TU sues FWS to list California golden trout as endangered

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Thursday November 29 11:09 PM ET.

Group Sues To Protect Golden Trout

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A fish conservation group sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday to protect the California golden trout as an endangered species.

The lawsuit filed by Trout Unlimited claims the agency and Interior Secretary Gale Norton failed to act on a request last year to list the species as endangered. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco.

A century ago, the colorful trout was found in 450 miles of streams across the southern Sierra Nevada. Crossbreeding and pollution have reduced its range to 84 miles.

Its outlook has become more bleak because recent studies suggest hybrid goldens may be among populations thought to be genetically pure, said Steve Trafton, the state policy director for Trout Unlimited.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said it is not acting on new petitions because it is trying to handle a backlog of requests.

``We're certainly frustrated we don't have the funds or the staff to work on conservation in an effective manner,'' said Patricia Foulk, spokeswoman for the agency in Sacramento.

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Program: http://endangered.fws.gov/
 

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