Embattled Fish Continues Decline

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

It’s a fish that’s been at the heart of a battle over water for agriculture, and despite measures to try and preserve it’s population, it continues to die off.

State wildlife officials say that the drought is largely to blame for the decreased numbers.

During two surveys this year crews only managed to catch seven Delta Smelt causing alarm for some biologists who say it may be too late to keep them from becoming extinct.

“The population abundance is very low.” says Carl Wilcox with California Fish & Wildlife, “It’s been declining throughout the drought, after a rebound in 2011 when we had really good water conditions.”
In the past the smelt died during dry years and rebounded when the weather returned.  However, pumping of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has been limited to protect the fish.

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