GWG survey trip to Jalisco, March 2016

From 29th of february to the 10th of March happened the first survey trip of the European chapter of the GWG. Here in short words our schedule and results.

29th of February: Last participants arrived in Tlaquepaque south of Guadalajára. There we had dinner with the former Mexican embassador in Austria, Alejandro Díaz y Perez Duarte and his wife Lydia Nonna. The complete team finally to survey waterbodies in Jalisco was: Nigel Hunter, Patrick Davies and Gregory Roebuck (United Kingdom), Fabien Liberge (France), Guenther Schleussner, Michael Kempkes (Germany), Erwin Radax, Michael Koeck (Austria), Adan Fernando Mar Silva and Isai Betancourt (Mexico).

1st of March: Transfer to Teuchitlán. Visit of El Rincón, the main spring of the Río Teuchitlán, which represents the headwater of the Río Ameca. We found besides exotics good stocks of Goodea atripinnis, Ameca splendens and Zoogoneticus purhepechus. This area wil be the main spot for the reintroduction of Zoogoneticus tequila. This project has already started, results will be presented at the coming GWG convention in Lisbon, Portugal, 30th of September to the 2nd of October. After visiting the spring, we looked at fish in several affluents of the Presa de la Vega, which were all heavily polluted. Except one Goodea we were able to find only few exotics like Tilapia and Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus.

2nd of March: From Teuchitlán to the Magdalena basin and back again. We first surveyed a spring on a private property in La Estancia de Ayones, which probably reveiled a new and colourful population of Xenotoca melanosoma or a related species. We found besides Tilapia also Zoogoneticus purhepechus, Goodea atripinnis and Poeciliopsis infans respectively Poeciliopsis sp. All fish in the spring may be isolated for a long time and need assessment. Thereafter we visited Al Moloya spring with good stocks of Ameca splendens and Zoogoneticus purhepechus, but few Xenotoca melanosoma and sp. San Marcos (we found only one specimen each). Tilapia and Pseudoxiphophorus were present. We surveyed southwestern outflow of the Magdalena lake, were few years ago Allotoca maculata and other Goodeids were present, but we found only few exotics in this heavily polluted channel. Last collection point was Presa La Quemada with a small bodied and silvery coloured population of Xenotoca melanosoma and Goodea atripinnis, Poeciliopsis infans and exotics.

3rd of March: We went westwards from Teuchitlán to the former habitats of Allodontichthys polylepis, starting with the Río or Arroyo Dávalos near Guachinango. We were able to find this species again after at least 14 years absence together with Ilyodon furcidens. Thereafter we surveyed the Río de las Bolas, which is very close and connected with the Dávalos creek, and we found Allodontichths polylepis there, too, also Ilyodon furcidens and Tilapia. However, in the Río Potrero Grande, the type location of this species, we found only one pregnant Ilyodon fucidens female and Cyprinids.

4th of March: Etzatlán - basin. We had only half a day to do this trip, so we focused on only two habitats: First we went to the Palo Verde lagoon to look for Allotoca maculata. Unfortunately this lagoon was nearly completely covered with Eichhornia and we couldn't get access to free water. Opposite the lagoon and street, we found an artificial pond in rainy season connected with the lagoon by a channel. There we found good stocks of this species, Goodea atripinnis, Xenotoca melanosoma, Poeciliopsis infans and exotics (Tilapia, Pseudoxiphiphorus bimaculatus). The next stop was the Hacienda San Sebastian, where we got permission to visit the El Tanque spring pool with good stocks of Xenotoca melanosoma and Xenotoca sp. San Marcos.

5th of March: We left Teuchitlán for a two-days trip, going to the Sayula valley first. We checked a spring fed creek and a Presa in Amacueca, where we found just Guppys. We then crossed the former Sayula lagoon and went to the Cuyacapán spring area with the main pool full with Tilapia, black bass and Lepomis, but no Goodeids. A 100m apart, we found an artificial pond with Tilapia, but also Poeciliopsis infans and Zoogoneticus purhepechus. Then we headed down to Ciudad Guzmán to stay there overnight.

6th of March: From Ciudad Guzmán to the Puente Contla to look for Allodontichthys cf. hubbsi. We had been succeful in finding this species as well as Allodontichthys tamazulae and Ilyodon whitei. From the Arroyo Contla, we went to the city of Tamazula where we checked east of the city the Río Tamazula. We found the same three Goodeid species but additionally Xenotoca cf. eiseni and Poeciliopsis infans. Thinking to be able to find the Río Pihuamo we went southwards to look for the "true" Allodontichthys hubbsi, but missed the river, so we surveyed later the Rio Narranja. The only Goodeid species was Ilyodon whitei, we were able to find. Then we went back to Teuchitlán.

7th of March: We went from Teuchitlán back to Tlaquepaque, but before, we again went back to the Magdalena channel to look again for Allotoca maculata, but more southern. We found one specimen of Zoogoneticus purhepechus and Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus, but no Allotoca. Thereafter we looked for fish in El Zarco (only exotics) and againin the Presa Quemada (the same fish like the days before). Finally, we spent our evening on the beach of the Chapala lake.

8th of March: Without Michael Kempkes and Guenther Schleussner, who stayed in Tlaquepaque, we went eastwards to Michoacán. Our first stop was a channel, an effluent of the Presa de la Colonia north of Poncitlán, from where is reported the westernmost habitat of Allotoca dugesii. Unfortunately, this channel was now full with green algae and polluted. The only fish we found was the introduced Gambisa senilis. Next we went to the Los Negritos pond at La Alberca with a distinct population of Xenotoca variata. We found this species, Chapalichthys encaustus, Goodea atripinnis, Zoogoneticus purhepechus, Poeciliopsis infans and Gambusia senilis (and Tilapia of course). We slept in Hidalgo de Zamora.

9th of March: We shot some pictures of the Presa de Orandino and went then to La Luz spring. While cold raining, we found Chapalichthys encaustus, Skiffia multipunctata, Goodea atripinnis, Zoogoneticus purhepechus, Poeciliopsis infans and Alloophorus robustus. We then went to the Laguna Zacapu, where we found Goodea atripinnis, Xenotoca variata, Zoogoneticus quitzeoensisHubbsina turneri, Skiffia lermae and Poeciliopsis infans. We ended our tour in Morelia.

10th to 13th of March: The remaining participants travelled home one by one, some of us spending a few days in Morelia and later Mexico City.