Home>Articles>Petition to Request Delta Smelt Be Declared Extinct will be Filed With Fish and Game

Delta Smelt. (Photo: CDFW)

Petition to Request Delta Smelt Be Declared Extinct will be Filed With Fish and Game

A declaration of extinction would allow access to massive amounts of new water for families and farmers

By Katy Grimes, May 24, 2021 1:47 pm

California water expert Kristi Diener notified the Globe that a petition to request the Delta Smelt fish be declared extinct is going to be filed. Diener said this has never been done before, and currently there isn’t one single petition to have a species delisted under review in the United States.

The U.S. and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife have been put on the required 30-day notice, with the petition to follow.

Diener explains:

Only four smelt have been collected since July 2018, after thousands of Department of Fish and Wildlife trawling surveys. Nonetheless, pumping water into storage is always throttled back about Jan – May when it is thought smelt could be migrating. The problem is, this is also during the Spring thaw, and we are not able to take full advantage of the snow melt before it meets the ocean. A declaration of extinction would allow us to access massive amounts of new water for families and farmers that is currently being squandered to the sea for smelt in which these government agencies have failed to save for nearly 30 years.

It’s past time to make these agencies defend themselves, the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars they fritter away, and the economic and environmental devastation needlessly taking place by dumping so much fresh water into the Pacific Ocean.

Chris Mathys, who will be running for the 21st Congressional District in 2022, currently held by Rep. David Valadao, has decided that instead of making campaign promises to bring us water like all the other candidates do, he will walk the walk before receiving a single vote. This is such an exciting and bold move!

In February 2020, President Donald Trump signed an order to divert water in northern California from the San Francisco Bay area to the Central Valley, following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s update of the Endangered Species Act, done to bring much needed water to agriculture and growers in California’s Central Valley. As this process was underway, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom took their own shot over Trump’s bow with  Senate Bill 1, the California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019, which would send billions of gallons of water out to the Pacific Ocean ostensibly to save more fish, while farmers and ranchers were starved for water, even in maximum rainfall years.

But with the new administration, environmental groups have issued letters to President Joe Biden urging him to set the new Opinions aside and ignore the “Voluntary Agreements” for the Bay-Delta watershed, Diener said. This is just one scathing letter the NRDC recently posted: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/doug-obegi/vas-are-bad-deal-californias-fish-and-wildlife

Formal letter to US and CA Fish and Game requesting Delta Smelt be declared extinct. (Photo: Facebook)

Notably, one of  The CA Water For Food and People Movement group’s members said this:

“They only have themselves to blame. I live and farm in delta. Wanted to help save fish by using two fields beside delta to breed they said No. Because they quit dredging all smelt habitat is overrun by water hyacinth and invasive plants from fish bowls. At low tides in summer you will have fish kills with no oxygen and place for fish to go!! Way to go environmentalist kill the things your trying to save !!!!! Just think how much more water storage and how much healthier for fish and flood control the delta would be with managed dredging.”

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15 thoughts on “Petition to Request Delta Smelt Be Declared Extinct will be Filed With Fish and Game

  1. Little to late for this year but hopefully next year we won’t lose our water to save an extinct fish!

  2. Raise them in an aquarium so snowflakes can ooh and ahh over these minnows. Noisome can call it smelt world. I am sure it will be a big hit.

  3. Even if the fish are not declared extinct, they should suffer the same water cutbacks as the ag and urban users during times of drought. More storage is the only sensible solution.

  4. Unfortunately, even if the smelt are listed as extinct, the same organizations and bureaucracies clamoring to “save” them will simply demand the same water policies to save a different species. Coho salmon comes to mind. Once there are food and water shortages, big government can step in and make people more dependent. It’s astonishing that Californians elect clowns who support these policies. Voters do it over and over.

  5. Somehow I suspect the un-natural water flows that the greens have imposed on the delta are a contributing factor. It is natural for delta flows to approach zero in late summer and in droughts. It would be interesting for a real ichthyologist (not sold out to the green lunacy) to comment on this situation.

  6. It’s high-time for common sense, conservative activism to stand-up to the de-growth policies of the enviros. Scientists at the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity have concluded that: “Every day, up to 150 species are lost.” Species loss is a natural part of evolution. Humanity’s ability to survive comes from our ability to adapt. Because of our shepherding of so many species, should we go extinct, multiple others that are dependent upon our survival, will vanish with us.

  7. The ignorance and short-sightedness of this article and comment section is horrifying. People who drain/reroute 95% of a delta and complain about the government protecting the last 5% to try to preserve an ecosystem that supports millions of fish/wildlife/waterfowl/hunters/anglers/outdoor enthusiasts beyond the delta smelt. Truly astounding embarrassing ignorance.

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