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Feds release new plans to protect Snake River sockeye

Associated Press – June 08, 2015 

BOISE — Federal authorities have released their final recovery plan for Snake River sockeye salmon, a species that teetered on the brink of extinction in the early 1990s.

Authorities say the plan released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will create a self-sustaining population of sockeye over the next 50 to 100 years.

The run was listed as endangered in 1991, kicking off a hatchery program that at first had only a handful of returning fish to propagate the species.

But last fall more sockeye made the 900-mile journey from the Pacific Ocean to central Idaho’s Redfish Lake than in any previous year going back nearly six decades.

The high-elevation basin is where the last Snake River sockeye salmon spawn. The plan includes recolonizing two more central Idaho lakes.