PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Obama administration is analyzing how federal spending can make Columbia Basin salmon hatcheries less harmful to efforts to restore threatened and endangered populations of the Northwest fish.
NOAA Fisheries Service released a draft Friday of an environmental impact statement that will eventually guide more than $11 million a year in spending on 62 hatchery programs in the Columbia Basin.
Hatcheries have long been known to contribute to the decline of wild salmon, but pressure remains high to use them to make up for habitat destruction.
About 80 percent of the salmon returning to the Columbia Basin each year come from hatcheries.
Among the alternatives is stopping federal spending on hatcheries.
Copyright 2010 The AP.