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.
November 19, 2020

When Forests Burn, Do Salmon Suffer?

For millions of years, fires have served as a source of natural regeneration in western U.S. forests. The fires salmon experienced before the widespread settlement of the west, however, were very different from the increasingly common catastrophic megafires they face today. Fueled by a century of fire suppression and drought, the wildfires that raged through the west this year wreaked havoc on many communities. Salmon communities may be some of the quickest to bounce back.
December 18, 2020

The Elwha: A Roadmap for River Restoration Across the Northwest Region

The Glines Canyon and Elwha dams on the Elwha River limited salmon and steelhead access to a mere 5 miles of spawning habitat–resulting in the imminent extinction of the awe-inspiring, hefty Elwha chinook. The decades-long fight to remove these dams provides a road map for other dam removals in the region, potentially even the lower Snake River dams.
January 27, 2021

How to Fish Responsibly: 22 Tips for Minimizing Harm to Fish and their Habitats

Oregon’s North Coast steelhead returns were below “critical abundance” thresholds in 2018 and 2019, and though 2020 returns increased some, the long-term decline is concerning. The threshold is defined by ODFW as the point at which “the conservation of the population could be in jeopardy if the downward trend continues.” We must each do our part to ensure the protection of North Coast steelhead. Read our tips for responsible angling!
February 3, 2021

Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley Introduce Bill to Designate Over 4,700 River Miles as Wild and Scenic

Today, Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced the River Democracy Act, an amendment to the The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Act to include an additional 4,700 river miles throughout Oregon. Congress originally passed the Act in 1968 to provide an additional level of protection for free-flowing rivers with remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, or historic values.
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!
February 7, 2021

Idaho Rep. Simpson Introduces Historic Salmon Recovery Plan for the Columbia River Basin

Northwest Steelheaders has been waiting for this moment for over 48 years. Today, U.S. Representative Simpson (R-ID) announced a groundbreaking proposal for a comprehensive $33.5 billion infrastructure package to recover Columbia River salmon and steelhead by restoring a free-flowing lower Snake River.
March 17, 2021

Why Should We Remove the Lower Snake River Dams? Your Questions Answered

At one point, 50% of salmon returning to the Columbia River Basin spawned in the Snake River or its tributaries. Today, only 1% of these salmon return to their spawning grounds as adults to reproduce. Each interaction a juvenile salmon has with a dam reduces their chance of returning to the Columbia River as an adult by 10%. Snake River salmon have to pass eight dams during migration: four on the lower Snake River and four on the mainstem Columbia River, bringing their chance of returning as adults to just 20%. Removing the lower Snake River dams will remove half of the major obstacles blocking fish migration to and from their spawning grounds.