In This Issue
Special events
Lobbyist's Report
Sandy River hatchery programs
Salmon Quest
Veterans' Fishing Day
Upcoming Meetings
Association Executive Committee Meeting
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 at the Association Office, 6641 SE Lake Road, Milwaukie. 

Ifish thread


For more information contact ANWS President Joe Domenico at (503) 778-0151, 


Columbia River

General Meeting 6:30 pm Wednesday, April 10 at Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 NE Fourth Plain Rd., in Vancouver.




Contact President Keith Hyde at 360-772-0996 or


Emerald Empire

General Meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, April 3 at Veterans' Memorial Building, 1626 Willamette Street, in EugeneJoin us early for a no-host dinner, 5:30-7 pm




Contact President Bill Robbins at 541-689-5075,



General Meeting, 7 pm, Tuesday, April 9, in Clackamas. Guest speaker will be Nate from Nate's Bait. He will have good information for spring fishing. Elections will be held, too. 

Contact President Carol Clark at 503-632-6974 or



General Meeting 7 pm, Wednesday, April 3 at Albany Senior Center, 489 Water Ave. in Albany. 


Contact Bill Nyara at 541-401-9559,


Molalla River

General Meeting at 6:30 pm Thursday, April 18 at Farmstead Restaurant, 28313 S. Highway 213, in Molalla. Steve Trask of Bio-Surveys will be on hand to discuss two years of Rapid Bio-Assessment (advanced snorkel surveys) fish counts of the Molalla drainage. Learn where fish are hanging out in the summer months and what the counts say about the river's fish populations. 


For more information contact President Sam Wurdinger at 503-932-8386 or


General Meeting 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the Chehalem Senior Center, 101 Foothills Dr., in Newberg. Guest speaker will be pro guide Jeremy Toman, talking on how to catch local springers. 


Contact President Kevin Hula at 503-781-9378,

North Coast

General Meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at the ODFW Tillamook Office, 4907 3rd St. in Tillamook. 

Contact President Bill Hedlund at 503-815-2737,

General Meeting 7 pm Tuesday, April 16 at the Keizer Community Center, 930 Chemawa Rd. in Keizer. Guest speaker will be Grant McOmie, or TV's "Grant's Getaways."



Contact President Jim Zelenka at 503-371-4063,


Sandy River

General Meeting 7 pm Wednesday, April 3 at the Sam Cox building in Glenn Otto Park, 1106 E Columbia River Hwy., in Troutdale. Dave Harding of Dave's Tangle Free Tackle will demonstrate his new lead-free fishing weights.  Also, Art Israelson will speak about water safety regarding personal floatation devices (PFDs). Art will focus on PFD ratings, what they indicate, and what they mean to you as a user.  



Contact Howard Berg at 503-665-8008,


Tom McCall

General Meeting 11:30 am Wednesday, April 17 at the Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft St., in Portland.

Contact President Dave Reggiani at 503-657-5379,


Tualatin Valley

General Meeting 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at the American Legion Hall, 20325 SW Alexander in Aloha. Guest speaker is guide Ed Fast who will be speaking on Clackamas and Sandy River bank fishing."



Contact President Mark Hutchinson at 503-649-1028,

Steelheaders' Website 
The server that hosted the our website crashed, taking the website with it. We are working to replace all the pages in a new site with new material. Pages are being completed almost every day, so check frequently to see how we are doing.

Chapters, this is a great time to update any information we have about your chapter! Send change information to Joyce.
Special Events


Sandy River Chapter Onstream Session

The follow up to the chapter's fishing clinic held March 20 is an On-Stream fishing event April 6, open to members only. Volunteers are needed to lead two to three people April 6 to get the new members started right. Contact Larry Palmer.

Molalla Spring River Cleanup

From 9 am.-1 pm on April 20 at Feyrer Park, just southeast of Molalla on Feyrer Park Rd. Includes a barbecue lunch at the park. For more information, contact Sam Wurdinger 


Learn the Santiam River

Join the Salem Chapter for a Learn the River Trip from Stayton to Green's Bridge on the North Santiam River on April 16. Boats need to be in river by 9 am for the 10 am start. Takeout around 2 pm.
For more information, contact Jim Zelenka.

Santiam River Cleanup
Join the Salem Chapter April 13 at North Santiam State Park to clean up the North Santiam River from 9 am-2 pm. For more information, contact Jim Zelenka

Note from our
Oregon Lobbyist
The first days of April are now history, and this means the pace at the legislature is picking up. Our own policy
themes are sometimes overshadowed by the attention legislative leaders are giving to balancing the state budget. Yet the natural resources subcommittee continues to review key agency budgets, one recent one being the water resources agency budget (SB 5547). Committee members indicated willingness to use fees to strengthen some of the following activities: increased water use reporting and data collection and improved permitting administration. During the public hearing we thanked the agency for its past good efforts to address instream water needs. This issue will continue to be important as more attention is given to large scale water storage projects--we will not let fish and habitat be forgotten. 

The House Agriculture Committee just completed a long hearing on the proposal to upgrade and better focus the work of Oregon's important hatchery research center (near Alsea). Beefing up the center's board is a large part of how this change would be achieved. We indicated support for the concepts in the current bill (HB 3441-1) and discussed how a reorganized program could assist in resolving the current Sandy River debate over the impacts of hatchery fish, etc.

We are currently waiting for hearings to be scheduled on such ANWS priorities as woody debris regulation (HB 2396), restricting or eliminating suction dredge mining (not yet numbered), fish carcass nutrition enhancement (HB 2697), and memorial for increasing management of cormorants (HJM 2). Re the measure to implement the Governor's directive against mainsteam CR gillnetting, LC 3133, will now be circulated by Senator Girod and is expected to soon be scheduled for hearing in senate environment committee. For the related enhancement fund, this measure will include a new Columbia basin recreational endorsement fee for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. The bill may see some additional tweaks after the first hearing. Please let the ANWS government affairs team know when you have suggestions or questions re any of our issues.

Despite lawsuit aimed at shutting them down, all hatchery programs on the Sandy River to continue

Spring chinook smolts to be reduced


A federal judge ordered March 21 that all hatchery programs on the Sandy River can continue. The ruling came after a lawsuit was filed seeking an immediate stop to all hatchery programs (winter and summer steelhead, coho and spring chinook) on the river. During the court proceedings, U.S. District Court Judge Ancer Haggerty asked ODFW if they would be willing to voluntarily reduce spring chinook plants in the Sandy, and ODFW replied that they were okay with reducing the smolts by a third, going from 200,000 to 134,000.


"In light of the fact that state defendants have voluntarily chosen to reduce Sandy Hatchery releases of spring chinook to approximately 132,000 smolts, and because of the uncertain and possibly negative consequences of the available injunctive relief, the court finds that plaintiffs have not proven that irreparable harm will result in the absence of injunctive relief, that the balance of equities tips in their favor, or that an injunction is in the public interest," Haggerty said in his ruling.


Steelheaders continued to take the lead against this serious threat to fishing. Along with our allies the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association and Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, Steelheaders filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) legal brief that outlined why Sandy hatchery programs should continue. Last year, when the Sandy's Hatchery Genetic Management Plans were open to public comment, Steelheaders provided detailed comments and solicited comments from allies and business sponsors in support of ODFW's hatchery reform efforts to reduce wild/hatchery interactions while providing a consumptive fishery.


Our amicus filed with the court on March 8 challenged the plaintiffs' basic premise that hatchery releases must be ended to protect wild fish and that ending the hatchery programs will recover wild fish.


"The Associations believe that wild fish can survive and recover in a river system which includes hatchery fish. This belief is based on reliable scientific studies which Plaintiffs have not addressed in their motion," read the amicus, which included citing numerous scientific studies. "The conclusions of these studies question the certainty with which Plaintiffs make their ultimate assertion in this case, which is that hatchery fish pose a threat to wild fish of such significance that the two should not be allowed to coexist in the Sandy River.  Plaintiffs' legal arguments assume their scientific assertion is irrefutable and universally accepted. This is not the case. In fact, the impact of hatchery fish on wild fish is an ongoing scientific inquiry with results on both sides of the equation."


Our legal briefs also to brought to light the settlement agreement signed by the defendants, plaintiffs, Steelheaders and NSIA when Marmot Dam was removed, which called for the continued use of hatchery fish, including broodstock programs.


"From the Associations' perspective, the issues in this case were addressed over ten years ago in connection with PGE's decommissioning of Marmot Dam on the Sandy River," read the amicus. "In the October 2002 Settlement Agreement, the stakeholder parties confirmed their agreement that the decommissioning plan is an 'effective and expedient means of protection, mitigation, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and other resources affected by the Project.' Further, the stakeholder parties agreed that the Settlement Agreement was 'for the purpose of resolving all issues that could have been raised' by the parties in connection with the decommissioning and that the Settlement Agreement is 'fair and reasonable and in the public interest.'"


In addition, our amicus  showcased numerous reasons why closing the hatchery programs on the Sandy is not in the public interest and would be damaging to the local economy.


"Oregonians clearly have a substantial public interest in fishing and outdoor recreation as evidenced by the significant participation rates and economic investment by anglers," read the amicus. "The presence of hatchery fish are directly tied to continued angler interest in fishing and their elimination would jeopardize the economic survival of numerous fishing-related industries and the jobs created by those industries. The significant adverse economic consequences which would result from Plaintiffs' requested injunction should be considered and weigh in favor of denying Plaintiffs' motion."


ODFW has said the 66,000 spring chinook scheduled to be put in the Sandy will be transferred to the SAFE areas for commercial fishermen. Steelheaders fought this decision, encouraging ODFW to put the smolts in a local river to provide angler opportunity or to not transfer fish scheduled to go the SAFE areas from another tributary so as to not lose any angler opportunity. Despite our best efforts, ODFW is moving forward with the transfer of the Sandy spring chinook smolts to the SAFE areas.


Steelheaders are involved on several levels to ensure fishing opportunity by supporting our hatcheries. Our efforts include having two board members on the Oregon Hatchery Research Center Advisory Committee, lobbying in Salem, Olympia and Washington D.C. for hatchery funding, education of the press, ongoing discussions with National Marine Fisheries Service, connecting kids with hatcheries at an early age through the Eggs to Fry Program, and on-the-ground participation in broodstock programs, fin-clippings, and acclimation sites.


Steelheaders has a long history of supporting science-based efforts to reduce wild/hatchery interactions; however, in Oregon that has too often meant reduction or elimination of fishing opportunity. Often this opportunity has been lost without evidence that reducing or eliminating hatchery production had measurable increases to the wild populations. Steelheaders understands the importance of protecting wild populations (wild fish are even important to the success of our hatcheries), but we also understand that hatcheries are here to stay, provide opportunity today,and are needed to connect future generations with the resource to create tomorrow's conservationists. Expect to see much more from the Steelheaders on this issue in 2013-2014 as we ramp up our "Hatchery AND Wild" public education campaign.


Whether or not this is the last legal action against Sandy's hatchery programs is a big question, and we are also keeping our eyes on a similiar case on the Elwa River in Washington and two in California. Should we need to, Steelheaders are prepared to again take legal action to defend fishing in Oregon and Washington against those with an anti-hatchery agenda. This legal action is not inexpensive, and we have created a fun way to help support the effort. On June 1, we are hosting the Sandy River Spring Classic fishing tournament in cooperation with sponsors Red's Guide Service and Dick's Sporting Goods. Cost is only $60 and proceeds from the tournament will go to our propagation defense legal fund. For more information on this fun way to help, be sure and check next month's e-newletter.

Big steelhead in small water equals excitement

If you would like to share a small river with big steelhead, join this year's Salmonberry winter steelhead spawning surveys. This project started in 1993, so it's now in its 21st year. Volunteers, led by Steelheaders' board members, do four winter steelhead spawning surveys each April and May, followed by placing temperature monitors to record temperature throughout the summer. In early September, volunteers remove the monitors.


The river has not yet recovered from the December '07 flood, making all surveys at least partly instream and challenging. In many places the flood tore out the entire railbed, not just the ties and rails. Much of the main stem is still channelized with little gravel, so more fish are utilizing the much smaller North Fork. North Fork surveys are entirely instream, and it's not unusual to be very close to a spawning group. The lower main stem has more space for the river to spread out, and it appears to be recovered, although it still has large amounts of silt from the canyon stretch above rearranging itself.


Two groups getting ready to start surveying.

This year's surveys will be on Sundays: April 14 and 28, May 5 and 19. For those who are looking for an easier day, on April 14 we will do a lower river survey. We'll also place temperature monitors in early May and retrieve them in September. Volunteers meet at the Sunset Transit Center at 7 am to carpool to the river and return early evening. For more information or to do a survey day, e-mail Ian Fergusson or call at 503-957-8875.

2013 Salmon Quest:
Give back to the resource while having fun!  
This year's Salmon Quest will take place April 20. We still have a few seats available, so if you want to go, register TODAY. You don't want to miss out on this exciting tournament! A full day of fishing for spring Chinook on local rivers with top guides and hosts, followed by a bbq dinner and awards presentation. 

This is your last chance to be part of the 2013 Quest, so reserve your spot today! 
To register, call the office at 503-653-4176.
Columbia River Chapter hosts fishing day for wounded veterans

March 23 members of the Columbia River Chapter hosted wounded veterans for a full day of fishing. This year, the second for the chapter's event, they had more volunteers who provided boats, so they were able to take more than 50 wounded warriors from the Warrior Transition Battalion in Fort Lewis/McChord.
Look at the determination to land that fish!

Everyone had great time, regardless of how many fish were caught.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of "The Steelhead," which is sent to all ANWS members monthly. For questions and comments, please e-mail For more information, please click on a linked button below.  

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