January 28, 2015

In Surprise Move, Obama Administration Approves Increased Take Limit for Delta Smelt

Following a request submitted by the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved an increase in the “take levels” for Delta smelt in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta.  The unexpected decision implements a modified, interim version of the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative of the 2008 USFWS Biological Opinion (BO) for operation of the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) pumps.  The modified BO will increase the incidental Delta smelt take limit from 78 to 196.  This decision, however, does not apply to biological opinions on salmon in the Delta.