Hot Topic: Salmon and Steelhead Extinction?
Idaho’s sockeye salmon have the longest migratory journey of any salmon species on earth. They are nothing short of remarkable. And yet they are imperiled.
In fact, all of Idaho’s salmon and steelhead are on the federal Endangered Species Act list. And despite the protections that the list is supposed to provide, our fish are not recovering. Sadly, it’s not hyperbole to say that any one of our salmon or steelhead populations could become extinct in less than 10 years if something doesn’t change.
One of the reasons our fish are not recovering is that Idaho’s elected leadership have not prioritized saving them. Idaho’s legislature habitually appropriates little to no money dedicated to salmon and steelhead recovery. Any money spent here on their recovery comes from the Bonneville Power Administration. And that money comes with strings: Idaho agrees not to contest federal and BPA river management in exchange for receiving money for habitat restoration projects throughout the state. But individual projects funded by the BPA are not enough to save the fish.
ICL is committed to changing this trajectory and this issue is gaining momentum. We will not stand by and watch as these fish disappear forever. We are upping our game, as it were, on behalf of endangered fish. We are actively organizing a network of people and businesses who depend on and value our wild fish. Please join the network so that you, too, can raise your voice in defense of the wildest of wild Idaho, our native salmon and steelhead.
Idaho Water: Rivers, Lakes, Groundwater
Idaho is the river state for good reason. That’s why ICL has a robust water program. We work to make sure our rivers are flowing—which is a lot of work in a state with historic policies saying water left in rivers is waste. We also work to make sure our rivers are clean enough for people and fish to thrive. But that’s just our rivers! ICL also works to protect our groundwater, as that’s where the majority of Idahoans get their drinking water. To accomplish our goals, we use a variety of tools including—but not limited to—reviewing every Clean Water Act permit and every new water right application in Idaho. Did we mention that we have a robust water program?
More Ways ICL Protects Water
We are working hard to protect Idaho waters throughout the state.
- Protecting your rivers
- Protecting your drinking water
- Saving the Snake River
- Guarding against toxic algae outbreaks
Read about how ICL set the bar for keeping mercury out of rivers and lakes, successfully advocated for wild and scenic rivers, and our many other accomplishments.
What You Can Do
Become a member today and protect the Idaho lakes and streams that you love!