Final Rule To Designate and Authorize the Release of an Experimental Populations in the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers
NOAA Fisheries is adopting a final rule designating Central Valley winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon reintroduced to the upper Sacramento and McCloud rivers as experimental populations under Endangered Species Act Section 10(j) to promote their return to their original spawning habitat. The rule provides regulatory relief to land owners and the public by exempting incidental take of the experimental population from all legal activities.
This new rule allows NOAA Fisheries and its partners to reintroduce the imperiled fish to important spawning habitat in the upper reaches of the Sacramento River and its tributaries without the restrictions on area landowners that would otherwise accompany the species under the Endangered Species Act.
Recent progress on reintroduction of the species in the upper Sacramento and McCloud rivers has helped build local support for this approach. The comments we received in response to our proposal to designate the populations as experimental reflected this increasing support.