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Least chubs!




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Species Information

Habitat/Range: Least chubs are a freshwater species of ray-finned fish endemic to southern Utah. Only 5 wild populations remain. Three are in Snake Valley in Utah’s West Desert; the remaining two are on the eastern border near the Wasatch Front. 

Behavior: Least chubs primarily eat algae and small invertebrates. They are schooling fish and prefers dense vegetation in slow moving water.   

Breeding: Least chubs spawn (or deposit eggs) in the spring and early summer. Eggs are fertilized in the water and sink until they attach to underwater substrate or vegetation. Least chubs, like most fish, provide no parental care. 

Conservation: Listing: Endangered. Least chubs suffered a steep decline in the 1940s and 50s. Reasons for their decline include habitat loss from cattle grazing and trampling streamside vegetation, water diversion, mineral and energy development, and non-native fishes. In areas where non-native fish such as largemouth bass exist, few least chubs remain. Group water is pumped for human purposes (e.g. agriculture) and natural springs where least chubs are native dry up. 

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