Provo River Delta Restoration Project
The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, the Department of the Interior Central Utah Project Completion Act Office and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District have issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Provo River Delta Restoration Project that analyzes the potential impacts of restoring the Provo River delta back to a more naturally functioning delta ecosystem. The Final EIS, Executive Summary and Technical Reports can be viewed or downloaded from this website here.
Each spring in the lower Provo River, adult June sucker (Chasmistes liorus) are observed spawning, and significant numbers of recently hatched larvae are subsequently monitored drifting downstream. But post-larval survival rates of June sucker have been found to be low to zero since the species was listed as endangered in 1986 (and before). Monitoring efforts have not documented the successful recruitment of wild June sucker from Provo River and research has shown that larval fish generally do not survive longer than about 20 days after hatching. It is believed that the larval fish die because of a lack of suitable “nursery” or rearing habitat and are therefore unable to recruit into the adult population. The Provo River Delta Restoration Project is needed to facilitate recovery of June sucker by implementing requirements of the June Sucker Recovery Plan to restore naturally functioning habitat conditions in the Provo River/Utah Lake interface that are essential for spawning, hatching, larval transport, survival, rearing and recruitment of June sucker.
Continued management and future use of Provo River water is closely tied to recovery of the June sucker. June sucker recovery will reduce risks to water supply reliability and result in an improved ecosystem for all who use Utah Lake.
Notice of Availability of the Final EIS was published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015 (see also April 8, 2015 Federal Register Notice). After a period of not less than 30-days from the Federal Register Notice (May 17, 2015), the CUPCA Office and Mitigation Commission may respectively issue a Record of Decision as to which EIS alternative to implement, if any. A copy of the Record of Decision(s) will be sent to those on the project’s mailing list and will also be posted to this website. To add your name to the mailing list click here.