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PORTLAND -- Plans to resume killing California sea lions that eat endangered salmon at Bonneville Dam are on hold again.

The Humane Society of the United States has gone back to court challenging the federal government's latest approval of the program that has removed 41 salmon-eating sea lions since 2008.

The states of Oregon and Washington have agreed to hold off plans to resume trapping and lethally injecting sea lions pending a hearing Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The states had been set Tuesday to resume the program.

Meanwhile, the spring chinook run that the sea lion removal is intended to protect is just barely starting. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports just 26 fish over the dam on the Columbia river east of Portland.

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