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Channel could save Clear Lake suckers
April 12, 2005
An underwater channel dug
more than 70 years ago to aid irrigation from
Clear Lake could save suckers stuck in shallow
waters this summer.
"This year we have drought
conditions," said Curt Mullis, manager of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service's Klamath Falls office.
forecasts issued last week call for 17,600
acre-feet of water, or 37 percent of average, to
flow into the lake from April to September. Even
without irrigation, the lake is still expected to
dip below levels required for the safety of the
Lost River and shortnose suckers, Mullis said.
Clear Lake is shaped like
an hour glass, Mullis said. Federal scientists
call each rounded bulb of the hour glass a "lobe."
In the Bureau's 43 years
of recordkeeping, 1992 was one of the driest and
also caused concern about suckers in Clear Lake.
The suckers have been listed for protection under
the Endangered Species Act since 1988.
Suckers were gathering in
the warm, shallow water by the dam where water
quality was down, he said. After clearing out the
channel, water was released from the dam creating
a draw for the suckers to swim through the channel
and to the deeper, better quality water.
In 1992, several thousands
of suckers were saved, Mullis said, and similar
results could be expected this year.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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