The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is lowering water levels in Lake Mohave beginning in late September 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 that have been timed to coincide with conservation activities for the endangered fish. Beginning this week, Lake Mohave, located above Davis Dam on the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada, will steadily lower from its September 26 elevation of 642 feet above mean sea level (msl) to an elevation of about 634 feet msl by the week of October 27.
Water levels will begin rising again by early November as the conservation work is finished. Updated information on water levels at Lake Mohave and other Lower Colorado Region reservoirs is located at www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html
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 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 athttp://www.lcrmscp.gov/fish/