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Columbia River salmon judge presses for resolution

PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Portland says he wants an end soon to 15 years of litigation over imperiled salmon and dams in the Columbia River system.

Judge James Redden told lawyers Monday during a hearing expected to last much of the day that “with a little work” a plan is in sight that he could approve.

He said the question is whether the government’s river and dam management plan can set aside more water for fish recovery without breaching dams.

Redden spoke approvingly of the Obama administration’s recent additions to the 2008 plan. A key player in those additions, Oregonian Jane Lubchenco, was in the courtroom as an observer in her role as leader of the federal agency in charge of marine fisheries.