Internship Program (1)

Board of Directors

Tom VanderPlaat
President

tvanderplaat@anws.org

Tom joined Northwest Steelheaders in 1993 and now serves as the Association President, working to ensure that this community of passionate, committed anglers always has a place to fish and fish to catch. He served as Tualatin Valley Chapter President in the early 2000s and again 2014-17. He enjoys volunteering his time on river cleanups, broodstock collection, fin-clipping, advocacy initiatives, Fish Eggs to Fry, Family Fish Camp, and veterans fishing events. Recently, Tom has focused on initiatives that increase membership diversity and provide education to new anglers and their families. He encourages all anglers to join him in learning more about fish and fishing through the Association of Northwest Steelheaders.

Bob Oleson
Vice President and Policy Advocate

Bob currently serves as the Vice President and Policy Advocate at the state capitol. He is a sixth generation Oregonian who spent his early years on a family farm near Scholls, bird hunting and fishing for bass and trout In the Tualatin River. He received a degree in political science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, and went on to spend most of his career in professional trade association management and public affairs. Now semi-retired, Bob is a self-proclaimed “advanced beginner” of salmon and steelhead fishing, going near and far to pursue the sport. Aside from fishing, his hobbies include biking, pickleball, and detective novels. He lives in Newberg with his wife, Patti, and their cats.

Mark Hutchinson
Secretary and Tualatin Valley Chapter President

Mark became a member of the Northwest Steelheaders in the late 1990s to become a better angler and immerse himself in a community of adventurous anglers. He is now the President of the Tualatin Valley Chapter, the Board Secretary, and volunteers on the Campaigns and Programs Committee to help protect the Astoria and Willamette river fisheries. Mark was a civil engineer for 30 years at the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. He managed construction projects to clean up the Willamette River and is now working as a consultant on pipes, tunnels, treatment facilities, and stream restoration projects to protect northwest waterways. Mark grew up with an interest in fishing, and remembers being envious of kids whose dads fished for salmon. Later, he learned how to catch trout, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, tuna, bottom fish, walleye, bass, catfish...and anything else he could hook. He fishes out of his Willie drift boat and sled. Aside from fishing, he is active in his church, as well as his children and grandchildren's lives. Mark is also a cyclist, gardener, and a hunter of deer and elk.

Curt Ward
Treasurer

Curt attended his first Northwest Steelheaders meeting in 2005 and was drawn in by the passion for fishing, community, and conservation that was exhibited by the membership. He supports the Association’s efforts to enhance fish runs that include both wild and broodstock hatchery fish so that fishing can be enjoyed by anglers for generations to come. When Curt is not attending to the Association’s finances, he is a principal engineer for Intel Corporation. He lives in Forest Grove with his wife, two daughters, and numerous animals.

Bill Kremers
Immediate Past President

Bill is a charter lifetime member of the Association. Since joining the Steelheaders, he has served in a variety of positions at both the chapter and Association level, including four years as the Association president. He developed a passion for fishing in his early childhood in Michigan. That passion has never wavered, and his goal is to instill that same passion and love of the outdoors in his grandson, William. He moved to Oregon with his wife during the summer of 1977 after graduating from Chico State University. His first boss at the Oregon State Health Lab was a member of Northwest Steelheaders and invited him to a meeting in Beaverton. The guest speaker that evening was Buzz Ramsey, and by the next meeting, he was a member. A few months later, he accepted a lab position at Oregon State University in Corvallis and worked there until his retirement. Through his membership and participation in Northwest Steelheaders, Bill forged long term friendships, fishing partners and unforgettable memories, and has witnessed first-hand how fishing and stewardship of our waters, air and land go hand in hand.

Trey Carskadon
At Large Board Member and Policy Advocate

Many know Trey from his years as the host of the national broadcast, America's Outdoor Journal, and the popular Portland radio show, Inside the Outdoors. Trey has spent nearly 40 years in the sportfishing industry and has served in nearly every capacity, including as a guide, outdoor writer, retail tackle salesman, boat salesman, manufacturer, and for the last 25 years, marketer and fish advocate. He is currently a marketing director at O'Loughlin Trade Shows. Trey is a past President of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, was a commissioner on the Oregon State Marine Board for 8 years, and worked as a lobbyist in Salem on sportfishing issues. He served on the Northwest Steelheaders Board as the McLoughlin Chapter Representative in the late 80s and learned through fellow members, ODFW scientists and others the myriad obstacles that challenge northwest salmon and steelhead, giving him his start in advocacy and sharing his passion for salmon and steelhead fishing. It's been his life's work to advocate for these fish and he’s proud to be a lifetime member, board member, and lobbyist for the Association.

Norm Ritchie
At Large Board Member

Norm has been a passionate angler for over 60 years, a conservation activist for over 45 years and member of Northwest Steelheaders Board of Directors for over 20 years. He represents the Association as a board member of the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and National Wildlife Federation. Recognized for conservation leadership, Norm was appointed to the ODFW Salmon Trout Advisory Committee (STAC) by two governors. Now retired after a 36-year career as a Professional Licensed Engineer at Daimler Trucks, Norm resides on the Oregon Coast for part of the year and travels extensively. He enjoys fishing for all the species the northwest has to offer, from Snake River steelhead to halibut and tuna 25 miles offshore.

Michael Myrick
At Large Board Member

Mike grew up in Washington and Oregon and developed a love of fishing from his father at a young age. At Northwest Steelheaders, Mike served as the Sandy River Chapter treasurer for 13 years, as Education Director on the Board of Directors, and is now an At Large Board Member. Mike enjoys teaching kids to fish at Family Fish Camp and in classrooms through the Fish Eggs to Fry program. He also volunteers at the Association’s booth at the Portland Sportsman’s Show and at the Association's annual fundraiser. He served 3.5 years in the U.S. Army, two of which he was stationed in Europe where he learned to drive big rigs, leading to a 42 year career in truck driving. In 1988, Mike won the Oregon Truck Driving Championships. When Mike isn’t fishing or volunteering, he enjoys woodworking and world travel.

Donald Hyde
Columbia River Chapter Representative and Chapter President

Donny was born and raised in Washington and has been fishing since he could walk, pursuing any and all species wherever he went. He joined the U.S. Air Force at age 18 and is currently still serving. He moved back home to Washington in 2009 and got serious about salmon and steelhead fishing and conservation activism. In 2011, he and his father, Keith, created the Columbia River Chapter of the Northwest Steelheaders, which is currently the only chapter in Washington. He served as the Vice President of the chapter from 2011-2014, and became Chapter President in 2015. He harbors a deep love for the community, his connection to local fisheries, and the volunteer projects he works to organize for the common good.

Ken Johnson
Emerald Empire Chapter Representative and Chapter President

Ken is an Oregonian and serves as Emerald Empire Chapter Representative and Chapter President. After being drafted and serving 2 years in the U.S. Army in the mid-1960s, Ken worked at the Bell System Telephone Company until his retirement. He then became a full-time RVer and now enjoys life in a small town. Through the Emerald Empire Chapter, he manages the Letz Creek Hatchery, which is a ODFW STEP hatchery where Northwest Steelheaders volunteers raise and release about 15,000 winter steelhead into the Siuslaw River system each year. The highlight of Ken’s many years of fishing was the 18 years he spent living in Newport, OR saltwater fishing. He enjoys all kinds of fishing and all species. Ken is a self-proclaimed “catch and fillet kind of guy” and has a “healthy appetite for all seafood.”

Kyle Smith
McLoughlin Chapter Representative and Chapter President

Kyle began fishing in his early 20s chasing winter steelhead on the banks of the Clackamas River. Now, he serves the Northwest Steelheaders as McLoughlin Chapter President, Board Representative, and lifetime member. While the list of species he has targeted has grown to range from smallmouth bass in northern Idaho to amberjack in the deep Atlantic waters off the Portuguese island of Madeira, he maintains that his favorite species to pursue is still our namesake, the steelhead. When he isn't on the water, he can be found in a fabrication shop welding his next project (which includes rod racks and the occasional fish smoker) or in the kitchen treating his friends and family to a delicious meal.

Jim Sallee
Mid-Valley Chapter Representative and Chapter President

Jim serves as the Mid-Valley Chapter President and Board Representative. He grew up in Lebanon, OR, and served in the U.S. Army for 5 years after graduating high school. Jim was a fishing guide for a couple of years with Denny Hanna in southern Oregon and then worked in metal manufacturing at Teledyne and Wah Chang for 6 years. He earned an associate’s degree at Linn Benton Community College and then returned to the U.S. Army Training NCO until an accident cut his career short. He then finished his bachelor’s degree at Western Baptist College before starting a CNC company prototyping parts and pursuing real estate ventures until his retirement. Jim loves all types of fishing for all kinds of fish and is passionate about archery hunting. Outside of his activities with the Mid-Valley Chapter of Northwest Steelheaders, Jim is a Range Safety Officer for Albany Rifle Pistol Club, a certified ODFW angler education instructor and hunter education instructor, a certified shotgun coach, a large/small game workshop instructor, and S3DA archery coach for ODFW.

Tim Lenihan
Tualatin Valley Chapter Representative

Tim has lived in Oregon for most of his life and has been fishing northwest waters since the age of 6. He is a former President of the Tualatin Valley Chapter and currently serves as the chapter’s Board Representative. Tim graduated from Willamette University with a degree in Public Management, is a combat veteran, and has worked in law enforcement for over 35 years. He taught at University of Oregon School of Law as an adjunct instructor as well as at several community colleges, leading courses on law enforcement and recognizing drug influence. He volunteers his time teaching others to fish, advocating for fisheries protection and access, and leading veterans fishing events with Northwest Steelheaders and The Fallen Outdoors.