[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 201 (Tuesday, October 18, 2011)]
[Pages 64372-64374]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-26798]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2011-N178; 80221-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Revised 
Recovery Plan, First Revision, for Lost River Sucker and Shortnose 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and public comment.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of our draft revised recovery plan, first revision, for Lost River 
sucker and shortnose sucker under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 
as amended (Act). These fish species are found in southern Oregon and 
northern California. We are revising this plan because a substantial 
amount of new information is available related to recovery of both 
species, making it appropriate to incorporate new information into the 
recovery program. We request review and comment from local, State, and 
Federal agencies and the public. We will also accept any new 
information on the species' status throughout their ranges.

DATES: We must receive written comments on or before December 19, 2011. 
However, we will accept information about any species at any time.

[[Page 64373]]

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the draft recovery plan, you may 
obtain a copy from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html. Alternatively, you may contact the Klamath 
Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1936 
California Ave., Klamath Falls, OR 97601; (541-885-8481, phone). If you 
wish to comment on the plan, you may submit your comments in writing by 
any one of the following methods:
     U.S. mail: Field Supervisor, at the above address;
     Hand delivery: Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office at 
the above address;
     Fax: (541) 885-7837; or
     E-mail: FW8KFFWOESComments@fws.gov.
    For additional information about submitting comments, see ``Request 
for Public Comments,'' below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Sada, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address, phone number, or e-mail.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants to the 
point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their 
ecosystems is a primary goal of our endangered species program under 
the Act (Act; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement of 
the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no longer 
appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the Act. 
The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed species, 
unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a particular 

Species' History

    The Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose sucker 
(Chasmistes brevirostris) are two species of fish that inhabit a 
limited number of lakes and reservoirs in the upper Klamath Basin, 
including the Lost River sub-basin, in southern Oregon and northern 
California. We listed these species as endangered throughout their 
entire range under the Act on July 18, 1988 (53 FR 27130). We 
originally completed and announced a recovery plan for the species on 
March 17, 1993 (USFWS 1993, pp. 1-108). However, a substantial amount 
of additional information is now available, and it is appropriate to 
revise the plan and incorporate this new information into the recovery 
    These two species are very similar in ecology. Lost River and 
shortnose suckers predominantly inhabit lake environments, but also 
periodically utilize stream/river, marsh, and shoreline habitats. Both 
species spawn during spring, over gravel bottoms in tributary streams 
and rivers (Buettner and Scoppettone 1990, pp. 19-20, 44-46). A smaller 
but significant number of Lost River sucker also spawn over gravel 
bottoms at shoreline springs along the margins of Upper Klamath Lake 
(Janney et al. 2009, pp. 8-9). Larvae spend relatively little time 
after hatching in rivers or streams before drifting passively to 
downstream lakes (Cooperman and Markle 2003, p. 1138). Once in a lake 
environment, larvae move into relatively shallow vegetated areas along 
the shoreline. This vegetation provides cover from predators, 
protection from currents and turbulence, and sources of food (Cooperman 
and Markle 2004, p. 365). Within 1 to 2 months, larvae become juveniles 
and begin to utilize nonvegetated and deeper off-shore habitats 
(Burdick et al. 2008, p. 417). Adults occupy open water habitats 
throughout the year, except during spawning season, when they migrate 
to spawning areas. Individuals typically become reproductively mature 
at 5 to 7 years old, and can live for several decades.
    The rationales for listing Lost River sucker were similar to those 
for shortnose sucker, with many of the same threats continuing through 
the present day, such that both species remain in danger of extinction. 
Habitat loss, resulting in restricted access to spawning and rearing 
habitat, severely impaired water quality, and increased rates of 
mortality resulting from entrainment in water management structures 
were cited as causes for declines in populations prior to listing (53 
FR 27130; July 18, 1988). Although the rate of habitat loss has slowed 
in recent years and a significant amount of habitat restoration and 
screening of water diversion structures has occurred, large amounts of 
historical sucker habitat remain unavailable or significantly altered. 
In Upper Klamath Lake, extremely poor water quality, which occurs 
periodically throughout summer, negatively impacts adult survival 
rates, and although the specific causes are currently unknown, juvenile 
survival is also low in these populations. The last time a substantial 
group of juveniles joined the adult populations in Upper Klamath Lake 
was during the late 1990s (Janney et al. 2008, pp. 1820-1823). For both 
species, the result of these combined factors was abundances of 
spawning individuals in 2007 in Upper Klamath Lake that were roughly 40 
to 70 percent of their 2001 levels. Lastly, entrainment of larvae and 
small juveniles through diversion structures continues to drain 
significant numbers of individuals from Upper Klamath Lake into 
extremely poor habitats, from which return is unlikely. Clear Lake 
Reservoir has a single spawning tributary, with poor connectivity when 
reservoir levels are low and limited passage for spawning migrants when 
flows are low, making these populations very vulnerable to drought. 
Within Gerber Reservoir, the shortnose sucker population is apparently 
affected by hybridization with Klamath largescale sucker (Catostomus 

Recovery Plan Goals

    The objective of a recovery plan is to provide a framework for the 
recovery of species so that protection under the Act is no longer 
necessary. A recovery plan includes scientific information about the 
species and provides criteria and actions necessary to enable us to be 
able to downlist or delist the species. Recovery plans help guide our 
recovery efforts by describing actions we consider necessary for each 
species' conservation and by estimating time and costs for implementing 
needed recovery measures.
    To achieve its goals, this draft revised recovery plan identifies 
the following objectives:
    1. Restore or enhance spawning and nursery habitat in Upper Klamath 
Lake and Clear Lake Reservoir systems;
    2. Reduce negative impacts of poor water quality;
    3. Clarify and reduce the effects of non-native organisms on all 
life stages;
    4. Reduce the loss of individuals to entrainment;
    5. Establish a redundancy and resiliency enhancement program;
    6. Maintain or increase larval production;
    7. Increase juvenile survival and recruitment to spawning 
populations; and
    8. Protect existing and increase the number of recurring, 
successful spawning populations.
    We believe that by achieving these objectives we will be able to 
promote healthy, stable population demographics.
    As these species meet reclassification and recovery criteria, we 
review each species' status and consider each species for 
reclassification on or removal from the Federal List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

[[Page 64374]]

Request for Public Comments

    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide public notice and an 
opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. It is also our policy to request peer review of recovery 
plans (July 1, 1994; 59 FR 34270). In an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan, we will summarize and respond to the issues raised by 
the public and peer reviewers. Substantive comments may or may not 
result in changes to the recovery plan; comments regarding recovery 
plan implementation will be forwarded as appropriate to Federal or 
other entities, so that they can be taken into account during the 
course of implementing recovery actions. Responses to individual 
commenters will not be provided, but we will provide a summary of how 
we addressed substantive comments in an appendix to the approved 
recovery plan.
    We invite written comments on the draft revised recovery plan. We 
specifically seek comments on the following:
     Do you have comments or concerns regarding the proposed 
recovery criteria?
     Do actions and priorities in the plan's Implementation 
Schedule reflect a biologically sound conservation approach for Lost 
River sucker and shortnose sucker recovery?
     Are the proposed monitoring and management actions 
appropriate and sufficient?
     Are there important recovery actions which have not been 
included in the plan?
    Before we approve the plan, we will consider all comments we 
receive by the date specified in DATES. Methods of submitting comments 

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive will be available, by 
appointment, for public inspection during normal business hours at our 
office (see ADDRESSES).


    We developed our draft recovery plan under the authority of section 
4(f) of the Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f). We publish this notice under 
section 4(f) Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.).

    Dated: October 11, 2011.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-26798 Filed 10-17-11; 8:45 am]