Mudslide kills rainbrow trout population

December 13, 2007

California scientists say a mudslide apparently has wiped out one of Orange County's last clusters of native rainbow trout.

The Orange County Register said the rainbow trout in Harding Canyon possessed the capacity to turn into protected southern steelhead if they could have reached the ocean.

"What we feared, happened," Adam Backlin, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told the newspaper. "The hillsides just slumped into the canyon, and buried the entire creek."

The ability to change from a freshwater to an oceangoing form, known as anadromy, allows the fish to take advantage of both habitats and return to protected pools for breeding, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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