Biologists in California race to save the delta smelt and other species from the effects of an epic drought. Is it more important than giving farmers more water?
The delta smelt is fast disappearing from California waters, and saving the species is causing a fight between biologists and farmers.
A four-year drought in the Golden State has pushed the species to the brink of extinction. However, is it worth more than farmers’ demand for water?
“The delta smelt is basically on its last legs right now, we’ll be lucky if it survives the coming year,” said Peter Moyle, a UC Davis fisheries biologist in the video.
Researchers are breeding the smelt to ensure its survival in its native brackish California marshes.
Meanwhile, almond grower Jim Jasper was forced to pull out 400 acres of almond trees, because the government cut back on water for irrigation.
“The delta smelt continues to wreak a lot of havoc on today’s farming community,” he said.
As the drought continues, so does the fight to save fish and other aquatic species, while working to keep the farming industry fluid.
Where do you stand in the fight between farming and conservation?