Green Sturgeon New Smelt for Bay-Delta Pumps?

Posted on | May 22, 2009 | 3 Comments



A federal biologist holds a green sturgeon caught and released in San Pablo Bay, California in 2002.

A federal biologist holds a green sturgeon caught and released in San Pablo Bay, Calif., in 2002. Photo: NOAA

THE SAME day that Central Valley farmers filed suit over pumping stoppages to protect the Delta smelt, the spectre of additional protections for another fish, this time the green sturgeon, rose from government scientists. Reports Thursday May 21 from AP and Fresno Bee followed today (May 22) by a better report in Aquafornia.

For the full story, go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announcement as to why its  Fisheries Service “is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that generally prohibits acts that would kill or harm a distinct group of North American green sturgeon that spawn in the Sacramento River. 

Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, this distinct segment of green sturgeon is found from Alaska to California but is only known to reproduce or spawn in California’s Sacramento River. Data indicate a steady decline of juvenile green sturgeon over the last 30 years. The major cause of decline is likely the loss of spawning habitat in California’s Central Valley.

Today’s proposed rule prohibits the “take” (harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting the fish, or any attempt to engage in such conduct) of these listed fish, apart from certain categories of activities that contribute to conservation of the species such as some types of scientific research, habitat restoration, or emergency fish rescue operations.”

Also see May water news bulletins updated daily in Press from the West


3 Responses to “Green Sturgeon New Smelt for Bay-Delta Pumps?”

  1. Adan Ortega Jr.
    May 25th, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

    This posting points to the precise reason why California needs a multi-species plan for the Delta. The idea that the Bay-Delta can be restored to a natural state is over 100 years too late. A species by species approach only helps a special niche of lawyers and lobbyists who represent cities, farmers and environmentalists stuck in 30 year-old “solutions.” The levees themselves altered the natural environment in the Delta. The task is not to restore the Delta but to decide how California will prioritize all that depend upon it – humans, fish/birds/plants, cities, farms – as well as how to manage the circumstances that affect it including short-term floods, changing sea levels, drought, pollution, and population growth. Like it or not, we are left to play God.

  2. AndrewBoldman
    June 4th, 2009 @ 7:26 am

    Hi, good post. I have been woondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll definitely be coming back to your site.

  3. $12bn water bill | Chance of Rain
    September 9th, 2009 @ 8:00 am

    […] This in turn set in train the summer’s vitriolic fish-vs-people debate, which prompted Governor Schwarzenegger to recently write to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar condemning federal enforcement methods in protecting endangered fish such as the Delta Smelt and Green Sturgeon. […]

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