Quest for 100K

Bring 100K Salmon Back to the Willamette

It was not long ago that 100,000 salmon and steelhead traveled above Willamette Falls at Oregon City to spawn. In the past couple of decades, their journey has been cut short. In 2018, The Association of Northwest Steelheaders launched the Quest for 100K Campaign with the lofty goal to bringing back an average of 100 thousand hatchery and wild spring Chinook to the Willamette Basin on an annual basis. After consulting with biologists at ODFW and others, we identified four key achievable objectives necessary to move us toward that goal:

(1) reduce sea lion predation

(2) improve hatchery operations including through the use of wild broodstock

(3) provide effective upstream and downstream passage at Willamette Basin dams (which block hundreds of miles of high-value spawning and rearing habitat)

(4) modify water management regimes to be more fish-friendly.

In addition, we know that protecting and restoring habitat is an essential requirement in any campaign to recover salmon and steelhead populations.

We’ve been diligently working on the first two objectives through our efforts to help pass legislation to provide ODFW proactive authority to manage sea lions at Willamette Falls and elsewhere, and by supporting ODFW’s application to use wild broodstock in Willamette Basin spring Chinook hatchery operations. To address the remaining objectives, the Northwest Steelheaders has decided to join forces with a number of other groups to form the Willamette Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Coalition to collectively work on the hydropower and habitat issues that most impede rebuilding of wild Willamette salmon and steelhead. We believe we can be more effective on these issues by forming a broad coalition that includes a diverse set of groups all pulling in the same direction.