Sucker Team selected as USFWS recovery champions

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced their Recovery Champions selections nationwide, and the Klamath Basin sucker recovery team was honored for the Pacific Southwest Region. Pictured receiving their awards at the captive sucker rearing facility are from left: external partners Ron Barnes, owner - Gone Fishing LLC and Tracey Liskey, of Liskey Farms; Josh Rasmussen, Evan Childress and Dan Blake from the USFWS Klamath Falls office. Jody Holzworth, Deputy Regional Director for the USFWS-Pacific Southwest Region presented the awards. Image: Susan Sawyer/USFWS

The US Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced their Recovery Champions selections nationwide, and the Klamath Basin sucker recovery team was honored for the Pacific Southwest Region. Pictured receiving their awards at the captive sucker rearing facility are from left: external partners Ron Barnes, owner - Gone Fishing LLC and Tracey Liskey, of Liskey Farms; Josh Rasmussen, Evan Childress and Dan Blake from the USFWS Klamath Falls office. Jody Holzworth, Deputy Regional Director for the USFWS-Pacific Southwest Region presented the awards. Image: Susan Sawyer/USFWS

 

In May, on Endangered Species Day, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced their employee and partner Recovery Champions for 2018. The Klamath Falls Sucker Rearing Team was selected for the Pacific Southwest Region

The team includes 8 Service staff from the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office and 2 external partners from the off-site sucker rearing facility.

All were recognized for their effective collaboration to research, fund, design and implement a successful rearing program to increase survival of juvenile endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers - found only within the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California - to spawning maturity.

Team accomplishments include:

  • Building and expanding the off-site sucker rearing facility at Gone Fishing LLC

  • Raising and releasing over 5000 suckers from larvae to two-year-old juveniles in 2018

  • Designed floating acclimation net pens in Upper Klamath Lake to increase rearing capacity in a natural, protected environment

  • Designed a radio-tag telemetry study to monitor captive-reared sucker survival after release

Team members from the Service are Dan Blake, Josh Rasmussen, Evan Childress and Joel Ophoff of the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office; former FWO employees Laurie Sada, Kirk Groves and Julie Day. External partners are Tracey Liskey, of Liskey Farms and Ron Barnes, owner of Gone Fishing LLC.

Barnes also received the USFWS - Pacific Southwest Regional Director’s ‘At Risk Species Conservation Award ’  for his dedication to saving endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers in the Klamath Basin.