Idaho approves burbot fishing after populations rebound

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Idaho has approved a fishing season for burbot after regional populations of the freshwater cod in the Kootenai River numbered about 50,000.

The Spokesman-Review reports the state Fish and Game Commission announced last week that the fishing season had been approved as part of its fishing rules for 2019 to 2021.

The fishing season is the first greenlighted by state officials since 1992.

Regional populations of burbot had dropped to 50 in the early 2000s.

The species rebounded following a collaborative restoration effort by fisheries, communities, academics and state officials.

Idaho Fish and Game had said that the species’ long-term success was put in jeopardy because of environmental factors, many caused by the construction of Libby Dam in the 1970s.