In the Jordan River, macroinvertebrates serve not only an important function as a source of food for fish and other aquatic life, but they also are used as a parameter by which to measure water quality and the health of the river. There are 34 different groups of invertebrates found in the Jordan River, most commonly of the class Oligochaeta (which includes earthworms), along with mosquito larvae and caddisfly larvae. The state of Utah maintains a Sensitive Species List that includes "those species for which there is credible scientific evidence to substantiate a threat to continued population viability." The Lyrate mountainsnail and the western pearlshell mussel, both native to the Jordan River watershed, are found on this list. A 2007 survey of macroinvertebrates and their response to pollution stated that the Jordan River was substantially to severely impaired with organic pollution and that it contained reduced levels of dissolved oxygen.
Historically, the Jordan River was a cold-water fishery that contained 13 native species, including the Bonneville cutthroat trout, Utah Lake sculpin, June sucker, Mottled sculpin, Utah chub and the Utah Sucker. Today, the Jordan River is a warm-water fishery with the Utah Sucker and the endangered June Sucker present only in Utah Lake. The Utah chub, however, is still found in the Jordan River. The most common species of fish encountered today is the common carp which was introduced into the Jordan River and Utah Lake as a source of food after overfishing caused the depletion of native species stocks. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources regularly stocks the river with catfish and rainbow trout.
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