Since about 2.5 million years ago, the Owens Pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) were abundant in Owens Lake…this all changed in the early 1900’s with the introduction of the LA Aqueduct. When the LA Aqueduct was constructed, gallons upon gallons of water started to be transported from the heart of the Owens Valley to the new bustling city of Los Angeles. Ultimately, the Owens Lake has been evolving into a dust bowl ever since. Due to this, the Owens Pupfish, a fish native only to this area, has become an endangered species.
In the 1940’s this species was feared extinct, this changed in 1964 when the Pupfish was rediscovered. Since 1964, there have been extremely strong efforts to restore the population of this underwater creature. The Pupfish is not only threatened by the loss of water, but is also prey to many predators, the most prominent being: the small mouth bass, the large mouth bass, and the bull frog. Ironically, as efforts are strengthening in protecting the Pupfish, fish hatcheries have been breeding bass in Owens Lake to promote tourism and fishing.
This map compares the small area that the Pupfish reside in to the concentrations of its’ predators. In summary, this map shows the obstacles that threaten the Owens Valley Pupfish.