Dean Finnerty, Director of Wild Steelheaders United, provides a look back at the fish management ups and downs in Oregon this past year.
Wild Steelhead Initiative Manager, Dean Finnerty, and his son recently assisted ODFW with electro-fishing on the Coquille River, one of Oregon’s finest salmon and steelhead waters. ODFW’s electro-fishing efforts help remove non-native species that adversely affect native fish.
The Northwest is experiencing the worst summer steelhead returns on record. Steelhead stocks from British Columbia to southern Oregon and as far inland as the Snake River basin are doing poorly. Sadly, we are likely to see greater variability in run sizes, with smaller peaks and deeper troughs.
For the first time in my life, I won’t be skating flies over glassy tailouts for summer steelhead this year on my beloved North Umpqua River. That’s because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed this legendary fishery until December due to extreme low flows and dangerously high water temps.
After more than two years of development, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently released its Rogue-South Coast Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan (RSP) for public comment. We have the scoop on what’s in it and how you you can speak up on behalf of wild steelhead.
If you’re still recovering from a hell of a year, let me ease your mind about one thing, especially if you donated some dollars or time to our cause: the Wild Steelheaders team stretched every dollar to make truly meaningful impact safeguarding wild steelhead across the Pacific Northwest.
The steelhead community is filled with amazingly humble and generous people. We are lucky to have many of those people working here at Wild Steelheaders United. Our fearless leader Dean Finnerty is certainly one of them. Read about our own Sam Davidson’s recent adventure with him on the famous North Umpqua.
It’s safe to say, our very own WSU director, Dean Finnerty, knows a thing or two about catching steelhead, especially on his home river, the North Umpqua. Dean’s stories of such pursuits are a dime a dozen, but we wanted to share some of his tips that are sure to make you a more successful angler.
When it finally happens, you’ll know. First, you’ll feel an unmistakable sensation of weight, building and causing an ever-deepening bend in your rod. Then you’ll feel your brain, now infused with adrenalin, on fire with the realization that a steelhead has indeed grabbed your swung fly.