Fish mean money
salmon and steelhead deserve more respect.
back to the state this year in the biggest run since 1997. It put smiles
on fishermenís faces and made cash registers ring.
A total of
140,860 hatchery fish returned to Idaho. Fishermen caught 43,300 of them
last spring and summer.
A survey by
the Idaho Department of Fish and Game showed salmon anglers spent $46.2
million in the state as they pursued Idahoís finned legacy. Thatís an
average of $371 per fishing trip.
not chump change, especially in the depressed hamlets that border the
Snake, Salmon, Clearwater and Boise rivers.
runs were also at record levels with the highest returns since 1938. They
racked up additional revenues for business and the state this fall, but
totals arenít in yet.
demonstrated economic benefits, itís a mystery why salmon and steelhead
get no respect.
companies, ranches or farms generated this kind of money in small towns,
Idaho officials would fall all over themselves to ensure their survival.
Idaho has actively opposed measures like breaching dams and drawing down
reservoirs to ensure salmon survival. Runs are dying out not only without
a whimper from officialdom, but with its approval.
fish returns this year are the result of a few high water years that meant
fewer smolts died on the way to the ocean. Unless something is done soon
to improve survival rates, these magnificent fish will eventually become
extinct in Idaho.
thing to blow off a bunch of fish. Itís quite another to blow off
millions in revenue that salmon and steelhead could bring to Idaho every
money. Idaho should net the bounty instead of letting these trophy species