The hunt for Red Hills roach

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 in September, to see if the fish are able to eek out another few weeks in what Moyle describes as a very harsh environment.

Listen, as Moyle tells us more about the Red Hills roach:

Audio transcript with Peter Moyle describing the Red Hills roach

Audio transcript wih Peter Moyle. Red Hills roach survives in shallow water

Audio Transcript with Peter Moyle discussing how drought has dried up streams where Red Hills roach lives

Related:

California's drought pushes tiny fish toward extinction (Capital Public Radio)

Northern California fish feared extinct due to drought still hanging on in small isolated creek (The Sacramento Bee)

Drought journal: Search for Sierra fish goes from bad to worse (California Waterblog)