September 2011 masthead

Steelheaders lead monitoring effort on the Salmonberry River

Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation funds Salmonberry macroinvertebrate survey


Salmonberry macro 2011 1

Resource Director Ian Fergusson and ABR Services (company providing the lab work for the macroinvertebrate survey) biologist Jena Lemke collect aquatic insect samples in the upper Salmonberry River on Sept. 10.

The Salmonberry River has been identified as the only river on Oregon's North Coast with a healthy native stock of winter steelhead. Besides steelhead, the river supports chinook salmon, coho salmon, resident and sea-run cutthroat trout, and a small local population of resident rainbow trout. For those who enjoy a secluded, catch-and-release fishery on very large wild steelhead, the Salmonberry is one of the premier fishing spots in Oregon. 


An ODFW STEP project team lead by Steelheaders Directors Ian Fergusson and Joyce Sherman has monitored steelhead populations and water temperatures in the Salmonberry watershed since 1994. The team is currently collecting macroinvertebrate samples in cooperation with the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which funded the lab work for this year's survey.  


Click HERE for 2011 winter steelhead spawning survey report

Click HERE for 2011 temperature report

Doug Thompson hired as Steelheaders North Coast grassroots organizer

Thompson brings three terms of experience as Astoria city councilor to campaign aimed at restoring the world-class fisheries of Oregon's North Coast


The Northwest Steelheaders has worked for two decades to both advance conservation protections and defeat calls for logging to outweigh all other values in Oregon state forests.


Our regional icons salmon, steelhead and trout need cold water with complex habitat to survive and thrive. Forests provide this in the form of stream shade and large woody debris, which serves to create and maintain habitat complexity, increases the retention of spawning gravel and nutrients, reduces the velocity of high flows, and creates refuge areas for juvenile and adult fish. 


Despite our opposition, in 2009 the Oregon Board of Forestry voted to move toward a major weakening of the conservation aspects of the 2001 State Forest Management Plan in order to create a 30 percent increase in harvest revenues. To produce more harvest revenue, the Department of Forestry is implementing the following:

  • Reduce target for mature forest to 30% (from 50%) of landscape
  • Increase target for recent clear cuts to 25% (from 10%) of the forest
  • End strategies related to getting an HCP from the federal government and replace those strategies with a less-protective "species of concern" plan.
  • Weaken the Salmon Anchor Habitat strategy by ending limits on clear cuts in Salmon Anchor Habitat watersheds.  

The majority of land that will be affected by these changes are in the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests, which sustain and nourish several globally important salmon and steelhead runs including the Kilchis, Nehalem, Salmonberry, Trask, and Wilson, among others.


Over the last five years, the campaign has been in a defensive posture; however, several recent events give optimism for successfully turning of the tide toward restored fisheries. We now have a sympathetic governor, two conservation voices on the Board of Forestry, a supportive Clatsop County Commission, and a recent scientific review by Oregon State University that was very critical of the science behind the Department of Forestry's justification for increasing timber harvest on state forests. In addition, the Board of Forestry now has conservation areas on their agenda for consideration. 


Our campaign includes advocating for increased timber harvest on federal lands and ensuring logs cut in Oregon forests are milled in Oregon, increasing recreation and restoration jobs on the N. Coast, and developing alternative funding for counties that receive funding from state forest timber revenue. Steelheaders are not involved in advocating for changes on private timber land.


Our campaign also includes working with local stakeholders on the North Coast to help develop areas of highest value for fish and least amount of impact to logging operations for increased protections.


To help kick the campaign into high gear, Steelheaders have hired Doug ThompsonDoug Thompson to be the grassroots organizer for the Oregon North Coast. Thompson is third generation resident of the Oregon North Coast. His experience includes three terms on the Astoria City Council, where he successfully advocated for conservation and sustainability in both the natural and built environments. Thompson served on an Oregon Department of Forestry advisory committee, advised a veteran Oregon Senator on how best to restore Columbia River salmon runs,  and led the effort that achieved FSC® certification of the Astoria municipal watershed, the first in Oregon.


Click HERE to see the Steelheaders state forests campaign page and take action.

Washington's Senator Cantwell adds voice to Bristol Bay No Pebble Mine campaign

Steelheaders call for Senators Wyden and Merkley to do the same


Earlier this week, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell called on the Environmental Protection Agency to consider using the Clean Water Act to prohibit or restrict large-scale development around Bristol Bay, Alaska, if it would harm the world-class salmon-producing rivers in the region. 


Bristol Bay is home to one of the earth's most prolific wild and sustainable fisheries, which has significant economic benefits to not only Alaska but also the Pacific Northwest. Many Northwest Steelheaders members travel to Bristol Bay to participate in this fishery, and several Steelheaders business supporters make part of their livelihood from this fishery.


The EPA has the authority to protect the natural resources, jobs and the regional economy of the Bristol Bay area. Steelheaders are calling on Senators Merkley and Wyden to make a statement similar to Sen. Cantwell's. We are urging all our members to contact their federal Senators encouraging them to speak out in favor of protecting this most valuable and special of places.


Also, be sure to check out the showings of "Red Gold," an award-winning documentary about this fishery at 7 pm Oct. 19 at the Bagdad Theater in Portland and 7 pm Oct. 21 at the Art Center in Corvallis.


For more information and take action, click HERE to view the campaign page. 



Pebble Mine sportfishing graphic

In This Issue
Salmonberry River
Grassroots organizer hired
Bristol Bay
Chapter meetings


The McLoughin Chapter opened up their annual Crab-A-Long event to all Steelheaders' members this year, and if you couldn't make it, you missed a crabtastic crab-o-roma of a crabapolooza. The event was held in Tillamook on Sept. 9 and 10.










Chapter Meetings


Columbia River (Vancouver)

Monthly members meeting 6:30 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 NE Fourth Plain Rd. in Vancouver.

August newsletter


Contact President Keith Hyde at 360-772-0996 or


Emerald Empire

Monthly members meeting 7 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Eagles on the Green, 1375 Irving Rd. in Eugene.

August newsletter


Facebook page

Contact President Bill Robbins at 541-689-5075,



Monthly members meeting 7 pm, Oct. 11 at Round Table Pizza, 16550 SE McLoughlin in Milwaukie.
August newsletter

Contact President Carol Clark at 503-632-6974 or


Monthly members meeting 7 pm, Oct 5 at the Albany Senior Center, 489 Water Ave. in Albany

September newsletter

Contact President Bill Nyara at 541-401-9559,


Monthly members meeting 7 pm Oct. 11 at the Chehalem Senior Center, 101 Foothills Drive, in Newberg.


Contact President Kevin Hula at 503-781-9378,

North Coast

Monthly members meeting 7 pm Oct. 13 at the ODFW Tillamook Office, 4907 3rd St. in Tillamook.
Contact President Bill Hedlund at 503-815-2737,

Ask the Experts night 7 pm, Sept. 20 at the Keizer City Hall, 930 Chemawa Rd. in Keizer.




Contact President Dana Roberts at 503-364-7923,


Sandy River

Monthly members meeting 7:30 pm, Oct. 5 at Glenn Otto Park, 1208 Historic Columbia River Hwy in Troutdale.

September newsletter
Contact President Jeff Stoeger at 503-282-4830, 

Tom McCall
Monthly members meeting 11:30 am, Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft St., in Portland
Contact President Dave Reggiani at 503-657-5379, 

Tualatin Valley

Monthly members meeting 7 pm, Oct. 13 at the Aloha American Legion Hall, 20235 SW Alexander in Aloha.

Contact President Mark Hutchinson at 503-649-1028,


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