WASHINGTON (CN) – Hooligan, candlefish, smelt and Thaleichthys pacificus are some of its names. But no matter what the name, the Pacific eulachon is threatened with extinction in its southern range – river basins south of the Nass River in British Columbia with the largest population in the Columbia and Frasier rivers, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The main threat to the eulachon, which is a primary prey fish for larger fishes, especially salmon, is global warming, with its higher water temperatures, decreasing spring freshets and slowing river flows.
The service’s proposal to list the euchalon as threatened in its southern range concludes the 12 month review of the species for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The service now is collecting public comment before developing a final listing rule which will include any protective measures the service deems necessary to protect the fish.
An interesting fact about the fish is that people have put a wick in it and burned it as a light source.