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nite Ste Seto ember of Congres 239 Dia Sete Ofte Be. 231 Rayburn le Of Bs, ‘Wasi, BC. 20810 ‘Wai, DC 255 43 Rul Sete fee ing 1523 Lngworth House Oe Bl Waingn, 2510, ‘Wain, DC 2088 December 7, 2018 Barry Thom ‘West Coast Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries 1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100 Portland, OR 97232 Dear Administrator Thom, ‘We write to you regarding the State of Idaho's proposed management of steelhead fisheries and the urgent need forthe National Marine Fisheries Service (NMES) to exposite Idaho's incidental take permit associated with the state's Fishery Evaluation and Management Plan (FEMP). ‘As you know, the indecision surounding the State of Idaho's incidental take permit has forced Idaho Fish and Game Commission to close steelhead Fishing season starting December 8. The Aecision is prompted by threatened litigation and the associated libilty forthe State of Idaho. ‘The immediate closure has led to uncertainty throughout Idaho that has caused continuing ‘economic hardship to local communities. ‘We recognize the difficulties your agency has in clearing the backlog of work on incidental take permits. "However, given the importance to Idaho's spor fishing economy, we respectfully request this process he completed as exprsitonely possible Specifically, we as that NMPS complete and issue a decision on the State of Idaho's FEMP no later than the end of January Which includes the incidental take pert. ‘We certainly understand the need for responsible fisheries management. We also know your agency is committed to making this atop priority and we thank you for the emphasis you have placed on completing Idaho's FEMP. If we canbe of help to your agency, we stand ready to assist you in any way possible, ‘Thank: you for your time and consideration ofthis roquest. Should you need further information, ‘we welcome you to contact any of our offices to further discuss ths eritical issue, Sincerely, Mike Crapo Sj James E. Risch United States Senator United States Senator ey ‘Kail & Mike Shmpson Rail Labrador Member of Congress ‘Member of Congress