By The Associated Press

HEALDSBURG, Calif. (AP) -- Federal fisheries officials are fining a Northern California grape grower for killing endangered coho salmon by using water that should have gone into Russian River.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of General Counsel for Enforcement says Green Pastures Valley was fined $115,000 on Tuesday for using diverted creek water that normally flows into the Russian River to spray grapes and pears during a spring frost.

The agency says the water diversion killed 31 fish in 2008 and five in 2009. The grower was warned about the spraying in 2008, but allegedly continued to do it the next year.

Coho salmon in the Russian River watershed are listed as "endangered."

The grower has 30 days to pay or contest the fine.


Information from: The Press Democrat,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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