Nation’s largest freshwater fish could be added to California’s threatened species list

The largest freshwater fish in North America, which was once abundant in California’s major rivers and San Francisco Bay, has declined in numbers to a point that state officials will consider whether to protect the fish as a threatened species under the state’s Endangered Species Act…

The giant size of white sturgeon makes them an outlier among fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary.

“They’re even larger than a mountain lion,” Jon Rosenfield, science director for the group San Francisco Baykeeper, said in a speech to the commission. “This is an ancient lineage. White sturgeon diverged from other sturgeon and paddlefish about 46 million years ago. In that time, they’ve withstood everything that Mother Nature had to throw at them, which makes it particularly poignant that they’re having trouble surviving us.”

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