With virtual learning becoming the “new normal,” our education programs need more support than ever to navigate these uncharted waters.
Right now, we’re raising money to support our programs that help youth, underprivileged families, and women get the conservation and regional fisheries education they need. If you haven’t already, take some time to look over our youth education programs including Family Fish Camp and Fish Eggs to Fry, our Women’s Angling Program, and the various other opportunities we provide for the public good.
Without the generosity of people like you, we wouldn’t be able to provide these programs that foster the growth of the next generation of conservation-minded anglers.
Bid in our online auction or give a dedicated gift by November 1st. When you make a donation, you can specify the educational program that you would like to support. Every penny counts!
Forward we go, together.
Chris Hager, Executive Director
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE
The Auction & Derby Close on Nov. 1 @ 7pm
Our sponsors have donated some incredible gear, and it's going for RECORD LOW PRICES! Bid on items in our auction, and you could win BIG -- all to benefit our educational programs that teach the next generation of conservation-minded anglers.
Want to win $1,000? Are you planning on fishing this weekend? THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! Register today and compete in the derby for a chance to win a $1,000 check or $200 worth of gear. The other competitors don't stand a chance against you!
By Betsy Emery, Advocacy and Campaign Manager
The Clackamas River has historically been one of the best rivers for fishing in the greater Portland area. Unfortunately, over the past few years, the spring Chinook fishery on the Clackamas has dwindled. In the past two years alone, returns were so low that the hatchery wasn’t able to collect enough broodstock and only ten hatchery spring Chinook could be harvested.
Each year, fish are produced on the Clackamas with the same broodstock that was originally collected in 1976. Using the same broodstock for the past 40 years has resulted in hatchery fish that have less genetic diversity and overall fitness. We’ve been pushing ODFW to begin the permitting process to reinvigorate the wild spring Chinook broodstock at the Clackamas Hatchery for years, and our work has started to pay off.
Earlier this year, ODFW submitted a Hatchery and Genetic Management Plan (HGMP) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for consideration. Under this proposal, ODFW will collect spring Chinook broodstock from the Clackamas run, which is on a 3-year upward trend. To minimize impacts to the wild run, they will collect a maximum of 2% of the actual wild spring Chinook return to North Fork Dam for the broodstock program.
During the month that this proposal was open for public comment, our action alert elicited very strong support from the angling community. In total, more than 700 individuals urged NOAA to approve this plan because otherwise, spring Chinook fishing seasons on this river would cease to exist and the population’s recovery time would increase substantially. Sign up today as a Columbia River Defender to stay updated as this proposal travels through the permitting process. If all goes according to plan, Clackamas Hatchery will have new broodstock starting next year!
By Betsy Emery, Advocacy and Campaign Manager
On October 9th, the four northwest governors announced their intent to establish a regional collaborative group of stakeholders and tribal sovereigns to investigate opportunities for comprehensive salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin.
While the federal planning process for the recently finalized Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was underway, Washington and Idaho governor's both sponsored regional processes to better understand opportunities for salmon recovery. Oregon governor Kate Brown suggested a regional collaborative process to investigate comprehensive salmon recovery in her response to the draft EIS back in February 2020. Now, they have come together to express support for a larger, collaborative process aimed at solutions.
Northwest Steelheaders hopes that a coordinated, collaborative effort among stakeholders and sovereigns throughout the region offers an opportunity to build on the data that the EIS put forward, including the confirmation that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the best option for recovering endangered salmon and steelhead from imminent risk of extinction.
We are thankful that our northwest governors have heard our calls and are investigating a new, collaborative, regional approach to salmon recovery while the EIS is litigated in the courts.
However, we cannot afford to let the process become yet another round of inconclusive talk as salmon runs remain imperiled and the science supporting the urgent need for a free-flowing Snake River continues to grow. Spending more time talking just to tweak the status quo won’t cut it as our window of recovery gets shorter and shorter. The process needs to reach a resolution very soon if it is going to have any chance at success.
By Betsy Emery, Advocacy and Campaign Manager
The day we’ve been expecting has arrived. The Bonneville Power Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, and Bureau of Reclamation signed their Records of Decision about how they plan to manage the Columbia River Hydrosystem for the next 50 years. The federal agencies cemented their decision to implement a slightly revised version of what was supposed to be a temporary management tool, the flexible spill agreement, despite universal agreement that it was inadequate as a long term policy when it was implemented in 2019.
In 2016, the court required the federal agencies to go back to the drawing board, forcing them to develop a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess a variety of management options for the river system, including breaching the four lower Snake River dams. Despite being court-mandated to develop a plan that prioritizes protecting salmon and steelhead, the co-lead agencies write in the Executive Summary that they “identified a Preferred Alternative that seeks to achieve a reasonable balance of multiple river resource needs and co-lead agency missions”.
In the Executive Summary, the co-lead agencies described that they couldn’t breach the lower Snake River dams because it, “would not allow the Corps to operate and maintain the dams for their other congressionally authorized purposes of navigation, hydropower, recreation, and water supply.”
Instead, the agencies suggested that a regional approach is necessary to recover salmon. They described their interest in participating “in a regional forum focused on rebuilding salmon and steelhead runs and are hopeful that this EIS will provide a useful foundation of information as we work together on a shared vision for abundant salmon and steelhead and a clean, reliable, and affordable energy future for the Northwest.” While this EIS heads toward litigation, our window to actually recover these species is beginning to close. As this Record of Decision is implemented, salmon returns will improve minimally, and we will continue to bear the brunt of poor fishing seasons.
We have a chance to take this issue directly to our leaders, instead of getting pushed down under the weight of red tape and agency missions. But we can’t do this without you. We need everyone to lend a hand if we are going to get our elected representatives to take meaningful action on this issue. Take two minutes and email your congressional representatives! Urge them to support a regional process to recover our salmon in the Columbia River Basin before it's too late.
Brian Scott and his son.
“Despite my dad’s best efforts, I never got into fishing as a child. That changed when my son was born 10 years ago," Scott said. "Teaching him how to fish gave me a new way to connect with my dad and my son.”
“Counts are down every season, fisheries are more tightly managed, and the recreational fishing seasons get shorter and shorter,” Brian Scott said. “During the spring Chinook run, we have to go farther toward the ocean every year to get a real shot at hooking a springer because by the time the run reaches Portland, the limit has already been caught.”
When thinking about whether he will be able to take his grandchildren fishing in 15 years, Scott said “We need to change this trend. If we don’t remove the lower Snake River dams, our grandchildren will think that our stories of when ‘we used to fish for salmon’ are just make-believe.”
Winner of Kids Art Contest Takes a Trip with Keith Hyde!
Northwest Steelheaders hosted a kids art contest at the beginning of the lockdown to keep kids engaged in thinking creatively about salmon conservation. This is Audrey, the grand prize winner, with a rainbow trout she caught at the Swift Reservoir in WA. Audrey won a trip for her and her family in a body of water of her choice, led by our very own Keith Hyde.
"We, as a family, would like to thank you and our wonderful guide, Keith for a fantastic memorable fishing day! Audrey, CJ, and Kate had an absolutely wonderful time at Swift reservoir catching tons of rainbow trout and having a blast! Kieth was amazing and patient, it was so nice of him to volunteer a day for us! The fishing was great, but we also enjoyed Eagles & geodes. Keith told us where we could stop on the way home in Cougar, Wa to see a hundred Sockeye spawning… Overall the kids loved it, told all their classmates, and will never forget it!" - Audrey's parents, Clint & Tracey.
Audrey wrote in her artwork description, "The name I chose of my art piece is true determination. My idea was to show the "mistakes" people make against the environment and the animals who live there, specifically salmon and steelhead. Every year, the salmon make incredible journeys up rivers to lay their eggs. Waterfalls, strong currents and predators are some of the natural challenges. People just add to their difficulties. Electric dams and pollution are only two of the examples that hurt the world around us. However, the fish haven't given up, that's what I wanted to show you. What I drew, the two examples I previously mentioned, an electric dam, and a factory exposing pollution are put in the background, showing the damage it does. In front though, the fish are trying to swim up the dam. Inside each fish, there is a drawing of something the fish are fighting for. Whether it's dam destruction, new eggs or healthy habitats. Salmon and steelhead never stop fighting.
View the artwork of the winners and honorable mentions in this slide show.
“I thought, ‘I can do this. I have done this. And I might not be successful every single time. But I have been successful before, so I know that I can be,’” Stevie said. “You take that feeling from fishing and you bring it to other things. It starts affecting everything you do. Fishing sort of cemented that feeling, that new confidence. When you forget that only you set your limitations, fishing reminds you of that.”
Those that learn important lessons on the water—about life, death, and how human actions are woven into the fabric of our environment—take those lessons with them when they leave. “It doesn't only manifest in fishing, you start seeing life differently,” Stevie said. “That's why it's really important for fishing not to just be for fathers and sons, but for daughters and mothers and aunts and grandmothers, because that gratitude and that understanding of how everything is interconnected comes about through fishing.”
Nov. 14 at Glen Otto Park from 9am - 1pm
Are you a fisherwoman? Do you want to join a like-minded group of passionate female anglers and teach other women how to fish? Check out the details of the event and learn more about our women's program! RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
Wildlife Crafts for the Whole Family
Looking for some spooky crafts just in time for Halloween? Look no further, we've got you covered! Check out A Cauldron of Bats to create your own hanging colony and learn more about our winged friends. If land mammals are more your think, here's another fun and easy craft activity called Wildlife Salt Painting . Test your creativity and try different stencils, water colors, and paper to make your own unique wildlife masterpiece. For more family-friendly activities to keep the kiddos busy at home, visit the Eco-Schools USA Virtual Classroom Resources.
Drop off your ballot by 8:00pm on Nov. 3rd!
The election is right around the corner. There is still time to vote! Make sure to use your vote this year to advocate for salmon and steelhead. Oregon mail-in voting has closed, so use official drop boxes to ensure that your vote gets in on time. Washington voters can still mail-in ballots, but election officials are encouraging voters to drop them off at official ballot boxes to ensure they are counted in time.
As an affiliate member of the Northwest Steelheaders, Tim Wilson will donate $1000 if any Steelheader works with Tim or refers him to friends and family to purchase or sell real estate and the transaction closes. $500 will go to the procuring member's chapter and $500 will go to the association's general fund. To date, Tim has raised over $11,000 for the Northwest Steelheaders through this program. View Tim's webpage and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you visit https://smile.amazon.com/ and designate "Association of Northwest Steelheaders Inc" under the search bar before you make a purchase, Amazon will donate 0.5% to our organization. While this seems like just a small drop in the pond, it really adds up and is easy to set up.
| Association of Northwest Steelheaders P.O. Box 55400, Portland, OR 97238 (503) 653-4176 email@example.com