A new study from the biologists at the University of California, Davis, and the nonprofit organization California Trout, presented in-depth results related to the status of thirty two types of trout, steelhead, and salmon that are natives of California. The research reveals that the number and health of these above-mentioned fish populations are declining and also detailed opportunities and ways of saving and stabilizing these fish species.

Native fish species in California battling extinction

This report is the 2nd of its kind with the 1st one being released in 2008.

At that juncture, the first report had put forward a baseline health level of each of the 32 native fish species including, steelhead, salmon, trout, and the bull trout (now extinct). Since 2008, the count of California’s natural fish species that were likely to go extinct within the next 50 Years increased from just five to a whopping fourteen. The conditions of the left over thirty-one fish species (81 percent) are much worse presently than ten years ago, following the five-year drought.

Why the salmon and trout may become extinct

After in-depth analysis, the researchers found that if the present trend of mad-made and climatic threats continue, 45% of California’s native steelhead, salmon, and trout fish species will possibly become extinct in 50 years.

Moreover, 74% can become extinct within a century if the present condition prevails. Out of all the fish species, only the coastal rainbow trout stands the likelihood of surviving the odds.

The species that stand the chance of going extinct in the next 50 years nearly tripled in the last decade from five to fourteen. In addition to that California stands to lose salmons – almost 52% native and 27% inland ones in the coming five decades, given that the current trend persists.

Among California’s native salmonids, the species that face the most immediate threat are, Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon, Central California coast coho salmon, Kern River rainbow trout, Southern steelhead, and McCloud River redband trout.

What threatens their survival?

The report apart from presenting a stark picture of the current scenario of California’s fish species also includes an assessment of the major dangers to the fish’s survival.

The report highlights the negative effects of climatic change. This may cut down cold water habitats’ availability, which are necessary for the survival of salmon, trout, and steelhead. The study also enlists an array of man-made fears like agriculture, dams, urbanization, transportation and estuary alteration.