One of the pleasures I get as President of the Wild Steelhead Coalition, is to present our annual “Conservation Award.” It is presented to an individual or group that, through their actions and/or accomplishments, have made significant and noteworthy contributions to the protection and propagation of wild steelhead.
It is our honor to present this year’s award to Sam Wright. The WSC Board of Directors chose Sam from a list of many deserving individuals. Sam has worked hard to put the fish first and to get policies put into place to protect them. He is a “hands on” conservationist with a keen intellect and the amazing ability to navigate through a complex political system to get the job done.
Sam has been managing fish populations and fish habitat ever since his first job in Alaska in 1957. In his life’s work for fish, Sam’s main contributions to wild steelhead management include:
*Initiated adipose fin marking for all hatchery steelhead;
*Developed Washington State’s Wild Trout Management Strategy;
*Was the primary author for Washington State’s Wild Salmonid Policy;
*Wrote the ESA Petition that led to listing Puget Sound wild steelhead for protection ;
*Forced the WDFW to stop using juvenile steelhead for “trout fishing” in the Puget Sound basin rivers;
Sam continues to work hard in his retirement as an advocate for fisheries conservation and I can guarantee you will always see him at hearings and fisheries meetings making his conservation point.
The Wild Steelhead Coalition congratulates Sam for his breadth and depth of work that has led to changes that have, and will continue to have, benefits for wild steelhead. To help commemorate his achievements, the WSC would like to present Sam with this plaque. Please join us this evening in thanking Sam for his numerous contributions to wild steelhead conservation.