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USFWS Seeks Public Comment on San Francisco Bay Population of Longfin Smelt

SACRAMENTO— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to list the San Francisco Bay-Delta population of longfin smelt as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. A study shows that the population is in danger of extinction throughout the range, and the service has opened up a 60-day public comment period. Habitat loss due to the long-term reduction and alteration of freshwater flows into the San Francisco Bay estuary is the primary threat. Longfin smelt requires specific water temperatures and adequate freshwater flows to survive. “The longfin smelt may be small and unassuming, but they are an important part of the Bay-Delta estuary. The loss of this species would have a ripple effect throughout the ecosystem,” said Paul Souza, the Service’s Pacific Southwest Regional Director, in an Oct. 6 press release. “If this species is listed, the Service will work with partners to balance the needs of the species and communities that depend on Bay-Delta water resources. Additional funding for recovery actions can also be made available through the Service and our partners for continued conservation of the fish in California.”

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 7, 2022. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 6, 2022. Requests for public hearings must be submitted in writing no later than Nov. 21, 2022.

Information on how to submit comments is available at by searching under docket number: FWS-R8-ES-2022-0082.

You can also submit comments and information or a hearing request in writing to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2022-0082, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803.

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