DWR releases 1,000 native fish into Weber River

Jul 6, 2023, 3:21 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm

A natural resource conservation effort eight yeas coming culminated Wednesday along the Weber River. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources released 1,000 Bluehead Suckers into the Weber River at several points between Ogden and Echo Reservoir.

“There have been some declines in their population here in the Weber River,” Chante Lundskot, a native aquatic biologist with the DWR, said.

After monitoring the local species for decades, in 2015 the agency hatched a plan to raise the fish from eggs and re-release them.

“This is the first of its kind,” Lundskot said.

The agency hopes that the fish will have a positive impact on water quality and the ecosystem in the river.

“Well first of all they’re native fish so they have a place in this river system,” Lundskot said. “They essentially recycle matter that can be utilized back into the system and they just help  increase the water quality.”

The fish today are about four to five years old, they were raised at a hatchery in Cache Valley after spawning on the banks of the Weber River in 2017. The DWR expects Wednesday’s release to double or triple the population in the corridor now.

The agency is working on hatching more bluehead suckers to do this again in the future with the goal of preserving the important fish species for years to come.

“It’s the first of something bigger to come,” Lundskot said. “It’s just very fulfilling doing a job like this and knowing that we’re giving back in the best ways that we possibly can.”

Each fish has a tag in it similar to those in cats and dogs, so the agency can just scan them in the future and know the exact day and location they were released into the river.

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DWR releases 1,000 native fish into Weber River