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House urges federal agency to issue steelhead fishing permit

Legislation to urge federal officials to complete work on a federal permit requested by Idaho to make sure the state can open a steelhead fishing season this fall has cleared the House.

The unanimous voice vote on Tuesday sends to the Senate the legislation requesting action by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle brought the legislation forward and says it’s important the federal agency issue the permit because some Idaho businesses rely on steelhead fishing.

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.

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