The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region has begun lowering water levels in Lake Mohave to aid in harvesting razorback suckers, a species native to the Colorado River, from lakeside rearing ponds. The work is part of annual river operations which is timed to coincide with conservation activities for the endangered fish.
Lake Mohave will steadily lower from its September 14 elevation of 642 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 635 feet msl by the week of October 24. Water levels will begin rising again by early November as the conservation work is finished.
Updated information on water levels at Lake Mohave and other Lower Colorado Region reservoirs is located at www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html under Current Conditions. Boaters may experience decreased access to ramps and should be extra cautious on the lake. For current recreation opportunities and changes, contact the National Park Service office at 702-293-8691.
Each year, Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP) gathers tens of thousands of newly hatched razorback sucker larvae from Lake Mohave and transfers the larvae to state and federal hatcheries throughout the Southwest. After an initial growth period in these hatcheries, many of the fish are placed in lakeside rearing ponds around Lake Mohave, where they continue to grow and learn how to forage for food.
In the fall, these fish are harvested from the lakeside ponds, tagged with microchips and released back into Lake Mohave.
The project is part of Reclamation’s continuing collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State University and the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
The LCR MSCP is a multi-agency effort to accommodate current and present water and power needs while conserving species and their habitats along the river. More information about conservation efforts for razorback suckers is available at http://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html.