Fishing guide hopes to engage Idahoans on salmon solutions

Union Bulletin –

It’s not working.

So far, all the tactics, strategies, programs and billions of dollars to keep Idaho’s salmon and steelhead returning each year have been ineffective. In the past few decades, fish numbers have gone from the millions to the thousands. The crash has been particularly acute in the past few years.

In 2018, steelhead fishing seasons were shut down on the Main Salmon and Clearwater river systems. This year, the steelhead season was shut down once again on the Clearwater River. Only 13 wild sockeye salmon returned to Idaho in 2018. Salmon and steelhead numbers are at 2 percent of their original populations.

“Essentially, if we don’t act now, wild salmon and steelhead may go extinct within a generation,” said Scott Ki, communication associate for the Idaho Conservation League.

Last week, the Idaho Conservation League hired Emerald LaFortune as campaign outreach assistant for salmon and steelhead recovery. Her task is to engage Idahoans in their communities across the state on the issue of recovering wild salmon and steelhead.

“I’m always up for a good challenge,” LaFortune said. “I think the strategy is multifaceted. If there’s one simple, easy solution, we would have gotten there already.

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