Conservation group withdraws legal threat over steelhead fishing

Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) A conservation group is leaving a coalition of similar organizations that threatened to sue Idaho Fish and Game over steelhead fishing.

Idaho Rivers United, a conservation organization aimed towards preserving Idaho rivers, said they no longer plan to sue Idaho Fish and Game.

Idaho Fish and Game announced their decision to suspend steelhead fishing season last month due to mounting legal pressure from the coalition of conservation groups, according to an open letter from Director Virgil Moore.

In a press release , Idaho Rivers United said they've left the coalition because the National Oceanic Atmospheric Associate has released a draft management plan of Idaho fisheries that will legalize steelhead fishing again.

Idaho Rivers United also said in the release they believe anglers are being unfairly blamed for the mortality rates of steelhead, and the closing of the season is hurting fishing communities.

"Idaho Fish and Game is planning to close steelhead season that will begin in December," said Ava Isaacson, a Idaho Rivers United member. "That has massive consequences to the small communities of Idaho especially Riggins and Orofino, the steelhead based communities. That is something we did not intend to be a consequence, but now that it is, we are working diligently to resolve the issue."

Although Idaho Rivers United is no longer part of the coalition threatening to sue Idaho Fish and Game over steelhead fishing, they still believe the species is on a path to extinction.

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