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NMFS DECISION IS NO SURPRISE, SAYS POWER PLANNING COUNCIL

 NMFS DECISION IS NO SURPRISE, SAYS POWER PLANNING COUNCIL
 PORTLAND, Ore., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The four Northwest states have been expecting and preparing for today's decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list Snake River chinook salmon as threatened with extinction, the chairman of the Northwest Power Planning Council said.
 "We have a good start at a regionwide recovery plan for salmon," said Ted Hallock, a council member from Oregon. "We already have adopted a rebuilding schedule for Snake River fall chinook salmon, and we are working on rebuilding schedules for spring and summer chinook. What we do for those fish will benefit all salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia River Basin, including those designated for protection under the Endangered Species Act."
 Through the council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington are directing regional efforts to protect and improve fish and wildlife populations and habitat.
 "The council was pleased that the National Marine Fisheries Service relied heavily on our salmon program in ratifying river operations in 1992," Hallock said. "It shows the value of developing a regional recovery effort."
 The council began revising its fish and wildlife program last year and expects to complete the revision in August. Among other salmon recovery measures, the revisions call for increased flows and velocities in the Columbia and Snake rivers to speed the migration of young fish to the ocean, and for improvements in salmon production -- both in the wild and in hatcheries. The council also called for installing or repairing screens at irrigation water intakes to keep young salmon from swimming into fields and dying, and for reductions in the harvest of fall chinook salmon.
 The council is an agency of the four Northwest states. Under the authority of the Northwest Power Act of 1980, the council prepares a long-range energy and conservation plan for the Northwest and a program to protect and enhance fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin that have been affected by hydroelectric dams.
 -0- 4/17/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Gist or John Harrison of the Northwest Power Planning Council, 503-222-5161/ CO: Northwest Power Planning Council; National Marine Fisheries
 Service ST: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana IN: UTI SU:


SC -- SE008 -- 9786 04/17/92 20:07 EDT
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Date:Apr 17, 1992
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