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Candlefish Proposed|As Threatened Species

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Pacific eulachon, or candlefish, will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, according to regulations proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Washington State petitioned the Service in 2007 to list eulachon that spawn south of the Canadian border as threatened or endangered due to overfishing and habitat destruction.

The eulachon got its nickname "candlefish" because it is so fat during spawning that if caught, dried and strung on a wick it can be used as a candle.

Spending part of its life in salt water and part in fresh water, the eulachon is a vital part of the diet of indigenous communities along the Pacific coast where the fish matures, and inland waterways where it returns to spawn and die.

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