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.
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.