Triplicate Staff

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, who represents Del Norte County, will co-chair the Congressional Wild Salmon Caucus with Rep. Don Young of Alaska.

The appointments were announced by Del Norte's former congressman, Mike Thompson, who will serve as vice-chairman of the caucus.

"I am honored to join my colleagues in leading the Wild Salmon Caucus in this new session of Congress, and I am excited to take on this challenge," said Huffman in a press release. "These issues are critical to my congressional district, to our fishing industry, and to our nation's coastal communities."

Huffman is a former environmental lawyer and state assemblyman. He authored the Coho Salmon Habitat Enhancement Leading to Preservation Act (AB 1961), which streamlines the permit process of voluntary habitat improvements for California's struggling coho salmon. It was signed into law Sept. 25, 2012.

Thompson and Young founded the caucus in 2010. Its goal is to serve as an informal, bipartisan group of members dedicated to conserving and restoring wild salmon populations, supporting salmon fishermen and the salmon fishing industry, and educating other members on wild salmon issues, according to a press release.

One of the first orders of business for the caucus will be to address theissue of genetically engineered salmon, the release stated.