[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 16, 2013)]
[Pages 22556-22557]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08815]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-ES-2013-N031; 80221-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Recovery 
Plan for Lost River Sucker and Shortnose Sucker

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability 
of the final revised recovery plan for Lost River sucker (Deltistes 
luxatus) and shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris), two endangered 
fish species found in only a few lakes and reservoirs in the upper 
Klamath Basin and Lost River sub-basin in southern Oregon and northern 
California. The recovery plan includes recovery objectives and 
criteria, and specific actions necessary to achieve downlisting and 
delisting from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants. We revised this plan because a substantial amount of new 
information is available related to recovery of both species, making it 
appropriate to incorporate that new information into the recovery 

ADDRESSES: You may obtain a copy of the revised recovery plan 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 Avenue, Klamath 
Falls, OR 97601 (telephone 541-885-8481).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Sada, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address or telephone number.



    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 and the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (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 
specified 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.
    The Lost River sucker (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose sucker 
(Chasmistes brevirostris) are two species of fish that inhabit a 
limited number of lakes 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). The first recovery plan for the 
species was published on March 17, 1993 (USFWS 1993, pp. 1-108). 
However, since a substantial amount of additional information is now 
available, it is appropriate to revise the plan and incorporate this 
new information into the recovery program.
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires us to provide an opportunity for 
public review and comment prior to finalization of recovery plans, 
including revisions to such plans. We made the draft of this revised 
recovery plan available for public comment from October 18, 2011 
through December 19, 2011 (76 FR 64372). We considered all information 
we received during the public comment period and revised the recovery 
plan accordingly.

Species Information

    Lost River and shortnose suckers are very similar in ecology. They 
both predominantly inhabit lake environments but also periodically 
utilize other aquatic habitats. Both species spawn during spring over 
gravel bottoms in tributary streams and rivers (Buettner and 
Scoppettone 1990, pp. 19-20, 44-46). A relatively small, but 
significant, number of Lost River sucker also spawn over gravel bottoms 
at shoreline springs or upwellings along the margins of Upper Klamath 
Lake (Janney et al. 2009, pp. 8-9). Larvae spend little time in rivers 
or streams after hatching, drifting passively to downstream lakes 
within a few days (Cooperman and Markle 2003, p. 1138). Once in a lake 
environment, larvae move into shallow, vegetated areas along the 
shoreline. This vegetation provides cover from predators, protection 
from currents and turbulence, and food sources (Cooperman and Markle 
2004, p. 365). Within one to two months, larvae become juveniles and 
begin to utilize non-vegetated, deeper off-shore areas (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 4 to 7 years old, 
and can live for several decades.
    The rationales for listing Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker 
were similar, and many of the same threats continue, such that both 
species remain in danger of extinction. Habitat loss, including 
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

[[Page 22557]]

Lake, extremely poor water quality, which occurs periodically 
throughout the 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, 
these factors resulted in abundances of spawning individuals in 2007 in 
Upper Klamath Lake that were roughly 40 to 70 percent of their 2001 
levels. Furthermore, entrainment of larvae and small juveniles through 
diversion structures continues to drain significant numbers of 
individuals from productive populations 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. Morphological and 
molecular genetics research indicate that hybridization occurs between 
shortnose sucker and Klamath largescale suckers throughout the range of 
shortnose sucker. However, further studies are needed to determine the 
extent and causes of hybridization.

Recovery Plan Objectives and Criteria

    The purpose 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 that enable us to gauge whether 
downlisting or delisting the species is warranted. Furthermore, 
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.
    The revised recovery plan contains the following objectives for 
recovery, which we believe will promote healthy, stable populations of 
these species:
    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.
    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.


    We developed our 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 

    Dated: April 8, 2013.
Alexandra Pitts,
Acting Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-08815 Filed 4-15-13; 8:45 am]