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PNS Daily Newscast - August 14, 2020 

Trump rebuffs Biden's call for a national mask mandate; nurses warn of risks of in-person school.

2020Talks - August 14, 2020 

Responses to President Trump's suggestion that he opposes more Postal Service funding in part to prevent expanded mail-in voting; and Puerto Rico's second try at a primary on Sunday.

More Salmon Spend the Summer Swimming Home

July 21, 2008

Seattle, WA - Sockeye salmon are returning to the Columbia River in numbers several times what harvest managers had estimated. It's good news for conservation groups – they won the court rulings that required the Bonneville Power Administration to release more water over the dams, making it easier for fish to survive the dams as they migrate.

But Todd True, the Earthjustice attorney who argued the cases, points out that most of the returning fish aren't wild, native salmon.

"Most of the sockeye that are returning this year turn and go up the Columbia River. They're hatchery fish, not even ones that are listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. There are more sockeye returning to the Snake River, but we're still dealing in the low hundreds, small numbers of fish."

True notes this season's numbers are just a hint of progress in what has been a long and complicated battle.

"I think, given a fair choice and a level playing field, people in this region are going to choose to protect the environment that they care about, and salmon is absolutely a part of that. So, I think it's a corner we can turn. We have made some progress, but we've got a long way to go."

To that end, True says, he'll be back in court this fall, as the groups he represents continue to challenge the latest federal salmon management plan, called a Biological Opinion. It was issued on May 5, and focuses on planting hatchery fish and improving fish habitat. The plan's critics say instead, the government should be changing the way dams are operated, and removing some of them, to replenish native fish populations.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA