The four tribes – the Klamath, Karuk, Yurok and Hoopa – of southern Oregon, US, say that PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath basin have decreased the salmon population of the Klamath river. They also allege that PacifiCorp, which ScottishPower has recently agreed to sell, is violating federally-bound rights for fishing on the river by blocking the passage of Salmon upstream.

But the judge affirmed a previous magistrate’s opinion from May 2005 recommending dismissal of the case on the grounds that it was untimely.

A spokesman from the power utility said he welcomed the decision, and added that PacifiCorp was committed to working with the tribes and other groups on the issue of the Klamath basin.

It is expected that the tribes will appeal the ruling. A 15-strong representation is set to attend ScottishPower’s annual meeting this week.