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No major changes for Columbia Basin salmon plan

The Obama administration has made no significant changes to a plan to protect endangered wild salmon runs in the Columbia River Basin. The government recently submitted revisions for a 2008 Bush-era biological plan to U.S. District Judge James Redden in Portland.

Redden said in February that the plan likely violated the Endangered Species Act, but he gave the government three months to review new science that might strengthen it, wire services reported.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommendations include studying salmon migration, monitoring water temperatures and other effects of climate change and creating a team of fisheries managers to resolve potential harm to wild salmon runs by hatchery fish.

With the revisions, Redden could issue an order or invite further review, reports indicate.
Opponents said they likely would fight the government's plan if Redden approves it.

The Obama administration recently selected Will Stelle to take over as northwest administrator of NOAA Fisheries Service in Seattle. Formerly, Stelle held the post under the Clinton administration.

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