Longfin Smelt

12-Month Finding

Delta Smelt, Peter Johnson USFWS
Longfin Smelt Juvenile, René Reyes, USBR

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that the San Francisco Bay-Delta Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys)  warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. However, the Service is precluded at this time from proposing to add the species to the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species by the need to address other higher priority listing actions. Read More.

Longfin Smelt 12-month finding (Full version, PDF, 1MB)
Longfin Smelt 12-month finding questions and answers (PDF)

Longfin smelt, NOAA
Longfin Smelt Adult, NOAA

The longfin smelt is a pelagic (lives in open water) estuarine fish that typically measures 3.5 to 4.3 inches standard length, although third-year females may grow up to 5.9 inches. The longfin smelt (Spirinchus thaleichthys) belongs to the true smelt family Osmeridae, and is one of three species in its genus.

The known range of the longfin smelt extends from the San Francisco Bay-Delta in California northward to the Cook Inlet in Alaska.