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Department of Fish and Game comments on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biological opinion on Delta smelt

Dec. 15, 2008

SACRAMENTO - California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Director Donald Koch issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s biological opinion on Delta smelt. The opinion was issued today in compliance with a federal judge’s order.

"The biological opinion issued today provides measures to address the effects of the operation of state and federal pumps on a single species, the Delta smelt. However, the information contained in the document clearly underscores the fact that the Delta as a natural community is in trouble. A more comprehensive approach to improving the condition of the Delta for fish and wildlife is being developed in the Bay-Delta Conservation Planning process. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan includes input from a diverse group of stakeholders including state and federal fishery agencies, public water agencies, environmental and other state and local organizations - all of which are deeply invested in the long term sustainability of the Delta. DFG has been actively involved in the Bay Delta Conservation Planning effort and we are committed to its success. Our goal is to protect and ensure the sustainability of the fish and wildlife species that rely on a healthy Delta."

Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, 916-654-9937