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U.S. REELS IN NEWS RELEASE ON STURGEON

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials insist no decision has been made to list the Kootenai River sturgeon as an endangered species.

The agency's North Idaho office mistakenly sent out a draft version of a news release announcing the listing Wednesday.Susan Martin, assistant director of the agency's Boise field office, said other preliminary news releases have been written to explain other possible outcomes.

Bob Hallock, who heads the North Idaho office, said he received only one version, which arrived Monday and was not labeled as a draft. He said he assumed the news release was correct and began telling people the decision had been announced.

The agency said it will likely be several weeks before a decision is made by the regional director.

The giant, long-lived white sturgeon have not reproduced since Libby Dam in Montana began restricting high spring flows on the Kootenai River 20 years ago.