Bringing you stories about California's wildlife, the threats they face, and the value they bring us.
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Green Sturgeon Prevails In Federal Appeals Court

Green Sturgeon Prevails In Federal Appeals Court

Fish: A federal appeals court rules that the government paid enough attention to economic impacts when designating critical habitat for the green sturgeon.
The Bay Delta's Waning Giant: White Sturgeon

The Bay Delta's Waning Giant: White Sturgeon

Fish: The Bay Delta's white sturgeon was once lauded as a success story for careful management of fisheries. Now it's declining anyway.
Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Perch

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Perch

Fish: If there were any fish native to the Delta that seemed tailor-made to withstand the drought, it would have to be the Sacramento perch. And yet the Sacramento perch is almost certainly extinct in the Delta.
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Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Longfin Smelt

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Longfin Smelt

Fish: The Threatened Delta smelt is famous, but there's another smelt in the Bay Delta whose decline is making wildlife partisans worried.
Green Sturgeon: The Bay Delta's Disappearing Prehistoric Sea Monster

Green Sturgeon: The Bay Delta's Disappearing Prehistoric Sea Monster

Fish: Despite being called "living fossils," green sturgeon are highly adapted to conditions in the Bay Delta -- but those conditions are changing too fast for the sturgeon to keep up.
Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Splittail

Bay Delta Fish You've Never Heard Of: Sacramento Splittail

Fish: The splittail was once abundant enough to provide a substantial Native fishery. Now its numbers are dwindling. But it isn't protected under either the state or federal Endangered Species Acts.
A Confusing, Compelling Wild Fish: Steelhead in the Delta

A Confusing, Compelling Wild Fish: Steelhead in the Delta

Aquatic: The more you study the Delta's sleek, silvery steelhead, the less you realize you know.
3 Invasive Animals That Have Permanently Changed the Delta

3 Invasive Animals That Have Permanently Changed the Delta

Invasive Species: A fish, a frog, and a turtle have caused widespread damage to the Delta...and we brought them here on purpose.
A Look at the Delta's Tastiest Invasive Species

A Look at the Delta's Tastiest Invasive Species

Fish: While scientists differ over the degree of harm this invasive species might be causing native wildlife, many Californians are happy to have a chance to see it. Especially steamed with ginger and lemongrass.
The Delta Smelt: Keystone Species, Political Flashpoint, Possibly Already Extinct

The Delta Smelt: Keystone Species, Political Flashpoint, Possibly Already Extinct

Fish: It used to be so common that trawlers caught it to send to markets. Now, fisheries experts say it will likely be extinct in a few years... if it isn't already.
Pacific Coast Sardine Fishery Closed Until 2016

Pacific Coast Sardine Fishery Closed Until 2016

Fishing: Pacific sardine stocks off the coast of California are collapsing faster than anyone expected, and the agency responsible for regulating the West Coast's fisheries has banned commercial fishing of sardines for the next 15 months.
Pond Turtle, Whole Bunch of Other Species May Win Federal Protection

Pond Turtle, Whole Bunch of Other Species May Win Federal Protection

Agencies: A whole lot of California species are being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Feds Quietly Double Allowable Kill of Endangered Delta Fish

Feds Quietly Double Allowable Kill of Endangered Delta Fish

Fish: Just days after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported the worst season in history for the federally Endangered delta smelt, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service quietly gave permission in early January for Central Valley water projects to kill more than twice as many smelts this year.
New Wildlife Laws Taking Effect on New Years' Day

New Wildlife Laws Taking Effect on New Years' Day

Legislation: Come New Year's Day, new wildlife laws going into effect include a number of procedural matters, refinements and clarifications of earlier laws, and a few important new wildlife protection measures. We've described the most important here.
Could Canadian Fish Farms Harm California's Wild Salmon?

Could Canadian Fish Farms Harm California's Wild Salmon?

Commentary: Activists charge that diseases from British Columbia fish farms are affecting wild salmon runs all along the Pacific Coast.
Irrigators Ask Judge to Cut Emergency Water for Klamath Salmon

Irrigators Ask Judge to Cut Emergency Water for Klamath Salmon

Fish: A federal agency started releasing more water from a reservoir Saturday in an effort to avoid another massive die-off of Chinook salmon in the Klamath River, but now a pair of powerful agricultural interests has gone to court to stop the release.
State May Declare Unique NorCal Fish Threatened

State May Declare Unique NorCal Fish Threatened

Fish: The California Fish and Game Commission may decide soon whether to add a freshwater fish found in just one Northern California lake to the state's list of Threatened species.
Feds to Consider Ban on Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Feds to Consider Ban on Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Fish: The Federal agency that manages marine endangered species announced that it's considering a ban on recreational or commercial fishing of a species of tuna that's extremely popular among fans of sashimi.
Study Needs Divers, Snorkelers to Count Giant Sea Bass

Study Needs Divers, Snorkelers to Count Giant Sea Bass

Fish: Are you a diver who explores the depths off the California coast? A team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara need your help to gauge the health of one of the state's most dramatic wildlife species.
State Finds Pot Grow Site Diverting Water From Endangered Salmon Stream

State Finds Pot Grow Site Diverting Water From Endangered Salmon Stream

Agencies: A creek containing the state's southernmost run of the federally endangered coho salmon has been diverted for an illegal pot grow, with as much as 1,400 gallons a day taken away from the fish.
Big Step In Restoring Tribal Pupfish Habitat

Big Step In Restoring Tribal Pupfish Habitat

Fish: A Native tribe based in the Owens Valley is applying for a permit to move an endangered desert fish to a specially prepared refuge on the tribe's land, in an effort to restore a species that was once vital to the tribe's survival.
'Extinct' Trout Run Spawns For First Time In 76 Years

'Extinct' Trout Run Spawns For First Time In 76 Years

Fish: Great news from the Truckee River: Pyramid Lake's population of Lahontan cutthroat trout has been seen spawning in the river for the for the first time since 1938. And it's only due to a lucky break that the Pyramid Lake population of cutthroats hasn't been extinct since then.
Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable

Report Offers a Way For California to Become Water-Sustainable

Commentary: A report released today by two environmental groups says that if we make four basic, common-sense changes in the way we use California water, we'll have enough to go around even in drought years. And so will the fish.
Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Irrigators Sue to Block Water For Salmon, Wildlife Refuges

Commentary: A agency that represents 22 irrigation districts and other water providers in the Central Valley is asking a judge to block the U.S. government from releasing water to benefit other water users, including wildlife refuges.
A New Plan to Share Water With California's Salmon

A New Plan to Share Water With California's Salmon

Fish: The state and federal agencies responsible for monitoring the health of California's salmon and steelhead runs have announced a new program to help private water rights holders protect fish from the current unprecedented drought.
Swordfish Catching Technique Could Be Banned to Protect Other Marine Life

Swordfish Catching Technique Could Be Banned to Protect Other Marine Life

Fish: A bill in Sacramento would ban the use of drift gillnets in California waters due to what opponents call an unacceptably high level of harm the nets cause to marine mammals, sea turtles, and other non-target wildlife.
Northwest Water Users Want Exemption from Salmon Protection

Northwest Water Users Want Exemption from Salmon Protection

Fish: In a move that could have ramifications in drought-stricken California, a group representing irrigators in the Columbia and Snake river basins want to use an obscure federal law to prevent new protection of the area's salmon and steelhead populations.
Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

Drought to Hit Central Valley Wetlands Hard

Birds: The California agency that manages the state's massive State Water Project has released a drought management plan for the summer, and it includes bad -- but not particularly surprising -- news for the Central Valley's wetlands.
6 Cool Animals That Live Only in California

6 Cool Animals That Live Only in California

Guides: Our state has a lot of what ecologists call "endemic species," meaning species found in California and nowhere else. Here are some of the coolest ones.
Tiny Coastal Fish May Lose Some Protection

Tiny Coastal Fish May Lose Some Protection

Fish: A two-inch fish found only in tidal estuaries along the California coast may get less protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), if a proposal by the nation's leading wildlife agency goes through.
Delta Smelt Wins Victory in Federal Court

Delta Smelt Wins Victory in Federal Court

Fish: In a ruling long-awaited by wildlife advocates and Central Valley water users alike, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today struck down most of a 2010 lower court ruling on federal protections for a small fish.
Salmon Defenders Gain Legal Victory For California's Best Coho Stream

Salmon Defenders Gain Legal Victory For California's Best Coho Stream

Fish: The California Court of Appeals just handed a big victory to defenders of Marin County's coho salmon.
Saving California's Salmon for the Long Run Will Be an Uphill Battle

Saving California's Salmon for the Long Run Will Be an Uphill Battle

Fish: California can do a lot to keep its native salmon and other fish species going through this record drought, and through the inevitable worse ones to come, according to a leading fisheries biologist. But it's going to take hard work and hard choices, and Californians will need to rethink the way the state manages water.
Feds Want to Take Modoc Sucker off Endangered Species List

Feds Want to Take Modoc Sucker off Endangered Species List

Fish: In response to a petition by a conservative legal group, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to remove a small fish that lives in only a few streams in California and Oregon from the Endangered Species List.
Drought Prompts More Fishing Closures in California

Drought Prompts More Fishing Closures in California

Fish: California's Fish and Game Commission has closed several major rivers in the state to fishing to protect salmon and steelhead populations from the ravages of the current drought.
California Bans Fishing in Central Coast Rivers Due to Drought

California Bans Fishing in Central Coast Rivers Due to Drought

Fish: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed rivers and creeks to fishing from San Mateo County to Big Sur in an effort to protect coho salmon and steelhead struggling to survive during California's record drought.
Drought May Already Have Killed Off Central Coast Coho Salmon

Drought May Already Have Killed Off Central Coast Coho Salmon

Fish: As wildlife managers fret over the effects of the ongoing drought on California's fish, some are saying that a particularly vulnerable population of salmon may already have been wiped out by the drought. The Central Coast coho could be gone south of the Golden Gate.
Here's The Easiest, Most Effective Way You Can Save Water For California's Fish

Here's The Easiest, Most Effective Way You Can Save Water For California's Fish

Commentary: Let your lawn die. That's right, cut it off. No more water.
Brown Suspends Environmental Law in Drought Declaration

Brown Suspends Environmental Law in Drought Declaration

Agencies: Here's something that wasn't mentioned in Friday morning's San Francisco press event at which Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency: CEQA, the state's foremost environmental law, no longer protects wildlife or the environment from the effects of the state's response to the drought.
2013: One of the Worst Years on Record for Bay-Delta Fish

2013: One of the Worst Years on Record for Bay-Delta Fish

Fish: 2013 was a really bad year for a number of important fish species in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, continuing a decade-long collapse of fish. And a major sportfishing group says increased water diversion for urban and farm use is to blame.
Salmon Coming Back to San Joaquin River After 60 Years

Salmon Coming Back to San Joaquin River After 60 Years

Fish: California's chinook salmon may be expanding their territory into the San Joaquin River, which for decades had so much water diverted from its bed to water crops that it often ran dry for a 60-mile stretch northwest of Fresno.
An Introduction to California's Delta Tunnel and Salmon Controversy

An Introduction to California's Delta Tunnel and Salmon Controversy

Fish: A plan to build two tunnels that would divert water from Sacramento to San Joaquin Valley farms poses a dire threat to salmon, according to a Bay Area salmon protection group.
Salmon Come Back to Marin County as Lawsuit Proceeds

Salmon Come Back to Marin County as Lawsuit Proceeds

Fish: A few years back the Lagunitas Creek watershed's coho numbers cratered. The fish have been steadily regaining ground since, but sprawling residential development may undo the rebound. Two environmental groups have filed suit against Marin County to block a development plan they say threatens the county's salmon habitat. And this month, as if to offer a vote of confidence in habitat protection, chinook salmon -- the coho's larger cousins -- are moving into Lagunitas Creek to spawn for the first time in several years.
Feds May Have Harmed Sacramento River Salmon

Feds May Have Harmed Sacramento River Salmon

Fish: The federal agency that regulates water releases from a Northern California dam drastically cut those releases last month, and one fisheries group is afraid that the move could have killed millions of eggs laid by fall-run chinook salmon.
Possibly Back From Extinction, Desert Fish Get New Habitat

Possibly Back From Extinction, Desert Fish Get New Habitat

Fish: A tiny Mojave desert fish that was once thought extinct -- and might still be -- is getting a bit more habitat in a small town near Death Valley National Park.
Washed-Up Oarfish Reveal Secrets of the Deep to Scientists

Washed-Up Oarfish Reveal Secrets of the Deep to Scientists

Fish: We still don't know whether there's something more than coincidence behind the two oarfish that washed up on Southern California beaches this month, but a wildlife lab in Santa Barbara has taken advantage of the opportunity to learn about oarfish ecology -- with the help of critters many Californians would probably rather not think about.
Study: Flooded Rice Fields Good Nurseries for Baby Salmon

Study: Flooded Rice Fields Good Nurseries for Baby Salmon

Fish: Salmon and rice go well together on the dinner table, and it turns out they may be good partners in the watershed as well.
To Save Frogs, Park Service Plans to Use Pesticide in Sierra Nevada

To Save Frogs, Park Service Plans to Use Pesticide in Sierra Nevada

Amphibians: Now that the federal government shutdown is over and the National Park Service is getting back to work, the staff at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have extended public comment on a plan to eradicate invasive fish from high-elevation lakes in the Sierra Nevada.