Feds say local recovery plan is enough to save Oregon’s coastal coho

Oregon coastal coho salmon will not be returned to the federal threatened species list. The National Marine Fisheries Service says there’s no need for federal protections, crediting improving fish numbers to the recovery plan developed by a coalition of local, state, and federal players, including the timber and agricultural industries. Coastal coho runs dropped to about 25,000 fish in 1997 — from historic highs of about 1 million — and currently hover around 100,000, according to Oregon wildlife officials. But salmon advocates, including some NMFS scientists, worry the stock’s comeback may be due to recent weather patterns producing more food in the ocean, a variable that can change over time.