Wednesday December 7, 2022

Lake County Record-Bee

Spring runs of a large minnow numbering in the millions have nourished Pomo Indians since they first made their home alongside Clear Lake more than 400 generations ago.

The Clear Lake hitch glinted like silver dollars as they headed up the lake’s tributaries to spawn, a reliable squirming crop of plenty, steeped in history and tasty when salted and dried like jerky.

In all that time, the hitch’s domain, about 110 miles northwest of Sacramento, had never suffered the degradation of recent years.

Now, with a growing sense of sorrow, if not anger, the Pomo Indian tribes of Clear Lake are watching the symbol of abundance and security they call chi dwindle into extinction.

On Monday, they took the rare and drastic step of urging Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to use her emergency powers and invoke the federal Endangered Species Act on behalf of the Clear Lake hitch.

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