Another Bleak Result In Delta Smelt Survey

The tiny but critical Delta smelt, a native fish species that is one of the Power Point-presentations of the pushback for the state’s Delta Twin Tunnel proposal, has long been feared to be nearing extinction. And the latest California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fall Trawl Survey brought bleak results for the third consecutive year. Here’s more from The Stockton Record:

For the third year in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found zero Delta smelt in the agency’s 2020 Fall Midwater Trawl Survey throughout the Delta. 

The 2- to 3-inch-long Delta smelt, found only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is?an indicator species that reveals the overall health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. It was once the most abundant fish in the entire estuary, numbering in the millions. Now it’s on the verge of extinction in the wild. 

“All signs point to the Delta smelt as disappearing from the wild this year, or, perhaps, 2022,” according to a California Water Blog post by Peter Moyle, Karrigan Börk, John Durand, T-C Hung and Andrew L. Rypel.