PROVO June suckers could get a second home if all goes according to plan.
Officials with the June Sucker Recovery Implementation Program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior held a public meeting Thursday to discuss and receive comments for the draft environmental assessment for a Hobble Creek restoration project.
Designed to improve spawning and rearing for the native June sucker, the proposed project would re-route the westernmost section of Hobble Creek in Springville into Utah Lake. State officials recently purchased a 21-acre property to
allow the route. The June sucker, which is native to Utah, has been on the endangered species list since 1986. It currently only spawns in the Provo River, but members of the project hope Hobble Creek can become a breeding ground for the fish, said Ralph Swanson, National Environmental Policy Act program coordinator for the proposed project.
The water where Hobble Creek currently flows into Utah Lake has a low velocity and the stream contains high dikes that aren't suitable for spawning and for the young fish to grow, said Melissa Stamp, watershed scientist with Bio-West, the consulting and planning firm for the project.
About a half dozen residents attended the meeting Thursday, most of whom were landowners affected by the project. Daniel Hales, a member of the community development department in Springville, said the city had plans to build a road at the proposed location of the creek. If the proposed project is authorized, the groups involved will work with the city with their long-term plans, Swanson said.
"We try to do the best we can, but we recognize we need to talk with cities," he said.
Tom Mower, a landowner near the project, said his land would be impacted by the change, but he would be fine with the new location of the stream if water was directed in a way that the old stream bed wouldn't have stagnant water.
The proposed stream area would have berms on either side of the bank to protect from flooding and the depth will be from 2 to 5 feet, said Chris Sands, principal and senior planner at Bio-West. If the project is approved construction would begin in the fall.
The environmental document can be viewed in full at www.junesuckerrecovery .org. Public comments for the environmental assessment will be accepted until July 11.
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