Created: 05/06/2014 7:26 AM
By: The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - When nature fails to provide, faking it might be the next best option.
Water managers and biologists have come up with a plan they think will trick the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow into spawning this spring.
They started releasing extra water into the Rio Grande on Monday in an effort to mimic spring runoff. The flow out of Cochiti Reservoir is expected to double this week.
Under non-drought-stricken conditions, descent runoff would trigger the tiny fish's reproductive instincts. But that hasn't happened in the last few years thanks to severe drought.
Officials are desperate since the minnow population is now at the lowest level since monitoring began more than 20 years ago.
An exchange among six pueblos and Albuquerque's water utility authority helped make the extra release possible.
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