Reclamation lowers Lake Mohave water level to aid with annual razorback sucker harvest

Media Contact: Patti Aaron, 702-293-8189, paaron@usbr.gov
Doug Hendrix, 702-293-8391, dhendrix@usbr.gov

For Release: September 04, 2019

Boulder City, Nev. — The Bureau of Reclamation is currently lowering water levels in Lake Mohave to aid in harvesting razorback suckers from lakeside rearing ponds. The fish is an endangered species native to the Colorado River. The drawdown is part of annual river operations which are timed to coincide with conservation activities for the fish. Lake Mohave will steadily lower from its current elevation of 642 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 637 feet msl by the week of September 30 and remain at approximately the same elevation for the following few weeks. The lake level will begin to rise in late-October. Boaters may experience decreased access to ramps and should use caution when navigating the lake, as areas, especially downstream of Hoover Dam, will be shallower than normal.

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 water and power needs while conserving species and their habitats along the river. More information about conservation efforts for razorback suckers is available at https://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/razorback_sucker.html.

Lake Mohave is located above Davis Dam on the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada. Updated information on water levels at Lake Mohave and other Lower Colorado River reservoirs is located at www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html under Current Conditions. For current recreational information, visit the National Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/lake/learn/news/lakeconditions.htm.

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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.