PROVO, Utah (ABC4) — The Provo River was diverted to form a new delta in an ongoing effort to save a species of fish called the June sucker.

The June sucker is an endangered species of fish native to Utah Lake and the Provo River, according to Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources.

In an effort to prevent flooding, officials have been diverting the Provo river. However, they were accidentally destroying the fish’s spawning grounds. Friday they were connecting the river with a restored delta, and Utah Lake.

Today’s diversion will create new wetlands and areas for the fish to breed and grow and build back some of those lost areas. It will also provide more clean water sources.

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Recovery Program director, Chris Keleher, today was a highlight of his career.

“It’s been a long time it’s pretty much been most of my career that I’ve been involved with this in some way or another,” Keleher said. “Just to see it happen, is just a highlight.”

Executive Director of the Utah Mitigation committee, Michael Mills, said that the delta will also create access to approximately 250 acres which he said the public will be able to enjoy. He said it has been in the works since 2008.

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior, Tanya Trujillo, flew in from Washington DC and talked with ABC4 about the importance of this project.

She said forming this delta is a milestone for the decade-long project, and that it’s very important for the June sucker fish.

“It’s incredible to be one of many partners to be helping with this species, to continue the progression of making sure it can continue to live for decades in the future.”

Senator Romney also released a statement praising this project.

“It remains essential that we continue to use our water resources in a way that’s appropriate and responsible to help our state maintain the vitality and quality of life that Utahns have long-enjoyed for many generations to come,” Senator Romney said. “This milestone in the Central Utah Project—the diversion of Provo River to connect it with a restored delta and Utah Lake—will help support habitat recovery for the threatened June sucker and ensure that our local communities have access to safe and reliable water sources.”