June suckers introduced to Utah Lake

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More than 8000 endangered June suckers have been removed from one lake and introduced into another in an attempt to save the species.

The rare June sucker, Chasmites liorus, is endemic to Utah where it is found in Utah Lake and the Provo River. It's also been introduced into Red Butte Reservoir as a precaution in case the species ever gets wiped out in Utah Lake.

However, the additional population of fish in Red Butte Reservoir has been placed in jeopardy after illegally introduced non-native crayfish underwent a population explosion, altering the entire ecosystem of the lake.

Coupled with the need for major renovations needed to the reservoir's dam, experts had little choice other than to catch all the suckers and crayfish and return the suckers to their original home in Utah Lake.

According to the Daily Herald, the last fish are due to be introduced to Utah Lake later this week. All of the fish that have come from Red Butte Reservoir have been tagged so scientists can tell the difference between the translocated fish and the original wild stock.