Common Name
UTAH LAKE SCULPIN

Scientific Name
COTTUS ECHINATUS

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Photo by Craig Ellsworth
Photo Copyright Craig Ellsworth

The Utah Lake sculpin, Cottus echinatus, was endemic to (occurred only in) Utah Lake, but the species has not been found since 1928. It is believed to have gone extinct during the 1930s, when a severe drought caused the waters of Utah Lake to become extremely shallow. The shallow water allowed much of the lake to freeze, and fishes in unfrozen areas of the lake became overcrowded. These overcrowded conditions, along with decreased water quality from agricultural practices, probably led to the demise of the Utah Lake sculpin.

Like other species of sculpin, the Utah Lake sculpin was benthic, spending much of its time on the bottom of the lake. Invertebrate animals were probably the major food source of the Utah Lake sculpin.

Sources:

  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

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