NOAA Fisheries is proposing to designate critical habitat for the southern distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific eulachon. The agency listed these fish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in March of last year.
The proposal covers 12 specific areas for designation as critical habitat within the states of California, Oregon and Washington. The proposed areas are a combination of freshwater creeks and rivers and their associated estuaries, comprising approximately 292 miles of habitat.
Eulachon, also known as Pacific smelt, are small ocean-going fish that historically ranged from northern California to the Bering Sea in Alaska. They return to rivers to spawn in late winter and early spring. Eulachon have historically played an important role in the culture of Northwest native tribes, representing a seasonally important food source and a valuable trade item.
A public meeting on this critical habitat proposal is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2011, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. (people may attend either session), at the Doubletree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah St., Portland, Ore. The comment period will close Mar. 7, 2011.
See the Fisheries Northwest Region Website at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Other-Marine-Species/eulachon.cfm for more details about this action.
source: NOAA press release