Good News For Coho!
I have been informed through E-MAIL from Fishlink, who puts out Sublegals, and Earthjustice that " Judge Hogan rejected an attempt to remove ESA (Endangered Species Act) protections for Coho Salmon in the Klamath River". Ruling from the bench, Judge Hogan left in place Federal ESA protections SONCC (Southern Oregon Northern Californis Costal) Coho Salmon!
Bottom line, "the Federal Government must leave enough water in the Klamath River so that they don't kill off Coho this spring when the irrigation season starts" according to Michael Meyer of Earthjustice.
This will help ALL fish in the Klamath.
There is however still a flaw in the ESA listing, as noted by the September 2001 court ruling. But NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) has reviewed this flaw along with the 2001 ruling, and has decided to keep the ESA listing in place. With this Judge Hogan decided that a "temporary delisting" would only cause more problems for the fish.
The NMFS is set to have the "flaw" in the listing fixed and reviewed by Judge Hogan by June of 2005. The new ESA listing will cover SONCC Coho Salmon as well as most other Salmon and Steelhead runs!
Record Low water levels were the direct cause of the Klamath Adult Salmon kill-off of 2002, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
I want to spend a moment talking about Activism. There were 13 enviromental and fishing groups that were represented by Earthjustice, going before Judge Hogan in defense of the Coho Salmon and other runs in the Klamath. But there were the countless others who voiced there opinion, called or wrote there local and state officals in regards to this potential "Delisting". Thank You!
Activism Works! Many voices comming together for a common cause works! I want to thank Earthjustice and all the groups for there support of the Fish.
This is good news indeed. I was worried that Hogan may have ruled differently, but was hoping he would say the water was needed in the river to prevent massive fish kills. I'm glad to hear that he ruled in favor of the fish.
Any indication of whether the Pacific Legal Foundation may appeal this decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?
I know wonder if Mr. Ted Williams of ROD AND REEL magazine will report this in an upcoming issure in his column. I noticed that in the latest issue of the magazine, he has said nothing about the 25 Columbia Basin stocks of salmon and steelhead that NOAA-F has left listed. I have also noticed he said nothing about the Spokane federal judge's ruling (affirmed by the 9th Circuit) that irrigators in the Okanagon and Methow river basins do not have a right to the water if the fish need it in the river during low-flow years. Nor did Mr. William say anything about the Sacramento federal judge's ruling that Sacramento wild steelhead and resident rainbow were sufficiently different, so that NOAA-F was correct to continure listing the wild Sacramento steelhead as threatened.
Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but I really want to see Mr. Williams report things accurately and report things like this recent Hogan ruling in his column. Afterall, he has a rather large audience and I think he has a duty to report accurately what is going on, both good and bad.
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