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Wild steelhead and salmon are unknowingly being killed by catch and release fisherman.  Last year while fly fishing the Clearwater river with friends in just one week we saw two steelhead drug up on the bank and pinned down then passed around for photos; two others were held up by the gills; and three were netted, brought into the boat where they were subdued before being passed around for photos with everyone in the boat.  Those fish swam away when released so people think they’re fine but the research shows that many of those fish will die hours later.

Washington and Oregon have made changes to their regulations to emphasize proper fish handling.  Tell Idaho Fish and Game they need to do the same by filling out their online Angler Input form.  Act quickly because the window for public comment is only open through the end of April March 22, 2015.  Here is a suggested comment, to get you started.

Please help protect our wild steelhead and salmon by adding language to the fishing regulations to promote proper fish handling. Wild steelhead and salmon should be kept in the water and not drug up on the bank.

You can help wild steelhead and salmon by handling them with care. Don’t drag them up on the bank or bring them into the boat where they can flop around and bang their head.  Keep them in the water as much as possible.  For more details on how fish handling impacts mortality, see these great articles.


  1. TU Fish Handling Stress Summary
  2. You May Be Killing Steelhead And Not Even Know It
  3. Native Fish Society Keep ‘Em Wet Campaign


Thanks for your support, and remember. If they’re wild, KEEP ‘EM WET!

Troy Pearse

Boise, ID


Words Spoken at the Public Lands Rally

At the Public Lands Rally on February 12 one of the speakers was Pat Kilroy, Boise, Vice President of the Ted Trueblood Chapter.  Here is what Pat had to say:

I’m here representing myself.  The opinions I share are my own.

I’ve been asked to offer a perspective on this issue from a veteran’s perspective which I’m glad to do.  I have two points to share.

First, the lands of the United States of America are a birthright.  So, regardless of what state you call home and regardless of whether you hunt or fish they belong to all of us.

But, I believe that few groups have earned the right to enjoy those lands more than our service men and women.  Those that I served with hailed from each and every state and territory: Maine, Florida and Hawaii, Puerto Rico… and others chose to serve as a means to obtain U.S. citizenship – each should have the same rights you & I have to enjoy United States lands in Idaho.  Why would certain interests seek to disenfranchise them of that which they have defended?  In a state as patriotic as Idaho, I don’t think that is a question that should be casually dismissed.

Which leads me to my second point.  What’s the problem that needs to be solved by those seeking to wrest control of these lands from the citizens of the United States?  What is not working today that needs to be fixed?  In all the legislative literature and statements I’ve seen thus far, that rationale has yet to be fully and comprehensively explained.

Today’s complex problems need comprehensive solutions – and perhaps this is one of those kinds of complex problems.  Idaho has both a good reputation and provides a terrific example of how Federal, State, local and individual interests (and politics) can be considered, represented and addressed: I’m referring to the Clearwater Collaborative.  I’ll not comment further as  there are others more qualified to speak of its many attributes and contributions like Scott Stouder.  But, perhaps this is a candidate for a collaborative rather than some other political or interest group venue.

Thank you.

Hunters and anglers start their rally with the Pledge of Allegiance
Hunters and anglers start their rally with the Pledge of Allegiance