The Goal:

Simone Pond is currently undergoing restoration towards the reintroduction of the desert pupfish,  Cyprinodon macularius. It will be closed until further notice.

The desert pupfish was listed as federally endangered in 1986 due to habitat  loss and modification, pollution, and predation from non-native species. Establishing refugia habitats, such as Simone Pond, is part of the Federal  Recovery Plan to support and recover the population.



The picture above illustrates the severity of the crayfish infestation.

The Problem:

The introduction of several non-native species—such as red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and tilapia  (Oreochromis aureus)—ultimately led to the extirpation of desert pupfish in Simone Pond. In 2009, the  last two pupfish found during surveys were relocated.

Both crayfish and tilapia have rapid reproductive cycles and can produce numerous offspring, which makes  them difficult to remove. Furthermore, crayfish can burrow, walk on land, and persist outside of water. Consequently, previous  removal projects have proven unsuccessful.

CNLM estimated that by January 2019, there were over 23,000  crayfish and 4,000 tilapia in Simone Pond!



CNLM biologist utilizing a trapping technique called seining that involves dragging a net through the water. This technique is very efficient at catching fish.

The Solution: 

Techniques  have included trapping and removing the  invasive species, draining the pond, electrofishing, and the application  of naturally-derived pesticides.  The pond will remain closed until at least October 2021.


For More Information: 

Call 760-343-1234  to speak to our restoration ecologist.

Check out a live feed from Simone Pond’s new environmental monitoring station below: