Ciénega Wetland Rehabiliation at Phantom Lake Spring,
Phantom Lake Spring is a unique, spring-fed wetland system (ciénega) that supports five aquatic species of concern: two endangered fishes and three candidate invertebrates. Spring flow at Phantom Lake Spring has been continually declining in measurements recorded since the 1940s. Corresponding aquifer levels in Phantom Cave have dropped about 2.5 feet in elevation in the last 10 years. The natural spring water ceased consistent flowing around 2001, prompting the creation of a pumping system to maintain the aquatic habitat for species of concern. The current pump system circulates water to the ciénega from about 75 feet back in Phantom Cave. The system is not regularly monitored and the small check dam constructed to maintain water in the ciénega is currently leaking so severely that the pump system needs constant adjustment to maintain a target water level in the pool. Over recent months, the system experienced several short-term pump failures resulting in extreme low-water conditions in the ciénega. The current situation is not sustainable over a long term and the present risk of accidental extirpation of the listed/candidate populations is very high.
|Final Environmental Assessment||