NMFS Decides Against Listing Chinook Salmon in Upper Klamath and Trintity Rivers Basin
Posted in Listing

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently concluded that listing of the Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Upper Klamath and Trinity Rivers Basin as threatened or endangered is not warranted.  The agency made the 12-month finding following receipt of a petition to list the species in January 2011 from the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Wild, Environmental Protection Information Center, and The Larch Company.

In its 12-month finding, NMFS included both spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon populations in the Klamath River Basin upstream from the confluence of the Klamath and Trinity rivers in the population (referred to by NMFS as the evolutionarily significant unit or ESU) that it evaluated for the purpose of its regulatory determination.  NMFS rejected petitioners' contention that spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon qualify as separate ESUs based on significant and persistent genetic and reproductive isolation resulting from their different run timing.

NMFS also considered hatchery stocks of Chinook salmon to be part of the ESU, finding that "each stock is no more than moderately divergent from other local, natural populations."  According to the agency, the decision to include hatchery stocks is consistent with its hatchery listing policy.  John Bowman reports that petitioners are reviewing the 12-month finding and evaluating whether the challenge it.  (Siskiyou Daily, April 6, 2012).

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Tags: Listing
  • Paul S. Weiland

    Paul Weiland is chair of Nossaman’s Environment & Land Use Group. He focuses his practice on litigation, permitting, and compliance counseling. Paul’s clients include public agencies, publicly regulated utilities, private ...

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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