This topic was covered in more detail this past winter. Don't forget that most of the so-called critical habitat that was removed for salmon and steelhead recovery was in river and streams (or portions thereof) that never had salmon or steelhead swimming in them because of natural barriers.
For example, there are a lot of small seasonal streams in the Skagit River drainage that never supported salmon or steelhead, including many that empty into one of the up-river dams (which were constructed above a natural barrier to fish migration thus anadromous fish never utilized them); but they used to be designated critical habitat. These are now not included in the critical habitat.
Another example, the Snoqualmie River above Snowqualmie falls never had anadromous fish in it, its three branches, or the tributaries above the falls. Despite this, these streams and the three branches of the river were designated critical habitat, now they are not.
I ask: How can rivers, streams, or sections of rivers or streams that never had anadromous fish in them be considered as critical for the survival and recovery of an anadromous species? This leads to a second question: Since they never had anadromous fish in them, how is removing the critical habitat designation going to harm the anadromous fish?