To properly manage our increasingly precarious wild steelhead populations, we need to better understand steelhead abundance and their complex lifecycles. That’s why the Wild Steelhead Coalition decided to become a funding partner of WDFW’s Hoh River Steelhead Research Program. This ambitious program is a years-long effort to better understand steelhead biology and ecology, fill information gaps needed for steelhead management, and improve resiliency of steelhead populations in the face of an uncertain future.
While the study is based on the Hoh and will have a local contribution to conservation and management, the results of this research will also inform steelhead management more broadly as steelhead life cycle parameters (things like redds per female and marine survival) are poorly documented and rarely available for large river systems like the Hoh. Across Washington, famed wild steelhead rivers have experienced dramatic population declines, and programs like the Hoh River Research Program are critical to stopping this decline and starting to bring wild steelhead back.