The Last Steelhead

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

  Longtime angling author, steelhead aficionado, TROUT Magazine contributor and musician Chris Santella has created a novel way to publicize the plight of wild steelhead.   Santella’s new rock opera, The Last Steelhead, looks at the factors contributing to the decline of wild steelhead runs and “the attitudes surrounding our behaviors and policies that seem to be standing in the …

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The Life Cycle of Wild Steelhead

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

Well, it is steelhead season. No doubt. “Septober” is officially underway.   To celebrate the changing season we are re-posing the question that every serious steelhead angler should be able to answer in the affirmative: Do you really know a steelhead?     Think about it, we spend thousands of hours pursuing steelhead, but how much of that time is …

WSU leading the charge on sonar

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Newsletter: The Wild Steelheader, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

Occasionally, we get asked what Wild Steelheaders United is really doing to improve wild steelhead populations across their range.   We could start by mentioning that our habitat restoration and fish passage improvement projects are delivering big results in some of the last best wild steelhead strongholds in North America. In the past year alone, our work along California’s fabled …

Snake River Steelhead Recovery Plan Released by NOAA

In Idaho by Nick Chambers

By Rob Masonis   The recent release of the final federal recovery plan for Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook salmon and steelhead is a milestone in the decades-long effort to reverse the precipitous decline of salmon and steelhead runs in the Snake River system. The Snake was historically the most productive region in the Columbia Basin for spring/summer chinook and steelhead, …

Arguing over crumbs in Idaho

In Idaho by Shauna Sherard

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. In this metaphor, the crumbs …

Ya Gotta Believe!!

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 that year.   The Mets …

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A stream with two stories — but only because it goes dry in summer

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 streams.   Intermittent streams are …

2017 – a Bad Year or Part of a Trend?

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Science Friday, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 so difficult to parse out …

The Dry Creek Steelhead Story

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 is near our house with …

Science Friday: Hitch-Hiking Smolts

In Idaho, Oregon, Science Friday, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 with this tactic early on …