Longfin smelt declared threatened species

The longfin smelt on Thursday was declared a threatened species in California, officially adding another imperiled fish to the problems affecting the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The California Fish and Game Commission in March ruled there was enough evidence to protect the longfin under the state Endangered Species Act. This began a review period that concluded Thursday with a formal vote in Woodland to list the fish as threatened.

The 5-inch longfin – similar to its cousin, the Delta smelt – is sensitive to water quality in the Delta that's been altered by pollution and water diversions. It has been declining since 2000 as problems in the Delta have multiplied.