Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Threats to the June sucker include inadequate water quantity and quality through the spawning area. Predation from nonnative white bass and walleye has prevented fish recruitment into the existing population. The loss of vegetated shorelines may also be contributing to the lack of recruitment.
The June sucker has been very close to extinction because of heavy predation on the fry. Two years ago the species had an aging population with no known recruitment. Then a successful effort to propagate the species was begun. The Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, Provo Water Users, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources worked cooperatively to procure water for the June sucker spawning area during the spawning season, even though the area is experiencing severe drought. As a result, June suckers were captured, they spawned successfully, and 6,000 fry were produced. These fry will be used to develop brood and refugium populations. A Memorandum of Agreement between the Forest Service, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in the creation of a holding area for June suckers in Red Butte Reservoir on Wasatch-Cache National Forests.
To protect spawning June suckers and their habitat, flow agreements need to be developed. Also, additional brood and refugium populations need to be established.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was provided $20,000 in FY 1991 and $48,988 in FY 1992 for capturing, spawning, rearing, and holding June suckers.
Bureau of Reclamation: The Bureau of Reclamation is participating in a genetics study and helping in construction of a weir to capture fish during the spawning season.
Forest Service: This Federal agency provided Red Butte Reservoir for use in establishing a temporary refuge and rearing area for June suckers.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources: This State agency has participated in capturing spawning June suckers and in monitoring population levels through a tagging and recapture effort.
Central Utah Water Conservancy District: This private organization is participating in a genetics study of the June sucker and is helping to acquire water for the spawning area during periods of drought. It will also help to acquire areas for establishing refugium and grow-out facilities.
Utah Correction Institute: This State penitentiary maintains a June sucker rearing facility. At present, over 400 fish are being raised at the facility with excellent results. Plans for the immediate future are to transport an additional 1,100 June suckers to the facility for rearing.
Technical draft plan.