October 1, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A twice-yearly count found a big increase in the number of a tiny endangered fish found only in stream and springs about 60 miles north of Las Vegas.
The species is called the Moapa dace, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says snorkeling divers counted 1,181 of the finger-length fish in August.
That's up more than 65 percent from the 713 fish seen a year earlier. It's up even more from the 654 fish found in February.
Officials say the little fish with a black tail spot still has a long way to go before it can be considered safe from extinction.
The fish lives only in thermal springs and streams that form the headwaters of the Muddy River, which flows to the Colorado River at Lake Mead.