Legal news for California environmental attorneys. Nonnative hatchery fish are threatening native populations.
The Center for Biologic Diversity filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Game for threatening natural wildlife.
Los Angeles, CA—The state of California has been named in a lawsuit filed by an environmental watchdog group that claims that state has “failed to protect native species from illness, death and other harmful effects caused by hatchery-raised fish.” The suit is challenging an environmental report that was released in January, which provided ways to improve operations at California’s hatcheries and stocking programs, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
California’s Department of Fish and Game has been accused by the Center for Biological Diversity of causing harm to native trout steelhead, salmon, Chinook salmon, mountain yellow-legged frogs, long-toed salamanders, Cascade frogs, and other various forms of wildlife by placing millions of hatchery fish in the state’s waterways. The environmental activists claim that nonnative hatchery trout have been the source of the declining populations of mountain yellow-legged grogs, Cascade frogs and long-toed salamanders in high mountain lakes. A recent federal study showed that the collapse of salmon runs in California and Oregon has been linked to unhealthy hatchery salmon. In addition, studies have revealed that hatchery-raised steelhead trout that have genetic defects are passing the defects along to their offspring, which is threatening their offspring’s existence and natural balance. The eggs and babies of native frogs are also being eaten by nonnative hatchery fish. It is unclear what the environmentalist group is asking for in damages, or how they want the Department of Fish and Game to rectify this problem.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California environmental lawyers.