Friday, May 27, 2016

Feds refuse to delist Snake River fall chinook

The first attempt to delist one of the 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act has been denied by federal authorities. The decision made public Thursday by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries cites concerns Snake River fall chinook wouldn’t remain viable without continued protections. Scott Rumsey, NOAA’s branch chief for the protected resources division, said the agency wasn’t surprised that the first petition to delist came for what he called one of the healthiest of the listed stocks in the basin. “We’re encouraged that we’re getting close, but in this determination we’re saying we’re not quite there yet,” he said. An Alaska commercial fishing advocacy group called Chinook Futures Coalition requested the delisting in January 2015. The group is concerned that protected Snake River fall chinook limit quotas of king salmon because of incidental catching of the protected Snake River fish that travel to waters off Alaska. The group was hoping to get the species delisted ahead of Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations between the U.S. and Canada. The current treaty runs through 2018...more

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