About June Sucker: Life Stages

>   The recruitment bottleneck illustrates the vulnerability phase June sucker experience in early life stages. Researchers have determined that slow-developing June sucker remain vulnerable to predators for a number of years after hatching. Efforts to recover June sucker therefore, are intended to target improving conditions for early life stages.


Little is known about the early years of a June sucker's life because researchers have been unable to capture young fish older than about 30 days in the Utah Lake system. It is believed that drifting larvae are either consumed by nonnative predacious fish in the Provo River before they reach Utah Lake, or starve to death because habitat has been altered to where it no longer provides food and temperature conditions suitable for their survival.

Hatchery fish introduced into Utah Lake at sizes large enough to avoid predation have survived and entered the Provo River spawning run. The ability of hatchery fish stocked as juveniles to survive, grow and reach sexual maturity in the Utah Lake system adds to the evidence that the recruitment bottleneck for June sucker is in the early life stages. Efforts to recover June sucker, therefore, are intended to target improving conditions for early life stages. June sucker reach reproductive maturity at age 5 or 6 and live to be approximately 40 years old.