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Originally published Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 2:58 PM

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Feds file last round in fight over salmon and dams

The last scheduled round of legal briefs has been filed in the long-running battle over making the Columbia Basin's federal hydroelectric dams safer for endangered salmon.

The Associated Press

PORTLAND,Ore. —

The last scheduled round of legal briefs has been filed in the long-running battle over making the Columbia Basin's federal hydroelectric dams safer for endangered salmon.

NOAA Fisheries Service filed briefs Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland arguing its plan, known as a biological opinion, should be upheld because its improvements to dams and dam operations are building on good ocean conditions to produce strong salmon returns.

Judge James Redden is expected to rule next year.

The last filing from salmon advocates argued that the Obama administration's dam operations plan is little different from the Bush administration's 2008 plan, which Redden ruled violated the Endangered Species Act.

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