Recent Posts

Science Friday: Who’s who in the Elwha after dam removal

By John McMillan   We should not be surprised by steelhead and salmon rushing upstream to pass former dams. That is their nature — to push boundaries, access new habitat. Unbuild it, and they will come.   And come they have in Washington’s Elwha River, where in 2014 two old dams were taken down. Not … Continued

Arguing over crumbs in Idaho

By: Michael Gibson The decision by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to open harvest of hatchery steelhead despite record low returns may seem like a good thing for anglers, but it surely presents challenges for wild fish. In the upper Columbia Basin, we are arguing over the crumbs while the cake gets eaten downstream. … Continued

Stand up for the Methow

    Dear fellow anglers, I am writing to urge you to use the attached link to access a petition letter from our coalition partners “Methow Headwaters”.  This letter with signatures will be printed and submitted to the USFS as a part of the comment period for the 20 year mineral withdrawal in the Methow … Continued

Olympic Peninsula Guide Legislation

Trout Unlimited has been working with guides and anglers to discuss and facilitate limited entry guide legislation for the Olympic Peninsula (OP). As part of this process we collaborated with the Olympic Peninsula Guides Association (OPGA) to draft and pass a budget proviso during the last legislative session. The proviso directs the Washington Department of … Continued

Ya Gotta Believe!!

By Bill Herzog   Back in 1969, the New York Mets made baseball history. The “Amazin’ Mets,” as they came to be known, a team that had been dropped in the toilet like a three day old dead goldfish by most baseball experts, came from nowhere to shock the country and win the World Series … Continued

Science Friday: Why are half pounders declining in the Trinity River?

When anglers dream of steelhead, they mostly fantasize about fish that have spent 2-4 years in the ocean and return to freshwater to spawn as full adults, packing four or more pounds and brutish power into their physique. However, one of the most common forms of returning steelhead in some rivers is not the adult, … Continued

Science Friday: Behavioral Thermoregulation

Most steelhead anglers know that the family of fishes called salmonidae (trout, char, salmon and whitefish) are highly sensitive to water temperature and quality. These fishes require cold, clean water to thrive. But what happens to them when water temps become unfavorable? As you might expect, they seek out places in the river that regain … Continued

A stream with two stories — but only because it goes dry in summer

Most people think of the Pacific Northwest as a region of dense coniferous rainforest and myriad gushing rivers that drain mountain ranges influenced by a damp, cool coastal climate. And it is. But like every other part of the American West, this region also features one of the most important components of any watershed: intermittent … Continued

2017 – a Bad Year or Part of a Trend?

Ocean conditions are vitally important for wild steelhead runs — probably every steelhead angler knows this. But what does that phrase really mean? The ocean is a massive and incredibly complex system, and there are many factors out in the big blue that can influence steelhead in any given year. That is why it is … Continued

The Dry Creek Steelhead Story

By Bill McMillan On moving to the Skagit Basin in the summer of 1998, in order to begin some familiarity with such a large watershed I began to fish its tributary streams, which were open to fishing at that time.  It was strictly catch-and-release, knowing most of the encounters would be juvenile steelhead.  Finney Creek … Continued