Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Designates Critical Habitat for Klamath Basin Suckers

Dec 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

Contact: Matt Baun (530) 841-3119

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Designates C
ritical Habitat for Klamath Basin Suckers 

Klamath Falls, Ore., --The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it has designated critical habitat for the endangered Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker. Critical habitat was first proposed for these species in 1994, but was never completed due to higher conservation priorities for the listed suckers. 

Approximately 282 miles of streams, and 241,438 acres of lakes and reservoirs are included in the final critical habitat designation in Klamath and Lake Counties in Oregon, and in Modoc County, California.  The final rule and related materials, including maps, are available at 

Critical habitat designation does not impose restrictions on private lands, unless they involve Federal funds, permits, or activities. Critical habitat is a tool to identify areas that are important to the recovery of a listed species. Designation of critical habitat can help focus conservation activities for a listed species by identifying areas that contain the physical and biological features that are essential for the conservation of the species. 

In the final rule, the Service is not designating ditches or canal systems where these species may occur because these areas do not provide the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of these species.

The final critical habitat designation includes significantly less area than what was proposed in 1994 mostly because of modern mapping tools and methods. A summary table of the differences for Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker is below:

                                                         1994 Proposal                    2012 Final Rule

Total:                                  880,000 acres                241,438 acres, 282 miles

Lost River suckers                 424,000 acres                117,848 acres, 146 miles

Shortnose suckers                   456,000 acres              123,590 acres, 136 miles