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Commissioner Bruce Cohen addresses the media regarding the findings of the Cohen Commission into declining salmon on the Fraser River during a news conference in Vancouver on Oct. 31, 2012.Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Two British Columbia conservation groups are asking the federal auditor-general to examine Ottawa's response to a $26-million public inquiry into the collapse of West Coast salmon stocks.

The Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SOS Marine Conservation Foundation have filed an environmental petition with the federal auditor.

The groups say in the 16 months since the report came out the government has failed to act on the recommendations.

Already, 18 recommended deadlines have come and go without any clear action, they say, and another looms next month.

The groups want the auditor-general to compel the federal fisheries minister to reply to questions about salmon preservation in writing.

Stan Proboszcz of Watershed Watch says the disregard for the inquiry recommendations is reminiscent of the collapse of cod stocks on the East Coast.