By Alix Soliman, Operations Manager
September 21, 2020
T oday, we launched the Oregon Hatchery Recovery Fund to support rebuilding projects at hatchery facilities that sustained significant damage in Oregon’s recent wildfires. The fires leveled Rock Creek hatchery and severely damaged Klamath and Leaburg hatcheries. While ODFW staff were able to release or transfer millions of fish, hundreds of thousands perished. As ODFW transitions from emergency response to recovery planning, we will use this dedicated fund to help pay for the infrastructure projects necessary to get these facilities operating again.
Due to the urgent and significant need for hatchery funding, Northwest Steelheaders has decided to shift its immediate fundraising plans. The organization is postponing its conservation education fundraiser, Crossing Boundaries: Virtual Fishing Derby & Auction. Originally scheduled for September 26 through October 4, it will now be held October 24 through November 1. Those who purchased registration tickets will be refunded in full.
Northwest Steelheaders has long supported ODFW hatchery operations, as they are essential for maintaining recreational angling opportunities throughout the region. If we all come together as a community to support Oregon’s hatchery operations, we can help ensure that our children and grandchildren will one day experience the unique thrill of pursuing salmon and steelhead in the northwest.
Salmon and steelhead returns were dismal prior to this disaster. Hatcheries were already losing funding. Now, we have an opportunity to build resilient infrastructure to not only replace, but improve what we’ve lost. We must channel our feeling of loss into collective action. As so many projects in our community need funding right now in the wake of the wildfires and COVID-19, we hope that you will consider giving whatever you can to help us rebuild the facilities that support salmon and steelhead sportfishing.