The amount of water needed for a rare type of fish in South Carolina has become a sticking point as a North Carolina utility tries to get new licenses for a series of dams.
The State newspaper reported Tuesday that federal regulators are trying to determine how much water shortnose sturgeon need in the Wateree River between Camden and the Congaree National Park south of Columbia.
Duke is seeking new licenses to continue operating its dams on the Catawba-Wateree river system.
Concern by federal fisheries managers has prompted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Duke to study the question.
The work will be reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. If the it doesn't like the results, it can require changes in the way Duke operates its dams.