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After Low Numbers Observed, Status Of Spring Chinook Salmon Under Review


Federal wildlife managers say they’re considering endangered species status for coastal spring Chinook salmon in Oregon. 

A petition submitted by several parties called for spring run salmon to be deemed an evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act, given genetic differences between this fish and fall run fish.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)  has deemed there is enough evidence to warrant further consideration. 

Stanley Petrowski is on the board for Umpqua Watershed, one of the petitioners:

“We’re especially concerned because over the last two years on the upper south Umpqua we had 28 adult spring chinook return," he tells KLCC.  "In 2018, 51 spring chinook returned in 2019.  And that was in a run that was estimated at one time to be 5,000 fish.”

Over the next year, NMFS will analyze spring chinook salmon, before determining if federal protections are warranted.  It could also designate critical habitat for the species.  

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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