Sampling for Clear Lake Hitch
The Clear Lake Hitch was formerly highly abundant and a staple food for the Pomo tribes of the Clear Lake region. The original abundance of this fish species is unknown but is believed to have declined 100-fold. To better understand Clear Lake Hitch behavior and habitat use, USGS biologists have conducted extensive sampling of the lake and its tributaries, as well as detailed analysis of various parts of the fish, including otoliths (ear bones), eye lenses, and fish muscle. These findings are important for identifying critical habitat, an important element of endangered species conservation and management.