U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Formulates Game Plan To Save Santa Ana Sucker

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has hit upon a strategy to restore the population of the Santa Ana sucker, which is categorized by the federal government as endangered.
The fish is native to the Santa Ana River, which has its headwaters in the San Bernardino Mountains and winds through Highland, San Bernardino, Colton and down into Riverside County and back toward San Bernardino County as it makes its southwesterly progression before heading further west through Norco and Corona and then into Orange County where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
Development along the river has led to a loss and alteration of the fish’s natural habitat. In addition, the introduction of non-native species that prey on the sucker has wrecked havoc upon it.
The recovery plan calls for monitoring the river to document fish populations, reducing threats to the species and its habitat, and expanding the fish’s populations by reclaiming habitat where possible within the Santa Ana sucker’s historical range.
“The Santa Ana sucker will be considered successfully recovered if adequate amounts of suitable habitat are restored, protected and managed within each recovery unit to support all life stages of the species and provide protection against catastrophic events; and population trends are demonstrated over 15 consecutive years to be stable or increasing, with adult and juvenile fish in all recovery units,” according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District is the lead agency for the Upper Santa Ana River Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan and will oversee the implementation of the plan in San Bernardino County.

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