Court upholds big habitat for rare Ca. sucker fish

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Environmentalists say a federal judge has upheld a decision to double the size of a designated habitat for a threatened fish in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Douglas Headrick of the Santa Ana Sucker Task Force says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision was upheld Monday.

The fish lives in the Santa Ana River, which runs through San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties and is a water source for 3 million people.

Federal officials proposed designating more than 9,300 acres in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties as critical habitat for the algae-eating fish.

Lawsuits were brought against the federal agency by 12 Inland Empire water agencies, where water officials have worried releases required to wash gravel downstream for the fish to reproduce could reduce water storage.

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