Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Revised Recovery Plan for Lost River and Shortnose Suckers Now Available

Oct 17, 2011

For Immediate Release
Date: Oct. 17, 2011

Contact: Laurie Sada, (541) 885-8481

Revised Recovery Plan for Lost River and Shortnose Suckers Now Available

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the availability of a draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) and the shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris).  The Plan builds on progress achieved under the previous recovery plan and recently completed conservation actions to improve coordination and focus recovery efforts.

"This recovery plan represents a significant step forward in planning for recovery of the Lost River and shortnose suckers,” said Laurie Sada, field supervisor at the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office.
“It acknowledges numerous recovery projects that have been completed with the help of our partners such as the restoration of the Williamson Delta, the removal of Chiloquin Dam, the construction of the A-canal fish screen and habitat restoration projects with dozens of private landowners.”

The revised Plan recognizes the importance of involving others to achieve recovery and calls for a Recovery Implementation Program.  This Program would to bring together representatives from resource management, scientific, conservation, and land-use groups, as well as other affected parties to work with the Service to implement, track, and evaluate recovery actions.  Unlike the previous recovery plan, this Plan identifies specific criteria that identify when the species are sufficiently recovered to be downlisted to threatened or removed from the Endangered Species List altogether. 

The goal of the Endangered Species Act (Act) is to conserve listed species and the ecosystems upon which they depend and to recover species to levels where protection under the Act is no longer necessary.  Recovery plans are blueprints for actions by federal, tribal, state agencies and private organizations that contribute to species recovery.  Recovery plans do not obligate the expenditure of funds or require that actions be implemented.

The Lost River sucker and the shortnose sucker occur naturally only in the Upper Klamath Basin, including the Lost River sub-basin, and are part of a very small group of species known as the “lake suckers,” which occur only in the western United States.

Despite the many efforts to recover these species, habitat loss, including restricted access to spawning and rearing habitat, severely impaired water quality, and loss of fish in water management structures continue to threaten these species.  Spawning populations of both species continue to dwindle in numbers each year.  Juvenile fish are being produced, but are not surviving to become reproductive adults.  Data indicate that it has been more than 10 years since a significant number of young fish have survived to adulthood.

Copies of the revised recovery plan are available by contacting the Klamath Fall Fish and Wildlife Office , 1936 California Avenue, Klamath Falls, OR 97601 (tel. 541-885-8481), and at the following website:  http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html

Today’s announcement opens a 60-day public comment period. If you wish to comment on this plan, you may submit your comments in writing at the address above or by email at FW8KFFWOESComments@fws.gov. Comments will be accepted until December 19, 2011.

-FWS-

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.cno. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/usfwspacificsouthwest, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSPacSWest, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/