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California Delta Smelt Survey Turns Up 1 Fish

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SACRAMENTO-

California’s drought appears to be taking a toll on a threatened fish species.

State officials found one Delta smelt during a survey earlier this month of 40 sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The survey by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife typically turns up dozens of smelt, and found 143 three years ago.

The finger-long fish’s numbers are considered a measure of conditions in the Delta. Experts say this year’s results were sad, but not unexpected.

Less water in the Delta because of the state’s ongoing drought creates saltier conditions. Delta smelt prefer fresher water to breed.