Hey, Idaho steelhead anglers and fishing guides, good job shooting the messengers. You know, those folks who for the past 20-plus years have fought to protect salmon and steelhead spawning grounds from excessive sediments and mining pollution, required screens on irrigation intake facilities and challenged the federal government’s illegal 20-year failed fish policies and wild fish recovery efforts. Yes, kick those greenies in the teeth for telling us the truth: Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead runs are in collapse; Bonneville Power Administration is in financial crisis and cutting its fish and wildlife budget; and one day electricity ratepayers are going to tire of spending 15 percent of their monthly power bills so sports anglers and guides can catch a dwindling, costly supply of hatchery fish.

Thanks as well to Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game for firing the first shot. Nah, IDFG’s 10-year failure to operate legal steelhead seasons isn’t the department’s fault. It’s the National Marine Fisheries Service’s fault. They’re the slowpokes. And IDFG knows why: It’s those pesky greenies again, those fish-hugging do-gooders adding to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s workload by demanding the feds heed the law and do their job.

This year’s Snake River salmon and steelhead runs are among the worst in 40 years. The number of jack salmon and steelhead prediction for next year will be worse. Due to ocean conditions? Dams? Fish management? Nah. It’s the greenies. Without them, we could fish, fish, fish … till the fish are gone.

Linwood Laughy, Moscow, Idaho

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