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Steelhead trout still endangered

first_imgA federal marine agency reaffirmed endangered species status Tuesday for steelhead trout off Southern California’s coast but failed to protect related species found in the Santa Clara River and Piru Creek. The National Marine Fisheries Service designated 10 populations of West Coast steelhead trout but excluded rainbow trout and steelhead trout landlocked above dams from the listed populations. “All forms of steelhead including resident and juvenile fish should be protected from the Bay Area south, since many southern streams have only remnant populations of ocean-run fish,” said Jeff Miller, wildlife advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Adult steelhead do not make it every year into our drier southern streams, which are impaired by water diversions, and as a result resident fish and trout trapped above dams are an important genetic component for maintaining and restoring steelhead runs.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Under the new listing policy for steelhead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will retain jurisdiction over “resident” trout populations – those found behind dams. The agency has no plan to list these populations given that the Bush administration has consistently opposed protections for endangered species, Miller said. Opponents argued that the new policy makes no sense biologically because it arbitrarily divides steelhead populations. Rainbow and steelhead trout are different life forms of the same species. Rainbows stay in streams as resident fish whereas steelhead migrate to the ocean and return to streams to spawn and rear. National Marine Fisheries had proposed in June to include resident trout and some landlocked steelhead in the listed West Coast populations. The Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups are concerned about steelhead trout at the southern end of the species’ range, where the fish are rare because of the impacts of dams and other development. There is significant evidence of close genetic relationships between resident trout and steelhead trout in waterways including the Ventura River, Santa Clara River, Piru Creek and Sespe Creek.last_img read more