Humpback chub in the Green River portion of the Dinosaur National Monument population were negatively affected by the cold releases from the Flaming Gorge Dam starting in 1963, and the Yampa River portion was negatively affected by low river flows, especially in the early 2000s. Two to three thousand adults can occur in the Black Rocks and Westwater Canyon core population in the Colorado River near the Colorado/Utah border. Nothing in this proposed 4(d) rule would change in any way the recovery planning provisions of section 4(f) of the Act, the consultation requirements under section 7 of the Act, or the ability of the Service to enter into partnerships for the management and protection of the humpback chub. The flannelmouth sucker was historically the most abundant large fish species in the UCRB but the population declined in the LCRB and was thought to be extirpated from the LCRB by the 1970s. That is, incidental take associated with incidental catch-and-release of humpback chub in the core populations would not be prohibited. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Based on these successes, translocation appears to be a possible tool to reintroduce individuals into the Dinosaur National Monument population or to expand the range of humpback chub into other areas. (ii) The use of other ecosystem modifications, such as altered flow regimes or habitat modifications. We evaluated each potential stressor, including its source, affected resources, exposure, immediacy, geographic scope, magnitude, and impacts on individuals and populations, and our level of certainty regarding this information, to determine which stressors were likely to be drivers of the species' current and future conditions (Service 2018b, pp. Removal of nonnative fishes in the upper basin is performed under strict standardized protocols to limit impacts to humpback chub. We may reclassify a species if the best available commercial and scientific data indicate the species no longer meets the applicable definition in the Act. (ii) Care should be taken to limit the potential for fish toxicants and piscicides travelling beyond treatment boundaries and impacting humpback chub. Reports in the lower basin (downstream Glen Canyon Dam) must be made to the Service's Southwest Region Law Enforcement Office, or the Service's Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. Take associated with refuge populations could include harvest of wild individuals from extant populations; incidental take during the long-term care of individuals in captivity; take related to disease, parasite, genetic assessment, and management of captive populations; and natural mortality of individuals existing in refuge populations. These population-monitoring results, when coupled with ongoing flow management and nonnative predatory fish control, mean that the humpback chub will be considered for reclassification from endangered to threatened in the next year. Document availability: Supporting documentation used to prepare this proposed rule, including the 5-year review and the species status assessment (SSA) report, are available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. Habitat alterations, including changes caused by dams and reservoirs and the introduction of a wide variety of non-native fi sh, have contributed to population declines that caused the humpback chub (ii) Conduct activities as authorized by a permit issued prior to [effective date of the rule] under § 17.22 for the duration of the permit. Humpback chub are typically omnivores with a diet consisting of insects, crustaceans, plants, seeds, and occasionally small fish and reptiles. Any stocking of humpback must follow best hatchery and fishery management practices as described in the American Fisheries Society's Fish Hatchery Management (Wedemeyer 2002, entire) and be approved by the Service. On March 21, 1994, we designated critical habitat for the species along 610 kilometers (km) (379 miles (mi)) of the Colorado River basin (59 FR 13374). Most resources affecting humpback chub are strictly regulated through Federal, State, and tribal mechanisms. 34-100). It is important to continue to protect humpback chub from intentional angling pressure in the six core populations (five extant and one extirpated) because of their importance to the recovery of the species. Learn more here. Preserving the chub's DNA-and data about what's enabled the fish to survive 3 to 5 million years of life in the Basin-did not become a priority until the 1992 Grand Canyon Protection Act. Many of the translocated fish have either remained resident in new habitats or moved into the mainstem. Black Rocks and Westwater Canyon are the only two populations in close proximity. For example, chemical treatments could be used prior to introducing humpback chub to a wild refuge population, a translocation site, or a sport fishing location. These markup elements allow the user to see how the document follows the We particularly seek comments concerning: (1) Reasons we should or should not reclassify the humpback chub as a threatened species. We believe the actions and activities that would be allowed under this proposed 4(d) rule, while they may cause some level of harm to individual humpback chub, would not negatively affect efforts to conserve and recover humpback chub, and would facilitate these efforts by increasing educational opportunities and public support for the conservation of humpback chub and by providing more efficient implementation of recovery actions. Additionally, large municipal and agricultural depletions reduced the amount of water in the rivers. Under Scenario 3, ongoing threat management proves successful in the long term, improving resource conditions. As a result, otherwise legal angling activity in humpback chub habitats could result in the unintentional catch of humpback chub by the angling public. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. The 2002 recovery goals lacked estimates of cost needed for recovery, and were withdrawn by court order on January 18, 2006, (Grand Canyon Trust et al. 5-12; available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. Therefore, any qualified employee or agent of a State conservation agency that is a party to a cooperative agreement with the Service in accordance with section 6(c) of the Act, who is designated by his or her agency for such purposes, would be able to conduct activities designed to conserve humpback chub that may result in otherwise prohibited take for wildlife without additional authorization. on documents in the last year, 646 As such, the 2018, 5-year review of the status of the species recommended revising the 2002 recovery goals to incorporate new information about the species. Nor did tastiness build a fan base for this “trash fish” across its natural habitat throughout the Colorado River Basin. 2018, p. 8). documents in the last year, 73 Low river flows and warm water temperatures may also act cumulatively to increase predation by nonnative predators. Endangered The Public Inspection page 1531 et seq.) Based on the updated scientific knowledge of humpback chub, the 2002 recovery goals should be reviewed and updated. Actions that the Upper Basin Recovery Program implements to support recovery of humpback chub include, but are not limited to: Providing and protecting river flows; managing and removing predatory, nonnative fish; and installing and operating fish passage structures. Although five of the extant populations of humpback chub have not declined significantly over the past decade, criterion 1 has not been fully met because the adult population of Dinosaur National Monument declined and the population is now considered extirpated. Low river flows and warm water temperatures may also act cumulatively to promote the expansion and establishment of predatory, nonnative fish. (E) Catch-and-release angling of humpback chub. Like the other endemic fish, the humpback chub is specifically adapted to natural conditions of the Colorado River-high turbidity, and seasonally variable flows and temperatures. Sport fishing for humpback chub would only be allowed through the 4(d) rule and subsequent State or tribal regulations created in collaboration with the Service. electronic version on GPO’s govinfo.gov. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. This PDF is Although nonnative smallmouth bass have been documented near multiple populations of humpback chub, smallmouth bass have yet to establish in most humpback chub habitats. We determined that we do not need to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. Physical adaptations-large adult body size, large predorsal hump, and small eyes-appear to have helped humpback chub evolve in the historically turbulent Colorado River. (8) Any additional information pertaining to the promulgation of a 4(d) rule to allow certain actions that may take humpback chub. (iii) Take, as set forth at § 17.21(c)(2) through (c)(4). We note that the court in Desert Survivors v. Department of the Interior, No. //--> The actions of multiple conservation partners over the past 30 years have improved the condition of humpback Start Printed Page 3587chub and reduced the threats to the species. The process of translocating wild individuals can result in take to wild individuals, including possible mortality to fish that are moved. (2) In areas outside of the six core populations, angling activities may include targeted catch and release of humpback chub in accordance with Federal, State, and tribal fishing regulations. Section 4(b) of the Act requires that the determination be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.” While recovery plans provide important guidance to the Service, States, and other partners on methods of enhancing conservation and minimizing threats to listed species, as well as measurable criteria against which to measure progress towards recovery, they are not regulatory documents and cannot substitute for the determinations and promulgation of regulations required under section 4(a)(1) of the Act. More information and documentation can be found in our Over 50 nonnative fish species have been introduced into the upper basin, some of which prey on or compete with young humpback chub, effectively reducing juvenile survival rates. Humpback chub (Gila cypha Miller 1946), found only in the Colorado River Basin, was one of the first species to be given full protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. ), and on January 4, 1974, the species was included in a final rule (39 FR 1158) establishing a list of endangered native wildlife at 50 CFR part 17. We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. The reviewers were generally supportive of our approach and made suggestions and comments that strengthened our analysis. Summary of the Upper Basin— There are currently four extant populations of humpback chub in the upper basin and one extirpated population at Dinosaur National Monument. The potential extirpation of multiple populations could most likely occur in the upper basin under the short 16-year timeframe in Scenario 1 and the longer 40-year timeframe under Scenario 2. In this regard, section 6 of the Act provides that the Services shall cooperate to the maximum extent practicable with the States in carrying out programs authorized by the Act. We incorporate the cumulative effects into our analysis when we characterize the current and future condition of the species. The adequacy of the recovery goals, however, was not reviewed by the court, because the court found that the plaintiffs could not challenge an alleged failure for a recovery plan to provide for the conservation of the species. For this paragraph (cc)(2)(iv)(D), nonnative fish Start Printed Page 3601removal for conservation purposes means any action with the primary or secondary purpose of mechanically removing nonnative fishes that compete with, predate, or degrade the habitat of humpback chub. Although the current risk of extinction is low, there is enough risk associated with the potential loss of important management actions such that the species is vulnerable and likely to become endangered throughout all of its range within the foreseeable future. Our evaluations are based upon the best available scientific and commercial data. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). (iv) Take humpback chub while carrying out the following legally conducted activities in accordance with this paragraph: (A) Definitions. (6) The Service and all applicable State, Federal, and tribal landowners must approve, in advance and in writing, any new recreational fishery for humpback chub. General Information | Events & News | Documents & Publications | Fish and Wildlife Service. We note that by using the SSA framework to guide our analysis of the scientific information documented in the SSA report, we have not only analyzed individual effects on the species, but we have also analyzed their potential cumulative effects. (D) Nonnative fish removal. (7) Any additional actions that we should consider for inclusion in a 4(d) rule, especially research, monitoring, and additional management and restoration activities. Control of nonnative fishes is conducted by qualified personnel in the upper basin via mechanical removal using boat-mounted electrofishing, nets, and seines, primarily focusing on removal of smallmouth bass, northern pike (Esox lucius), and walleye (Sander vitreus). State agencies often possess scientific data and valuable expertise on the status and distribution of endangered, threatened, and candidate species of wildlife and plants. The preliminary estimates for both of these populations were released after the SSA report was complete, and although they have not yet undergone peer review, they are based on previously used and widely accepted modeling techniques, so are the best available science. Subsequently, the humpback chub retained classification as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 (16 U.S.C. (iii) Monitoring to ensure there are no detrimental effects to the humpback chub population from angling. (3) The six core populations means the following populations of the humpback chub: Desolation and Gray Canyons (Green River, Utah), Dinosaur National Monument (Green and Yampa rivers, Colorado and Utah; currently extirpated), Black Rocks (Colorado River, Colorado), Westwater Canyon (Colorado River, Utah), Cataract Canyon (Colorado River, Utah), and Grand Canyon (Colorado and Little Colorado rivers, Arizona). Until the ACFR grants it official status, the XML Under Scenario 2, degradation of resources takes place, even as conservation actions continue, resulting in neutral conditions within 16 years, but poor conditions within 40 years. We will coordinate with tribes in the range of the humpback chub and request their input on this proposed rule. As discussed in the Summary of Biological Status and Threats section, the Service has concluded that the humpback chub is at risk of extinction within the foreseeable future primarily due to changes to water flow and temperature, food availability, and predatory, non-native fish. Conversely, below Glen Canyon Dam in the lower basin, the condition of the humpback chub populations has decreased due to low aquatic insect diversity and declining stream productivity. To maintain body temperature, all whales have blubber. All five populations are wild, persisting without the need for hatchery stocking. For example, courts have approved rules developed under section 4(d) that include a taking prohibition for threatened wildlife, or include a limited taking prohibition (see Alsea Valley Alliance v. Lautenbacher, 2007 U.S. Dist. The humpback is adapted to the Colorado River system, one of the most severe swift-water fish habitats in North America. Any stocking of individuals outside the six core populations must comply with State stocking regulations. Commitment to management actions for the benefit of humpback chub is strong among the various partnerships; nevertheless, uncertainty of continued implementation does exist. informational resource until the Administrative Committee of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. Before that time, few people ventured into these treacherous regions â including fishery biologists. Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. Regulatory mechanisms— Regulatory mechanisms (Factor D) and other management efforts benefit the humpback chub. Take resulting from creating and maintaining humpback chub refuge populations; Take resulting from expanding the range of the species, including translocating wild fish and stocking hatchery-reared fish; Incidental take from reducing or eliminating nonnative fish from habitats adjacent to, or occupied by, humpback chub; Take resulting from catch-and-release angling activities associated with humpback chub, including incidental take from non-humpback chub-targeted angling in the six core populations and take from humpback chub-targeted angling in any newly established areas; and. for better understanding how a document is structured but (1) Methods of allowable take under this paragraph (cc)(2)(iv)(C) include, but are not limited to: (i) Removing wild individuals via electrofishing, nets, and seines; (ii) Managing captive populations, including handling, rearing, and spawning; (iv) Removing or eliminating all humpback chub from failed introduction areas via mechanical or chemical methods. Regarding downlisting criterion 3, the MVP was established without considering each individual population's characteristics, such as river-miles and resource conditions. Although humpback chub and roundtail chub cannot be distinguished in the field when they are small, researchers assume that a meaningful amount of these young fish are humpback chub. The primary authors of this final rule are the staff members of the Service's Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program Office. Under the proposed 4(d) rule, if humpback chub are killed during actions described in the 4(d) rule, the Service must be notified of the death and may request to take possession of the animal. (v) Sale or offer for sale, as set forth at § 17.21(f). humpback chub, trying to isolate the condi- tions responsible for recent improvements in humpback chub population and recruit- ment trends. (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If monitoring indicates that angling has a negative effect on the conservation of humpback chub in the opinion of the Service, the fishing regulations must be amended or the fishery could be closed by the appropriate State. 12/09/2020, 862 The humpback chub is a fish endemic to the warm-water portions of the Colorado River basin of the southwestern United States. This species takes its name from the prominent hump between the head and dorsal fin, which is thought to direct the flow of water over the body and help maintain body position in the swift currents of the Colorado. on NARA's archives.gov. However, nonnative removal activities in humpback chub habitats are designed to be selective, allowing for the removal of predatory, nonnative fish while humpback chub are returned safely to the river. developer tools pages. the current document as it appeared on Public Inspection on 01/21/2020 at 8:45 am. A qualified person may take humpback chub in order to create or maintain a captive or wild refuge population that protects the long-term genetic diversity of humpback chub, provided that reasonable care is practiced to minimize the effects of that taking. Only official editions of the (5) Reasonable consideration for establishing new recreational angling locations for humpback chub include, but are not limited to: (i) Evaluating each water body's ability to support humpback chub and sustain angling; (ii) Ensuring the recreational fishing population does not detrimentally impact the six core populations of humpback chub through such factors as disease or genetic drift; and. Consequently, the life history of the species is one in which reproductive success and mortality rates can fluctuate greatly from year to year. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information). However, in 1976 the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked 611 adult … documents in the last year, 925 Tom Chart, Director, U.S. We find that endangered species status is not appropriate for the humpback chub because the species currently demonstrates sufficient individual and population resiliency, redundancy, and representation across both the upper basin and lower basin populations, such that the potential extirpation of multiple populations is not likely to occur now or in the short term. The hump that gives this fish its name acts as a stabilizer and a hydrodynamic foil that helps it maintain position. the official SGML-based PDF version on govinfo.gov, those relying on it for Any chemical treatment that takes place in an area where humpback chub may reside would need written approval from the Service, but treatments of unoccupied habitat would not need to be approved. G-3 to G-4). on Translocated humpback chub have spawned in Havasu Creek, which increased the distribution of the humpback chub in the Grand Canyon population. Over the last few decades, management programs implemented by a variety of partners and stakeholders in the Colorado River basin delivered natural flow regimes; provided suitable water temperatures; and managed predatory, nonnative fish species to improve habitat conditions for the humpback chub. We evaluated each of these scenarios in terms of how it would be expected to impact resiliency, redundancy, and representation of the species by the years 2034 and 2058 (16 and 40 years into the future). Scenario 2 considers that implemented actions are not fully effective to mitigate impacts of Start Printed Page 3592drought, future water development, nonnative fishes, or other threats, whereas Scenario 3 considers that implemented actions are sufficient to mitigate impacts of drought, future water development, nonnative fishes, and other threats. Chemical treatments that take place in locations where humpback chub occur, or may occur, must take place only after a robust salvage effort takes place to remove humpback chub in the area. The SSA explained that the largest population of humpback chub, which is found in the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in the Grand Canyon of Arizona, is a stable population of about 12,000 adults. The species gets its name from the fleshy hump behind its head. Species viability also depends on the likelihood of stressors that act to reduce a species' redundancy, representation, and resiliency and the species' overall ability to withstand such stressors in the future. are not part of the published document itself. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) may conduct an evaluation to designate DPSs in a. ix future rule-making process. We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. The Service recognizes the special and unique relationship with our state natural resource agency partners in contributing to conservation of listed species. The pronounced hump behind its head gives this fish a striking, unusual appearance. Individual humpback chub need diverse, rocky, canyon river habitat for spawning, rearing, feeding, and sheltering; suitable river flow and water temperature regimes for spawning, egg incubation, larval development, and growth; and an adequate and reliable food supply, including aquatic and terrestrial insects, crustaceans, and plant material (Service 2018b, pp. documents in the last year, 777 In addition, the large, current population size of the Grand Canyon population buffers it from a variety of threats and environmental stochasticity. It can spawn as young as 2 to 3 years of age during its March through July spawning season. At all three locations, translocated fish established Start Printed Page 3597residency, increasing the range of the species (although the Shinumo Creek population was later extirpated via ash-laden floods following a wildfire). Matthew E. Andersen Criterion 3: Two core populations exist that exceed 2,100 adults. (iii) Unintentional death to humpback chub caught via angling. Humpback chub live in discrete, rocky, canyon-bound river reaches characterized by swift currents in portions of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is in danger of extinction or likely to become so in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The humpback chub, a member of the minnow family, was first documented in the Grand Canyon in the 1940s and in the Upper Colorado River Basin in … Furthermore, chemical treatments offer the ability to fully restore a location after a failed introduction effort. The U.S. Supreme Court has noted that very similar statutory language demonstrates a large degree of deference to the agency (see Webster v. Doe, 486 U.S. 592 (1988)). FWS-R6-ES-2018-0081, and upon request from the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). All translocations of wild individuals and stocking of individuals from captivity must involve reasonable care to minimize the effects of that taking. More than 1,000 adults occur in the Desolation/Gray Canyon core population in the Green River. Abundance estimates generally have some uncertainty, with wide confidence intervals in older estimates. 12/09/2020, 302 Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 Start Printed Page 3599CFR 17.32. has no substantive legal effect. Under the Act, we determine whether a species is an “endangered species” or “threatened species” based on any of five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. 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