The IOGA tag allocation legislation, HB 192, passed out of the House Resources and Conservation Committee this past Tuesday, with a “do pass” recommendation, and went on to pass in the house with 65 Yea's and 2 Nay's.
(To view/download a copy of the Bill, Click Here.)
Here is a link to the House Floor Vote Video: LINK
HB192 is headed to Senate Resources and Environment Committee. Our hope and expectation is that it will be heard at Friday's Senate Resources Committee Hearing--at 1:30 MST.
We have been meeting with Senators (in particular those on Resources & Environment COmmittee, but need your help again to convey the industry support for/behind this bill to both Resource Committee Members and all Senators.
ACT NOW TO HELP PASS HB192
Email ALL Senate Resource & Environment Committee Members with a letter of support for HB192.
Email Senate Members of the Committee: (IMPORTANT)
Form Email (just click on the link "Form Email" and a pre-written email should pop up in your email client or browser, with the email addresses for all Senate Resource Committee Members already entered.
If you have time, personalizing the email is encouraged. Otherwise, just be sure to write your name legislative district (or town) and company or affiliation at the bottom.)
IDFG Commission Meeting - Season Setting
March 12/13, Boise
The final proposals will be presented to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the March 13 meeting when they will set big game seasons for 2019 and 2020. The Fish and Game Commission may act to adopt the proposals as presented, or they may make modifications. Click HERE for the March 12/13 Meeting Agenda/Schedule.
We encourage hunt & fishing outfitters to attend the public and relevant portions of this meeting, if possible.
If you plan to attend, please let us know by calling the office (208.342.1438), Jeff Bitton (208.315.1840) or Aaron Lieberman (541.415.1260).
HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 9
Idaho's Incidental Take Permit
Allocation has dominated our internal headlines recently, with good reason. However, our attention hasn't fallen away from Idaho's still 'out of hand' Incidental Take Permit (necessary for the lawful operation of the fishing season).
March 15 is the deadline, of sorts, for Idaho's verified receipt of its Incidental Take Permit from the NOAA, specifically, from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
The Terms of the agreement struck (December 7, 2018) between the five litigant groups, IDFG (State of Idaho) and representatives of the Idaho River Community Alliance stipulate that a stay of legal suit (i.e., refraining from suing), only remain in effect “until the earlier of the following: (a) the end of the day on March 15, 2019, or (b) the effective date of NMFS’s incidental take authorization for Idaho’s Recreational Steelhead Fisheries…”
In short, all bets are off unless Idaho receives its incidental take permit by or before March 15.
The cautious "good news" is that, based on 'off-record' conversations with individuals close to the process, NMFS expects to have the permit in Idaho's hands. Though optimistic this will prove true, we've kept fuel to the fire with the means available to us--from direct contact with NOAA, NMFS and associated Agency Officials to, most notably, the recent passage of a House Joint Memorial through the House and Senate, urging both that NMFS complete the review and processing of the Idaho's Fisheries Management & Evaluation Plan (including the crux permit) in advance of the looming deadline and--more broadly--that future FMEP (Fishery Evaluation Management Plans) be processed in a timely manner (such that Idaho not be forced to choose between operating a fishery out of compliance or not at all). For a copy of the House Joint Memorial (Number 9) on Steelhead, click here
Drafting, gaining a sponsor and pushing this House Joint Memorial through both the House and Senate is no small feat. Thanks to all of you who lent support behind this issue and helped to impress upon our elected officials the sense of urgency necessary for the introduction and legislative backing for this Bill.
The ongoing Steelhead Issue (and yes, it is still ongoing) has centered on the season and the fallout from the Notice of Intent to sue, as well it should; it has and continues to affect outfitters, guides, and rural communities across the state. However, if there is a Silver Lining, it is in part that the conflict and controversy surrounding the Steelhead Fishing season has helped underscore the importance of connecting with other individuals and user groups within the broader 'community of interest', communicating more fully and effectively to head off issues as faced us this season, and not least to a more frank conversation about the status of Idaho's Wild Fish. The hardest and fittingly most important thing going forward is to maintain what focus and momentum this otherwise damaging situation has generated within our community.
WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK: MARCH 2019
Good news, River Folk. the Idaho SNOTEL report for March gives positive indications statewide for this coming Season's flows. Keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming, full report on this year's--to date--Whitewater forecast and press release.
Join us for a Barn Warming to remember! Celebrate with the Salmon Chapter of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association!
(There's a Wolf Howling contest, live music, food, drink, auction. What more could you realistically ask for?)