Achieving Recovery: Water Management & Protection to Benefit June Sucker

>   Controlled flows of the Provo River assist June sucker in their annual spawning run. Flows designed to mimic the natural hydrograph of the river allow June sucker to spawn and return to Utah Lake during low water years.

As a result of water development in the Utah Lake Basin, the hydrology of Utah Lake and its tributaries has been altered from the conditions in which the June sucker evolved. Historic water management has contributed to the endangered status of the June sucker by changing the natural hydrology of tributaries during spawning and nursery periods and increasing lake level fluctuations. A major challenge for the program is managing and protecting water resources necessary to provide sufficient habitat for June sucker recovery while maintaining and developing water for human use. Program participants recognize that all water operations are subject to existing water rights, judgments and decrees, and existing contractual obligations.

The Recovery Program has been effective at developing and implementing spawning and nursery flow recommendations in the Provo River that mimic a natural hydrograph. Program participants recognize that that the Recovery Plan identifies areas other than the Provo River that may require special water management to benefit the June sucker. For instance, the interim criteria for delisting the June sucker include the establishment of an additional self-sustaining spawning run in a location other than the Provo River. Water necessary to implement Program activities has been and will continue to be acquired in accordance with State of Utah water rights law. Water has been acquired for the June sucker recovery efforts through direct purchase, water conservation and environmental commitments associated with new water development projects.