The June sucker is found exclusively in a 151-square-mile area consisting of Utah Lake and its tributaries. Thanks to invasive carp, the June sucker’s numbers are down from millions to just a few thousand.
The June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program was started in 2009 in an effort to save the fish and has met with very little success, despite the removal of over 7 million pounds of carp to date.
According to multiple reports, another 40 million pounds of carp need to be removed as soon as possible and 5 million will need to be removed annually.
In order to accomplish this difficult goal, a custom-built fleet of commercial fishing boats headed by Bill Loy will drag a net the length of 3 football fields across targeted areas and fill their boats until they are nearly over-flowing with carp.
Loy’s crew has a mandate to remove carp in virtually any weather conditions. Every day he doesn’t remove the usual 3,500 carp, the carp gain ground. When the lake is frozen the crews cut holes in the ice and use a remote-controlled submarine in order to drag the lake. Loy says some of his biggest hauls have come in the winter months.
According to desertnews, Loy and his crew get 20 cents for each pound of carp they haul in. That means invasive carp will cost the State of Utah at least another $8,000,000 to get to reach their immediate goals and another $1,000,000 annually.
There is no projected date for when this project will end.
This video was put together for the June Sucker Recovery program in 2009 after the removal of the first million pounds of carp.
Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources