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.