BOISE — The 63rd annual meeting of the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association is coming up in Boise. The event is held at the Riverside Hotel, 2900 W. Chinden Blvd., Boise. Jayme Moye, an outdoor journalist who wrote an exposé about sexual harassment in the river-guiding industry in Colorado, will be the lunch speaker on Dec. 14.

“Clearly, the river-guiding industry is a male-dominated business,” Bob Volpert, co-owner of Salmon’s Idaho River Journeys, said in a statement. “Moye will speak about her investigative stories on sexual harassment in the river-guiding business on Colorado rivers; I think she’ll say it’s just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s probably happening on Idaho rivers as well. I think her talk is going to get people stirred up about the issue. Hopefully, it’ll lead to some positive discussions.”

In November 2016, Volpert — past president and member of the Middle Fork Outfitters Association — and others drafted a policy statement about sexual harassment in the river workplace and provided suggested guidelines for outfitters to adopt to be proactive about the issue.

The IOGA meeting will also feature a number of other presentations — including an update from David Brown with the American Outdoors Association and a presentation on how science can inform the recovery of salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. As of Nov. 27, the number of steelhead passing by Lower Granite Dam was 68,000 — with 11,400 wild fish — compared to a 10-year average of 165,000, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The low numbers caused the IDFG to close steelhead fishing seasons statewide in the fall; since that time, seasons have been opened on the Salmon, Snake and Clearwater Rivers with smaller bag limits than normal, plus size limitations on the Clearwater River.

“The situation is pretty grim,” Dr. Rick Williams, who will give an overview of the salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia and Snake River Basins, said in a statement. “The numbers of fish we had returning to Idaho this year were similar to the lows we had in the early 1990’s when the fish were first listed under the Endangered Species Act.” Williams said he will emphasize the importance of preserving wild steelhead and wild Chinook salmon in Idaho. “They’re the foundation for the long-term sustainability of those fish runs.”

The IOGA meeting culminates with the Thaw Fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. on the final evening — a banquet with silent/live auctions. Donated silent auction items include outdoor gear, outdoor books and cookbooks, fishing trips, trail rides, rafting day-trips, knives, bags and clothing items.

More information: see the blog post at ioga.org.

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