New steelhead rules explained

Clearwater fish manager Joe DuPont encouraged steelhead anglers to comment on a proposed harvest season for steelhead and you responded.  DuPont provides some insight into the results.

Hi  everybody,

In my last e-mail, I asked all of you to let me know your opinion on a steelhead rule proposal our Commission deliberated on October 13.  I want to thank all of you for being involved and letting us know your ideas on how to manage our steelhead fisheries. There is no doubt that people are passionate about steelhead, and there are a lot different opinions on how to manage these fish. I received comments from about 700 people from 30 different states and two other countries. If you add in comments provided to the other fish managers, director’s office, and commissioners, we received over 1,200 comments about this rule proposal. If you are interested in how people responded, I have included a summary of these responses at the bottom of this e-mail.

Using this input and other information provided to them, our Commission voted to accept the steelhead proposal as written. This means a steelhead seasons for harvest started on Sunday, October 15.  Here are the details.  Below is additional information on angler's comments.

Clearwater River Basin which includes the Mainstem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater and South Fork Clearwater

Limits:

  1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
  2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
  3. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.

Salmon River

Limits:

  1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
  2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
  3. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.

Snake River from the Washington/Idaho state line upstream to Couse Creek Boat Ramp at river mile 156.6 (approximately 17 miles upstream of the ID/WA border).

Limits:

  1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
  2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead, none over 28 inches in total length
  3. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.

Snake River from Couse Creek Boat Ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam

Limits:

  1. Bag (Daily): Two (2) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
  2. Possession: Six (6) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead
  3. Season, statewide: No person may take more than twenty (20) adipose fin-clipped Steelhead statewide during 2017 steelhead seasons occurring from October 15 to December 31, 2017.

Summary of Comments Received

The Department sent an email to 19,919 resident steelhead permit holders requesting feedback on the proposal to re-open harvest on hatchery steelhead. Of the 435 which responded, 238 (55%) supported the proposal and 169 (39%) did not. A summary of these comments are provided in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Summary of comments received in response to an e-mail sent to resident steelhead anglers.

steelhead_comments
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IDFG

We received 776 comments in response to the IDFG Press Release, Commission Meeting Notice, Clearwater Regional email distribution list, and outreach from NGOs and other advocacy groups. Of the 776 that responded 54% (425) did not support the proposal and 44% (344) did support the proposal.

Table 2. Summary of open comments received.

steelhead_comment_summary
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IDFG

Have a good weekend - Joe DuPont, Clearwater Region’s Fisheries Manager