Fish & Wildlife

The San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary is the largest estuarine system on the Pacific coast, supporting some 750 species of fish, animals and birds.  Eighteen of these local species have been designated by state and federal agencies as threatened or endangered.

More than one million shorebirds and waterfowl make their home on bay marshes, while millions of others use it as a migratory destination or a rest and reenergizing food stop.

The Delta is a major nursery for fish and invertebrates, as well as a highway for migrating salmon and steelhead.

Forty species of native fish — including sculpins, cutthroat, golden, rainbow trout and mountain whitefish — make their home In the cold, clear upper waters of the Sierra Nevada. In the oak studded foothills downstream, native species include large suckers, hardhead, and rainbow trout. Massive runs of chinook salmon and steelhead formerly populated the San Joaquin, yet now only fall run salmon are seasonally found in large numbers in the Sacramento River.

The Bay Institute works to force the federal and state governments to list and protect native Delta and Central Valley species, including Delta Smelt, Chinook Salmon, Long Fin Smelt and Splittail. 

Click here to learn more about threats to endangered species, and The Bay Institute's efforts to save them.