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Economic and dam related articles

Lawsuit may Force Another Look at Fish Harvests

by Ron Reimann and Darryll Olsen
Tri-City Herald, November 17, 2008

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, environmental groups and the Northwest tribes suing over the latest salmon plan seem to have forgotten the law of unintended consequences.

Their opposition to NOAA Fisheries' 2008 Columbia River Hydro System Biological Opinion (Hydro BiOp), likely will force the federal agency to also re-evaluate its harvest limits for fish listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The fish harvest is regulated under the 2008 Harvest BiOp, the "companion review" for the Hydro BiOp. Both depend on the same body of technical information - referred to generally as the "Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis" - for their scientific foundations.

Intended or not, the lawsuit brought by Oregon and others challenges the legitimacy of the technical information that supports the Hydro and Harvest BiOps.

In other words, a successful lawsuit could result in sharply curtailed harvest rates. Gov. Kulongoski and others need to understand that: