The motion was filed by conservation groups and sport and commercial fishing groups in US District Court in Portland, Oregon, before Judge James Redden, who earlier this year declared the Bush administration plan for assuring threatened and endangered salmon are not harmed by the federal hydroelectric dam system violated the Endangered Species Act.

The motion called for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to spill more water over three Columbia river dams in the spring – Bonneville, John Day and McNary, as well as all three Snake River dams – Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite – and the three Columbia River dams in the summer.

It also calls for holding back water behind dams in the upper basin during the winter at the upper level of USACE’s flood-control guidelines so it can be released to speed up river flows in the spring and summer, when juvenile fish are swimming to the ocean. Redden is expected to rule sometime after hearings on the issue scheduled for mid-December.