Home | Features | Politics | A Seat in the House

A Seat in the House

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Idaho must have a voice in protecting the anadromous fishery.

The anadromous fishery (Salmon and Steelhead) is an important resource to Idaho, and as such it is important that Idaho have a voice in the protection of this fishery. It is also important that the value of our resident fishery be considered as we consider mitigation and protection measures aimed at the anadromous fishery. The measures that the region implements for the benefit of the anadromous fishery affects the uses of Idaho streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs and can negatively impact our resident fisheries and other Idaho water uses. 

Idaho is a member of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to help ensure that Idaho’s needs and concerns are considered as the region develops anadromous fishery programs. 

I was appointed to the Commission by Governor Kempthorne in March this year. Other Idaho Commissioners are Steve Huffaker, Director, Idaho Fish and Game, and Roy Moulton of the Department of Fish and Game Commission. Marcus Gibbs and Alex Irby of the IDF&G also represent Idaho as advisors to the Commission.

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission was formed in 1947 to address mutual problems of fisheries resource management. These problems have increased since that time in number and complexity, and since the 1970’s a continuing urgency exists for solutions to the economic, social, political, legal and biological issues confronting fishery conservation and management. Commission state members are Idaho, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.

The goal of the Commission is to “promote and support policies and action directed at the conservation, development, and management of fishery resources of mutual concern to member states through a coordinated regional approach to research, monitoring, and utilization.”

The following are objectives of the Commission adopted as being necessary to accomplish the Commission’s goal:

· Provide active leadership in recognizing and resolving interstate fishery problems.

· Develop Commission policy statements and communicate them to Congress and other legislative entities, concerned agencies of federal, state or local government, and to the private sector.

· Facilitate research and management projects relating to interstate fisheries.

· Promote compatible fishery regulations for those interstate fisheries not under Regional Council jurisdiction.

· Promote the better utilization and prevention of waste of fish products.

· Promote the protection, and where necessary, the rehabilitation of marine fisheries habitat.

· Provide active leadership in recognizing and resolving problems that impact the sport and commercial fishing industries.

· Conduct an annual review of Commission goals and objectives.

The duty of the Commission is to determine from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be necessary for bringing about the conservation and the prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, in all of those areas of the Pacific Ocean over which the member states have jurisdiction.

The Commission has the authority to draft and, after consultation with the Advisory Committee, recommend to the Governors and legislatures of the member state's legislation promoting and ensuring the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of the member states. The Commission also can and does make recommendations of regulations to the member state's administrative agencies (Departments of Fish and Game, etc.) that it thinks may be necessary to protect and conserve the fisheries.

Our membership on the commission is important to Idaho’s interest, not only because of the significance of the anadromous fishery, but also to make sure that we balance that interest with the recreational and economic interest that we have in our Idaho streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs in terms of our resident fishery and other uses of these Idaho water resources. As an example, in Bonner and Boundary counties, there has been and continues to be attempts to regulate river flows on the Kootenai, Clark Fork and Pend Oreille Rivers and to regulate Pend Oreille lake levels specifically for the benefit of anadromous fish interests downstream at the detriment of our resident fisheries. Our membership on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission helps ensure that all of Idaho’s interests are considered when adopting the policies and recommendations of the Commission! 

Thanks for reading and as always feel free to contact me anytime. My home phone is (208) 265-0123 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho 83825. You can always reach me on “E” mail at [email protected] George

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Quote

Please enter the code you see in the image:

  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Author info

Rep. George Eskridge Rep. George Eskridge the Republican Representative for District 1 in Idaho’s House, George Eskridge can be reached at 208-265-0123 or write PO Box 112, Dover, ID 83825

Tagged as:

Idaho, fishery, steelhead, salmon, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

Rate this article