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Anadromous Fish Committee

Chairpersons

Matt Belnap
Phone: 208-569-1283
matt.belnap@idfg.idaho.gov

Mike Edmondson
Phone: 208-332-1551
mike.edmondson@osc.idaho.gov

Overview

There are fishes native to Idaho that leave their spawning and rearing habitats in our state to grow in the Pacific Ocean, 466 miles downstream of the state line, then return to spawn. These fishes and the people who hold interest in them are the focus of the Anadromous Fish Committee.

Populations of anadromous fishes in Idaho declined precipitously following the settlement of the west, the proliferation of resource extraction, urbanization, and the industrial revolution. The construction of hydroelectric dams in the Snake and Columbia rivers during the 20th century coincided with the near extirpation of anadromous stocks.

Coho salmon were extirpated from the Snake River by 1986. Sockeye salmon almost disappeared and were declared at risk of extinction and listed as endangered by authority of the Endangered Species Act in 1991. Chinook salmon were classified as threatened with extinction in 1992. Steelhead trout were also classified as threatened in 1997. The status of lamprey is uncertain but their populations are well below historic levels.

Current fisheries on anadromous stocks are entirely supported by hatchery production. Restoration efforts are underway at all levels of management by all sovereign entities in Idaho and the larger Columbia Basin. An appreciation of these fishes by the public, as well as detailed technical information for fisheries managers, is required for the conservation and recovery of anadromous fishes in today’s society.

Mission

The mission of the Anadromous Fish Committee is to advance knowledge and appreciation of the state's anadromous fish resources and the aquatic habitats upon which they depend; and promote the use of sound science and education towards conservation and recovery of the fishery resource for its use and enjoyment by all.

Goals

The committee will seek to accomplish the mission through the following goals:

  1. Promote Following Fishes
  2. Locate a new Stream of Dreams location
  3. Consider other ideas for a technical session for the ICAFS membership