FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge says the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation should have considered the environmental impacts before moving forward with a plan to protect a threatened California fish species.

The Fish and Wildlife Service rewrote its rules governing the management of the delta smelt last year. The plan caused cutbacks in the amount of freshwater that could be pumped to farms and cities south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

A group of water districts sued, saying the resulting water shortages were causing other environmental problems. They pointed to the depletion of the underground aquifer and more air pollution from fallowed farm fields.

The districts, environmentalists and federal agencies will meet in court soon to discuss how the pumps should operate while the government examines the plan's environmental impacts.

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