Central Valley

Delta fish species reaches record low

State officials say several fish species that play an important ecological role in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are declining, and one species has reached a record low.

Last fall's surveys from the state Department of Fish and Game show the population of delta smelt and striped bass are dwindling.

The report on longfin smelt was more dismaying: population estimates for fall 2007 reached their lowest since the surveys began in 1967.

Last summer, a federal judge ordered federal and state water authorities to reduce the amount of water they pump through the delta hoping to protect the delta smelt.

State water officials will hold a hearing on the fish decline later this month.

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