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Idaho Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore on Nov. 6 announced he will retire from the department in Jan. 2019 after a 42-year career in fish and wildlife management. Moore has served as director since 2011, and intends to remain until his replacement has been selected by the Fish and Game Commission and is in place.

In a document dated Oct. 9, one of the groups that denounced the renewal of the BPA Accord – Idaho Rivers United – signed alongside five other groups to give notice of intent to sue the Idaho Department of Fish and Game under the Endangered Species Act to stop steelhead harvest this fall. The following others signed on to the notice of intent to sue: Idaho Rivers United, The Conservation Angler, Wild Salmon Rivers, Snake River Waterkeeper, Wild Fish Conservancy and Friends of the Clearwater.

Last week Gov. Butch Otter took fire from environmentalists for his decision last month to re-up state support for federal salmon policy by renewing the state’s agreement to extend federal operation of hydropower dams throughout the Columbia River basin.

To continue reduced harvest on hatchery steelhead and protect wild steelhead, Idaho Fish and Game is continuing the one-fish bag limit for steelhead until Dec. 31. The lower bag limit applies in the mainstem Clearwater River, Middle Fork Clearwater River, North Fork of the Clearwater River, South Fork Clearwater River, Snake River, Salmon River and Little Salmon River.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Aug. 23 approved a memorandum of agreement with the Idaho Department of Lands to continue public access for hunting, fish, trapping and other recreation on about 2.3 million acres of state endowment lands.

Senators James Risch (R-Idaho) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) introduced Recovering America’s Wildlife Act into the Senate on July 17, which could redirect $1.3 billion in federal money to states for fish and wildlife species with the highest needs. The House version of the bill was introduced in December.