Our Blog

July 31, 2020

Newest Salmon “Recovery” Plan is Built to Flop

To save the endangered populations of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers, the Oregon District Court tasked federal agencies with developing a comprehensive, fish-friendly plan for operating the Columbia River Hydrosystem. Just like the past five plans they've produced, this “new” plan resembles previous plans that failed to restore fish runs or pass legal scrutiny. Unfortunately for sport fishers, this new plan won't recover salmon or fishing opportunities.
July 28, 2020

Headlight Herald: We Need Public Utility District’s Help to Save our Salmon

Norm Ritchie, long-time volunteer and board member with ANWS, submitted a letter-to-the-editor of the Headlight Herald clarifying some of the misinformation being circulated regarding the energy produced by the lower Snake River dams.
July 28, 2020

Latest Environmental Rollbacks Threaten Fish

Over the past few months, the Trump administration has finalized two new rules that dramatically roll back freshwater protections under the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Both of the new rules are destructive to endangered fish populations, leaving them vulnerable to a variety of impacts including infrastructure projects and climate change.
July 17, 2020

Kids Art Contest Winners Announced

Northwest Steelheaders hosted a kids art contest to engage students in thinking about salmon conservation while they're stuck at home this summer. The theme of the contest was "Crossing Boundaries into New Waters," which is our organization's theme for 2020. We sought artwork portraying our mission to dive headlong into new waters for salmon and steelhead conservation, and the pieces were judged based on their concept, composition, color, and expression. The competition was open to students in Oregon and Washington. "True Determination" by Audrey F. won the grand prize and first place in the grades 4-5 group, which includes a $100 check and a fishing trip for her and a parent/guardian with a Steelheaders volunteer.
July 7, 2020

Harnessing the Power of Community for the Common Good

As president of the Columbia River Chapter for 6 years, my members have never ceased to amaze me. Every event, community project, fish along—you name it—starts with an idea from one chapter member. From there, other members start adding their two cents and a tangible plan starts to form. A few phone calls are made to friends, family, and acquaintances and suddenly there’s a network made up of skilled individuals geared towards achieving one goal. All of the pieces fall into place and volunteers show up excited and ready to help accomplish the project.
June 30, 2020

Migration Through the Eyes of a Salmon

When I turned one year old, my parr marks began to disappear, alerting me to the fact that my first great journey would soon begin. I knew it was time to go to the ocean. Under natural conditions, it would be an arduous journey: over 450 miles of river fraught with predators, rapids, strong currents, and changing salinity that culminates in a rapid biological adaptation to the ocean. Unfortunately, man-made obstacles such as agricultural runoff, heat pollution, stagnant water and dams further complicated my voyage.
June 24, 2020

Renewable Energy and Barging Industries Have Changed

The lower Snake River dams were built based on two predominant assumptions: (1) dams are the most viable form of producing renewable energy and (2) dams facilitate barge transport, which is the best way to ship goods to market. We must determine whether these assumptions are still true today in order to promote a dialogue about crafting solutions to replace the lower Snake River dams.
June 17, 2020

Northwest Steelheaders Stands in Solidarity

We recognize that ending racial discrimination in the U.S. begins with having discussions about it within our communities. Sixty years ago, our organization was built on the foundation of an active angling community, and we have thrived by fostering this community since. All of our programs are made possible by the strength of our community, by the thousands of hours our members volunteer each year. Through awareness, empathy, and compassion, we have the power to direct this strength toward making our community more inclusive and representative.
May 28, 2020

Tempering Heat Pollution in the Lower Snake River

Recently, there has been a lot of press about Oregon and Washington governors using their authority under the Clean Water Act to require dam operators to reduce the heat they are introducing into the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Heat pollution causes substantial stress and even death for endangered salmon and steelhead. This is an important development in the ongoing effort to protect salmon and steelhead in these rivers… but what does it mean to reduce “heat pollution” and how does that protect salmon, steelhead and our ability to fish? Heat is explicitly identified as a pollutant under the Clean Water Act, making entities that heat waterways responsible for mitigating the temperature changes they cause. As anglers, we know that temperature changes have huge impacts on fish. Here in Oregon, our water quality standards have set a water temperature threshold of 68 degrees Fahrenheit for salmon and steelhead streams—the warmest water salmon and steelhead can survive in.