Category Archive: Idaho

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

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

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

Science Friday: Hitch-Hiking Smolts

Last week we talked about the importance of spill for out-migrating kelts and smolts in the Columbia Basin. Increasing spill is only one method employed to enhance downstream survival of smolts. As early as the mid-1950s smolts were loaded onto barges and moved downstream past the dams through the lock system. While fisheries managers experimented … Continued

Finding solutions on the Snake River Dams

  By Rob Masonis   Lonesome Larry was the only sockeye to make it from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho’s Redfish Lake in 1992. That was only one year after Larry’s fellow Snake River sockeye salmon were protected under the Endangered Species Act because they were on a path to extinction.   Despite the passage … Continued

Put fish first this summer in the Columbia

It’s hard to ignore the dismal forecast for this summer’s steelhead return to the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Just how bad is it? Well, this year’s wild and hatchery summer runs returning past Bonneville Dam are forecast to be the lowest in the past 34 years.   Predictions for all stocks look bad, but in … Continued

What does the Antiquities Act have to do with steelhead?

A seemingly innocuous little law passed in 1906 has become highly controversial in recent years. The Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt, was a response to an escalating problem of looting of archeological and geologic resources and empowers the president to designate to significant historic, cultural, and scientific features as national monuments. … Continued

Steelhead 101: Defining native, wild, hatchery and natural-origin

In recent posts we covered the basics of defining escapement and run size, and the ways these are measured by resource managers. Today, we turn our focus to the complex terminology used for describing and comparing hatchery and wild steelhead. Steelhead are typically referred to as either being “wild” or “hatchery,” but they may also … Continued