Tuesday February 20, 2024

Daily Kos

For the sixth year in a row, no Delta Smelt were collected in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fall Midwater Trawl (FMWT) Survey in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from September through December 2023.

Once the most abundant species in the entire estuary, the Delta Smelt has declined to the point that it has become virtually extinct in the wild. The 2 to 3 inch fish, found only in the Delta, is an “indicator species” that shows the relative health of the San Francisco Bay/Delta ecosystem.

When no Delta Smelt are found in six years of a survey that has been conducted since 1967, the estuary is in a serious ecological crisis.

The Delta smelt is listed as “endangered” under both the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act.

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