The U.S. Forest Service has proposed restoring protections for more than 9 million acres of roadless areas in southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, one of the last places on the planet where wild steelhead still thrive.
Our Alaska team reports back on their work this spring observing steelhead using available habitat and our efforts to document that use for species inclusion in Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog.
By ending industrial old-growth logging and investing in restoration, USFS protects both known and unknown steelhead habitat.
On the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service first enacting the Roadless Rule, Senator Cantwell and Representatives Gallego and DeGette have announced they are introducing the Roadless Area Conservation Act.
We’ve all heard stories from our grandparents of unbelievable abundance and sizes in their fishing forays — the salmon so numerous it boggled the mind, and those Lahontan cutthroat trout so big you couldn’t wrap your arms around them. Yet even with these anecdotes it’s still hard to internalize just how different our experience of today is from way back when. That’s just human nature: memory is hard to maintain, especially across generations.
Southeast Alaska is home to around 325 known steelhead streams. But Mark Hieronymus, Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Science Coordinator, believes the true number is probably twice that. However, that’s a problem because if steelhead aren’t listed in the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Anadromous Waters Catalog (AWC) for that particular river, their habitat isn’t afforded the conservation measures they deserve.
Join us next week on Thursday, October 22 for the premier of our new film, Anadromous Waters, and learn more about what Wild Steelheaders United is doing to help conserve these critical Alaskan steelhead populations.
Late last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) get one step closer to repealing the Roadless Rule on the Tongass National Forest. You may as well read that as: last month the USDA got one step closer to opening up some of the wildest, greenest areas on the Tongass – the best areas in the forest for fish and wildlife – to industrial, clear-cut logging of ancient, majestic old growth trees.
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.
Thanks to the efforts of Trout Unlimited Alaska’s (TU AK) Fish Habitat Project, Southeast Alaska now has two more officially recognized steelhead streams.