Finding solutions on the Snake River Dams

In Idaho by Shauna Sherard

  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 of almost three decades and …

Put fish first this summer in the Columbia

In Idaho, Oregon, Washington by Nick Chambers

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 particular the later arriving and …

What does the Antiquities Act have to do with steelhead?

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

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.   The Antiquities Act has …

Steelhead 101: Defining native, wild, hatchery and natural-origin

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

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 be defined as being “native” …

Steelhead 101: Using snorkel surveys to estimate adult steelhead escapement

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

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 entire river, but rather break …

We Are Wild Steelheaders

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington by 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 wild steelhead stocks. But to reach …

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Sportfishing Industry asks Trump for solid review of Snake River Dams

In Alaska, California, Idaho, Oregon, Steelhead Files, Washington by steelheaders

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.   With a court-ordered comprehensive analysis …

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Time to Take Action on Columbia/Snake River Dams

In Idaho, Live Action Alerts, Oregon, Washington by steelheaders

Take Action The Columbia and Snake Rivers were once prolific producers of wild steelhead and salmon.  It is estimated that the Snake River system alone produced 55 percent of the Columbia Basin’s summer steelhead and 40 percent of its spring/summer Chinook.   But today all Columbia Basin wild steelhead and salmon populations are just a fraction of their historic abundance …