Category Archive: Steelhead Files

Asotin Creek – WDFW update

By Ethan Crawford, Fisheries Biologist – WDFW Asotin Creek Project An earlier blog post described the great resiliency of wild steelhead in Asotin Creek and noted that this resiliency is in part due to a combination of a variety factors: improved habitat quality, increased spill at hydroelectric facilities, good ocean conditions, and a great reduction … Continued

Life history diversity: dispersing risk

By Brian Hodge Just as investors diversify their portfolio of assets to minimize financial loss, fisheries managers may diversify their portfolio of conservation strategies to minimize species loss. Another fishy analog for the “portfolio effect” comes from the steelhead—it reduces risk of extinction by displaying a diverse array of life histories, or pathways from hatch … Continued

The advantage of avalanches

  Here in this timbered, steep, up and down country of Idaho, the forces at work are not merely wind and water. Here, the tumble of rocks and cracking of large trees has been important to shaping river habitat for centuries. Avalanches are not just territory for the backcountry skier. They’re good for steelhead too. … Continued

Steelhead in Orlando ICAST/IFTD report

Each year in Orlando the entire fishing industry gets together for their trade show,  ICAST/IFTD. It’s the place where everyone who makes a living off the tug on the end of a hook gathers to see what is new, take orders from dealers and learn about trends in the industry, including conservation issues.   With so … Continued

Rivers of Resilience – Asotin Creek

Asotin Creek is a tributary that drains into the Snake River near the town of Asotin in eastern Washington.  With a drainage area of 250 square miles, Asotin Creek is slightly larger than the Wind River, but also much smaller than the Yakima River watershed.  Like the Yakima, the basin is located in a semi-arid … Continued

Rivers of Resilience – Wind

The Wind River, a tributary to the Columbia River just above Bonneville Dam, is, at only 224 square miles, a substantially smaller drainage than the Yakima. It receives more precipitation and thus is dominated by forests and industrial timberlands. The Wind River has had some habitat restoration but nowhere near the extent of the Yakima, … Continued

Rivers of Resilience – Yakima

It can be hard to maintain faith in the steelhead world.  As noted in the recent article by Bill Herzog, it seems like we are losing wild summer runs faster than we can recover them. I would hedge that many, if not most, anglers feel the same.   Steelhead are not disappearing for lack of … Continued

What happened to my summer runs?

    Editors note: This is the first in a multi-part series looking at both the decline and recovery of wild steelhead runs.    By Bill Herzog Here I am, as far into the corner of eastern Washington as you can get, waist deep in the mighty Snake River, two hander whooshing around me every … Continued

Rules for catch-and-release of steelhead

There is no worse feeling than bringing a steelhead to hand and seeing the gills pumping blood.   Such experiences are one of the reasons that anglers have created flies that reduce deep hookings.  Still, fishing is a blood sport, and despite our best efforts, we ultimately cannot eliminate the potential for some mortality.   While … Continued

New Conservation Atlas and Trip Planner: Custom maps with the click of a mouse.

  The mapping applications available on have just been updated and now include two new cutting-edge map viewers – a wild steelhead Conservation Atlas and a steelhead fishing trip planner. Both maps are presented in an interactive format, allowing users to select layers to show on the map, pan and zoom to an area … Continued