Researchers see fish as possible tool to protect sage grouse

Jul 30, 2013

Researchers are testing a new method to keep mosquitoes under control, in order to reduce the risk of sage grouse contracting West Nile Virus.

They’re introducing non-invasive fat-head minnows into stock ponds in northeastern Wyoming, because the fish like to eat mosquito larvae.

Brad Fedy is leading the project. He says fish may turn out to be a better solution than traditional larvicides, because you’d only have to introduce them once, rather than spraying an area annually.

“This is really a potential solution for sage grouse that isn’t going to cost as much as many of the other solutions for mitigation that we have,” Fedy said.

Fedy’s team has stocked various ponds near Sheridan with the minnows and will continue to monitor them to determine if they’re able to survive the winter, and what impact they have on mosquitoes.