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Feds taking another look at the delta's longfin smelt

Is another resident of the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta headed for the federal endangered species list?

In a court settlement approved Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to take another look at the delta's dwindling population of longfin smelt to see if it deserves federal protection.

The service in 2009 denied a petition to list the San Francisco Bay-delta population of the longfin, an anadromous member of the smelt family that lives in estuaries along the Pacific Coast from the Bay Area to Alaska. The agency concluded that the bay-delta longfins were not a distinct population because they  migrate into the Pacific Ocean and can swim up the coast to breed with other longfin groups.

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Bay Institute, which filed the petition, challenged the denial in U.S. District Court. Under the court settlement, Fish and Wildlife will launch a new review based on a study of longfins throughout their range. If the entire population doesn't qualify for endangered species protection, the agency has agreed to reconsider whether delta longfins are distinct.

Longfin smelt, already listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act, are one of a number of native delta fish in serious decline. For more on the effort to save the much-maligned delta smelt, read Wednesday's story in The Times: A small fish caught in a big fuss 


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Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Hey Rob, please get a clue. We don't want to ruin the economy any more than you want to destroy the Sacramento River.

Every species of fish native to the Sacramento River has been devastated by current water management practices. These fish are crucial to local ecosystems and support a valuable recreation industry. Some of us object to a State Water Management Plan that subsidizes wealthy agribusiness giants while polluting our environment as destroying the recreation industry. We strongly support water management practices that provide the agriculture industry with what it needs, while protecting the environement and the other industries that depend on water for their survival.

Michael - feel free to round up those smelt and take them home. Then I suggest getting a real job and quit feeding off the taxpayers.

and do your part to save water by not having offspring.

People or fish. Make a choice. Fish lose.

The first person to make any type of comment on this article is an idiot. The fate of the longfin and the delta smelt is a clear indication of poor oversight and greed by mankind. I believe that it is our duty to preserve as much as possible for future generations. I pray Rob has none as he appears to be so shortsighted as to want to leave to the future a state bereft of wildlife and wild places.

maybe it’s the Longfin Smelt’s time to die.

Is a fish worth ruining an entire State's economy.


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