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Panel Discusses Federal Conflicts Involving Fisheries Predation, Negative Impacts on Drought Mitigation

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2016 -

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held an oversight hearing titled, “The Costly Impacts of Predation and Conflicting Federal Statues on Nature and Endangered Fish Species.”

The panel outlined how conflicting federal laws encourage predation of fish species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).  

“The status quo may be working for sea lions and litigators, but it’s not working for the American taxpayer, the electricity ratepayer, fisheries, tribal communities who have worked hard to bring back salmon populations and our food consumers nationwide,” stated Subcommittee Chairman John Fleming (R-LA). “Today’s hearing is another step towards much-needed change.”

Federal agencies have downplayed the impacts of non-native species predation, as federal, tribal, state and local governments and other entities have spent billions of dollars on ESA-related recovery efforts.

“We actually have some federal laws that make it even harder to recover truly endangered species. […] You can’t make up this contradiction in federal law […] Outdated laws do nothing except line fundraisers and lawyers pockets and prolong a failed status quo,” stated Subcommittee Vice Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

“Each year in Central Washington, significant resources are spent on hatcheries, fish passage, fish ladders, and other efforts to improve salmon recovery in the Columbia River only to have endangered salmon fall prey to federally-protected predators,” Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) said. “In addition to current conservation efforts, tribes and state governments require updated tools and authorities to manage predatory species to improve survival of salmon and other native species.”

“As testimony from today’s hearing shows, predation continues to seriously threaten California’s efforts to protect native fish species,” Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) stated. We’re spending millions of dollars and sending millions of the gallons of water to the ocean to try to protect these fish, but we can’t even study the problem. I’ve repeatedly offered legislation to study the impacts non-native predator species have on salmonids, and it’s time the Administration stopped dragging their feet.”

Click here to view the full witness testimony.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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