STANFORD, Calif.—Federal regulators are investigating whether Stanford University's operation of a San Mateo County dam is illegally harming threatened steelhead trout on California's central coast.

The Palo Alto Daily News (http://bit.ly/12NO71q) reports that the National Marine Fisheries Service is probing the university's operation of Searsville Dam.

The central coast population of steelhead—which live part of their lives in the ocean and part in freshwater creeks—is a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Environmentalists argue the 65-foot-tall dam blocks the fish from accessing upstream habitat on San Francisquito Creek.

Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin says the school is already in the midst of a two-year study meant to address concerns over the dam's effects on a number of threatened and endangered species that live in the area.

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Information from: Palo Alto Daily News, http://www.paloaltodailynews.com