The six imperiled California Delta fish species which saw an increase in populations during the wet 2011 season have all fallen back to perilously low levels after a dry 2012 (from the Sacramento Bee):
Any hopes that six imperiled Delta fish species might be trending back from the brink of extinction have been dashed by a new population survey: Counts for all six species got worse in 2012.
The species, all residents of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, include Delta smelt, a protected finger-size fish, and striped bass, an introduced species that is a popular sportfish. All six saw a severe population crash starting in 2002 that is still the subject of debate and controversy.
The decline halted in 2011, when a wet winter improved aquatic habitat. All six species rebounded, though not to pre-2002 levels.
In the latest trawl-net survey of the estuary, conducted each fall since 1967, the gains of 2011 were lost. All six species returned to their prior low numbers, according to the survey, conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
To read Matt Weiser’s entire article, click here.