Extinction by drought

The Shed's Peter Moyle has identified 18 resident California fishes that are likely to vanish if the drought drags on another year or two. See the list of fishes

His assessment is part of a recently released report —"What If California's Drought Continues?" — published by the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center.

"We're going to be losing most of our salmon and steelhead if things continue," Moyle recently told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the numbers of the long-suffering delta smelt have plunged to "the last of the last."

Some of the imperiled fishes such as the Red Hills roach are little known and are not listed for protection under the federal or state endangered species acts.

Photo: Beau Hopkins of the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery releases juvenile winter-run chinook salmon in the Sacramento River at Caldwell Park in Redding. Taken Feb. 4, 2015 by Steve Martarano/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To counter the drought losses, Livingston has ramped up production of the species.