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Wild Life

Native Utah Lake Fish

New Live June Sucker Exhibit

By Conservation, History, Utah History, Utah Lake, Wild Life

Visit the Utah Lake Exhibit

Monday – Saturday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Adult: $5.00 / Child: $4.00

The  Live June Sucker Aquarium Exhibit

Come meet these endemic (of a plant or animal native and restricted to a certain place) fish.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the June sucker as an endangered species in 1986.  After a century of carp introduction,  pollution from human waste, industry, and dumping, these fish simply were not going to survive without human intervention.

June Suckers are a large part of the diet of many of the birds that use Utah Lake shores, Bird Island, and the surrounding fields as a main food source. The declining population of June Suckers directly endangers these birds and their offspring.

Common Name: June Sucker      Scientific Name:Chasmistes liorus

History

(From JuneSuckerRecovery.org)

Over 1000 years ago, Native Fremont people live near the lake and depend on its native fish for food. In 1776, Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante arrives to the valley, meets the local Ute tribe, and is considered to be the first European to see the lake.

When European settlers began arriving in 1847, Native Americans showed them how to catch, dry, and survive on the fish of Utah Lake.  While it saved them from starving, it soon led to overfishing and the depletion of June Suckers in Utah Lake.

 

 

 

 

 

Perry Murdock of the Timpanogas Tribe Teaches Native American Fish Drying Techniques
Daniela Larsen and Jake Benson learn how to dry fish

Utah Lake was home to millions of June Suckers along with 12 other fish species. Of those 13 species, only June sucker and Utah sucker still inhabit the lake, now alongside several non-native species.

Native Utah Lake Fish

Read More on Nature Serve Explorer

NatureServe Explorer is the largest online encyclopedia of biodiversity in North America. Hosted by NatureServe, it is a valuable, cost-free tool made possible through the dedication and hard work of scientists, programmers, nature enthusiasts.

June Sucker Documented distribution