Climate Change Study Says 82% Of State’s Native Fish Species Could Face Extinction
Another climate change horror story has emerged from a University of California, Davis study.
Extinction of 82% of California’s native fish species is possible over the coming century due to long-term warm-water effects of climate change, the study released May 31 asserts.
Species facing such doom could include Central Valley late fall run Chinook salmon, Delta smelt, upper Klamath-Trinity River spring chinook salmon, Clear Lake hitch, Kern River rainbow trout, Central Coast coho salmon and Southern Oregon-Northern California coast coho salmon.
Fishery experts at UC Davis created a framework to measure climate change vulnerability among 121 native and 50 non-native fish species. Non-native fish tend to be more adaptable to warm water. The study said about 19% may face extinction.
The study’s lead author, Peter Moyle, said cold-water fish in California waters could eventually be overwhelmed by invasive species such as carp, largemouth bass and green sunfish.
COLD WATER STORAGE?
Although the environmental community has consistently opposed dam development, Moyle said storage of more cold water with timely releases could help some native species avoid extinction.
“All the climate change projections suggest that water temperatures are going to get significantly warmer as time goes on,” Moyle said. “We’ll be making choices. Either we have these species around for the future, or we don’t.”