ODFW Approves Thermal Angling Sanctuaries on the Columbia

In Oregon by Kyle Smith

Earlier today, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted temporary rules for the 2020 fishing season that limit angling for steelhead in thermal sanctuaries at the mouths of Herman Creek, Eagle Creek, and the Deschutes River. This rule change is a win for endangered Columbia basin steelhead stocks, including the legendary B-Run steelhead that return to the Clearwater each year. You can view the temporary rule that was approved here.

As we’ve posted before, thermal refugia like those at the mouths of Herman Creek, Eagle Creek, and the Deschutes, are critical for steelhead migrating upstream to their homewaters, and anglers concentrating effort in those areas could have potentially fatal impacts on fish trying to conserve energy on their homeward journey. Some of these fish travel upwards of 500 miles to the Snake and Clearwater basins in Idaho.

Rules approved today were introduced earlier this spring and presented by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via a live video conference on the agency’s YouTube channel. We commend ODFW for taking steps to protect endangered summer steelhead in the Columbia and will continue to advocate for regulations that balance fishing opportunity with conservation of wild steelhead across their native range.