California game fish face extinction

Seventeen species of California game fish face “poor chances of survival” and three species of salmon face “very poor chances of survival” according to a report just issued by fish advocacy group California Trout. The report’s findings were the lead story in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The damming of the state’s waterways and global warming are two of the factors that threaten the fish, and chances are good they may be extinct before the century’s end, says the report.

“Our fish need cold, clean water to survive, but they’re getting less and less of it,” said Peter Moyle, author of the study and a professor of conservation biology at UC Davis. “Dams block access. Climate change is now looming to exacerbate the threat, and it increases the urgency. All of these things are pushing our fish toward extinction.”

California’s recreational fishing industry is worth $2 billion to the state’s economy, according to another study published earlier this year by California Trout, and each salmon caught in the dammed Klamath River could be worth $200 to the local economy. (Full story)

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