NANFA-- the golden trout - as an endangered species.
Fri, 28 Jun 2002 17:54:58 EDT

Calif. Fish Up for Endangered List
By ANGELA WATERCUTTER.c The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal judge has given the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service 90 days to consider listing California's state fish - the golden
trout - as an endangered species.

A conservation group sued last November, claiming the agency and Interior
Secretary Gale Norton failed to act on its request last year to list the

The judge's order, issued last Friday, gives the agency three months to
decide if the request has merit. It will then have nine months to act on its

Fish and Wildlife intends to announce whether it will propose the trout for
listing by Sept. 16, said agency spokeswoman Patricia Foulk.

At one time, golden trout were found in 450 miles of streams across the
southern Sierra Nevada. But in the past 100 years, crossbreeding and
pollution have reduced their range to 84 miles.

``Golden trout could very well face extinction if they had to wait for the
Fish and Wildlife Service to get to our petition,'' said Steve Trafton of
Trout Unlimited, the conservation group that sued.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has said it did not act on the petition more
quickly because it had a backlog of endangered species requests, and was
under a moratorium on adding new species to the endangered list.

Another conservation group, California Trout, believes an endangered species
listing could go too far.

``We see that the state fish is in danger,'' said Brett Matzke, the group's
public lands director. ``However, we still feel that a 'threatened' listing
is all that's necessary.''
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