Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Boise

The Pacific Fishery Management Council regulates fishing from Washington south to California but has little impact on the salmon that spawn in Idaho.

That’s because the salmon and steelhead that leave the Columbia River as tiny smolts turn north when they leave. They are fished by Canadians and Alaskans, before they return to the Columbia and Snake rivers as thick, long adults.

Those areas have their own regulatory agencies and Idahoans have little say in the matter. But remarkably, there are two Idahoans serving on the 14-member Pacific Fishery Management Council that will meet this week beginning Thursday at the Riverside Hotel in Garden City.

Cal Groen, the former Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director, serves with Herb Pollard, a former Fish and Game Regional Director and National Marine Fisheries Service biologist. David Ortmann, a fishery biologist and recreational angler from Coeur d'Alene, is the state's alternate.

Idahoans have often served as the honest brokers on the council since they don’t usually have a dog in the fight. But now the council is working on an issue that could have a profound effect on Idaho’s salmon and steelhead:How to protect forage species, like smelts, sand lance and saurys that are important food for salmon in the Pacific.

In June, with the vote of the Idahoans, the council voted on a motion that states the intent of the Council to prohibit any new fisheries on currently unmanaged forage fish unless and until the science shows they can be harvested at a sustainable level that still accounts for the ecological value they play in the entire ecosystem.

“Forage fish affects everything,” Groen said in a telephone interview. “It’s important that the council is looking at that.”

Paul Shively, manager of the Pacific Fish Conservation Program, Pew Environment Group, said the key is to make sure council acts in a timely matter so we can have a precautionary approach to forage fish management.

“Too often, our fisheries dealt with in a management by crisis mode,” Shively said.

The demand to increase fisheries to feed farmed fish, livestock and chickens is putting pressure on forage fish in Asia and Shively, a former chairman of the Save our Wild Salmon coalition, said it’s an increasingly important issue for the future of Idaho’s salmon.

"Idahoans know a ton about the dams, but they may not think about the other factors that can lead to strong salmon and steelhead returns like ocean conditions,” Shively said.

Same old same old

Lip service at its best. They know the many causes for predation on salmon and steelhead.
Japanese still drift net fishing
Canada & Alaska
Sea's & Sea Lions
Cormorants
Terns
Warm water fish
DAMS
But when you figure from the mouth of the Columbia river to Bonneville dam there are usually close to 6,000 sea lions and if each sea lion only eats 1 salmon or a steelhead a day, that's a pretty big toll.

the biggest cause of 'predation' for Idaho salmon

is the federal hydrosystem - consisting of eight dams between Idaho and the Pacific.

No other factor comes close - not seals, sea lions, fishermen, nets, cormorants, terns, anything.

So you never have the power to post again...

is it a loss?

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You fry wants with that?

hangover much

Your nothing but a stalking troll. Nothing here was said about you but yet you have spew your negative venom. Go away already. Isn't it time for your liquid lunch.

Are you tomstuart too?

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You fry wants with that?

Still here

There is no denying the dams take a huge toll on the fish. The dams enable the sea lions to park their fat bodies in front of the fish ladder and let their lunch come right to them. It all needs to be addressed. But am not sure that in our life time we will see any dam on the Columbia river or Snake river come down. Look at the already positive effects from the dam on the Elwha coming down.

It was just sitting there at the end of it's life doing nothing

So they euthanized it/

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You fry wants with that?

Mid water boats

Also there needs to be more strict rules put in place on the hake fishery, these boat pull their nets through the same column of water that the salmon thrive in. There is so much waste in the commercial fishing industry. Shrimp boats regularly catch halibut in their nets. Human greed at its finest.