Thursday, March 31, 2005

Catching up

Wichita Eagle | 03/31/2005 | Report: 17 species of state's fish endangered:
A group of experts has identified 17 species of fish native to Kansas that could be considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

In a report to be published next month in the "Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science," the nine biologists, water quality experts and others also listed 28 more species that could be elevated from their current risk categories in Kansas.

However, the report will have little immediate effect because the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks may not be able to act on it for five years. …

The native fish population has declined because of changing uses in the aquatic systems in Kansas, Collins said. In western Kansas, more water has been diverted for agricultural uses, while in eastern Kansas pollution and different channeling practices have harmed fish.

There's a fairly obscure fight underway over whether certain seasonal streams qualify as waterways for purposes of EPA management. This finding may wind up bearing on that dispute, or vice versa. Who can keep track?