In its 50-year-plus history, ANWS has many accomplishments, including the successful ballot measure to make steelhead a game fish which removed steelhead from commercial fisheries, banning high seas drift nets to end the practice of ocean strip mining off Pacific Coast shores, obtaining fish protection language in the Northwest Power Act, passage of stream-side riparian buffer zone rules, passing in-stream water rights law to provide minimum stream flow, successfully defending the public’s right to use the beds and banks, and educating thousands of Oregon children annually on the beauty, wonder and importance of salmon and their habitats, among many others.

A short of list of accomplishment highlights for each decade are below. This list does not include the thousands of watershed-level accomplishments made by Steelheaders‘ chapters over the years to restore local fish habitat and improve local fishing opportunity.


  • The Association of Northwest Steelheaders was created to protect our fish funs and enhance our sport fisheries
  • Northwest Steelheaders created legislation that classified steelhead as a state game fish
  • Fought commercial overharvesting and non-selective gill net practices in the Columbia River
  • Helped pass the National Environmental Policy Act


  • Steelhead classified as a state game fish in 1974 thereby eliminating them as a targeted commercial fishery
  • Filed  suit against the Corps to stop construction on the Snake River Lower Granite dam project
  • Gillnets legislated out of Coos Bay protecting striped bass fishery


  • Fish protection language included in the Northwest Power Act
  • Passage of stream-side riparian buffer zone rules
  • Deschutes River land acquisition for public use
  • Sandy River land acquisition for public use
  • Fought High Seas Drift Net fishing that targeted salmon and steelhead beyond territorial waters
  • U.S./Canada Salmon Interceptor Treaty signed
  • In-stream water rights law passed to provide minimum stream flows
  • NW Steelheaders are instrumental in the implementation of mass marking of hatchery fish allowing selective fisheries


  • NW Steelheaders take a lead role in addressing predation by cormorants and sea lions
  • Helped to ban high seas drift nets
  • Introduced legislation that addressed unscreened irrigation diversions that affected threatened and endangered fish species
  • NW Steelheaders take a lead role in protecting public rights to access Oregon’s navigable rivers and streams
  • Founding member of coalition fighting Columbia River Hydro Management


  • Passed legislation banning in-water ship breaking in Oregon
  • Won lawsuit against Federal Bio Opinion, winning spill for salmon
  • Blocked ship breaking in Yaquina Bay
  • Won river rights appeal in U.S. Supreme Court
  • Rogue River declared navigable
  • John Day River declared navigable
  • Prevented a three fold increase in gill net bycatch of steelhead
  • Sandy River declared navigable