Our Blog

February 6, 2021

2021 Oregon Legislative Session: Northwest Steelheaders Priority Bills & How You Can Help

The Oregon state legislative session began last month, and it is already shaping up to be a busy year. Our Board of Directors has identified an ambitious list of bills to track during the 2021 legislative session, so we need your help!
July 15, 2021

Restoring America’s Wildlife Act Would Provide Opportunity to Pioneer Bipartisan Conservation

For more than a century, wildlife conservation efforts in America have been predominantly funded with hunting and angling fees. But with increased use, environmental changes, and more sensitive species, funding from permits and license fees is not enough to conserve the vast inventory of at-risk species and their sensitive habitats.
July 6, 2021

Steelheaders Secure Key Salmon Protections during Oregon’s 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 Oregon legislative session has officially ended and overall, we were largely successful in securing the key bills and amendments we wanted. We negotiated an amendment legally tying the Columbia River Endorsement fee to a requirement that ODFW keep non-tribal commercial gill nets off the lower Columbia River and publish an annual accounting of what ODFW used the endorsement funding for. Also, after three long years, Board members Tim Lenihan and Bob Oleson got our bill to enhance fishing access for veteran’s angling programs signed into law. We also secured amendments to require weirs on private property are constructed from natural materials and ensured that material from ditch maintenance cannot be dumped into undisturbed wetlands, strengthen the Conservation and Recreation Fund, secure funding for stream restoration and fish screening, and expand the wildlife inspection station program.
June 23, 2021

Chris Hager Opinion: Remove the Snake River Dams

Chris Hager is the executive director of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. He was also appointed by Gov. Brown to serve on the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee and volunteers with the local chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. He recently published a letter to the editor in The Columbian on June 20, 2021 highlighting the need for lower Snake River dam removal in order to save wild salmon and steelhead populations from extinction
June 23, 2021

Norm Ritchie Opinion: Time for Tough Conversations

Norm Ritchie is an Association of Northwest Steelheaders board member living in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. He recently published an opinion piece in the Astorian on May 22, 2021 highlighting the need for our legislators to come together and have hard conversations in order to find a solution to save wild salmon and steelhead populations from extinction.
June 14, 2021

This Summer Could Shape the Future of Pacific Northwest Salmon

The spring summer Chinook adult salmon returns weren’t enough to support a fishing season on the Clearwater River in Idaho. Now, as we head into summer, over 70% of the state is in severe or extreme drought, and lack of snowpack has many of our streams flowing with only 25% of the water they usually have this time of year. The summer isn't looking good for salmon.
May 28, 2021
Trout group posing for a photo. Photo by Kristina Peterson.

Hooked on Family Fishing: Breaking Through Environmental Barriers

It is lightly drizzling and I pull into the parking lot at Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale, Oregon on Saturday, April 24th, 2021. The inaugural Hooked on Family Fishing Day hosted by the Association of Northwest Steelheaders (ANWS) has finally arrived, something that I had been planning for over 4 months. Banners are hung, 50 rainbow trout are happily swimming in their portable pond, and our 12 volunteers are anxiously waiting at their activity stations.
May 21, 2021

Murray and Inslee Commit to Urgent Salmon Solutions, Offer No Clear Path or Timeline Amid Extinction Crisis

Reps. Simpson and Blumenauer, and many Tribes across the Basin, are having conversations about how best to restore endangered salmon and invest in modernizing our energy and transportation infrastructure. Now, with Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee’s commitments to find an urgent solution, we need them to engage in this public conversation and finesse the details of a legislative funding package on an aggressive timeline as so many salmon runs swim into an extinction vortex.
May 17, 2021

Fish Carcasses Sustain Hatcheries and Habitat

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) produces 57 million hatchery fish each year. Currently, surplus fish are prioritized for enriching nutrient concentrations on the spawning grounds, sustaining tribal ceremonial purposes, and supporting egg and carcass businesses. However, the Oregon legislature is currently considering a bill (HB 3191A) that would re-prioritize what ODFW does with returning hatchery fish. This bill would require at least 50% of all returning hatchery fish to be returned to spawning grounds.
May 1, 2021

Oregon Congressman Blumenauer’s Support for Simpson’s Salmon Concept Builds Momentum to Move Jobs, Energy, and Infrastructure Package Forward

Representative Blumenauer (D-Ore.) joined Representative Simpson (R-Idaho) in calling for strategic investments to ensure the Pacific Northwest’s salmon and steelhead avoid extinction, revitalize rural economies and communities, and modernize regional energy and transportation infrastructure.