Responding to Court ruling, NOAA Fisheries announces final rule on Oregon Coast coho salmon
73 Fed. Reg. 7815-7873 (Feb. 11, 2008)(Endangered and Threatened Species: Final Threatened Listing Determination, Final Protective Regulations, and Final Designation of Critical Habitat for the Oregon Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of Coho Salmon; Final Rule)
SUMMARY: “We are issuing a final determination to list the Oregon Coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We are also issuing final protective regulations and a final critical habitat designation for the Oregon Coast coho ESU.
Coho image from U.S. Forest Service Pacific NW Fisheries Program
HISTORY: On October 9, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon invalidated our January 2006 decision not to list Oregon Coast coho (Trout Unlimited v. Lohn, Civ. No. 06-01493 ST (D.Oreg., October 9, 2007). The Court found that Oregon's Viability Assessment does not represent the best available science, and that we improperly considered it in reaching our final listing decision. The Court ordered us to issue a new final listing rule consistent with the ESA. This listing decision has been made in compliance with the Court's order.
NOTEWORTHY EXCERPT: “We conclude, after considering the above information contained in the record of our January 2006 determination (in a manner consistent with the Court's order), that the Oregon Coast coho ESU is likely to become an endangered species in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. This finding is based, in part, on the BRT's (Pacific Salmonid Biological Review Team) slight majority conclusion that the ESU is ``likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.'' The TRT's (Technical Recovery Team’s) subsequent preliminary assessment of ESU viability (NMFS, 2005d) was consistent with the BRT's assessment, finding a high degree of uncertainty whether the ESU is sustainable for the foreseeable future. Although returns in 2001 and 2002 were extremely encouraging, there remained concern whether future ocean conditions would favor such high levels of recruitment. The NWFSC's (Northwest Fishery Science Center) August 2005 memorandum describing the implications of recent ocean-climate conditions (NMFS, 2005e) did not assuage this concern, concluding that recent ocean conditions portended unfavorable marine survival conditions for Oregon Coast coho in the near term.”
- ESAblawg, "Decision to withdraw listing of Oregon Coast coho arbitrarily relied on controversial analysis" posted online Nov. 12, 2007.