Some California Fish Species On Verge Of Extinction

(KCBS) — The failing health of many aquatic ecosystems in California has pushed some fish species to the brink of extinction, according to a new report from a team of experts.

Coho Salmon and Delta Smelt are just two of the species under threat, said Ellen Hanak, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

“To put it bluntly, the fish are losing,” said Hanak.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

A book of research by scientists, engineers and economists that the institute Wednesday goes beyond the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to examine aquatic ecosystems throughout the state.

A fragmented and ineffective water management system also poses problems for flood control and water quality, Hanak said.

“Investments in flood infrastructure for flood protection haven’t been adequate to maintain the existing infrastructure. And many local governments have promoted development behind weak levees, placing more lives and property at risk.”

The report encourages wide-ranging reforms that allow for more flexibility in how water systems in California are managed.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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