"Judge: CA Pumping Limits Needed To Protect Smelt"

"FRESNO -- A federal judge turned down California farmers' emergency request Wednesday to suspend water pumping restrictions in the state's delta in a ruling aimed at keeping a threatened fish species from being ground up in the pumps.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger means regulators will follow federal limits on the amount of water they can draw from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a delicate ecosystem that serves as the hub of California's water supply.

The restrictions were put in place to protect the smelt, a finger-sized fish considered a bellwether of the delta's health, as they swim downstream into the Pacific Ocean."

Garance Burke reports for the Associated Press February 10, 2010.

See Also:

"Despite Rain, California Still Fighting Over Water" (Reuters)

"In About-Face, Judge Upholds Calif. Water Limits" (Greenwire)

Source: AP, 02/15/2010