The Sea of Cortez is home to many interesting marine species, one being the Totoaba. These large fish, relatives to the Sea Bass, can grow to over 200 pounds as well as a length of over 6 feet long. The Totoaba was a usual catch for the fishermen of Baja, but over time they grew to be more and more endangered. In 1975 the United States and the Mexican governments restricted fishing for the Totoaba due to over fishing, adding it to the endangered species list.
As adults, the Totoaba travel in schools migrating north in the winter along the coast of the Gulf of California, traveling to the Colorado River. Once they travel to their destination they stay for a weeks before mating in spring. After the adults migrate back south along the west coast, their offspring stay in the upper gulf for two years before beginning this migratory pattern. Females begin reproducing four years later, while males wait five years.
When the Hoover Dam was constructed in 1928 it caused big issues for the Totoaba. Very little or no water has been transferred since the dam was built. Because of the lack of fresh flowing water the spawning of young Totoaba is being disrupted.