Welcome to the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program
Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program Balancing Resource Use and Conservation

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Fisheries Activities

      Fish Augmentation

Razorback SuckerJuvenile humpback chub captured using hoop nets on the Little Colorado River - Photo by ReclamationYoung adult flannelmouth Sucker captured in Reach 3 - Photo by Reclamation

The native fish augmentation program goal is to conserve the population of the once flourishing native fish community and contribute to the recovery of the razorback sucker and bonytail. In order to accomplish this, the LCR MSCP will, over the life of the program, provide the effort necessary to raise and stock approximately 660,000 razorback suckers and 620,000 bonytail of at least 300mm in length in the reach of the river between Davis Dam and Parker Dam (reach 3), and at least 305 mm in length between Parker and Imperial Dam (reaches 4 and 5). The fish augmentation program is guided by a native fish augmentation plan.

The program currently uses two razorback sucker brood stocks. The first is the Lake Mohave population of razorback sucker. The Lake Mohave population is recognized as the most genetically diverse stock of the species. To help protect and enhance this genotypic variability, the LCR MSCP captures wild-born razorback sucker larvae from Lake Mohave, rears them in hatcheries, and returns them to Lake Mohave (reach 2) when they reach adult size. The second razorback sucker brood stock is maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources and Recovery Center (formerly the Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center) located in Dexter, New Mexico. The LCR MSCP also provides significant funding for the only brood stock of bonytail in the world, also located and maintained at the Southwestern Native Aquatic Resources and Recovery Center.

The following table gives the number of razorback suckers and bonytail stocked into the lower Colorado River.

Reach Razorback FY2018 Razorback Total
FY2005 - 2018
Bonytail FY2018 Bonytail Total
FY2005 - 2018
2 3,107 126,016 513 2,110
3 6,471 94,086 4,061 59,039
4/5 6,266 99,177 8,039 39,112
Subtotal 15,844 319,279 12,613 100,261
Grand Total for Bonytail and Razorback 419,540

Updated December 10, 2018