Legislation urges federal agency to work on steelhead permit

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation has been introduced to urge federal officials to complete work on a permit requested by Idaho to make sure the state can open a steelhead fishing season this fall.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday unanimously sent to the full House the legislation requesting action by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star brought the legislation forward.

Idaho wild steelhead have been struggling and were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997.

A federal permit is needed to allow the incidental capture of those wild steelhead and the resulting deaths when anglers fish for steelhead raised in hatcheries.

Idaho's steelhead season nearly shut down last year due to a possible federal lawsuit by six conservation groups contending the state's steelhead regulations harm wild steelhead