Fish in California’s Kern River remain protected following new ruling

“BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (CN) — An injunction protecting fish in California’s Kern River remains in place, even after a judge rebuffed several claims in a case looking to restore water to the dried up river.

Environmental groups — including Bring Back the Kern, Water Audit California and the Center for Biological Diversity — sued Bakersfield in 2022, saying that the city’s water diversions hurt wildlife habitats and the river’s ecosystem.

Kern County Superior Court Judge Greg Pulskamp overruled this week Bakersfield’s request to dismiss a claim relating to public trust and fish and game code — allowing a preliminary injunction imposed in October by Pulskam that requires a certain amount of water flow to protect fish to stay in effect.

The judge ruled that Bakersfield has a duty to comply with certain rules, including fish and game code. He also didn’t agree with the argument that weirs aren’t dams.” [Read More]