In a blow to property-rights advocates, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service said yesterday that wild salmon should continue to be protected under the Endangered Species Act even though hatchery-born salmon are thriving. Last year, in a lawsuit brought by opponents of salmon protection, a federal judge told the agency to go back to the drawing board because its salmon protection plan focused on dwindling wild salmon populations and didn’t take hatchery fish fully into account. The NMFS issued draft rules yesterday, finding salmon protections ought not be lifted until the fish are naturally self-sustaining. NMFS spokesperson Brian Gorman said, “Clearly, a hatchery population is not self-sustaining.”