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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / SACRAMENTO

65% of native fish said endangered

November 20, 2008|Eric Bailey

More than half of California's native fish could be extinct by the end of the century because of the deteriorating condition of the state's rivers and streams, according to a scientific study released Wednesday.

Peter Moyle, a UC Davis fish biology professor, determined after two years of research that 65% of the state's salmon, steelhead and trout are in danger of extinction.

The report, commissioned by California Trout, blames in particular a decline of water conditions that Moyle contends is indicative of "a much larger water crisis that, unless addressed, will severely impact every Californian."

Last year, a slump in the salmon population prompted federal regulators to cancel the commercial fishing season. But the new report suggested such troubles are just the start of a long and precipitous slide in the coming decades for the Golden State's fisheries.

State Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) announced that she will hold a hearing on measures that might help stem the fish decline.

-- Eric Bailey

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