National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has received a Fishery Management and Evaluation Plan (FMEP) from the State of Idaho for its proposed management of steelhead fisheries. The FMEP is available for public comment, pursuant to protective regulations for Pacific salmon and steelhead under the Endangered Species Act. Public comment deadline has been extended to December 13.
Talking points to consider for the sustainable management and recovery of wild Snake River Basin steelhead in Idaho.
- NMFS should reject Idaho’s FMEP and develop a place-based alternative that emphasizes wild steelhead recovery.
- Wild steelhead need to be managed on an individual population basis, with risk-averse and pre-cautionary escapement goals to ensure maximized smolt production.
- Conservation measures must be implemented to ensure little-to-no loss of wild steelhead during all fishing seasons. This includes:
– No removal of fish from water.
– No use of bait.
– No use of treble hooks.
– Barbless hooks only.
– Certain river segments may need to be closed at critical times to protect wild fish from fishing pressure.
- Production of steelhead hatchery fish must be reduced to limit affects on wild steelhead. Treating Clearwater – Salmon Rivers as hatchery-management zones hinders recovery of wild steelhead and is incompatible with Endangered Species Act.
- Snake River Basin wild steelhead from Idaho’s high elevation river segments provide a critical base for conservation of the species in the face of a warming climate.
- Future steelhead fishing seasons should be opened or closed based on the count of wild fish crossing Lower Granite Dam.
Public comment deadline has been extended to December 13.
Email them to:
Please include “Idaho’s Snake River Steelhead Fisheries Plan” in the subject line.
Written comments can be sent to:
NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division
1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97232.