March 02, 2010

By Jennifer Cassel

On March 18, 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”) published its final determination to list a population of euchalon, also known as Pacific smelt, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  75 Fed. Reg. 13012.  In the notice, NOAA states that it has identified “changes in ocean conditions due to climate change as the most significant threat” to the southern distinct population segment (“DPS”) of Pacific smelt, which live in the British Columbia, Fraser, Columbia and Klamath rivers.  In addition, NOAA finds, “climate-induced change to freshwater habitats is a moderate threat” to the southern DPS of Pacific smelt.  NOAA has not yet determined what measures must be taken to protect the smelt under the ESA, but will promulgate protective regulations and publish those rules in the Federal Register.  The effective date of NOAA’s listing is May 17, 2010.

The Federal Register notice is available at