Lake Mohave water level lowered for annual razorback sucker harvest

Media Contact: Colleen Dwyer, 702-293-8420, cdwyer@usbr.gov

For Release: September 13, 2017

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is 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. Beginning today, Lake Mohave will steadily lower from its September 13 elevation of 643 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 636 feet msl by October 9 and remain at approximately the same elevation through the end of the month. Lake Mohave is located above Davis Dam on the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona.

Water levels will begin to rise in early November. 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 at 702-293-8691. 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’.

Each spring, biologists with Reclamation’s Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP) gather tens of thousands of newly hatched razorback sucker larvae from Lake Mohave for transfer 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 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 www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.