This month, we welcomed our new Science Advisor, Gary Marston, to our team here at Wild Steelheaders United.
Last week, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed the state’s 2022 supplementary budget into law, which included almost $15 million for a voluntary buyback program in the Columbia River for non-tribal commercial gillnet licenses.
Starting this month and running through May, the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group (HCSEG) is seeking volunteers to help with their monitoring of juvenile steelhead smolt traps.
“It is our collective opinion, based on overwhelming scientific evidence, that restoration of a free-flowing lower Snake River is essential to recovering wild Pacific salmon and steelhead in the basin.”
So reads a remarkable letter recently sent to the governors of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana by 10 of the finest and most-respected salmon and steelhead scientists in the world.
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.
Trout Unlimited lauded the Memorandum of Agreement released today by the states of California and Oregon, the Yurok and Karuk Tribes, PacifiCorp (a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy), and Klamath River Renewal Corporation. With the agreement, the two states and Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp agreed to provide additional resources and support for dam removal through the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. See TU’s press release here.
The ROD adopts the preferred alternative developed through the agencies’ environmental impact statement process. The decision recommends a limited increase in the amount of water spilled over the four dams on the Lower Snake River, but allows the dams to stay in place at a significant cost to salmon, steelhead, tribes, anglers, and communities across the Columbia Basin.
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.
Eric Crawford is the North Idaho Field Coordinator for Trout Unlimited and the Wild Steelhead Initiative. Before coming to TU, Eric worked a 25 year career as an enforcement officer with Idaho Fish and Game. He’s based in Moscow, Idaho. It was a fishing trip on a balmy November day, back trolling plugs with an old boss in an even …
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. …