Friday, August 27, 2010

Good News for Central Valley Steelhead

A federal appeals court last week ruled that populations of steelhead in California's Central Valley should remain protected under the ESA. The listing had come under fire by agricultural interests who sought to reduce protection for the fish to allow for more irrigation withdrawls and other destructive practices. They argued that NOAA could not list steelhead as long as populations of resident rainbows remained robust, however the federal government refused to back down forcing the case to court. The ruling is great news for Central Valley steelhead which have dwindled to extremely low numbers due to habitat loss, overzealous irrigation and a long history of overharvest. The fish were originally listed as threatened in 2006. More information in an article from the Los Angeles Times:

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