Rio Yaqui

Twelve Days From the Rio Tutuaca

Confluence of Rio Tutuaca and Sirupa, begin Rio Aros

By Huck

Recently I had the opportunity to see, by raft, the country I've been tramping overland for the last couple of decades. Just getting to the put-in of our trip was a logistical conundrum and an exercise in patience. We needed a shuttle driver who was comfortable in the fringe area of Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, and the driver might have to spend two, maybe three nights on the road before getting home. Then he would have to pick us up in 10 or 11 or 12 days; and who knew for sure. This trip is best attempted when the water has a good flow, but unbeknownst to us, a tropical hurricane (Norbert) was heading for the sierras preparing to drop 3 days of solid rain in the drainages that fed our rivers. We recently had some decent enough flows from summer monsoons after a prolonged dry spell to even attempt this project. As it turned out, it rained all night and part of the second day as we headed deeper into Chihuahua from the take-out point near Sahuaripa, Sonora. The side canyons in the cordillera of the sierras were roaring with brown water--not a good sign. The next day we contemplated a delay, but a promising sucker hole of robin egg blue sky beckoned us further as we polished off breakfast of strong coffee, papaya and granola bars. We left the highway on a broad sinuous dirt road for the last 100 kilometers, a four hour drive to a rickety logging bridge halfway between Yepachic and Madera. (Photo gallery from trip)

Río Yaqui river basin at a glance

The Río Yaqui river basin (RYRB) is the largest in northwest Mexico, both in terms of area and volume of flow. Water resources in the region are under increasing stress due to intensive use for agriculture and urban growth, compounded by climate change and variability. More complete knowledge of the basin and its socio-ecological characteristics is necessary. This factsheet provides an overview of the RYRB and constitutes a point of departure for further research.

Fishes Of The Rio Yaqui Basin, Mexico And United States

The Rio Yaqui drainage basin of northwestern Mexico comprises about 73,000 km of the most inaccessible and rugged terrain in western North America (Blásquez 1959). An average annual discharge of almost 2,800 ha2 makes the Rio Yaqui one of the major watersheds of that region (Tamayo and West 1964). The small percentage of this system that lies within southwestern United States contributes a substantial proportion of the native ichthyofauna of that area - 6 to 8 species of fishes were originally present, of which 5 did not occur elsewhere in the United States.

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