Thursday June 1, 2023

Modesto Bee

It’s a fickle fish — one that evades even the most experienced anglers and darts for cover when curious passersby try to spot its freckled body against the backdrop of a gravel-lined stream.

Despite capturing the attention of many local scientists and conservationists, California’s Central Coast steelhead trout remain listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, according to the latest review of the species released in May by the National Marine Fisheries Service, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The population segment on the south-central California coast reviewed by the federal agency, which has a range stretching from the Pajaro River in Monterey Bay to Arroyo Grande Creek, was first listed as threatened in 1997. It hasn’t appeared to improve since then.

A listing as threatened means the population is close to becoming endangered or at risk of extinction.

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