November 13, 2019

Winter Steelhead Extinction Risk in Willamette River Plummets with Sea Lion Removal

When the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) modeled “Extinction Risk” of winter steelhead in the Willamette River in 2017, it was a whopping 90%. Following the removal of just 33 California sea lions preying on steelhead at Willamette Falls, ODFW estimates that the year-end extinction risk will fall to between 10-15%. Before the permitted removal began, about 25% of the steelhead population was consumed by sea lions. Predation on winter steelhead dropped to 9% this year. Just 512 winter steelhead spawned above Willamette Falls in 2017, rising to 3,118 in 2018.
December 12, 2019

A letter from President Tom VanderPlaat

In many ways, 2019 was a year of transition for the Northwest Steelheaders. We hired a new Executive Director, Chris Hager, a new Operations Manager, Alix Soliman, and we brought aboard a new Ameri-Corps Education and Outreach Coordinator, Allena Vestal. I and our board of directors are extremely excited to have each of them on our staff. Individually, each brings energy, enthusiasm, and experience to our organization. Collectively, they represent the “Next Generation” of Steelheaders that is vital to our organization’s growth, effectiveness, and continued tenacity. While we propel forward, it is important to recognize an enduring aspect of Northwest Steelheaders: the commitment of our people. As an organization, we’ve been working for “a place to fish, and fish to catch” for almost 60 years.