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Conservation Award Winners

Photo by Jeff Bright

WSC Profile

Jeff Bright

Jeff Bright


WSC Partner

Jeff Bright moved to the west coast from Ohio in 1988 to pursue musical aspirations and other California dreams.  He began fishing the steelhead rivers of Northern California in 1993, gravitating to the art and craft of flyfishing soon afterward. En route, he soaked up stacks of flyfishing literature, from classic works to reports of the day addressing fisheries conservation.

Jeff began documenting his outings on film with a simple but sturdy 35mm automatic camera and, through his graphic design studio, became involved with numerous organizations active in efforts to protect and restore the state’s wild steelhead and their environs. From these relationships and a dawning awareness of “what had been lost,” a conservation consciousness was born. And, simultaneously, through the camera’s lens, a pathway for creatively directing that consciousness was uncovered.

Jeff provided many of the steelhead and landscape images that you will see on the WSC website, pro bono. We thank him for his generous contribution!

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WSC Conservation Award Winners

The WSC’s annual “Conservation Award” 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. Below are short bios of recent award winners. Please click the “Read More” links following each bio to read an extended version.


Bill Redman

Award Winner Bill Redman

2004: Bill Redman

Bill served as President of the Washington Fly Fishing Club  in 1968, and was presented the WFFC’s first Tommy Brayshaw Award by Enos Bradner that same year. He was a founding board member of the Washington Environmental Council from 1967-69. Around this time, he became a charter member of the Federation of Fly Fishers and since 1995, has been a member of it’s Steelhead Committee. Bill has been the chairman of the Steelhead Committee since 2000 and in that role, contributes regularly to the Osprey, the newsletter of the FFF Steelhead Committee. He has been a regular participant in all of the Steelhead Alliance Meetings sponsored by the WSC and authored our postion paper on the Endangered Species Act listings of steelhead which was co-signed by many other groups including the WSC.

Read more about Bill >


Bill Bakke

Award Winner Bill Bakke

2005: Bill Bakke

Bill Bakke is a native of Oregon and has been involved in fish conservation work for over 30 years. He  worked for agencies such as the Columbia River Fisheries Council and the Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission. He’s written over 100 articles for sporting, news and scientific journals on fish conservation. His work has been noted in numerous books about salmon conservation including A Common Fate by Joseph Cone, Song For The Blue Ocean by Carl Safina, and A River Lost by Blaine Harden. His conservation work has appeared on national and international media including NOVA, ABC and BBC radio and television. Bill founded several environmental groups aimed at native fish conservation, including the Native Fish Society, a regional organization to protect and restore native fish fauna in the northwestern United States.

Read more about Bill >


Award winner Frank Amato

2007: Frank Amato

In the early 1970’s, Frank was a member of the National Board of Directors of Trout Unlimited, was an active participant in the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, and was very instrumental in the first wild trout release restrictions on the Deschutes River. Next on Frank’s agenda was to begin publishing fishing books and to start a magazine devoted solely to fly fishing. Frank Amato Publishing’s first book appeared in 1970 and Flyfishing the West (now Fly Fishing & Tying Journal) began in 1978. Then, the 1990’s, the Steelhead River Journal series began as did Steelhead Fly Fishing Journal. Since those early years, Frank Amato Publications has published over 500 fishing books and videos, more than any other publisher in the history of the sport. And, probably not to anyone’s surprise, his 2007 catalogue of book titles [hold up copy], includes 25 books and videos dealing with steelhead.

Read more about Frank >


Frank Moore

Award Winner Frank Moore

2008: Frank Moore

Frank became a volunteer stream monitor and an environmental activist before there were such things. After he, Dick Snider and Hal Riney made the 12 minute film “Pass Creek” in the 1960’s they turned the tide. Frank took it upon himself to fly around the northwest in his private plane and showed Pass Creek to the people in charge. Later, he traveled around the country, including Washington DC, spreading the message. After several governors asked Frank what to do, finally the fish had a real voice.  Frank has received the National Wildlife Federation, Sear Roebuck Foundation Conservationist of the Year, Isaac Walton League Beaver Award for Conservation Achievement, Anders Award for Wild Trout Management. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Audubon Society, Conservation Award of the Year from Umpqua Watersheds, Conservationist of the Year from the FFF, Citizen Award for protection of the North Umpqua River. Frank has served two terms on the Oregon Game Commission, served one term on the Oregon Water Commission, served on the National Parks Angling Advisory Board, as well as on the board of several local organizations.

Read more about Frank >


Bill McMillan

Award Winner Bill McMillan

2009: Bill McMillan

Bill McMillan is an accomplished writer and photographer whose work has been published in regional/international fishing, outdoor, and conservation publications. He is the author of several extensive book forewords and chapters for other authors and editors. He wrote Dry Line Steelhead and Other Subjects (a 1987 book on steelhead fly fishing and steelhead conservation issues); as well as May the Rivers Never Sleep, which he co-authored with his son, John McMillan.

Read more about Bill >


Sam Wright

Award Winner Sam Wright

2010: Sam Wright

Sam Wright has managed fish populations and fish habitat ever since his first job in Alaska in 1957. In his life’s work for fish, Sam’s contributions to wild steelhead management have included: initiating adipose fin marking for all hatchery steelhead, developing Washington State’s Wild Trout Management Strategy, authoring Washington State’s Wild Salmonid Policy, writing the ESA Petition that led to listing Puget Sound wild steelhead for protection, and forcing the WDFW to stop using juvenile steelhead for “trout fishing” in the Puget Sound basin rivers.

Read more about Sam >