National Marine Fisheries Service Reaffirms Threatened Status for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon
Posted in Listing

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced its determination to retain the listing of the Oregon Coast (OC) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The agency's determination was published (pdf) in the Federal Register on June 20, 2011.  NMFS first proposed listing of the Oregon coast coho salmon in 1995 and first listed (pdf) the species in 1998.  The status of the species has been the subject of considerable controversy and a number of lawsuits.  Most recently, a 2008 determination to list the species was challenged by Douglas County, Oregon and other plaintiffs.  That lawsuit was resolved by a settlement that required NMFS to undertake a status review, which formally ended with the agency's June 17, 2011 announcement that it intended to retain the listing of the species.  Among the issues that led to the controversy over the status of the species, two prominent points of disagreement were the extent to which NMFS should consider hatchery fish and the extent to which NMFS can properly rely on unproven conservation measures when making listing determinations.  One news article on the subject reported NMFS's determination as a "blow to Oregon," which had sought to devise a conservation program in partnership with the federal government in order to avoid a decision to list to species under the ESA (, June 17, 2011, by Scott Learn).

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Tags: Listing
  • Paul S. Weiland

    Paul Weiland is Assistant Managing Partner and a member of the Environment & Land Use Group. He has represented clients – including public agencies, publicly regulated utilities, corporations, trade associations and ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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