The hunt for Red Hills roach
A hunch sent fish biologists from UC Davis to a remote slice of Tuolumne County in search of a tiny fish, pushed toward extinction by the California drought.
The mission: find the Red Hills roach to prove it has survived the shrinking waters of Horton Creek and Six-bit Gulch.
Success! After hiking through dry riverbeds and thick brush, Peter Moyle and Rebecca Quiñones found at least 200 roach in shallow Horton Creek. The discovery eased fears that this would be the first extinction of a species because of the drought.
They'll make a return trip to Red Hills later in the year to see if the fish are able to eek out an existence in what Moyle describes as a very harsh environment.
Listen, as Moyle tells us more about the Red Hills roach:
California's drought pushes tiny fish toward extinction (Capital Public Radio)
Drought journal: Search for Sierra fish goes from bad to worse (California Waterblog)