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This summer I rescued a little minnow from the Canadian river because it was trapped on an 100 degree day in a tiny pool of water. it went to my community tank and is now one of my favorite, bright happy little fish. I decided to find out what it is, and identified it as an Arkansas river shiner. It is endangered and only lives in a 500 mile long part of Texas and New Mexico. What would you do? To release it would mean its death now because its winter and the water levels are only 2-4 inch deep pools thanks to a drought. Should I keep him so he can have a happy life?
 

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This summer I rescued a little minnow from the Canadian river because it was trapped on an 100 degree day in a tiny pool of water. it went to my community tank and is now one of my favorite, bright happy little fish. I decided to find out what it is, and identified it as an Arkansas river shiner. It is endangered and only lives in a 500 mile long part of Texas and New Mexico. What would you do? To release it would mean its death now because its winter and the water levels are only 2-4 inch deep pools thanks to a drought. Should I keep him so he can have a happy life?
Contact your local conservation people explain the situation, doubt they would do any punishment as you were trying to help.

Sent from a dark corner in my happy place
 

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Releasing it could do more harm than good. If it was held in close quarters with tropical fish from the ornamental industry, it could have picked up diseases from anywhere in the world-which it could spread through out the river if released and lead to serious die off. I am guessing for such reasons, and for the potential for creating some un-natural gene flow if it were actually from some other river system/population, they wouldn't bother releasing one fish.

Fortunately it's federally listed as threatened, not quite endangered, so they could be doing worse. Sounds like that river's in rough shape these days. Now I understand this fish would have died any ways in that shallow pool. Rather than risk any kind of punishment for taking the fish home, next time you should just move it to a safer spot in the river nearby, if one exists-but probably don't go putting it in a bucket and transporting it.
 
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