Federal protection of the tiny Delta smelt, a three-inch-long fish living in the Delta, will continue.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday upheld a lower court ruling in favor of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Endangered Species Act.

The smelt’s protection has restricted water deliveries to Southern California. The ruling means the reduced deliveries – designed to stave off the smelt’s extinction – will continue unchanged.

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