On April 21, a total of 1,712 endangered juvenile Lost River (C'waam) and shortnose (koptu) suckers from the Klamath Falls NFH captive sucker rearing program got some new digs - a newly
constructed private pond. This was the first time a Partners for Fish and Wildlife project and the Klamath Falls FWO collaborated with a group of landowners to stock endangered fish in a pond that sits within an actively managed agricultural field.
Dustin Taylor, Partners biologist with the Klamath Basin NWRC, worked with Lakeside Farms LLC to restore a 70-acre wetland on the property, just north of Klamath Falls on the fringe of Upper Klamath Lake.
The wetland ranges from inches to over 5 feet deep and will treat water on the farmland before it returns to the lake. This benefits fish and other aquatic species by lowering the phosphorus, which is thought to contribute to poor water quality and harmful algae blooms in the lake. The treatment wetland will also have a direct benefit to migratory water birds by providing habitat and indirectly by treating water prior to it flooding grain fields where birds may feed.
Christie Nichols, sucker science coordinator for the Klamath Falls FWO worked with Dustin and the landowners to come up with a plan and permitting for stocking suckers in the new pond. Nichols feels this can be a model for other landowners doing similar restoration project throughout the Basin.