Tribe Sues to Force Release of Young Salmonby Associated Press
KTVB News, June 15, 2004
BOISE -- The Nez Perce Tribe filed suit in federal court today (Monday) to force the state of Washington to release 200-thousand young salmon this year, instead of 2005.
The Bonneville Power Administration earlier announced it's reducing the water spilled through its dams this summer to save electrical customers money. Spilling water helps the salmon migrations, but reduces the amount of power generated.
To accomplish that, the Lyons Ferry hatchery in Washington state was directed to hold those subyearling salmon until they're yearlings in 2005. Bonneville says the older fish will have a better survival rate (by being protected from dangers in the natural world - adds bluefish).
But the Nez Perce claim a 2003 court order requires Washington state to release those salmon this year. The tribe says sending those subyearlings downriver this month is consistent with the fall chinook's natural life history.
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