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
Are we at a time where there is no place left to go? For this angler, it seems we are approaching a destination I hate to admit or begrudge to accept. The wild, rainforest rivers of the West end of the Olympic Peninsula (OP) is a very special place with a race of legendary wild winter-run steelhead that could rival the world renown Skeena system to the North.
The Puget Sound steelhead , Oncorhynchus mykiss, was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2007, prompting the initiation of recovery planning. Recovery planning requires, ultimately, the identification of conditions under which the “evolutionary significant unit” (ESU) can be considered to have been recovered and subsequently removed from the list of threatened and endangered species (“de-listed”).
These are the 2013 Rule Proposals developed by the Wild Steelhead Coalition’s Science and Policy Committee and submitted to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to help protect wild steelhead.
We recommend the following six books to help you get started in understanding the plight of wild steelhead and salmon in the Pacific Northwest and the complicated nature of their management.
Non-native hatchery steelhead will not be released into the Elwha River and its tributaries this year, say four conservation groups that earlier this month filed suit against federal agencies and officials of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (in their official capacities) for releases of hatchery fish into the Elwha.
During the WDFW Major Regulation Cycle of 2009, the WSC proposed a harvest closure of wild steelhead during the early winter months (December, January and half of February) that allowed fishing to continue by catch and release. That proposal was adopted by the WDFW Commission and became a formal regulation last year. The following is a rewrite of the justification the WSC provided WDFW to justify this new regulation.