NOAA Fisheries lists Pacific smelt as threatened

The Pacific smelt, a small fish that is popular as food and bait, but is beset by climate change, declining river flows, and shrimp fishing, is getting federal protection.

The NOAA Fisheries Service said Tuesday that the fish also known as eulachon or candlefish will be listed as a threatened species.

The Cowlitz Tribe in Washington state asked for the listing in 2007.

There are two populations. The one getting protection ranges from the Mad River in Northern California north into British Columbia.

Just what will be done to protect the fish has not been determined, but NOAA Fisheries says further declines are expected as global warming reduces the availability of prey and changes springtime river flows.

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