The Steamboater Whistle


              Winter 2016

               Volume 55, Issue 1


North Umpqua River, Oregon


Announcements and Club Events

Please welcome the following new member:
Paul Kubicek of Oakland, California

Thanks to everyone who has sent their 2016 dues thus far, it is appreciated. This will allow us to focus our energies on current matters that effect the river

Steamboaters' 50th Anniversary Banquet
March 5, 2016 at 
Steamboat Inn
All rooms at a 40% discount for those attending the banquet

In This Issue
President's Message by Tim Goforth
Hello fellow Steamboaters. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Steamboater Organization. By this time I hope you all have received your invitations to the Steamboaters' Banquet to be held this year at the Steamboat Inn on March 5, 2016. If you have not received it please contact me; my e-mail and telephone number are listed with the other Board of Directors at the end of this newsletter.
This issue of the Whistle will have many articles and photographs reprinted from the first few years of the Steamboaters. I have had the pleasure to read through the first 30 years of  "The Steamboat Whistle". The people that created the Steamboaters were/are dedicated fly fishermen and women as well as being equally dedicated conservationists. Their ideas were ahead of their times: the destructive impact of hatchery fish on the survival of wild steelhead, catch and release, the no attachment regulation, opposition of unsound logging practices, and more were being brought forth by the club with legislators, Fish and Game Commission, and other fishing groups. Their concepts were and still are years ahead of many people.

Our Steamboaters Bylaws and Objectives clearly state our vision for the North Umpqua. What have we Steamboaters accomplished to meet these objectives?


The filming of "Pass Creek", which was widely distributed and viewed in Oregon and throughout the United States through the 1970s and was influential in changing logging practices in the Northwest.


Advocacy and help to maintain the fly-only-water with the annual trash pick up, informational signage, and input on fishing regulations.


Habitat enhancement and rehabilitation on the North Umpqua, Steamboat Creek, and tributaries.


Instrumental work in the removal of the hydro- electric turbines at Winchester Dam in1985


Participation in the FERC relicensing of Soda Springs Dam.


Involvement in invertebrate studies in the North Umpqua and tributaries.


Participation in the ODFW's Coastal Management Plan.


Providing of written input into logging on Lemon Butte in the Steamboat Creek drainage.


Continued work with the US Forest Service, ODFW, and the BLM to protect and enhance the natural production of wild fish populations, especially steelhead.


Steelhead and Salmon, being anadromous fish, are affected not just by conditions in the North Umpqua; similarly we need to be mindful of the potential hazards in the main stem Umpqua and tributaries. Like the people before us we need to be aware and vigilant to protect what we have. I would like to close with a quote from Roderick Haig-Brown.
"I have been, all my life, what is known as a conservationist. It seems clear beyond possibility of argument that any generation of men can have only a lease, not an ownership, of the earth; and one essential term of the lease is that the earth be handed down to the next generation with unimpaired potentialities. This is the conservationist's concern."
I hope to see you all at the 50th Anniversary Banquet.
Tim Goforth,
Steamboaters President

ODFW Meeting Summary by Joe 

Board members Tim Goforth, Jeff Dose, Averi Willow, Len Volland, and Joe Ferguson met on December 8 with with ODFW staff Tim Walters (Umpqua Watershed Manager), Greg Huchko (Umpqua District Fish Biologist), and Jason Brandt (Assistant District Fish Biologist) to discuss a range of issues.
We had a good exchange of viewpoints and information.  The major items of discussion:

Fish Counts
ODFW's ability to read the fish-count data at Winchester Dam has been severely restricted due to budget and staffing cuts.  They do not have staff to compile the 24 hour/day counts, and no complete counts have been compiled at Winchester Dam or the Rock Creek ladder sincelast July.
Continuous counts at Winchester will be replaced by extrapolating from 8-hour counts on 200 days/year, based on 15-year hourly averages of the six species counted.  ODFW's statistician estimated a 90% confidence level in this process.  This process was used to estimate the summer steelhead count shown as July 20 - Sept 27 on ODFW's website.  The estimated count is the lowest since 1964.
Compiling data at Rock Creek remains unfunded.
Our concerns:
  • Winchester counts are used to help estimate runs up and down the coast.  The Winchester data should be as accurate as possible.
  • Last summer saw temperature and flow conditions unlike anything seen in  their 15 year sample period, and warmer temperatures can impact the timing of fish movement.
  • Accurate counts Winchester and Rock Creek are necessary to establish wild/hatchery ratios (pHOS).
  • Any re-calibration of the average run size and daily migration timing will be based on incomplete data.
Tim Walters noted that they had to respond to the staff cuts, that the new process is statistically sound, but they would welcome volunteer help in compiling the data.  They are actually more interested in getting the counts at the Rock Creek ladder.
Greg said they could also use some help removing hatchery fish from the holding pond, and they are interested in numbers and location of hatchery fish caught in the fly water.
If you're interested in helping review the 2015 data, or in removal of the adult hatchery fish, or in recording hatchery fish you catch in the fly water, contact a board member.  We should have more information about these efforts in late February.
Protecting Winter Spawners
There's been an increase in people fishing over spawning winter steelhead in the upper River, and we discussed how to protect these fish.  ODFW had no enthusiasm for a partial closure.  Regulations were just adopted for this two-year cycle, and we have no hard data that would warrant emergency closure.  And, they're again focussing on simplifying the regulations.  However they will contact OSP and ask them to pay more attention in this area.
Averi Willow worked with Eric Figura and Janie Pardo at the North Umpqua Ranger Station, and they produced some signs for placement at some of the paths down to the River asking people to avoid fishing these areas.
Diamond Lake
ODFW found a 6" chub along with lots of golden shiners in Diamond Lake.  The chub appeared to be a new arrival, rather than a rotenone survivor, but they'll be conducting a broader search this spring. 
For now, they're investigating the use of Tiger trout, a sterile, highly piscivorous cross between brown trout & brook trout,  to control the chub problem.  Fishing for the tigers would be catch-and-release.

Editor's Note by Kathy Kreiter

What follows are articles and pictures from the first years of the Steamboaters. More will follow in the next issues of the 2016 Whistles. I would welcome pictures or articles, both new and suggested reprints, that any of you would like to submit that would help commemorate the 50 years of Steamboaters' history. You can e-mail me at:

If you can make it to the banquet, I would suggest that you come early to the Inn to take a look at the memorabilia. It is an exceptional collection that people worked hard to gather and maintain through the years, and we are fortunate to have it. Particular thanks should go to Jeannie Moore, who did this job for many, many years.

In the Beginning by Maggie Pate


Ken and Polly Anderson

Don and Gayle Haines with Bill Hayden

That Was the Sunday That Was by Dan Callahan and Another, Earlier Fish Story by Dr. Demorest Davenport

"Along the Steelhead Rivers"; a review by Stan Knause of an Article by Roderick Haig-Brown 

The Umpqua That Was by by Loren Grey
and Streamside Etiquette by Ted Novis


"Pass Creek" by Hal Riney


Grandma's Bread and Mildred's Mess 


Trails by Jim Van Loan

About Us
PO Box 41266
Eugene, Oregon 97404

The mission of the Steamboaters is to preserve, promote, and restore the unique aesthetic values, the natural production of wild fish populations, and the habitat that sustains these fish on the North Umpqua River.
The Steamboaters is a charter member of the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Board of Directors


               Tim Goforth, President               

541 496 0780


Jeff Dose, Vice President

541 673 2665

Averi Willow, Secretary

 541 496 2248


Lee Lashway, Treasurer

541 953 4796

Josh Voynick, Board Member

541 496 0077 


Dillon Taylor

Associate Directors


Peter Tronquet

      541 774 9577


                                                                       Dick Bauer

541 688 4980


Joe Ferguson

541 747 4917


Dale Greenly

541 863 6213


Pat McRae

541 496 4222


Charles Spooner

541 496 0493


Lenny Volland

541 673 2246



PO Box 41266
Eugene, Oregon 97404



To join The Steamboaters go to:

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