The Idaho Department of Fish and Game received authorization for its steelhead fishery from the National Marine Fisheries Service in March, which determined that Idaho’s Fishery Management and Evaluation Plan provides the necessary protection for salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Fish and Game officials reviewed over 1,000 comments that were received during the public comment period on the plan and identified 15 issues. They included:
- Questions on the purpose of the plan
- Impacts of hatchery steelhead on wild steelhead
- Encounter rates of wild steelhead
- Effects of catch and release on survival and reproduction
- Requests for specific regulation changes such as limiting air exposure
- No fishing with bait
- Potential impacts of warm water on caught and released steelhead
Fish and Game appreciate the people and organizations who took the time to comment and showed that Idahoans and others truly value and appreciate both wild steelhead and Idaho’s steelhead fishery.
The fishery management plan balances recreational fishing with Idaho’s longstanding commitments to protect wild steelhead. Protections for wild steelhead include:
- Mandatory release of any wild steelhead caught in the recreational fishery
- Substantial river closures to protect wild spawning steelhead
- Focusing the recreational fishery on river reaches dominated by hatchery steelhead
To read detailed responses to comments, and steelhead fishery temperature summary, click on the PDFs below: