More time for comments on Idaho steelhead plan will not slow federal review

December 2018

NOAA Fisheries will provide additional time for public comments on a state fishery management plan for Snake River steelhead in Idaho, but the re-opened comment period will not delay a federal review of the fishery.

The federal review of the Fishery Management and Evaluation Plan (FMEP) will ensure that the fishery protects threatened and endangered species. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game developed the FMEP.

Reviewing Idaho’s FMEP is a priority for NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region, which has dedicated extra staff to the effort. The current schedule calls for completing the review by early February.

“We understand and appreciate how important this fishing season is to anglers, businesses and communities in Idaho that depend on recreational fishing,” said Allyson Purcell, the NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region Branch Chief overseeing the effort. “We’re very much focused on completing the review promptly."

NOAA Fisheries received a request to extend the period for public comments on the FMEP, which currently ended on Dec. 6. Such extensions are typically announced in the Federal Register, but Federal Register publishing schedules did not allow for publication of the extension before the initial public comment period came to a close. The result is that NOAA Fisheries will instead reopen the comment period until Dec. 13. Any public comments received during the interim, before the comment period reopens, will also be considered.

Written comments should be addressed to NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 1201 N.E. Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR, 97232. Comments can also be submitted by email to IdahoSteelheadFisheriesPlan.wcr@noaa.gov, and should include in the subject line: Idaho’s Snake River Steelhead Fisheries Plan.