Throughout the southern half of their range, wild steelhead have experienced tremendous declines during the last century and a half. While many factors have contributed to their decline, overharvest in sport and commercial fisheries has been ubiquitous, and today most populations are depressed below 10% of their historic abundance. During…
Key Issue: Steelhead Harvest
Steelhead Summit: Wild Skagit steelhead and conservative fisheries management for continued stock recovery
Groups, anglers and citizens concerned about the restoration and protection of native, wild steelhead of the Skagit River in Washington are welcome to attend this event. You’ll hear presentations by noted scientists who work on fisheries and habitat research, and discuss public policy initiatives with wild steelhead advocates.
Wild winter steelhead enter our coastal rivers in a more mature condition and closer to spawn timing with fish sometimes caught within hours to days of freshwater entry or in their holding and spawning areas. This vulnerable condition makes them susceptible to loss in fry production by improper handling practices and exposure to air. Let’s work together to reduce our impact by keeping wild steelhead underwater. Infographic courtesy of Rich Simms.
Robert Hooton, retired fisheries biologist and wild steelhead advocate checks in from British Columbia with a perspective on fisheries management for Dean River steelhead.
Take action and submit your comments to the WDFW for regulation improvements during the 2013/2014 sportfishing rule proposals adoption process.
Published in the most recent issue of the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, “Population Structure and Run Timing of Steelhead in the Skeena River, British Columbia” increases the previous number of assumed distinct populations of summer steelhead in the river from 5 to 17. The authors (Beacham, Wallace, et al.) utilized genetic analysis from samples of mainly adult fish collected at the mouth of the river to isolate these populations.
As most are aware, dam removal on the Elwha River presents one of the greatest salmonid recovery opportunities in the United States. A Fish Restoration Plan was designed to expedite commercial salmon harvests through large-scale hatchery production, but the levels of hatchery production proposed would greatly impede the recovery of wild-producing salmonids (along with the poorly designed monitoring and adaptive management protocols for the hatchery programs).