Review finds Oregon coastal coho still at risk

Federal biologists say the Oregon Coastal coho salmon remains at moderate risk of extinction and should stay on the threatened species list.

The review released today by NOAA Fisheries Service was prompted by settlement of a lawsuit brought by Douglas County.

Coastal coho were once the bread and butter of Oregon's commercial salmon fleet, but populations dropped precipitously in the early 1990s due to overfishing, misguided hatchery practices and destruction of freshwater habitat.

The review says overfishing has been reigned in, and hatcheries are less of a problem. But the rivers where coho spawn and spend their early lives continue to decline from logging, farming and urban development, primarily on private land.

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