Razorback Suckers Produced At Stewart Lake Double The Amount Of Last Decade

by | Jan 31, 2023 | News | 0 comments

2022 was a record year for the endangered Green River razorback sucker population. The fish is under consideration for downlisting from an endangered to a threatened species and the jump in population will support that effort. The Bureau of Reclamation announced last week that 3,294 wild-spawned razorback suckers were produced at Stewart Lake near Jensen which was almost double the fish produced there in the previous 10 years combined. These averaged 6 inches in length making them the largest ever produced at Stewart Lake. There were 615 razorback suckers produced at Old Charley Wash near Ouray which is four times the amount produced there in the last 4 years. There were also 551 produced at Stirrup Bottom that averaged 9 inches in length. “Several factors converged to make 2022 a record year for razorback sucker,” shares the Bureau of Reclamation. “Operations under the Drought Response Operating Agreement allowed for additional water releases from Flaming Gorge Reservoir above and beyond what would normally be released in an otherwise moderately dry year…Habitat management that occurred at Stewart Lake over the preceding several years also helped increase population. Prescribed burns and other forms of vegetation management conducted since 2018 created considerable acreage of open water at Stewart Lake, and water quality was maintained during the hot summer months through the addition of supplementary water diverted from Red Fleet Reservoir miles upstream on Big Brush Creek… Additionally, food availability for young razorback sucker was maximized mostly by keeping non-native fish out of the wetlands while allowing tiny razorback sucker larvae in, reducing the number of mouths to feed. In a single summer, the joint coordinated effects of dam operations, habitat management and non-native fish management doubled the number of wild-spawned razorback sucker produced in wetlands since LTSP was first implemented in 2012.”

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