Monday November 13, 2023

Daily Kos

On October 11, San Francisco Baykeeper put the US Fish and Wildlife Service on notice that the environmental advocacy organization intends to sue the agency for for violating the Endangered Species Act by missing a Congressional deadline for the listing of the longfin smelt.

“The agency proposed listing the SF Bay-Delta population of longfin smelt as an endangered species in 2022, but it has failed to meet a deadline established by Congress in the ESA to make a final listing determination or to designate what counts as critical habitat for the imperiled fish,” the organization said in a statement.

The longfin smelt is a cousin of the Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the entire estuary and now virtually extinct in the wild. No Delta smelt have been found in the past five years of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fall Midwater Trawl (FMWT) survey on the Sacramento- San Joaquin River Delta: apps.wildlife.ca.gov/…

The abundance index, a relative measure of abundance, for the Longfin Smelt was 28 in 2020, 323 in 2021 and 403 in 2022. Those figures contrast with an index of 81,737 when the survey first began in 1967. 

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