Environmentalists sue to regain protection for small fish found in California delta

Environmentalists sue to protect Calif. delta fish

SACRAMENTO — Environmentalists want to reverse a 2003 decision by the Bush administration that eliminated federal protection for a small California fish.

A complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ignored findings that the Sacramento splittail population was declining.

The Center for Biological Diversity says the agency’s decision was tainted by a former Interior Department official who was accused of altering reports.

The splittail is a minnow found in marshes and sloughs of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that was listed as threatened between 1999 and 2003. Environmentalists want the Obama administration to consider relisting it.

If they succeed, the state and federal water projects might have to alter how much water they pump out of the delta.


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