Fisheries biologists in Idaho say they think they know why a relatively new $13.5 million hatchery intended to save Snake River sockeye salmon from extinction is instead killing thousands of fish before they ever get to the ocean.
The Department of Fish and Game in information released this week says water chemistry at the Springfield Hatchery in eastern Idaho is so different from that in the central region that the young fish can't adjust when released into the wild.
Officials say they're working on solutions.
Idaho Rivers United, an environmental group, blasted the report as more proof for removing four dams on the lower Snake River that impede salmon.
The salmon have been the focus of an intense state and federal recovery program after being listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1991.