Fauna
8:00 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

The Endangered Arkansas Shiner: The Canadian River is Not a Safe Place to Call Home

Salt Cedar along the Canadian River
Salt Cedar along the Canadian River
Credit cooperativeconservation.org

The Arkansas Shiner is a small, silvery minnow that spawns in the Canadian River.  It also has a prime spot on the federal government’s list of threatened species.  No longer found in Arkansas, numbers were so diminished two years ago, shiners were netted and taken to a hatchery in Oklahoma to preserve them reported The Texas Tribune

The Canadian is not a safe and secure place to call home.  The river holds a number of threats. 

·        The drought has severely reduced water in the river.  Lake Meredith, built to hold the Canadian flow is empty.

·        The thirsty salt cedar compounds drought issues along the river’s edge

·        New Mexico has first rights on the river to store 200,000 acre-feet of water.

·        Off-road vehicles are a common sight up and down the river bed outside Amarillo.  It’s legal, as long as they don’t get in the water.  Technically, if a federal marshal was there, it would be harassing the fish.

Arkansas Shiner
Arkansas Shiner
Credit texastribune.org

This piece is part of the Troubled Water series.  An interactive map from the Texas Tribune gives a view of Texas rivers.  Hover over a river to find the story written about it; if it hasn't been published yet, check back at a later time. 

For more information about Texas waterways, go to  In the Flow.