LEWISTON, Idaho — Fisheries managers should shut down steelhead fishing in the Columbia and Snake river basins to protect a wild run that returns to Idaho’s Clearwater River, according to a conservation group.
The Conservation Angler told The Lewiston Tribune in a story on Saturday that even catch-and-release regulations threaten the survival of B-run steelhead.
In a letter to Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore, Executive Director David Moskowitz said steelhead fishing should be closed to allow the wild fish to spawn.
“The ongoing fishery will cause mortalities to the wild B-run return now in Idaho rivers,” Moskowitz wrote. “Please close the fisheries in order to allow wild B-runs to spawn in their natal rivers and put some more wild fish ‘in the bank’ — so to speak — of Idaho’s great rivers.”
Fish and Game Fisheries Bureau Chief Jim Fredericks said precautions are in place. He also said there are so few fish to catch, that fewer anglers are out trying to catch them.