Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners were waving red flags about declining steelhead numbers in 1997. Imagine where we would be now if back then we had started taking the bold steps necessary to address the factors contributing to these declining runs.
A group of former Idaho Fish and Game commissioners is urging the current commission and the state’s Fish and Game Department to step up and be advocates for imperiled salmon and steelhead runs.
Their call comes as a federal decision-making process and several regional discussions over the future of fish recovery and management of the lower Snake River rush toward completion, and the runs continue to falter.
As commissioner Keith Carlson noted during an interview with the Lewiston Tribune, commissioners at the time fretted over steelhead numbers recorded in 1997.
“In that year we had 85,917 steelhead come across Lower Granite (Dam), and that was a matter of concern,” he said. “The 2018 (return) was 53,536, and the latest numbers we have for this year are 34,976. So our conclusion is the big difference between 1998 and 2019 is that we have really gone downhill.”
LINK (via: The Spokesman-Review)