Idaho’s Salmon and Steelhead Matter
Salmon and steelhead are closely intertwined with Idaho’s culture, history, and economy. These fish nourished indigenous cultures both physically and spiritually. The state’s early pioneers — miners, ranchers, trappers and loggers — settled here and sustained themselves on this abundant natural resource. Today, anglers, outfitters and guides rely on these iconic fish for their livelihoods. Salmon and steelhead also bolster Idaho’s small businesses, tourism and recreation industries. Idaho’s Indigenous tribes continue to advocate for the return of fish to traditional fishing grounds.
In addition to their historic, cultural and economic value, these fish are a critical part of Idaho’s ecosystem and many plants and animals depend on them for survival. Should the fish disappear, hundreds of other plant and animal species would follow.
Through great work by local communities across the state, Idaho has some of the best habitat on Earth. At high elevations, our rivers contain cold, pristine water, yet they remain vacant of fish.