Dispatch from Washington: A Central Valley congressman revises the accepted taxonomy, calling the endangered Delta smelt “a worthless little worm.”
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The California Fish and Game Commission officially qualified two species of freshwater fish for special protection under the California Endangered Species Act. The Commission listed the delta smelt as “endangered” and the lonfin smelt as “threatened,” a lesser classification. Both are denizens of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and have long been at the center of controversy over water diversions from the Delta.
This morning’s news for Central Valley farmers was bad–but not unexpected: record low allocations of water from state and federal irrigation systems, just as growers make their spring planting decisions.