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In response to Dr Gierak's comments on Mining Bill 1032 by KBC Reader


"Note from reader: The coho salmon is a federally listed species under ESA...The Grange won a suit that said the hatchery fish had not been considered in the listing. The judge ruled in their favor. So now the hatchery fish are listed as well. It did not eliminate the federal listing. Local government still has jurisdiction over public health and safety on National Forests. Mr. Gierak does not understand the Endangered Species Act...Obviously the federal government can take regulatory action on private lands if someone is taking a threatened or endangered fish."


Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho, includes all naturally spawned populations of coho salmon in coastal streams from the Elk River, Oregon, through the Mattole River, California. It also includes three artificial propagation programs: Cole River Hatchery in the Rogue River Basin, Trinity River and Iron Gate Hatcheries in the Klamath-Trinity River Basin.  (For more information see NW Regional Office)

Date Listed:  May 6, 1997; reaffirmed June 28, 2005

Legal Status:  Threatened

Northern California salmon and steelhead stocks were recognized as at risk of extinction by the American Fisheries Society more than a decade ago (Nehlsen et al., 1991; Higgins et al., 1992 ). Numerous studies by NMFS have followed to determine status and in some cases justify listing (Busby et al., 1996; Myers et al., 1998; NMFS, 1996; NOAA, 1998). A petition to list coho salmon was advanced to the Secretary of Commerce in 1994. While the Secretary is directed to list species, if merited, within a year of such a request, coho were not actually listed as a threatened species in northwestern California until May 1997. NMFS (2001) updated its review of coho salmon status in northern California and found that stocks in the Central California Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) were endangered and "worse than indicated by previous reviews." They also found that the Southern Oregon/North California ESU was still trending down and likely to become endangered in the near future.

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