SRP deploying fish to combat mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses

Officials with Salt River Project (SRP) said their crews have stocked fish in its canals, in an effort to combat mosquitos and mosquito-borne illnesses during the this year's monsoon season.

According to a statement, SRP has been stocking its 131 miles of canals in the Valley with Gambusia affinis fish since 2004. The project has been going on for 13 years, and each year, SRP deploys 200,000 fish to eat mosquito and mosquito larvae.

The Valley's canals, according to SRP experts, are now conductive to mosquito reproduction because the water is constantly moving, but officials said they expect the fish to move into culverts and ditches, where standing water is more likely to occur.

The fish, according to the statement, were bought from fish farms in North Carolina, and brought to Phoenix via air freight. SRP officials also said they use white amur fish to control aquatic weeds in the canals.