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Troubled Salmon to Hear Protective Measures

US - A federal proposal to designate Atlantic salmon in the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Penobscot rivers as endangered species faces a public hearing Wednesday in Augusta.

The designation would provide additional protections to the fish, says Keith Edwards, in the Kennebec Journal.

Opponents say the designation would bring new restrictions on what sorts of activities could occur in the rivers and on their banks.

Species listed as endangered are offered the full protection of the Endangered Species Act, making it illegal to "harass, harm, pursue, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect" them, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service.

The fisheries service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service propose to expand the endangered listing of Atlantic salmon to the Kennebec, Androscoggin and Penobscot river systems.

Andrew Goode, a vice president at the Atlantic Salmon Federation, said the listing is "a signal the species is in trouble and people need to work together. It does bring more resources, but it doesn't necessarily bring more teeth" in regulations.