Thursday, February 14, 2013

Take Action: ODFW Looking to Expand Wild Steelhead Harvest

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is in the midst of developing a new management plan for Oregon's coastal rivers. Among the more controversial provisions is ODFW's plan to open wild steelhead retention in several rivers that are among the last best wild steelhead producing watersheds on the coast. Among the rivers that would be opened to harvesting wild steelhead are the Nehalem, Trask, Big Elk Creek in the Yaquina watershed, Lake Creek in the Siuslaw watershed, the Salmon, the Lower and Middle Umpqua River, SF Coos, NF Coquille and EF Coquille. This combined with ODFWs focus on harvest opportunities supported by hatcheries, and their increasing reliance on wild broodstock programs that rob productivity from wild steelhead populations to provide harvest opportunity poses a major threat to the future of wild steelhead on the Oregon Coast.

These watersheds represent a few of the best remaining refuges for wild steelhead on the Oregon Coast and ODFW's insistence on allowing anglers to harvest wild steelhead in these places is extremely short sighted.

Please take a few minutes to call or email ODFW's Conservation and Recovery Assistant Program Manager Tom Stahl and voice your opinion against the harvest of wild steelhead in Oregon. or          

503-947-6219      .


Brendan Maier said...

Thanks for the heads up Osprey. Caught my first steelhead on the Big Elk after tons of effort and attempts. ODFW needs to get their heads out of their asses, and I emailed them in as many words.

Anonymous said...

What you fail to mention is that the proposed changes come with a reduction or elimination of hatchery programs from many rivers as well as a 2 wild fish per year annual limit. While any retention of wild steelhead is a shame the majority of fisherman are looking to take home a fish. If the tradeoff of discontinuing hatchery programs is limited wild fish retention I think its possible this could be a beneficial move for wild fish. Wild fish retention has been allowed on some Southern Oregon rivers and they still maintain healthy runs.