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UTAH COUNTY - The Federal Government has given the Central Utah Water Conservancy District $100,000 to rid Utah Lake of non-native fish.
The Bureau of Reclamation awarded the money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help save the native June sucker.
The June sucker is endemic only to Utah Lake; meaning there are no other places in Utah or the world where June sucker live naturally. In 1986, it was federally listed as an endangered species due to significant population decline associated with water development, impacts on natural habitat, and competition with non-native fish, specifically the common carp.
The June sucker numbers have gone from millions in the early 1800's to a natural population of less than 1,000 today.
This particular project will allow for the removal of up to 500,000 pounds of carp from Utah Lake.
The money will go to the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program, which was established to recover the June sucker while allowing for continued water development. Its goal is to remove five million pounds of carp a year for the next six years. Wildlife officials believe that will reduce the carp population in Utah Lake by about 75 percent.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enacted in 2009 gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.