Fish and Wildlife honors Corps of Engineers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Army Corps of Engineers is helping it bring back three endangered species.

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says water and sediment that once flowed down the Mississippi River are now creating habitat for the interior least tern, pallid sturgeon and fat pocketbook mussel.

Biologists say there are more of all three animals, and the interior least tern population has risen from 6,000 to 10,000 birds. The agency says a recent five-year review recommended taking the bird off the endangered species list.

It says that by improving habitats in the lower Mississippi River Basin, the changes also will provide better fishing, bird watching and boating, and will boost populations of species such as bass, catfish and crappie.