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Press Release

    Salmon Recovery Based on Junk Science

    08/24/2001

    Not Enough Fish? Over the past decade, more than two dozen subgroups of Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead have been placed on the Endangered Species List. Yet salmon populations are surging. For example, Sockeye runs are the highest in 15 years and spring Chinook salmon runs are the highest since 1938.

    Salmon Recovery

    Despite surging populations, dozens of salmon subgroups are on the Endangered Species List.
    NMFS refuses to count all the salmon in our rivers.
    CSE supports legislation that would stop the killing of hatchery fish.
    Count Every Fish. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a bureau of the Department of Commerce, oversees salmon recovery. Rather than counting all the fish in our rivers, which might negate the need for Endangered Species Act listings, NMFS ignores hatchery-born fish and considers only fish born in the wild to be actual salmon. In fact, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife clubs thousands of hatchery salmon to death every year to prevent them from reproducing. CSE backs legislation banning this practice.

    Sensible Reform. The federal government may take up reform of the Endangered Species Act — which has not been re-authorized since 1992 — this year. CSE supports proposals that employ sound science, protect property rights, provide compensation for property owners, end frivolous lawsuits, and set realistic and clear targets for recovery. Congress needs to know that citizens support these reforms.