By JEFF BARNARD

Associated Press

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- An independent panel of scientists does not like the Obama administration's plan to rely on barges, rather than spilling water over dams, to carry young salmon making their spring migration down the Snake River in Eastern Washington.

Their review of the NOAA Fisheries Service plan to rely exclusively on barges due to low water conditions says the best course is still a mix of carrying fish in barges and spilling water.

The question is important as a federal judge continues to control federal dam operations in the Columbia Basin. Spilling water for fish means less water for generating electricity.

NOAA Fisheries had no comment, but salmon advocates suing the agency over dam operations applauded the review.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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