In 2009 and 2010, drift samples were collected from six sites on the lower Sprague and Williamson Rivers to assess drift patterns of larval Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) (LRS) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) (SNS). The objective of this study was to characterize the drift timing, relative abundance, and growth stage frequencies of larval suckers emigrating from the Sprague River watershed. These data were used to evaluate changes in spawning distribution of LRS and SNS in the Sprague River after the 2008 removal of Chiloquin Dam. Drift samples were collected at four sites on the Sprague River and one site each on the Williamson and Sycan Rivers. Data presented in this report is a continuation of a research project that began in 2004. Larval drift parameters measured in 2009 and 2010 were similar to those measured from 2004 to 2008. Most larvae and eggs were collected at the two drift sites downstream of the former Chiloquin Dam (river kilometer 0.7 on the Sprague River and river kilometer 7.4 on the Williamson River). Mean and peak sample densities increased with proximity to Upper Klamath Lake. Peak larval densities continued to be collected between 1 and 3 hours after sunset at Chiloquin, which is the drift site nearest a known spawning area. Catch distribution of larvae and eggs in the lower Sprague and Williamson Rivers suggests that most SNS and LRS spawning continues to occur downstream of the site of the former Chiloquin Dam. The sizes and growth stages indicate that larval emigration from spawning areas resulting from drift occurs within a few days after swim-up. Larval suckers appear to move downstream quickly until they reach suitable rearing habitat.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Patterns of Larval Sucker Emigration from the Sprague and Lower Williamson Rivers of the Upper Klamath Basin, Oregon, after the Removal of Chiloquin Dam - 2009-10 Annual Report
U.S. Geological Survey
Western Fisheries Research Center
iv, 34 p.
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Sprague River;Williamson;River;Upper Klamath Lake;Agency Lake