RE: NANFA-- USGS fish photo request

Jay DeLong (
Wed, 3 May 2000 15:59:49 -0700

> I noticed that at least one of the fish (Santa Ana Sucker) was a
> non-native
> fish, introduced into Califonia some years ago, and is now being
> considered
> to be put on the endangered species list which gives it protection here in
> California. Why would they give it protective status here when it was not
> from here??

Well, that question got my attention! I looked in Inland Fishes of
California, and Moyle says there are 4 populations of the fish: Santa Clara,
Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Santa Ana river systems. He cites Clark Hubbs
as saying that the Santa Clara population is probably a result of an

There is a stock of chinook salmon in the Deschutes River syetem here in
Puget Sound that was recently listed as part of the Puget Sound ESU and is
therefore protected under the ESA. The funny thing is that the Deschutes
River has an impassible waterfall near its mouth, and the only fish that can
make it to the upper river have to transported there. And the only reason
they're transported is for sport anglers to be able to catch them. And in
many years the fish transported have been 100% males. So, there isn't any
significant spawning up there, yet it's listed as a significant part of an
endangered stock!

So where did these fish come from in the first place? From the Skykomish
River over 100 miles north. They were transported here in the 1950's to
establish a broodstock in the Deschutes system. The Deschutes River flows
into Capitol Lake before flowing into Puget Sound. For decades these
chinook have been artificially spawned then reared in the lake. Now there's
a run that returns to the lake annually. It seems the FWS and NMFS have the
mentality (be it right or wrong) that they want to protect what's here now,
like they're saying "Okay, this stock has adapted to the local environment,
let's protect it." Maybe the FWS is looking at the Santa Ana sucker in the
Santa Clara system in the same way.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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