Category Archive: Idaho

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

Steelhead 101: Using snorkel surveys to estimate adult steelhead escapement

Another week, another post on how scientists and fisheries managers measure steelhead escapement. Last week, we described redd counts and why they are an important tool. This week, we review snorkel surveys.   Snorkel surveys entail divers swimming in the river and visually counting adult steelhead. Like redd counts, snorkel surveys do not cover an … Continued

We Are Wild Steelheaders

Wild Steelheaders United is announcing our “We are Wild Steelheaders Month,” a celebration of wild steelhead across their native range in the Western U.S.    For the next month we will be posting videos of anglers up and down the West Coast, discussing why wild steelhead matter to them. Anglers of all persuasions support better management of … Continued

Sportfishing Industry asks Trump for solid review of Snake River Dams

More than 50 fishing companies, trade groups and conservation organizations sent a letter today to President Donald Trump in support of taking a fresh look at removing four large dams on the lower Snake River to recover wild salmon and steelhead that once thrived in the Snake River Basin of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.   … Continued

How many steelhead can you fit into a school?

It depends on how old and big they are.   Over the past year we have talked extensively about the value of life history diversity in steelhead, and in particular, that a broader range in spawn timing – which results in a broader range of emergence for juveniles – can help ameliorate density-related impacts by … Continued