In the Murky news
State considers another Delta fish for endangered status
State regulators took steps to add yet another Delta fish to the list of endangered species Thursday and implemented emergency regulations that could further cut into state water supplies.
The president of the state Fish and Game Commission said the new rules could exact a “monster” hit on the state economy, though exactly what the impact will be was unclear.
“We have a plumbing problem that is going to cost billions of dollars in a very short period of time. It’s an absurd position to be in,” said the commission president, Richard Rogers.
Meeting in San Diego on Thursday, the commission designated longfin smelt as a candidate for the list of threatened and endangered species, meaning it must decide within a year whether to add it to one of those lists.
Then the commission enacted emergency measures that give Department of Fish and Game biologists new authority to cut deliveries from massive pumps near Tracy that supply water to 25 million people, including in Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties.
The new regulations come on top of court-ordered restrictions issued in December after a federal judge determined regulators were allowing water agencies to drive Delta smelt to extinction.
One judge and three appointed commissioners decide fish are more important than people, jobs and financial security. Makes perfect sense to me.