New rules to control crowds over area on eastern Idaho river
Mar. 30, 2018
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have released new rules to deal with crowding on the popular South Fork of the Snake River in eastern Idaho.
The section of the river is known as one of the country's best trout fisheries.
The area sees large numbers of people particularly during the annual stonefly hatch, which draws fishing tourism throughout the West.
Jimmy Gabettas, owner of Jimmy's All-Season Angler, has seen the crowds grow in the last several decades.
"There's been a tremendous increase from the early '80s," he said.
The new rules by the Bureau of Land Management aim to manage the crowds by targeting money-making ventures and large-group outings of at least 15, especially during prime fishing season, the Post Register reported Thursday.
The new rules will not require individuals get permits, Monica Zimmerman said, the BLM's outdoor recreation planner.
The BLM has been working on the new rules for a decade, she said.
The main changes include a limit on "special recreation permits and requiring permits for groups of more than 15 looking to launch between July 1 and Labor Day.
The large group permits will be limited to three per day between Monday and Thursday and two per day between Friday and Sunday.
The new rules will go into effect in 2019 to give the BLM time to work out administrative details.
The BLM is also looking to implement a reservation system for designated sites along the South Fork.
"We're starting to see a lot more camping, so we're getting a lot more pressure on resources," Zimmerman said.
That rule is also expected to roll out next year.
Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com