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FR Doc 04-16549
[Federal Register: July 21, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 139)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 43554-43558]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Revised 
90-Day Petition Finding and Initiation of a 5-Year Status Review of the 
Lost River Sucker and Shortnose Sucker

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of a revised 90-day petition finding and initiation of a 
5-year status review.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 
revised 90-day finding for a petition to remove the Lost River sucker 
(Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris) 
throughout their ranges from the Federal List of Threatened and 
Endangered Wildlife and Plants (List), pursuant to the Endangered 
Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We find that the petition 
does not present substantial scientific or commercial information 
indicating that delisting of the Lost River and shortnose suckers may 
be warranted. As a result of the 1995, 1996, and 1997 fish die-offs, 
the endangered suckers experienced significant losses of thousands of 
adult suckers and have not recovered. Although the petition and 
information in our files do not provide new information relevant to the 
status of the Lost River and shortnose suckers, we are initiating a 5-
year review of these species under section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act to 
consider any new information that has become available as a result of 
recent actions to reduce threats to the species, and to provide the 
States, tribes, agencies, university researchers, and the public an 
opportunity to provide information on the status of the species. We are 
requesting any new information on the Lost River and shortnose suckers 
since their original listing as endangered species in 1988 (53 FR 

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on July 14, 
2004. To be considered in the 5-year review, comments and information 
should be submitted to us by October 31, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Data, information, written comments and materials, or 
questions concerning this finding and 5-year review should be submitted 
to the Field Supervisor, Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, 6610 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, Oregon 
97603. The petition finding, supporting data, and comments are 
available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Curt Mullis, Field Supervisor, at the 
above address, or at 541-885-8481.



    Section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires that the Service make a 
finding on whether a petition to list, delist, or reclassify a species 
presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating 
that the petitioned action may be warranted. To the maximum extent 
practicable, we must make the finding within 90 days of receipt of the 
petition, and the finding is to be published promptly in the Federal 
Register. If we find substantial information exists to support the 
petitioned action, we are required to promptly commence a review of the 
status of the species, if one has not already been initiated (50 CFR 
424.14). ``Substantial information'' is defined as ``that amount of 
information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the 
measure proposed in the petition may be warranted'' (50 CFR 424.14(b)). 
Petitioners need not prove that the petitioned action is warranted to 
support a ``substantial'' finding; instead, the key consideration in 
evaluating a petition for substantiality involves demonstration of the 
reliability of the information supporting the action advocated by the 
petition (USFWS 1995).
    The factors for listing, delisting, or reclassifying a species are 
described at 50 CFR 424.11. We may delist a species only if the best 
scientific and commercial data available substantiate that it is 
neither endangered nor threatened. Delisting may be warranted as a 
result of: (1) Extinction; (2) recovery; and/or (3) a determination 
that the original data used for classification of the species as 
endangered or threatened were in error.
    A petition to delist the Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker, 
dated September 12, 2001, was submitted by Mr. Richard A. Gierak, 
representing Interactive Citizens United. Three other similar petitions 
were received and treated as comments on Mr. Gierak's petition. On May 
14, 2002, the Service published its initial finding that the petitions 
to delist the Lost River and shortnose suckers did not present 
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that 
delisting the suckers may be warranted (67 FR 34422). On June 12, 2002, 
Walt Moden, Merle Carpenter, Charles Whitlatch, John Bair, Tiffany 
Baldock, and Dale Cross filed a complaint in Federal District Court 
alleging that our initial finding on the petition to delist the Lost 
River sucker and shortnose sucker was arbitrary and capricious and 
violated the Act (Moden v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). On 
September 3, 2003, the court ruled that our finding was arbitrary and 
capricious because it reached unexplained conclusions not supported by 
the administrative record. The court remanded the initial finding, and 
ordered us to either reissue the

[[Page 43555]]

initial finding with further explanation or proceed to a status review. 
Consistent with the court's order, the Service has rewritten the 
original finding, clarifying our analysis as well as addressing 
additional comments made by the court and the petitioners.

Species Information

    The Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker are two fishes that 
naturally occur only in the upper Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and 
northern California. Both species primarily reside in lake habitats and 
spawn in tributary streams or at springs and shoreline areas within 
Upper Klamath Lake. Historically, the two species were very numerous in 
shallow lakes that occurred in the upper basin and made spawning 
migrations up the rivers of the Upper Klamath basin. Concentrations of 
migrating and spawning suckers were exploited as a food source by 
Native Americans and white settlers. The habitat of the two species has 
been highly modified, owing to water development projects, and has 
contributed to their listing (USFWS 1998).
    The Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker are long-lived species, 
reaching ages of over 30 years. Also, both species are highly fecund, 
being capable of producing larger numbers of eggs, and are more 
tolerant of poor water quality conditions than trout (USFWS 2001). 
These factors should make the suckers adaptable to drought and other 
adverse conditions (USFWS 1992). However, because current water quality 
conditions in Upper Klamath Lake and other areas are so adverse, there 
is considerable mortality. Few young suckers are produced during 
drought years and there is a regular order-of-magnitude decrease in 
juvenile sucker numbers from summer to fall. For successful recruitment 
to occur, young fish must survive to spawn, but substantial recruitment 
of subadult fish into the spawning population has been rare (USFWS 
2001). In a 2002 biological opinion, the Service examined data relevant 
to recruitment and found: ``The available data show evidence for 
relatively substantial recruitment of smaller fish into the Williamson 
River population of Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker in only a 
few of the last eighteen years.'' The data also show that there is 
substantial recruitment into the shoreline spawning population of Lost 
River suckers for only a few of the last fifteen years (USFWS 2002). 
Also, there is apparently low survivorship over the first winter, 
suggesting that fall/winter survival is low (USFWS 2002). Die-offs in 
1995, 1996, and 1997 have killed many of the older fish, thus reducing 
the ability of the populations to reproduce. Over 6,000 dead adult 
suckers were collected following a 1996 fish die-off, and this figure 
likely represented only a small fraction of the total that died (USFWS 
2001). Following the 1995 through 1997 fish die-offs, the Sprague River 
spawning index declined 80 to 90 percent for the two suckers (USFWS 
2001). Therefore, current conditions, including poor water quality and 
low lake levels resulting from drought, pose a serious risk to even 
tolerant and adaptive fish like suckers. (The spawning index is an 
indicator of the relative number of suckers that migrate in the Sprague 
River during the spring spawning period. Nets to survey suckers are put 
in the river weekly over the entire spawning season. The index is 
calculated by taking the average number of suckers caught per day per 
net and summing the averages over the season. While the spawning index 
is not necessarily the most accurate measure of population size, 
because individual suckers may not spawn every year and the capture 
efficiency of nets can be affected by water clarity, currents, debris 
loading, and other factors, it is a good indicator of trends when 
measured over a long period of time. Therefore, current conditions, 
including poor water quality and low lake levels resulting from 
drought, pose a serious risk to even tolerant and adaptive fish like 
    The two sucker species were federally listed as endangered in 1988 
(53 FR 27130). The original listing and status assessments conducted in 
2001 and 2002 and included in two biological opinions on the operations 
of the Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project (USFWS 2001, 2002) 
concluded that the suckers were still subject to the following threats: 
(1) Drastically reduced adult populations and reduction in range; (2) 
extensive habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation; (3) small or 
isolated adult populations; (4) isolation of existing populations by 
dams (passage); (5) poor water quality leading to large fish die-offs 
and reduced fitness; (6) lack of sufficient recruitment; (7) 
entrainment into irrigation and hydropower diversions; (8) 
hybridization with the other native Klamath sucker species; (9) 
potential competition with introduced exotic fishes; and (10) lack of 
regulatory protection from Federal actions that might adversely affect 
or jeopardize the species. These status assessments drew upon 
information from all published and unpublished reports on the biology, 
distribution, and status of the listed sucker species in the Klamath 
region and the ecosystem on which they depend. The assessments also 
included and considered new information that was available.

Discussion of Petition

    The petition states that delisting of the Lost River and shortnose 
suckers should occur because, either: (1) The estimates of the sucker 
populations in the 1980s were in error and did not, in fact, 
demonstrate a precipitous decline (i.e., sucker populations in the 
1980s were much larger than assumed); or (2) the estimates of the 
sucker populations in the 1980s were reasonably accurate, and the 
suckers have demonstrated an enormous boom in the period since listing 
and no longer exhibit ``endangered'' status (i.e., sucker populations 
have increased and are no longer endangered).
    The petition's supporting documentation consists of an excerpt 
(four pages and ``Figures 2 & 3'') from testimony by David A. Vogel 
before the U.S. House Committee on Resources (Vogel 2001), five 
bibliographic references, and eight footnotes. The referenced testimony 
concerns sucker population estimates from the 1950s to 1997, which are 
included in the petition as a table labeled ``Figure 2.'' Figure 2 
provides selective information for the two sucker species from three 
time periods: pre-1980s (1950s-1976), 1980s, and 1990s (see Table 1 
below). While this table displays population estimates that are higher 
since listing, we find that comparisons of population sizes pre- and 
post-listing using these data are invalid because: (1) Data were 
obtained using different methods and models, and assumptions used by 
those models were violated; and (2) the estimates do not refer to the 
same populations. These limitations are explained below.

[[Page 43556]]

                                                     Table 1.--Estimated Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Populations From Petition Figure 2
               Species                    1950s-early 1960s               1970                     1976              1984       1985       1986              1987              1996       1997
Lost River Sucker...................  Unknown.................  Unknown................  Unknown................     23,123     11,861      6,000  Unknown................     94,000     46,000
Shortnose Sucker....................  Extremely low (< 200)....  Very rare..............  200-1,000..............      2,650      1,490        500  Only 20 seen...........    252,000    146,000

    The petitioners state that sucker populations in the 1980s were 
much larger than assumed at listing and therefore listing was 
unnecessary. In support of this statement, the petitioner refers to Mr. 
Vogel's testimony concerning sucker population estimates, which were 
included in the petition (and reproduced as Figure 1) in this finding.
    In response to the court's questions in its remand regarding the 
significance of supplementary information concerning sucker populations 
prior to the listing in 1988, we also considered data contained in 
supplementary references provided by the plaintiffs, including a letter 
from Craig Beinz (The Klamath Tribes) (Beinz 1986); meeting notes of 
the Sucker Working Group (Williams 1986); a USFWS memorandum (USFWS 
1986); and a Service endangered species technical bulletin (USFWS 
1987). These documents emphasize the drastic decline in sucker 
populations in the 1980s and the need for Federal protection, and thus 
supported the 1988 listing.
    The sucker population information for the 1980s provided by the 
petitioners and reproduced above in Table 1 was obtained from surveys 
jointly conducted by the Klamath Tribes and Oregon Department of Fish 
and Wildlife from 1984 through 1986, and was produced in a final report 
by Bienz and Ziller (1987) titled ``Status of Three Lacustrine Sucker 
Species (Catostomidae).'' Sucker population information in this report 
was considered by the Service in the original listing and in the two 
status assessments (USFWS 1988, 2001, 2002). Bienz and Ziller (1987) 
focused on sucker populations that spawned in the Sprague River, the 
major tributary of the lake and the primary spawning site for Upper 
Klamath Lake suckers, because it was believed that the sport fishery on 
that river was adversely impacting the sucker populations. Bienz and 
Ziller (1987) noted significant declines in the numbers and sizes of 
suckers caught over the 3 years of their study and concluded: ``Lost 
River and shortnose suckers appear headed for extirpation from Upper 
Klamath and Agency lakes * * *''
    Table 1, above, shows evidence that suckers spawning in the Sprague 
River very likely experienced a precipitous decline between 1984 and 
1986, consistent with the supporting literature provided by the 
petitioners and consistent with the final listing rule (USFWS 1988). 
Therefore, information referenced in the petition supports the fact 
that sucker populations prior to listing experienced significant 
declines. Consequently, the information cited in the petitions 
corroborates the Service's 1988 determination that listing was 
    The petition did not provide any information about the status of 
the suckers during the period between the 1950s and 1976 other than 
what is presented above in Table 1. The 2001 biological opinion 
reviewed this early data and found that creel surveys indicated an 
increase in the Sprague River harvest between 1966 and 1969 and then a 
sharp decline by 1974 (USFWS 2001).
    The petitioners state that the suckers no longer exhibit 
``endangered'' status because their populations have dramatically 
increased since listing, citing the referenced testimony, including 
various brief statements concerning additional aspects of the sucker's 
status. These statements are reviewed below.
    Table 1, above, provides estimates of sucker population sizes for 
the Upper Klamath Lake in 1996 and 1997. Although the original source 
of the estimates is not referenced in the petitions, the Service 
believes the data are from a draft report entitled ``Information on the 
Population Dynamics of Shortnose and Lost River Suckers in Upper 
Klamath Lake, Oregon,'' written by U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) staff 
in 1998, following their spring and summer sampling of adult sucker 
populations in Upper Klamath Lake and recovery of dead suckers in the 
1996 through 1997 fish die-offs (Shively 2002, 2003).
    The USGS did not finalize the draft report on the population 
estimates, owing to concerns that the implicit assumptions in the 
methods they used to estimate population sizes may have been violated 
and due to concerns associated with the data's statistical limitations 
(Shively 2002). As a result, the information from this report that was 
referenced in the petition regarding population increases is 
unreliable. With regard to the 1997 estimate, the Service concluded 
that a violation had likely occurred in both of the assumptions in the 
mark and recapture method (i.e., that marked fish are randomly mixed in 
the population, and all fish have equal probability of being 
recaptured) (USFWS 2001). Because of inherent problems with these data, 
the Services did not include them in the body of its 2002 biological 
opinion, but instead included the population estimates in an appendix, 
where we carefully and fully explained their limitations (USFWS 2002).
    Others have also concluded that the 1996 and 1997 population 
estimates based on the fish die-offs are unreliable, including Dr. D. 
Anderson, a specialist in the analysis of mark and recapture data to 
estimate fish and wildlife population sizes (Anderson 2003); the State 
of Oregon's Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team (IMST 2003); and 
the National Academy of Science's National Research Council's Committee 
on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin (NRC 
2003). The IMST concluded their review with the statement, ``At this 
time, it is not possible to accurately determine the current total 
abundance of suckers in Upper Klamath Lake or the trend in abundance 
over the past 15+ years with reliability'' (IMST 2003). The NRC, which 
had included the 1996 through 1997 population estimates in their 2002 
draft interim report (NRC 2002), removed the population estimates from 
their final report and concluded their evaluation of population sizes 
with the statement: ``For purposes of ESA actions, the critical facts, 
which are known with a high degree of certainty, are that the fish are 
much less abundant than they originally were and that they are not 
showing an increase in overall abundance'' (NRC 2003).
    Additionally, the 1996 through 1997 population estimates were 
derived from dead suckers collected during extensive summer die-offs, 
and therefore those data were applicable to population sizes prior to 
the die-offs. Based on catches of migrating suckers in the Williamson 
River, the USGS found that the

[[Page 43557]]

spawning index had declined 97 percent for both species of suckers 
between 1995 and 1999 (USFWS 2002). There has been an increase in the 
spawning index for Lost River suckers since 1999, but it has not 
reached the 1995 levels. Spawning indices for shortnose suckers are 
showing little recovery and if a substantial number of adults die in 
the near future, the population could plummet. Therefore, the 
information in the petition and in our files, rather than showing 
healthy populations in the 1990s, depicts populations subject to high 
adult mortality and showing inadequate recruitment. Consequently the 
data suggest a downward trend occurred in population sizes (USFWS 
2002). This addresses a concern raised by the court on page 19 of the 
Opinion and Order regarding apparent trends in the population 
information. The trend that is apparent in the 1990s is one that is 
    On page 18 of the Opinion and Order, the court pointed out that the 
2001 status report does not explore the differences in methodology 
between estimates in the 1980s and the 1990s, except to say that ``no 
accurate population estimate was available.'' As we noted through the 
clarification above, data collected in the 1980s were based on sampling 
in the Sprague River, while those obtained in the 1990s were based on 
dead suckers recovered from the Upper Klamath Lake fish die-offs. The 
population estimates, 1980s v. 1990s, are not comparable because the 
1990s estimates are unreliable, as the USGS has stated, because those 
data failed to meet necessary model assumptions. Also, the estimates 
from the Sprague River are only for suckers that spawn in particular 
reaches of the Sprague River, whereas data from the die-offs likely 
represented suckers from several populations that might spawn in other 
river reaches or along the shoreline of the lake. Therefore the data 
are not comparable, because one data set has been invalidated and the 
data were not from the same populations.
    Information in the petitions noted that the Upper Klamath Lake 
sucker populations have experienced substantial recruitment in recent 
years and also exhibit recruitment every year. For recruitment to 
occur, young suckers must survive to spawn. Although the Upper Klamath 
Lake sucker populations appear to spawn and produce some young every 
year, significant recruitment into the spawning population is 
infrequent (USFWS 2002). From 1988 to 2001, only two relatively strong 
cohorts (i.e., those born in 1991 and 1993) have recruited into the 
spawning populations (USFWS 2002).
    The petitioners referenced testimony that populations of both Lost 
River and shortnose sucker in Clear Lake Reservoir, and the population 
of shortnose sucker in Gerber Reservoir, are more abundant than 
reported at the time of listing and exhibit good recruitment. Clear 
Lake and Gerber Reservoir are much smaller than Upper Klamath Lake, and 
therefore have smaller sucker populations. The recent status 
assessments of the suckers considered this information (USFWS 2001, 
2002). However, available data shows that older suckers may be absent 
and the populations are physically and genetically isolated by dams 
from the rest of the Upper Klamath Basin. Because of the small size of 
the reservoirs and inadequate inflows during prolonged droughts, those 
populations may be subject to extinction if water levels get so low 
that the reservoirs are dry, if predators consume the fish, or if water 
quality gets too poor for survival (USFWS 2001, 2002). Following the 
drought of 1992, Clear Lake reached levels so low that it contained 
only 5 percent of its full capacity. If that drought would have 
continued, much of the reservoir would have been dry the following year 
(USFWS 2002). Droughts also may prevent suckers from reaching upstream 
spawning areas because access is blocked (USFWS 2002). Following 
droughts, suckers appear to be stressed and in poor health (USFWS 
    The petitioners additionally referenced testimony that the 
geographic range of the suckers is greater than believed at the time of 
listing in 1988. The recent status assessments of the suckers reflect 
that the known geographic ranges of the two suckers have not changed 
substantially since listing (USFWS 2001, 2002). At the time of listing, 
shortnose and Lost River suckers were reported from Upper Klamath Lake, 
its tributaries, Lost River, Clear Lake Reservoir, the Klamath River, 
and the three Klamath River reservoirs (Copco, Iron Gate, and J.C. 
Boyle). The two additional shortnose sucker and one additional Lost 
River sucker populations that have been recognized since listing are 
within the Lost River drainage, which was identified as part of the 
species' range at the time of listing. The populations occur in 
isolated sections of the Lost River drainage and are separated from 
other populations by dams. They include a small population of each 
species in Tule Lake (including the lower Lost River below Anderson 
Rose Dam), which are apparently limited to several hundred adults for 
each species, and an isolated population of shortnose suckers in Gerber 
Reservoir of unknown size. Because the additional sucker populations 
were within the known range at the time of listing, we do not consider 
the additional populations as representing a substantial increase in 
the geographic range.
    The petitioners referenced testimony that the sucker populations in 
the Klamath River reservoirs are more abundant and widespread than 
assumed at the time of listing. At the time of listing, a 
``substantial'' population of shortnose suckers was reported from Copco 
Reservoir, with additional collections from Iron Gate and J.C. Boyle 
reservoirs. Lost River suckers were reported to have been collected 
from all three reservoirs but have been practically eliminated from 
Copco Reservoir. More recent sampling in the Klamath River reservoirs 
indicates these populations are not large and there is no evidence that 
these reservoir populations are self sustaining (USFWS 2001, 2002).
    The petitioners also referenced testimony that hybridization among 
the species of suckers in the Klamath Basin was assumed to be a threat 
in the 1988 listing, but is now known not to be as problematic. The 
recent status assessment of the suckers reflects that ongoing genetic 
and morphological studies have confirmed that hybridization has 
resulted in genes from one species being transferred to another species 
and has occurred among the four species of suckers native to the 
Klamath Basin (USFWS 2001, 2002). The 2002 assessment found that some 
hybridization may be natural within Klamath suckers. However, the 
biological and conservation implications of hybridization, as well as 
the degree to which recent man-made changes to the Klamath Basin have 
altered the natural rate of hybridization, are still unresolved, and 
therefore the degree of the threat is unknown (USFWS 2002).
    All of the issues discussed in the petitioner's referenced 
testimony, i.e., mid-1990s population sizes, recruitment, geographic 
range, and hybridization, are addressed in the recent biological 
opinions that assessed the species' status and found that the 
endangered suckers are faced with continued threats to their 
populations (USFWS 2001, 2002). The quantitative comparisons among 
population estimates pre- and post listing provided by the petitioners 
and reproduced in Table 1 above are not informative owing to 
differences in methods and violations of model assumptions. 
Nevertheless, it

[[Page 43558]]

appears likely that some population increase occurred in the mid-1990s 
following cessation of the sport fishery and owing to a large 1991 year 
class recruiting into the adult sucker populations in the mid-1990s. 
However, three consecutive years of water-quality-related die-offs in 
1995 through 1997 killed a major portion of the adult populations 
(USFWS 2002). Therefore, regardless of what the population sizes were 
prior to the fish die-offs, they were much smaller afterwards and 
consequently their reproductive potential would have been much reduced. 
Following the die-offs, poor water quality was realized as a serious 
threat, if not the major threat, to the two species' continued 
survival. Thus, the available scientific or commercial information 
indicates that: (1) The increased population numbers referenced in the 
petition are based on population estimates that have been determined to 
be unreliable; (2) any population increase that may have occurred in 
early 1990s was offset by later declines owing to large sucker die-
offs; and (3) poor water quality was recognized as being more of a 
threat than was previously considered owing to three recent fish-die-
off events.


    We have reviewed the petition and its supporting documentation, as 
well as information in Service files and readily available published 
and unpublished studies and reports. On the basis of this review, we 
find that the petitions do not present substantial information 
indicating that delisting of the Lost River sucker or shortnose sucker 
may be warranted.

Five-Year Review

    Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires that we conduct a review of 
listed species at least once every 5 years. We are then, under section 
4(c)(2)(B), to determine, on the basis of such a review, whether or not 
any species should be removed from the List (delisted), or reclassified 
from endangered to threatened, or threatened to endangered. Our 
regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the 
Federal Register announcing those species currently under active 
review. Although the 90-day petition finding precludes the need to 
initiate a 12-month status review, we believe that a comprehensive, 5-
year status review is appropriate in order for us to consider new 
information that has become available as a result of recent actions, 
and to provide the States, Tribes, agencies, university researchers, 
and the public an opportunity to provide information on the status of 
the species. This notice announces our active review of the Lost River 
sucker and shortnose sucker.
    Although we recently completed status assessments for these species 
(USFWS 2001, USFWS 2002), new information is being acquired and a 
number of actions have been implemented or will soon be implemented to 
reduce threats to the species, including installing a fish screen at A-
Canal in 2003, constructing a fish ladder at the Link River Dam in 
2004, and improving passage in the near future at the Chiloquin Dam. 
Additionally, habitat restoration is occurring around Upper Klamath 
Lake and in its tributaries. These actions, combined with new 
information on the species, could affect the species' status and we 
are, therefore, proceeding to an updated status review of the species.

Public Information Solicited

    To ensure that the status review is complete and based on the best 
available scientific and commercial information, we are soliciting any 
additional information, comments, or suggestions on the Lost River 
sucker and shortnose sucker from the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, tribes, the scientific community, industry, 
environmental entities, or any other interested parties. Information 
sought includes any data regarding historical and current distribution, 
biology and ecology, ongoing conservation measures for the species or 
its habitat, and threats to the species or its habitat. We also request 
information regarding the adequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.
    The 5-year review considers all new information available at the 
time of the review. This review will consider the best scientific and 
commercial data that has become available since the current listing 
determination or most recent status review, such as:
    A. Species biology including, but not limited to, population 
trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;
    B. Habitat conditions including, but not limited to, amount, 
distribution, and suitability;
    C. Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit 
the species;
    D. Threat status and trends; and
    E. Other new information, data, or corrections including, but not 
limited to, taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of 
erroneous information contained in the list, and improved analytical 
    If you wish to provide information for the status review, you may 
submit your comments and materials to the Field Supervisor, Klamath 
Falls Fish and Wildlife Office (see ADDRESSES section). Our practice is 
to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, 
available for public review during regular business hours. Respondents 
may request that we withhold a respondent's identity, as allowable by 
law. If you wish us to withhold your name or address, you must state 
this request prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we 
will not consider anonymous comments. To the extent consistent with 
applicable law, we will make all submissions from organizations or 
businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 
representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available 
for public inspection in their entirety. Comments and materials 
received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, 
during normal business hours at the above address.

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this finding is 
available, upon request, from the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife 
Office (see ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this document is Ron Larson, fishery 
biologist, Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES section).


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 
1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: July 14, 2004.
Marshall Jones, Jr.,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-16549 Filed 7-20-04; 8:45 am]


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