January 15, 2020

Tim Lenihan Proposes Bill for Group Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Tim Lenihan, a combat veteran and dedicated Northwest Steelheaders member, testified in front of the Senate Veterans Committee on November 20, 2019, to propose a draft bill (LC 55) that would benefit Oregon hunters and anglers by reducing the financial burden of licensing on disadvantaged groups. Similar to a program already implemented in Washington, the draft bill calls for a program wherein the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife would issue group hunting, angling, and shellfish licenses to qualifying non-profit programs. Group licenses would be granted to organizations providing support to veterans, active service members, underprivileged and at-risk youth, and those that are hospitalized or have disabilities, among others. Currently, participants are required to purchase licenses for hunting and fishing programs themselves.
February 3, 2020

Northwest Steelheaders Submits Testimony on Columbia River Management Reform

On February 1, Northwest Steelheaders submitted testimony to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission concerning setbacks in lower mainstem Columbia River fisheries management reform policies. The testimony is a direct response to the March 2, 2019, decision by the commission to abandon two crucial principles that Northwest Steelheaders fought for in the reform policies: (1) Improve the selectivity and conservation value of lower mainstem non-treaty commercial salmon fisheries through the replacement of gillnet fisheries with alternative mark-selective, live-release fisheries, and (2) Optimize the economic and social benefits to our region through the prioritization of recreational fisheries on the mainstem.
February 18, 2020

2020 Columbia River Salmon Agreement Abandons Protection Principles

Last Friday afternoon the Oregon and Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife announced an agreement on allocation and gear types for Columbia River salmon fisheries in 2020. Notwithstanding poor run-size forecasts for ESA-listed salmon and steelhead populations, which will severely restrict seasons, the agreement calls for increasing commercial gill net harvests at the expense of public recreational fishing opportunity, and will potentially allow commercial netting on the mainstem during the spring season for the first time since 2016. Northwest Steelheaders is extremely disappointed in this agreement, which continues a disturbing trend to undermine the fundamental principles and commitments embodied in the 2012 Columbia River Reform package.