November Newsletter – Santiam Summer Steelhead, Joint-Commission Meeting Nov. 1, Hall of Fame Banquet Gala Nov. 10

The US Army Corps of Engineers Wants to End SantiamSummer Steelhead. What’s Next?

For many members of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, summer steelhead are the gateway species to a more robust and diversified heritage of fishing in the Pacific Northwest. They’re easier to catch at a time when more families are wanting to recreate together. Now, they’re gone.

After 50+ years of a successful hatchery summer steelhead program in the Santiam River the US Army Corps of Engineers has ceased funding for the upper Willamette River, all so that they can save a whopping $62,000 per year, a drop in the bucket for the federal agency, especially considering the recreational return these fish provide. It’s a devastating blow to the upper basin economy and the social benefit that families derived from participating in these fisheries together.

Although it may be challenging to get this program back on track, there is hope for a state solution from a federal problem, but it’s going to require some effort on all of our parts. The Steelheaders will be working on a solution this winter, when the legislature comes back to work in February, but we need you to contact your legislator to let them know what summer steelhead in the upper Willamette means for you.

 You can find your state legislator HERE

Although it wouldn’t hurt to contact your Federal representatives (Congressman Schrader, DeFazio, Walden or Blumenauer or Congresswoman Bonamici or Senators Wyden or Merkley), it’s important to contact your STATE representatives and senators since we’re playing at the state level now. Call NOW!

 

As Spring Chinook and Winter Steelhead Continue Steep Decline, Steelheaders and Other Conservation Organizations Come Together to Recover Upper Willamette River Stocks

Upper Willamette River dams now block over 400 miles of high-quality habitat for wild spring Chinook and winter steelhead, now at LESS THEN 3% OF THEIR HISTORICAL ABUNDANCE. When will our community stand up for this atrocity, and assure our children that they too have a future in fishing?

How does December 4th sound?

 

SAVE THE DATE

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 6:30 P.M.

Location: TBD in Oregon City

What: Willamette Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Coalition

The Steelheaders have always invested in protecting our hatcheries, habitat and fisheries, now we have to push harder, especially in the face of diminishing returns. Join us for this historic launch, more details to follow.

We’re joining forces with groups we’ve historically been at odds with, working with groups like the Native Fish Society, McKenzie River Flyfishers and Willamette Riverkeepers to create the political will to change the trajectory of these declining populations. We’ve tried to go at it alone, all of us have, and that strategy has failed us, all the while as our wild fish continue to head towards extinction.

When we gain back robust returns of wild salmon and steelhead, so too will we gain back robust opportunity for our children and grandchildren. Only WE can change this trajectory. Join us in Oregon City on December 4th!

Expansive North Coast Closure Highlights Depressed Return of Fall Chinook Run

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife took drastic but needed restrictive measures effective November 1st on most north coast fall Chinook fisheries. Those measures effectively close most north coast rivers upstream of the tidewater reaches for many of our members’ favorite river systems. This regulatory measure doesn’t come without painstaking discussions by highly qualified staff, but given the anecdotal observations made by anglers and biologists, these measures are necessary for the future health of our fisheries.

HERE is the official press release.

Although our fall mainstay is largely off the table, most bays remain open and can be productive well into December. That said, we ask that anglers carefully weigh their decisions on fishing for these fish on a depressed year. This is a good time to consider the release of wild females, which will spawn the next generation of fish and fishermen. As much as Steelheaders love to fish, conservation is also a main priority. Help us ensure a robust future for these fish, which we fight so hard for.

On that note, we’ll forgo the fishing report for this edition, but with the extensive fall Chinook closure, most will focus their efforts elsewhere. Crabbing remains good in many coastal estuaries, and catch and release sturgeon fishing is good in the Portland Harbor.

Commissions Take Up Columbia River Reforms at November 1st Meeting

We can’t believe we’re talking about this again.

After prolonged and persistent testimony as to why the Columbia River Reforms that prioritize sportfishing on the Columbia and place gillnets in off-channel areas, the Oregon and Washington Commissions are taking it up again at a November 1st meeting in Vancouver, Washington. Although this is an informational meeting only (no decisions will be made and it’s likely no public comment will be taken), your presence will be important to show the commission that this is a priority for our community.

As you know, the Northwest Steelheaders, NW Guides and Anglers Association, NSIA and CCA have all fought hard to keep the tenets of the Columbia River Reform policy intact and working for us, but we’ve been faced with continued pushback from the gillnet fleet and unfriendly commission members in support of rollbacks and continued punishment for our successes. We must remain diligent and we’re hopeful to have you at this meeting to show your support for keeping the reforms in place.

 

 

 

The Association’s largest fundraiser is just days away on November 10th. Although we’re not fortunate enough to land on Veteran’s Day again, JOIN US for the 31st annual Hall of Fame Banquet where we celebrate our victories and advocate for future change to keep our sport intact. Not only will we celebrate our veterans, but we’ll celebrate our outstanding members with the recognition they SO deserve,

For the big-ticket items, we’ll have a Wyoming antelope hunt, a trip to the famed Toman’s King Camp on the Nushagak River, and other guided fishing trips. We’ll also have wonderful silent auction items and games for everyone to participate in. Hall of Fame is our most important fundraiser of the year, and one we count on to keep the lights on and the staff working for you and for the fish.

Join us for an exciting night of fun and fundraising!

If you can’t make it to the gala this year, please consider a valuable donation HERE.

 

The 31st Annual Hall of Fame Banquet

When: Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Doors open at 4:00 p.m.

Where: Holiday Inn in Wilsonville, Oregon

Why: Celebrate and raise funds for our work

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About Kent Cannon

My passion is fishing and hunting as well as traveling throughout the Northwest and writing about those adventures. I was separated from my job a few years ago due to the still ongoing economic downturn. I had spent years working, focusing on things that really were not near and dear to my heart all the while scrambling and climbing to what I perceived as the top. I of course did not realize what I was doing, because I was caught up in the moment, focusing on what I thought was the American dream. Crashing and pushing ever forward like a Lemming headed for a cliff, oblivious the world around me. I was more than a little bitter over loosing my job; it was a good job as far as jobs go and I was making a lot of money so I could live according to the manner in which I wanted to be accustomed. In the process of trying to find another job in an unfavorable economic climate I found something that I had left behind many years ago. I found me! That is how and why I started this website, looking for myself and sharing things that I found along the way. Even though I am older now, suffering a little from arthritis and my hair is now somewhat graying I still have fire in my belly for the next adventure. The more that I seek out my next adventure, the more excited I become!

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