow available before the outflow entered a pipe; introduced guppies (predator on fish larvae) survive in Cold Spring (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002). A population of albivallis at Nicholas Spring showed little recent recruitment, possibly due to manipulation of spring flow for irrigation, which change the system from a pool to a shallow stream (may lead to drying of eggs) (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

American Fisheries Society (Jelks et al. 2008) listed four of the subspecies as Endangered and the other one as Threatened, due to (1) present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range; (2) other natural or anthropogenic factors that affect existence, including impacts of nonindigenous organisms, hybridization, competition, and/or predation; (3) disease or parasitism; and/or (4) restricted range.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is unknown but probably relatively stable or slowly declining. Population in Hiko Spring is stable, but the one in Crystal spring is in danger of extirpation (USFWS 1998).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Subspecies albivallis: current available habitat at the four inhabited sites is less than historical conditions; population at Preston Big Spring apparently has not declined over the past 20 years (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Subspecies baileyi formerly was more widely distributed (occurred commonly in the spring outflow stream as well as in the spring pool (USFWS 1998).

Subspecies grandis: formerly abundant in Crystal Spring, now very rare (USFWS 1998).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Presence of cattle may be incompatible with effective protection (Taylor et al. 1989). See recovery plan for Pahranagat Valley aquatic and riparian species (USFWS 1998).

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)) Range is confined to the pluvial White River system, southeastern Nevada, including springs of Moapa River (Lee et al. 1980, Deacon and Williams 1984, Page and Burr 2011).

Extent of occurrence is roughly a few hundred square kilometers (measured as a convex polygon that encompasses all populations).

Subspecies albivallis: spring remnants of uppermost White River drainage, White Pine County; occurs in Preston Big Spring, Indian Spring, Arnoldson Spring and Nicholas Spring, recently extirpated from Cold Spring and Lund Town Spring (Deacon and Williams 1984, Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

Subspecies baileyi: spring pool of Ash Springs, Lincoln County.

Subspecies grandis: native to Crystal and Hiko springs, Lincoln County; introduced and established in Blue Link Spring in Mineral County, Nevada (see USFWS 1998).

Subspecies moapae: headwater springs of Moapa River, Clark County.

Subspecies thermophilus: Moorman and Moon River springs, and Hot Creek, Nye County (Minckley et al. 1991).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States NV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NV Clark (32003), Lincoln (32017), Mineral (32021), Nye (32023), White Pine (32033)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 White (15010011)+, Muddy (15010012)+
16 Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys (16060010)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A fish (springfish) that reaches a maximum length of 9 cm.
Reproduction Comments: Spawning occurs in warm summer months. Apparently 10-17 eggs constitute a spawning; eggs are laid and fertilized one at a time. Incubation lasts 5-7 days (Kopec 1949).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes vegetated warm springs and their outflows and marshes (Minckley et al. 1991). This fish is able to survive extremes in temperature and dissolved oxygen. Temperature and minimum oxygen values vary considerably among spring habitats, from 21 C and 3.3 ppm oxygen at Preston Big Spring to 37 C and 0.7 ppm at Mormon Spring.
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: This is an opportunistic omnivore. According to Sigler and Sigler 1987, it is primarily herbivorous overall but also eats invertebrates (e.g., caddisfly larvae); omnivorous in June; filamentous algae is most important food. In Hot Spring Creek, Nevada, the diet was primarily amphipods, ostracods, plant fragments, and detritus (Wilde 1989).
Length: 8 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Management Requirements: Subspecies ALBIVALLIS: management needs include habitat improvement to allow conveyance of water for irrigation while protecting habitat for native fishes (i.e., spring pools lacking non-native fishes) (Scoppettone and Rissler 2002).

See recovery plan for Pahranagat Valley aquatic and riparian species (USFWS 1998).

Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Killifishes (Cyprinodontids)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Each spring system that is undivided by a barrier constitutes a single distinct occurrence. Otherwise, use a separation distance of 10 km for any type of aquatic habitat.
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 11Nov2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14May2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Courtenay, W. R., Jr., J. R. Deacon, D. W. Sada. R. C. Allan and G. L. Vinyard. 1985. Comparative status of fishes along the course of the pluvial White River, Nevada. Southwestern Naturalist 30(4):503-524.

  • Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

  • Grant, E. C., and B. R. Riddle. 1995. Are the endangered springfish (Crenichthys Hubbs) and poolfish (Empetrichthys Gilbert) fundulines or goodeids?: a mitochondrial DNA assessment. Copeia 1995:209-212.

  • Jelks, H. L., S. J. Walsh, N. M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Díaz-Pardo, D. A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N. E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J. S. Nelson, S. P. Platania, B. A. Porter, C. B. Renaud, J. Jacobo Schmitter-Soto, E. B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

  • Kopec, J. 1949. Ecology, breedinghabits and young stages of Crenichthys baileyi, a cyprinodontid fish of Nevada. Copeia 1949:56-61.

  • La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and Fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Fish and Game Commission, Carson City, Nevada. 782 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • Miller, R.R., and M.L. Smith. 1986. Origin and geography of fishes on central Mexico. Pages 487-517 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, editors. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York. xiii + 866 pp.

  • Minckley, W. L., G. K. Meffe, and D. L. Soltz. 1991a. Conservation and management of short-lived fishes: the cyprinodontoids. Pages 247-82 in W. L. Minckley and J. E. Deacon (editors). Battle Against Extinction: Native Fish Management in the American West. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Parenti, L. R. 1981. A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of cyprinodontiform fishes (Teleostei, Atherinomorpha). Bulletin of the American Museum Natural History 168:335-557.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • Scoppettone, G. G., and P. H. Rissler. 2002. Status of the Preston White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi albivallis). Western North American Naturalist 62:82-87.

  • Sigler, W. F., and J. W. Sigler. 1987. Fishes of the Great Basin: a natural history. University of Nevada Press, Reno, Nevada. xvi + 425 pp.

  • Starnes, W. C. 1995. Taxonomic validation for fish species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Category 2 species list. 28 pp.

  • Taylor, F. R., L. A. Gillman, and J. W. Pedretti. 1989. Impact of cattle on two isolated fish populations in Pahranagat Valley, Nevada. Great Basin Naturalist 49:491-495.

  • Tippie, D., J. E. Deacon, and C.-H. Ho. 1991. Effects of convict cichlids on growth and recruitment of White River springfish. Great Basin Naturalist 51:256-260.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1998. Recovery plan for the aquatic and riparian species of Pahranagat Valley. USFWS, Portland, Oregon. vi + 82 pp.

  • Wilde, G. R. 1989. Foods and feeding periodicity of the White River springfish, Crenichthyes baileyi. Great Basin Naturalist 49:249-251.

  • Williams, J. E., and G. R. Wilde. 1981. Taxonomic status and morphology of isolated populations of the White River springfish, Crenichthys baileyi (Cyprinodontidae). Southwestern Naturalist 25(4):485-503.

  • Williams, J.E, J.E. Johnson, D.A. Hendrickson, S. Contreras-Balderas, J.D. Williams, M. Navarro-Mendoza, D.E. McAllister, and J.E. Deacon. 1989b. Fishes of North America endangered, threatened or of special concern: 1989. Fisheries 14(6):2-20.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • State Natural Heritage Data Centers. 1996a. Aggregated element occurrence data from all U.S. state natural heritage programs, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. Science Division, The Nature Conservancy.

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