Gila Topminnow Returns Bike Ride

June 16, 2018
All ages welcome


Does a fish need a bicycle? Well, no. But we’re celebrating the return of the Gila Topminnow to Tucson’s Santa Cruz River—and the new artwork honoring it—with a festive bike ride along the Loop Path.

Come decked out with your best Topminnow-on-a-bike costume. (Or, gussy up your bike ahead of time with us.) Prizes for the most scintillating, fishiest bikes and riders!

Use #GilaTopminnow to document your experiences and the fish on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). The fish won’t see it, but the people will.

Saturday, June 16, 2018
8:00 am – 10:00 am
Starting point: For a 4.7-mile ride, meet at 8 am on the west side of Santa Cruz River and Speedway Blvd. From there, ride will go north on east side of The Loop.
Destination: Outfall, aka the beginning of flowing water on east side of The Loop, .2-mile north of Sweetwater Drive. View Map



The Gila topminnow, a tiny Sonoran Desert native fish was discovered in the flowing stretch of the river (just north of Sweetwater Wetlands) in November 2017, after 70 years away. Its return is thanks to improvements to the Pima County wastewater treatment plants, which puts treated wastewater into the riverbed. Following a 2013 facility upgrade, the now cleaner water has created the preferred habitat for the fish, plus an improved flowing river for the rest of us!

In June, a new project brings artwork honoring the fish and its return to our Living River, to the Loop and to urban locations around town.

The project is a collaboration between local artist Kimi Eisele, the Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation, and the Sonoran Institute, with funding from the Center for Performance and Civic Practice’s Catalyst Initiative.