Federal regulators deny protection to Calif. fish

Sacramento, Calif. (AP) – Federal authorities say a small fish
in Northern California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin river delta does
not deserve protection on the federal endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its decision
Wednesday after a 12-month review of the longfin smelt in the delta
region.

Environmental groups say the fish’s population has plummeted to
its lowest level in four decades.

Protection is still a possibility for the broader population of
longfin smelt, which is found in estuaries along the Pacific Coast
from the San Francisco Bay area to Alaska.

California’s Fish and Game Commission voted in early March to
list the fish as a threatened species under state law, which will
go into effect early this summer.

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