Feiger and JD,
My thread entitled "Pacific Salmon Remain Under ESA Protection" in the Northwest Steelhead forum is on this subject. It discusses whether protection is going to be lifted, listings changed, hatchery fish counted, etc. The article I quote in that thread clearly shows only 1 of the 26 runs under ESA protection right now is going to be delisted by NOAA-F. The other 25 will retain their protected status under ESA.
Also, I read something recently (unfortunately I did not write down the web address for the California newspaper it was in)about a U.S. District Court Judge in Northern California ruling against the Pacific Legal Foundation in a lawsuit they brought on Sacramento River wild steelhead. The Pacific Legal Foundation was claiming that the resident rainbows (mostly of hatchery origin) were of such abundance that the wild steelhead should be delisted from threatened status. The PLF claimed that since it has been found that resident rainbow males have been observed spawning with wild female steelhead (they failed to mention this was observed in Russia and not the U.S.) that the abundance of resident rainbows in the Sacramento River would ensure the steelhead would not become extinct since they were the same fish as the steelhead.
The judge saw through this smokescreen and poor application of scientific observation from a river in Russia and ruled that NOAA-F's ESA threatened status for the Sacramento River wild steelhead remain in place.
For all who think that NOAA-F will simply roll over on any challenge to one of its ESA listings of salmon or steelhead, this case and the keeping of ESA protections on 25 of 26 curently listed stocks show that is not what NOAA-F is doing.