Summer 2011 - NW Steelheaders



Summer 2011 - NW Steelheaders
Summer 2011
Yakutat Lodge
Fall—October, November, December
We promote Catch & Release
Steelhead Fishing
Association Past Presidents Gary Benson and
Dennis VavRosky enjoy a week of fishing at
Yakutat Lodge every spring.
Only $1,310/person—4 persons per room
Includes: All food, lodging, rental vehicle, boats for floating the river each day, plus one day halibut charter or fly-out fishing.
$1,485/person—3 persons per room
$1,665/person—2 persons per room
A deposit of $250 per person confirms dates and reservations on all special packages.
All package prices are $50 more per person from August 15 thru September 30.
These prices do not include any taxes, gratuities, personal gear,
fishing equipment, liquor, or air fare to Yakutat.
Box 287, Yakutat, Alaska 99689
PHONE (907) 784-3232 • FAX (907) 784-3452
Volume 26, No. 2
is published quarterly by the
Association of Northwest Steelheaders.
Executive Director Russell Bassett
Editorial Board
Summer Issue, 2 0 1 1
4 Guide Feature: Western Fishing Adventures, Ltd.
6 Joint Message from the President and
Executive Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jay Burris, Russell Bassett
7 Drift In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Marty Sherman
8 Raffle Winners; 2012 Raffles
Jay Burris, Norm Ritchie,
Joe Domenico, Joyce Sherman,
Tom Smoot, Ian Fergusson,
Bob Oleson, Russell Bassett
10 SAFE: Positive Signs Point . . . . . . . . . . . .Russell Bassett, Liz Hamilton
to Future Victory
Advertising Sales
15 Steelhead Reintroduction Under Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . .H. Tom Davis
River Graphics
ANWS Officers/Directors
Vice President
Government Affairs
River Rights
Jay Burris
Joe Domenico
Norm Ritchie
Leslie Hinea
Joyce Sherman
Mike Myrick
Norm Ritchie
Doug Hunt
Ian Fergusson
Art Israelson
Bill Hedlund, Bill
Kremers, Tom Smoot
Honorary Frank Amato, Nick
Amato, Bruce Belles,
Jack Glass, Liz
Hamilton, Eric Linde,
Hobart Manns, Jim
Martin, Buzz Ramsey
Chapter Presidents Yancy Lind, Bill
Robbins, Dave
Reggiani, Carol Clark,
Brian Hudson, Greg
Harlow, Bill Nyara,
Andy Bodeen, Bill
Hudlund, Dana
Roberts, Jeff Stoeger,
Mark Hutchinson
About the Cover
Summer...the perfect time to chase
coastal cuttthroat with a fly.
Salmon River.
Photo by Marty Sherman
12 Legislative Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bob Oleson
16 Tackle Box: Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor
18 Chapter Reports; First Summer Rendezvous
19 Smokin’ Salmon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carol Clark
20 Fishing with Buzz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Buzz Ramsey
22 Salmon Quest; Hall of Fame Banquet and Auction
23 24th Annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Auction Donors
24 Youth Movement: The Expert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Josiah Darr
26 Swivel Oar Locks
27 Calender; Volunteer Opportunities; Advertisers
28 Steelheaders Work to Protect North Coast
Fisheries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Russell Bassett and Ian Fergusson
30 Reading the Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bill Monroe
31 Chapter Meeting Information
The Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Anglers dedicated to enhancing and protecting fisheries
and their habitats for today and the future.
Visit our website:
Your letters, photos, and articles are welcome and will be printed as
space permits. Please call or e-mail River Graphics, (503) 244-4109
or [email protected], for article specifications.
THE NORTHWEST STEELHEADER is published quarterly by the
Association of Northwest Steelheaders, PO Box 22065, Milwaukie, OR 97269;
(503) 653-4176, [email protected] Opinions expressed in these pages are those
of the authors, chapters, and committees who submit and/or write material, and
may or may not reflect the views of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders.
The editorial board reserves the right to edit all material in the interests of clarity or good taste, or to meet space requirements. Reprint rights reserved. Please
contact the Association office and the author for permission before reprinting
any material. Distributed free of charge.
Summer 2011 • 3
G U I D E F E A T U R E : W E S T E R N F I S H I N G A D V E N T U R E S , L TD .
rad Staples, partner in Western Fishing Adventures, Ltd., is
very popular with anglers. We have heard nothing but
hearty endorsements from those who’ve spent a day on the
river with Brad.
Above, Brad Staples guided this young angler to the steelhead of
a lifetime.
Below, Past Presidents Dennis Vavrosky and Gary Benson—
these two can challenge any guide!
Brad’s fiancee, Lynne Bridges, with a
Deschutes prize.
4 • The Northwest Steelheader
Nelson Rutherford not only fishes every year with
Brad but books an excursion on the Deschutes before
summer steelhead are in the river to introduce his grandchildren to the river. Imagine being very young, roaring up
the Deschutes, one rapid after another, with a BBQ lunch
thrown in—what a great introduction to the excitement of
running rivers!
Industry people like Tom Posey and his brother Dick
of Lamiglas elect to fish with Brad. Dennis VavRosky and
Gary Benson, Association co-presidents during the 90s,
are also regulars in Brad’s boat.
Brad Staples grew up in Clackamas and started fishing with his family as a young boy. He caught his first
Steelhead at 15 and was hooked. He began to read everything that he could find about steelhead and ask questions about them, a practice he continues today.
In 1975-76 there was an introduced run of summer
steelhead returning to the upper Clackamas River. Brad,
just 16, spent a lot of time chasing those fish. He found
that he did not really want to fish for them unless he could
see them in the river—it was fascinating watching the
fish and how they would grab the bait or lures.
Brad bought a 12' aluminum car top boat that he
could haul on top of his '63 Plymouth, and soon replaced
the Plymouth with a Toyota truck that made it easier to
haul the boat. He fished lakes for trout. When he was a
senior in high school, he bought a wooden drift boat,
which allowed him to access the Clackamas and other
local rivers. He fished with his younger brother and a
good friend from school, Forrest Foxworthy, now a wellknown salmon and steelhead fisherman.
In 1977, he was taking his drift boat out at Carver on
the Clackamas and saw a person give a fishing guide
some cash. What a great way to make a living! Brad wrote
to some local fishing guides who were advertising in
Salmon Trout Steelheader. A few wrote back and said not
to become a guide—you are not home very much and the
income is not consistent. Steve Arndt, the guide whom
Brad had seen getting paid at Carver, gave him the
continued on page 7
“Our goal is to provide outdoor enthusiasts
with the gear they are looking for. Serving the Boating, Fishing,
Hunting, Hiking, and outdoor communities, is
committed to provide top quality products at a fair price.”
Log on at
and you will see we’ve changed.
Or, call 503-348-9442.
Summer 2011 • 5
Message from the President and Executive Director
h at an amazing year Steelheaders have had so far in
2011! After celebrating our 50th
anniversary last year, we dedicated ourselves to ensuring the
organization remains successful
for the next 50 by focusing our
increasing and diversifying our
fundraising efforts, expanding
our youth education programs,
and maximizing board, staff and
volunteer participation.
Our Government Affairs team,
in cooperation with an army of
dedicated volunteers, worked
overtime this legislative session
to pass SAFE for Salmon legislation to move gill nets off
the mainstem Columbia. SAFE expands sportfishing seasons, increases sportfishing catch and protects wild fish
coming into the Columbia River. It provides a much needed boost to the Oregon economy, while at the same time
protecting commercial fishing jobs. On April 21, the
Oregon Senate Committee on Environment and Natural
Resources voted to pass SAFE out of committee. This vote
was historic, as it was the first time in nearly 40 years that
the Oregon Legislature made meaningful progress
toward reducing gill netting in the Columbia River.
Steelheaders, working in close cooperation with our partners, guided SAFE through the legislative process, but it
failed to reach the floor for a vote. Many thanks to our
active members who contacted their state legislators
encouraging them to vote for SAFE. Legislators are now
aware of the issue, and a majority support SAFE legislation.
We are also ramping up our outdoor education program to get more kids connected with fishing and the
outdoors. We currently manage more than 100 Eggs to Fry
Program classrooms in the Portland-area, and in close
cooperation with ODFW, we are expanding this great program to many more schools throughout Oregon. We are
also organizing more kids' fishing days, and partnering
with organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters to connect
more kids with salmon, steelhead and trout.
As an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation (one of
the top three conservation nonprofits in the country)
Steelheaders is able to tackle important issues at the federal level. This spring, the Steelheaders traveled to
Washington D.C. to lobby Oregon senators and representatives on matters affecting regional fishing, including
stopping many of the proposed cuts to conservation in the
federal budget and helping to move forward legislation
that allows for the lethal take of sea lions.
You want fun? Well, Steelheaders have it. Almost every
month of the year, Steelheader chapters host inexpensive
fish-a-longs, family fishing events, fishing how-to-clinics,
6 • The Northwest Steelheader
camping trips, and much, much
more. For those of you in the
Vancouver area, we started a
Columbia River Chapter this
summer and would love to have
you join us as we return to
Washington. This fall, we plan to
start a new Molalla River chapter,
and we're looking at other areas
for chapter startups as well. If
there isn't an active chapter in
your area, come talk to us, and
will help you get one started.
This year, Steelheaders hosted
the hugely-successful Willamette
Salmon Quest, with more than
100 participants, many of the
best guides in the Pacific Northwest, and almost every
boat catching a fish. We're going to do the Salmon Quest
again next year, so be sure to mark your calendar now for
April 21, 2012, to participate in Oregon's most cherished
and fun fishing tournament.
Steelheaders' members are the heart and soul of the
organization, and as a way of saying thanks to our thousand-plus membership for 50 years of successful work on
behalf of fish and fisheries, we have greatly expanded
membership benefits. The magazine you are holding is
just one example of the many great benefits we give
members. For the same price as a night at the movies or
a few mochas or one evening at a restaurant, your membership in the Steelheaders includes:
• The Northwest Steelheader magazine (now in color and
featuring some of the best outdoor writers in the
Northwest) delivered to your mailbox quarterly
• The Steelhead monthly e-newsletter delivered to your
e-mail inbox monthly
• A “50 years working for fish” hat (for membership dues
of $30 or more)
• Steelheader decal
• Invitations to fun and educational fishing events
throughout the year
• Save Our Fishing Action Alerts telling you when and
how to take action to protect sportfishing
• The satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to an
organization with a successful history and bright future of
protecting Northwest fish and fishing.
Unlike most nonprofit organizations that rely heavily on
grants for funding, 80 percent of Steelheaders' funds
comes from private donations. This business model
allowed us to grow and strengthen even in a down economy, but we can't do it without your support. If you are not
already a member, please join now by returning the form
on page 31 with your tax-deductible dues. It's never been
a better time to be a Steelheader. Fish on!
Jay Burris, President
Russell Bassett, Executive Director
Western Fishing Adventures, Ltd.
continued from page 5
information he needed to get licensed, but he did not
think that guiding would work out for him.
In the early eighties Brad started white water rafting.
That led him into working on the Deschutes River, running gear boats for guys who were doing multiday rafting
and fishing trips. Rod Brobeck was one of those guys;
today he is the Project Director for the Oregon Wildlife
Heritage Foundation. Brad became a board member in
the fall of 2010.
In 1983, Brad got a guide license and started business
with Danny Haak; they will soon be staring their 27th season working together on the Lower Deschutes River,
offering day and overnight trips.
Brad has guided on the Kenai River in Alaska, the North
Santiam River, and the Nestucca River. He quit winter steelhead fishing in the early 90s because he doesn’t like to be
cold and wet. He started a HVAC business to offset not guiding in the winter. He has a partner that is involved with the
day to day operations. Today, he guides on the Lower
Deschutes for five months of the year for steelhead and
trout. He also offers scenic jet boat trips and trout fishing on
some private lakes, fishing from float tubes.
In 2009, Brad became involved with Larry and Guy
Schoenborn, selling and hosting international fishing trips
around the world. Look at his fishing report at Go to the blog on the left side of the page.
Brad has strong opinions about fishing:
“I feel that the future for sport fishing is going to
improve. There are a lot of things that we have done to
n choring your boat can be
easy—or result in a boating accident if it’s not done correctly. Taking
the time to anchor correctly can save
Do not tie a knot in the end of
your anchor rope. Do watch how
much rope you have left to avoid
allowing all of it to go out. Keep a
knife handy; if you ever hang an
anchor and are unable to retrieve it,
better to lose the anchor and rope
than risk sinking the boat. Do not go
to the stern to free a stuck anchor—
the combination of your weight at
the stern plus the pull of the unmoving anchor can easily sink your boat.
It is best to row your boat stern
first toward the bank when you are
anchoring to get out of the boat.
When the boat touches or nearly
touches the bottom, drop anchor.
Once you and your passengers step
out of the boat, pick up the anchor
and pull the boat closer to the bank.
It is always wise to pull an additional
hurt salmon and steelhead in the Northwest as well as in
Canada and Alaska. There has been overharvest with
commercial and sport fishing. We have destroyed the
river environment through bad logging practices and
overgrazing by livestock. Pollution, dams, and uncontrolled water withdrawals for agriculture have also contributed to the decline of our fisheries. Some hatchery
practices have contributed to the decline of wild salmon
and steelhead. Hopefully, we can learn from our past mistakes and avoid repeating them.
“Sport fishing groups and others are doing some positive things to help recover salmon and steelhead populations, but we have a long ways to go. I hope that we will see
the Columbia River commercial gill nets removed or curtailed. I am not against commercial harvest, but I do not like
the by-catch of other species that are caught in the nets.
“I was appointed to the ODFW Fish Screening Task
Force, and I learned a lot. There are many different agencies trying to manage our fishery resources and it is a very
frustrating because they do not always work together.
“As men and women who like to fish and want our
fisheries to improve, we each need to pick a fishing
organization that we believe is doing a good job and support them. It can be by donating money, purchasing items
at the auctions, or volunteering to work on fish habitat
along local rivers.”
To book your own trip with Western Fishing
Adventures, call Brad at 503-250-0558 or e-mail
[email protected]
four to six feet of anchor rope out to
ensure that you are anchored solidly
so that there is no chance that the
boat can take a solo trip downriver.
Anchoring midstream to fish isn’t
possible everywhere. If the current is
too fast, the boat will swing while
anchored, which is unsafe. Move to a
spot with less current and try again.
Before you begin to cast, make sure
that your boat is anchored securely,
that you are not dragging the anchor
and moving downstream. You can
extend your drift by feeding out additional anchor rope to allow the boat
to slide downstream a few feet.
When anchoring in tidal areas,
be aware of what the tide will do
while you’re anchored. Difference
between high and low tide is only
roughly six hours and can be several
Marty Sherman works for ClackaCraft Drift Boats and helps new boat
owners answer questions.
Summer 2011 • 7
Raffle Winners Enjoy Prizes
he Steelheaders annual raffle
winners were drawn this spring,
and the happy winners have
received their prizes. Jim Eckart of
Portland won the ClackaCraft drift
boat, and Jim and Maxine Pace of
Hillsboro won the all-expenses paid
trip to Yakutat Lodge in Alaska.
The Association of Northwest
Steelheaders gratefully acknowledges
the financial support of ClackaCraft,
Yakutat Lodge and Fisherman's
Marine & Outdoor. The raffles raised
$24,848 to support our efforts to
ensure quality fishing opportunities.
“We were debating about taking
a trip this year, and this prize allows
us to do it,” Jim Pace said, noting that
he has been fishing for steelhead for
30 years in Oregon, Washington and
British Columbia.
“Jim said, ‘You are not going to
believe this. We just won a trip to
Alaska,’” Maxine reported. “We were
so excited because we knew we
would get to go to Alaska for the first
Jim and Maxine’s plans
while staying at Yakutat Lodge
include fishing for salmon,
halibut and ling cod, and chartering a plane.
Jim purchased a book of
25 tickets for $20 at the
Oregon City Fisherman's
Jim Eckart was pleased as
punch when he picked up his
new ClackaCraft 16' Old
School High Side drift boat on
May 11.
"This boat is going to get a
lot of use," Eckart said to
ClackaCraft owner Bruce
Belles, who showed Eckart
the boat's many features. "I'm
looking forward to getting it
on the Deschutes and the
Wilson. Really looking forward to
seeing how this boat handles compared to the old boat I've had for 25
Steelheaders raffle tickets for 30
years at the Pacific Northwest
Sportsmen's Show®.
Steelheaders will be doing both
raffles again next year, so be sure to
get your tickets. Next year it could be
you in Alaska or in a new drift boat!
Winning Ticket Information
Winner of the Clackcraft drift boat was drawn at
noon on Friday, May 6, 2011. Winning ticket #2302.
The details of the complete package are as follows:
trailer, anchor system, anchor, rope, oars, dry storage
box under passengers' bench, two padded fold-down
seats, dry storage under rower's bench, level floors front
and rear, Fish-On rod holders. Retail value of the complete package is $11,195.
North to Salmon raffle winning tickets were drawn
at 10 am on April 20. The grand prize winner declined
the prize, so a re-draw was held at 11:30 am on May 17
to determine the grand prize winner. All winning tickets
have been notified and all prizes claimed.
Grand Prize Winning Ticket #11545: Four-night, fiveday Alaskan fishing adventure at Yakutat Lodge in
Yakutat, Alaska, for two people, 2011 season, air-fare
included. Includes travel, lodging, meals, and one day
guided fishing. $4,020 value. (Trip donated by Yakutat
2nd Prize Winning Ticket #16912: Creek Pontoon
Boat (Donated by Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor).
$400 value.
3rd Prize Winning Ticket #07585: Limited Edition Art
Print: $225 value.
4th Prize Winning Ticket #17413: Pendleton blanket.
$150 value.
5th Prize Winning Ticket #19220: Lamiglas Spinning
Rod: $80 value.
8 • The Northwest Steelheader
Rod Builders
Marine Technical Experts
Knowledgeable and professional help with
all your boating electrical and electronics needs
Steelheaders’ Special
Lowrance HDS-7
with Insight
USA maps
North Fork Composites
Lamiglas • St. Croix • Sage
Winston • Thomas & Thomas
Scott • Talon • Bellinger
Flex-Coat • Struble
Gudebrod • Perfection
Abel • Orvis • Cortland
Griffin • Rio • Regal
Scientific Anglers • Ross
Steelheaders’ Special
Lowrance LSS-1
Structure Scan with
Down Scan Transducer
Spe s for
Pric eaders
Home of Rob Voss, the TR-1
Autopilot Guru who was with
the original company for
almost a decade
PO Box 1910, Woodland, WA 98674
Toll-Free Fax: 800-278-1069
[email protected]
Steelheaders’ Garmin
TR-1 Gold
Autopilot Special
Complete with
throttle control
and bracket kit
Structure Scan in action
A Heritage to P r otect
Make Your Wishes Clear!
For estate planning, c onsider:
• Your ow n financ ial future and r etir ement
• Your family’s financ ial sec urity
• Your desire to protec t
sp ortfishing for
the future
Suggested Bequest Language:
For information, c ontac t
“After fulfilling all other pro visions
the Assoc iation at
for my heirs, I giv e, devise and be5 0 3-65 3-4176.
queath ___% of what remains of my estate
(or $____) to the Assoc iation of Nor thwest Steelheaders (Tax I D #91-10 31100),
a c haritable c orporation presently having offic es at 6 6 41 S E L ake Road, Milwaukie, O R 9 72 2 2.”
SAFE: Positive Signs Point to a Future Victory
By Russell Bassett and Liz Hamilton
espite great support from the
sportfishing community, SAFE for
Salmon did not make out of committee during the 2011 Oregon legislative
session. While our measure to move
gill nets off the mainstem Columbia
River ultimately failed, there were several positive signs when compared to
the 2009 legislative session that provide hope for a successful resolution
to this issue in the near future.
For starters, the Oregon Senate
Committee on Environment and
Natural Resources voted April 21 to
pass SAFE out of committee. The vote
was historic, as it was the first time in
nearly 40 years that the Oregon
Legislature made meaningful progress toward reducing gill netting on
the Columbia.
Also, this year, the sportfishing
community spoke together with one
voice in favor of SAFE, compared to
2009 when a key sportfishing organization did not support the measure.
In 2009, there was also opposition
from a few environmental groups,
and that did not happen this year.
Another positive sign was that
almost two dozen legislators, both
Democrats and Republicans, signedon as sponsors of the bill. Steelheaders lobbyist Bob Oleson said that
in all his year's working at the capitol
he has “not seen any natural resource
bill that comes close to having such
an impressive list of sponsors. Most of
these folks are veteran leaders in
their respective parties and houses,
and the chief sponsors are four of the
most respected people serving in the
We are confident that we had
enough bi-partisan support to pass
the measure on the floor of both
houses, but Republican members of
the House Rules and Senate Environment committees would not vote in
support because of concerns they
had with a potential loss of jobs in the
commercial sector This is especially
hard to understand because anglers
and hunters are traditional members
of the Republican base and the goal
of SAFE was to assure jobs, both
recreational and commercial.
SAFE for Salmon, which this session was Bill 736 in the Senate and
10 • The Northwest Steelheader
Bill 3657-3 in the House, would have
moved the non-tribal commercial
gillnet fleet in the Lower Columbia
River below Bonneville Dam into offchannel Select Area Fisheries
Enhancement (SAFE) areas. SAFE for
Salmon would change fish management of the Columbia River in order
to reduce bycatch mortality on wild
fish, increase sportfishing catch, and
benefit Oregon's economy by providing more consistent sportfishing seasons and more jobs. Over the last two
years, SAFE areas have provided
more than 100,000 fish to the commercial fishery and general public.
SAFE areas are a proven success.
Currently, Oregon has three SAFE
areas in use: Youngs Bay, Tongue
Point/South Channel, and Blind
Slough/Knappa Slough. In the last
two years, commercial gillnet landings in the SAFE zones has grown to
be larger than the sport harvest in the
entire lower Columbia river. The outlook is even brighter for future SAFE
zone harvests. In recent years, the
states have increased releases of
smolts into SAFE areas by nearly 40
percent. These smolt releases in the
SAFE areas provide even more fish to
our region's fish markets and reduces
by-catch of non target and ESA-listed
species in the commercial fishery.
There was some concern from the
sportfishing community that smolts
released in the SAFE areas would be
transferred from tributaries, reducing
the tributary sportfishing catch; however, ODFW assured SAFE supporters
that it had enough surpluse smolts to
feed the SAFE areas without reducing
in-stream plants.
Steelheaders has been working to
reduce or remove gill netting on the
Columbia since the organization's
beginnings 51 years ago, and has
made several incredible achievements along the way, including eliminating the commercial steelhead fishery, banning high sea drift nets, and
making the Columbia commercial
salmon fishery selective.
Steelheaders worked closely with ally
groups to pass SAFE this session,
including the Northwest Sportfishing
Industry Association, Trout Unlimited,
Northwest Guides and Anglers Asso-
ciation, Coastal Conservation Association, Oregon Conservation Network,
and Oregon Wild.
In every case, these efforts have
resulted in restored runs and seasons
of benefit to the sportfishing community. The Northwest Steelheaders
have been the tip of the spear and
voice for salmon, steelhead and trout
anglers in nearly every major fisheries issue in the region.
“Anglers often have as many ideas
on how fish should be managed as
they do gear types, but on this issue,
we are united,” said Russell Bassett,
Northwest Steelheaders Executive
Director. “It was refreshing to see the
sportfishing and conservation communities work together and get some positive movement on this issue, but the
gillnet lobby is very powerful, and they
proved to be very uncompromising.
“Many Steelheaders joined ANWS
because of this issue, and I want them
to know that we worked our butts off
to get SAFE passed during the 2011
legislative session,” Bassett continued.
“It didn't happen, but we will not give
up, and the positive signs we saw this
year are paving the way for a successful vote in the future.”
In politics you never lose unless
you quit.
In order to get positive movement on SAFE, Steelheaders and our
allies had to comprise on the measure so that the mainstem gillnet ban
would be from January 1 to July 31,
rather than year ’round. Despite this
reduction, the rhetoric coming from
the gill netters did not change, and
they were unwilling to comprise
throughout the session. Below is an
outline of the opposition's argument
against SAFE, followed by the truth.
Fiction: SAFE for Salmon would
destroy the commercial fishing industry in Oregon.
Fact: Gillnet-landed salmon is only
seven percent of Oregon commercial
fishing, and 60 percent of all gillnetlanded salmon currently occurs in
SAFE areas. The SAFE for Salmon
compromise that came out of the
2011 Session would have reduced the
gillnet catch by an average of five per-
cent or .0035 percent of total commercial fishing in Oregon. The gillnet
fleet will still harvest 160,000 salmon
on average from the late summer and
fall seasons, combined with the year
’round SAFE fisheries.
In recent years, removing gill nets
from the river from January through
July would have eliminated an average of only 36 hours of gill netting on
the mainstem, all of which and more
could be made up in the SAFE areas.
The overwhelming majority of gill
netting and harvest occurs in the fall
and would have not been affected by
the legislation. Moving these 36 hours
into the SAFE zones would not
“destroy a way of life.” In fact, it
would have helped preserve a way of
life, because a ballot measure is
being planned for by 2012 another
group that seeks to completely ban
gill netting. In addition, historically gill
nets were not used for summer chinook nor spring chinook for 30 and 25
years respectively before the SAFE
areas were in place, and over those
years, gill netters did not go out of
business although their catches were
substantially less than what they're
getting today.
Fiction: SAFE for Salmon has no conservation benefit to wild populations.
Fact: Of the 13 ESA-listed endangered
and threatened salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia
River, 10 of them are in the lower
Columbia during January through
July. Furthermore, all three of the
endangered populations are spring or
summer runs that would benefit from
the elimination of gill nets. Moving gill
nets off the mainstem Columbia from
January to July would have removed
gill nets from the river for 77 percent
of the ESA-listed steelhead and
salmon runs, and provide a huge conservation benefit to sturgeon, as well.
The mortality rate for chinook
released from tangle nets is 14.7 percent, which is approximately 50 percent higher than the mortality of
sport-released fish, which is 10 percent. The smaller mesh size is effectively a gill net for smaller species,
increasing the catch of species smaller than salmon and thus increasing
mortalities of steelhead and small
sturgeon. The release mortality rate
for steelhead caught in tangle nets is
18.5 percent, and release mortality
rates for fish caught with large mesh
gear (eight-inch minimum) is at 40
percent for chinook and 30 percent
for steelhead. Removing net fisheries
from the mainstem Columbia River
would provide a major conservation
benefit for virtually all Columbia River
fish runs and species.
Fiction: SAFE for Salmon will destroy
Fact: Gillnet fisherman regularly said
that SAFE would cost jobs, but where
was their evidence for this? They provided no studies to support this claim.
Data from the current Mitchell Act
Hatchery Environmental Impact
Statement states that the average
Lower Columbia River revenue for all
gill netters, including salmon landed
in the mainstem and SAFE areas, was
only $8,443, a small fraction of the
gillnetter's livelihood. The vast majority of the commercial fishermen who
fish the Lower Columbia get the bulk
of their income elsewhere, such as in
Bristol Bay, Alaska, by crabbing and
fishing off the Oregon Coast, or
through some other job. In addition,
according to an economics study
conducted by Southwick Associates
in 2009, sport anglers would have
spent an additional $72.2 million if
SAFE for Salmon was in effect from
2001 through 2008. This would represent an increase of 56.5 percent over
the level of expenditures that actually
occurred. Each year, anglers would
have spent approximately $11.6 million more in the Oregon economy.
Anglers' expenditures then stimulate
rounds of economic effects. As a
result of the additional angler expenditures, 179 additional jobs would
have been supported each year,
along with $3 million in additional
state and local tax revenues.
Fiction: SAFE areas are too crowded
to allow for good gillnet fishing.
Fact: SAFE areas are not too crowded
now to allow for the landing of
approximately 100,000 salmon in the
last two years. Gill netters have not
complained about over-crowding
under the current system. Furthermore, in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where
many Oregon gill netters go to make
up the bulk of their income, gill netters
are packed in the bay like sardines,
but they don't complain about that.
Things moved quickly the last
month of the session. It was almost
all about politics more than the merits of our bill. It's unfortunate that politics didn't allow the measure to get a
vote on the floor of each house,
where we were confident it would
have passed and been signed into
law by the Governor. It's also unfortunate that the massive groundswell of
grassroots support by the sportfishing
community in the Willamette Valley
was ignored by several key members
of the House and Senate Rules committees. It's also unfortunate that
committee members of the party
whose major focus this session was
the economy and jobs, would not
back a measure with clear benefits to
the Oregon economy and job growth.
Finally, it's unfortunate that the commercial fishing industry failed to support a measure that ultimately would
have helped preserve their way of
life…but that's politics for you.
There were several champions in
the 2011 Session Legislature who
deserve our thanks. Sen. Jackie
Dingfelder really pushed hard for us
throughout the session. Sen. Fred
Girod worked constantly and diligently for SAFE, and Sen. Mark Hass was
also very supportive In addition, the
following senators also deserve our
thanks: Atkinson, Bates, Bonamici,
Edwards, Monroe, Morse, and Starr.
In the House, Rep. Dave Hunt
was enormously helpful, as was Rep.
Bill Kennemer. Rep. Jules Bailey was
with us from start to finish and spent
considerable time behind the scenes
stumping for us. Rep. Vic Gilliam
worked to help us when things were
particularly thorny at the end of session. We have so many allies in the
House it's unfortunate we weren't
able to get a floor vote, but our most
visible and ardent supporters include:
Representatives Barker, Cannon,
Clem, Doherty, Garrett, Gelser,
Greenlick, Harker, Huffman, Johnson,
Kotek, Matthews, Read, Smith, and
Steelheaders will not give up. Our
sportfishing and wild fish runs are too
important, and we are committed to
building on the gains from this session by continuing the effort. We are
currently strategizing what our next
steps will be. There were enough
positive signs and progress when
compared to the 2009 session, that
we are confident there will be positive movement in the right direction
in the near future.
Summer 2011 • 11
2011 Session: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
By Bob Oleson, Government Affairs Representative
The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee hearing on SAFE,
chaired by Sen. Dingfelder.
he 2011 legislative session ended
June 30. There were a few things
to like and many not to like. This year
almost everything was driven by the
ongoing state budget crisis. Leaders
in both parties were able to guide
their members through many difficult decisions in a way that led to a
balanced budget. There were reductions in some important state services. The conservative business side of
the aisle kept talking about the
importance of corporate tax breaks,
while the progressive union side
seemed fixated on providing financial support for schools and teachers.
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12 • The Northwest Steelheader
Please note that the natural
resources agencies important to us
(such as ODFW) were able to essentially maintain current service levels
for their programs by the one-time
use of federal and other funds.
Uncertainties about continuing this
arrangement raises the possibility of
agency cuts next biennium. The
SAFE effort continues to be a priority
for ANWS (see article, page 14).
Keep in mind that anglers have a
supportive new Governor who is
appointing new balanced ODFW
Here is a little more inside baseball about the 2011 legislature: The
30/30 power sharing arrangement of
the two parties in the House gets
much of the credit for keeping legislators focused on the important political middle. It also gets credit for seeing some good conservation and
angling bills bottled up in committee.
This year is was easier than normal
for a couple of extreme legislators
(or narrowly positioned special interest groups) to stop good proposals.
At times it was hard to tell who was
responsible for making which decisions—it seemed that many deals
were made behind closed doors.
When it came to enacting important
new laws for the public good, this
was not an extremely productive
(continued on page 14)
What You Can Do
Help Steelheaders win more
battles for fish and for anglers:
1. Provide grassroots support.
Attend hearings, town hall and
commission meetings. The more
people that visibly support our
goals, the more likely we are to win.
Your physical presence says a great
deal—you don’t need to speak.
2. Contribute to Steelheaders.
Steelheaders have been the leading voice for sportfishing in
Oregon, but it take money to win
legislative campaigns. We can’t do
it without your help.
Steelheaders’ Ducky Derby
he Association of Northwest Steelheaders hosted the
Ducky Derby to Benefit Fish July 16 at Glenn Otto Park
during the City of Troutdale’s Summerfest. Cost was $10 per
duck, and almost 500 ducks were purchased. Prizes were
awarded to the first seven places. The ducks were released
off the Historic Columbia River Highway Bridge over the
Sandy River at 4:30 p.m. on the 16th.
Special thanks to the companies that donated prizes:
Power Mac Pac, Langeliers Metal, Gresham Ford, Pudding
River Carvers, and Nolan's Tire Factory. Thanks also to CCS
for loaning booms and to Donald Barron of River Trails for a
cash donation.
Proceeds from the Ducky Derby go to support the
Association’s ongoing efforts to improve cold-water fisheries
in the Pacific Northwest.
Legislative Report
continued from page 12
session for us or our good partners in
the fishing and outdoor conservation
Positive Points
There is another important side
of the 2011 legislative story that is
more positive, suggesting a better
future for our interests. For the
anglers of our state, a number of bad
bills were in play for months and not
finally resolved until late in the session. We performed a greatly elevated role in helping to achieve good
results with most of these measures.
Although most participants found
the 2011 session to be one of the
strangest and most difficult of their
careers, I would also argue that this
is the year Northwest Steelheaders
entered the political big league. At
the Capitol, we were centrally
involved in influencing a wide range
of issues affecting our membership.
Hopefully, at the grass roots level we
can develop even more support for
the proactive public policy changes
that we will seek in the future.
Preparing for the Future
Some subjects from the final part
of the session are likely to require
more of our attention in the years
ahead. For example, several river
raiding and excessive water storage
proposals were finally stopped late in
the session, but the special interests
behind these efforts and various flow
control plans show no signs of giving
up. The measure dealing with
ground water mitigation in the
Deschutes basin was improved and
passed during the rush to adjournment (HB 3623). An aggressively lobbied bill to exempt certain hydroelectric projects from fish screens and
passage devices passed the House
by a landslide, but despite wearing
the seal of approval from green energy reps, it was sidelined in the Senate
when several of us fish advocates
worked with Sen. Jackie Dingfelder
to increase awareness of this dangerous fish-killing bill. She was also
instrumental in working with us to
delay moves by the agri-business
lobby to largely eliminate DEQ regulation of agricultural water pollution
and to increase stream removal-fill
limits. Expect to hear more about
14 • The Northwest Steelheader
new and troubling attacks on various
state regulatory and environmental
protection systems.
Coastal Salmon Fishing
HB 2632 was introduced by cospeaker Roblan of Coos county after
he spent a couple years collecting
ideas from local fishermen for
improving coastal fishing. This interesting hodgepodge of ideas did not
get enacted, but did receive extensive hearings and, as intended, did
get the attention of ODFW and others.
One of our major projects at the
legislature was to work with Rep.
Roblan to develop and promote a
comprehensive new coastal salmon
fishing program that should benefit
all salmon fishermen. It begins with
the study and use of unfed fry and
increased smolt releases; there is an
intention to increase wild coho production in coastal streams while
studying ways to achieve fishery
enhancement and collect important
data involving extensive new fry
releases. This is a big deal! ANWS
was the only angling and conservation organization joining in the meeting with Roblan and the ODFW director as these program ideas were discussed and finalized.
Other Bills of Interest
There are measures that will be
of interest to many anglers. A bill was
passed that allows greater penalties
to be applied to egregious fish and
wildlife offenders (SB 924). Following
up on the hard work done by
Steelheaders and other organizations
two years ago, this legislature, via SB
626, has authorized ODFW to work
with interested parties to develop a
program of quality waters (“trophy
fishing”). ANWS and other organization started to move in the right direction by starting to increase nonlicense funding for ODFW conservation strategies—the programs for
non-consumptive activities such as
bird watching and big game viewing.
Much more needs to be done in this
arena. In the years ahead,
Oregonians can count on confronting
great challenges from invasive
species and destructive fish predation; nonetheless, this legislature did
pass modestly helpful laws in both
policy areas, HB 3399 and HB 3255.
The marine reserves proposal did not
get all of the way through the legislature due to the messy “let's make a
deal” attempts by various House
leaders. The Governor may get the
last word by implementing a similar
program via executive order.
ANWS worked at the legislature
to help expand funding sources for
conservation strategies so ODFW
can maintain important services
such as wildlife viewing and bird
watching without further depleting
limited fishing and hunting license
dollars. ANWS and the Audubon
Society led the charge at the major
hearings on HB 2127 (passed) and
HB 3374 (failed); the latter bill would
have placed an excise tax on wild
bird seed. ANWS plans to stay active
in this arena.
During the session, ANWS
worked with Sen. Dingfelder and others to totally rework SB 600 so it
could be turned from a bad bill into a
good regulatory program involving
stream fill removal. Efforts to work
with the DSL agency to make the
measure an administratively effective one have already started.
This is an example of why ANWS
Government Affairs expects to have a
busy interim period on numerous
fronts as Oregon enters the age of
annual legislative sessions. We also
supported Rep. Jenson in his successful effort to give the state the
authority to stop watercraft for
inspections for invasive species, HB
3399. On behalf of Oregon anglers,
ANWS will continue to work with
anyone anytime, including legislative
leaders in both political parties.
Disease in Hatcheries
Recently ODFW released an
interesting report on the status of disease in Oregon Hatcheries to legislative leaders. It summarizes and comments on the agency study of
pathogens in our hatchery system.
The document came out of a previous legislative mandate that
Steelheaders were involved with last
session. In order to help provide
Oregonians with the best hatcheries
and fish possible, ANWS will continue to be active in discussing and following this important subject.
Concluding Comments
This session ANWS closely
monitored well over 50 legislative
measures, some being reworked
many times via numerous hearings
and amendments; we were deeply
involved in seeing a positive result
in about 20 of the most important
bills. Let Government Affairs chair
Norm Ritchie or me know if you
want a current list of these specific
bills and their final status. Also let us
know when you have comments or
a recommendation on future priorities.
I enjoyed working with over two
dozen Steelheader activists at the
Capitol this year. There was no problem in me giving testimony in routine
or short notice situations, but it carries considerable weight when volunteer members speak out on key
topics at major hearings. Those of
you helping to build this capacity are
greatly appreciated. Please keep
working to strengthen political rela-
tionships. Encourage your chapter
leaders to help identify and track relevant policy issues.
Now that Oregon has initiated
annual legislative sessions, it's
important to stay continually connected to the legislative process.
This is a good way for OUR public
policy recommendations to compete with those of powerful special
interest groups.
Steelhead Reintroduction Under Attack
By Tom Davis, PE, Deschutes Basin Chapter
fter 19 months of dialogue, 22 organizations, including the owners—PGE and the Warm Springs Tribes
(WST)—signed a relicensing agreement for the Pelton
Round Butte (PRB) dam complex on July 13, 2004. The
agreement included a temperature management release
and fish collection/passage structure at the dam complex,
which started functioning in 2010.
Current Status
Thousands of steelhead fry were released in
Whychus Creek starting in 2007 (see photo). Community
support for reintroduction is strong in the Whychus subbasin, but the current predictions for successful returns in
Whychus are not good. Beginning in 2008 thousands of
steelhead fry were released in the Crooked River mainstem and Ochoco and McKay Creeks. Political opposition
to reintroduction has emerged in the Crooked River subbasin; inadequate flow and water temperature problems
exist in the river, which is critical for reintroduction success. The Middle Deschutes releases began in 2009.
Steelhead were not released in the Metolius.
Whychus Has Problems
Inadequate existing flows, warm stream water temperatures and inadequate State of Oregon future flow targets in Whychus Creek mean low potential for success of
steelhead reintroduction in Whychus Creek. It's clear that
the Crooked River is of critical importance for the success
of steelhead reintroduction.
Flows Needed in the Crooked River
The minimum flows currently released from storage
in Prineville Reservoir by the US Bureau of Reclamation
(USBR) are inadequate regarding flow rates during
spawning and juvenile stages of steelhead and Chinook
salmon, which have been anticipated to return for access
to the Crooked River as early as 2012 and spawn in 2013.
The steelhead flow needs below Bowman are 140 to 160
cfs for spawning and 160 to 180 cfs for juvenile habitat. For
Chinook the flow needs are 180 to 200 cfs for spawning
and 130 to 140 cfs for juvenile habitat.
Flow releases specifically for steelhead or Chinook
are unnecessary for much of the year because of their
critical life stages and the flows that are otherwise in the
River for irrigation, City of Prineville mitigation and flood
control releases. Fish flow releases would usually be
needed for less than one-half the year. Three months, or
90 to 100 days, may be realistic in many years.
Deductive analysis suggests that Crooked River flows
can be adequate for the ESA listed steelhead and Chinook
without compromising irrigation or City of Prineville
needs. Probably redbands, too. In drought years some
small and proportional reduction of flows for fish and irrigation may be needed. The actual flow augmentation
releases would depend on credible flow targets and
adaptive management decisions made on an as-needed
basis by the responsible fish managers.
HR 2060
Representative Walden released HB 2060 June 1. It
moves the Wild and Scenic River boundary downstream
one-quarter of a mile to accommodate PGE's desire to
construct a hydroelectric plant at the dam.
A primary non-starter in HB 2060 is what's referred to
as a "First Fill" provision. Simply stated it means that in the
occasional dry years irrigation would get all the water it
would in a normal year and steelhead, Chinook and redbands would take all the loss of water. In most reservoir
release protocols I'm familiar with, municipal drinking
water gets first fill and irrigation and downstream flow
releases for fish both take reductions proportional to their
space/water allocation.
HB 2060 authorizes 17 cfs for downstream flows as
compared to what resident and anadromous native
salmonids need. The bill adds acreage to the Ochoco
Irrigation District and authorizes additional stored water
for irrigating those lands from Prineville Reservoir. The bill
should allocate at least 70,000 acre-feet of the available
82,000 acre-feet of Prineville Reservoir space to downstream flows for steelhead and 5100 acre-feet to the City of
Prineville for flow mitigation. HB 2060 makes no mention
of the needs for downstream flows other than the 17 cfs.
HB 2060 ignores the demands of an improved tailwater fishery for redbands and successful reintroduction of
Chinook and ESA listed steelhead. These are resources of
exceptionally high economic and jobs potential.
Summer 2011 • 15
T A C K L E B OX : F I S H E R M A N ’ S M A R I N E & O U T D O O R
The new Tigard location has a fullystocked fishing section. Right, Manager
Mike Codino and
Chris Vertopoulos at
the reel counter.
isherman’s Marine was started in
1975 in a small building on
Columbia Boulevard by Bob Evans,
selling commercial trolling gear.
Bob’s son-in-law, Dan Grogan, joined
the company in 1979. The company
moved into a larger family-owned
building on Columbia in the early
80s. As commercial fishing tapered
Dan Grogan has supported the
Steelheaders for decades. In 1992, he
received an award from Jeff Kee,
President of the Portland Chapter.
16 • The Northwest Steelheader
off, the company started stocking
sport fishing tackle in addition to
marine supplies.
Today, Bob Evans is retired.
Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor is
owned by Dan and Debbie Grogan
and Bob’s son Tim—a totally familyowned, local business. The company
hires local people, many of them former guides, and buys as much as
possible from local manufacturers.
In 1996, Fisherman’s opened a
store in the former Larry’s Sport
Center in Oregon City. They added
hunting and outdoor gear useful to
“Outdoor” to the name. Meanwhile,
the City of Portland objected to the
retail outlet on Columbia Boulevard,
which was located in an industrial
area. In 1998, the company opened
the North Portland retail outlet in
Delta Park, in the former Smith’s
Fisherman’s had always wanted
a westside store and felt there was
an opening for them after Joe’s
closed in 2009. In April, they opened
the new Tigard store in space once
occupied by a computer chain. The
new store is attractive and stocked
with a full range of fishing, hunting,
and general outdoor gear.
All three Fisherman’s stores are
well staffed with people who know
the merchandise and are ready and
willing take time to help customers.
Over the years, Fisherman’s has
been a steady ANWS supporter,
donating, attending, and bidding at
auctions. Dan regularly appears
before the commission and the legislature; he has represented sport fishing interests at all of the SAFE hearings.
The next time you need a new
rod or reel or just want a tackle fix,
visit the nearest Fisherman’s!
Step Up:
Join the Heritage Society
The Heritage Society is a voluntary giving program to support the continuing efforts of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. It allows those
who have a special interest in the organization to make tax deductible contributions which are vital for the continued success of our organization.
You are invited to join this very special group of Steelheader supporters.
There are five levels, from Cutthroat at $100 to Steelhead at $2,500, and
each levels offers recognition to the donor in the form of a certificate, plus
added gifts such as art prints and fishing trips for levels above the
Cutthroat level. Contact the Association Office, (503) 653-4176 to join.
Summer 2011 • 17
McLoughlin Chapter
The McLoughlin Chapter meets
on the second Tuesday of the month
at Round Table Pizza on 99E.
First, I would like to thank the
Association for the honor and special
award of Chapter of the Year at the
annual banquet this year. It was very
special and made me so proud of our
chapter and the whole association. I
have been a member for about 12
years and served as secretary pretty
much the whole time, and we had
not received this award during this
time, although we had received it in
‘91 and ‘97. It made me realize that
when you are dedicated to what you
love to preserve and do and keep
caring the “torch” as it is passed on,
good things happen to keep us motivated and involved and to keep
things on the right track.
Several of our chapter members
went to Whiskey Creek for fin clipping. It is always a blast to clip fins.
We helped the Whitewater Rafters
group with their free fish day at Small
Fry pond on the North Fork Reservoir.
There were not many participants,
but the fish were whoppers.
Unfortunately, no one had a net to
start with. Everyone figured they
could just bring in the fish, you know,
horse them in. Wrong! Quite a few
fish were lost at the bank because
they were too big to just pull in. It
was a fun day with free hot dogs,
chips (donated by Frito-Lay), and
pop. Many of our chapter members
will be helping out at Bonneville Free
Fishing Day this year. It is my understanding that this is the last year for
the event. So sad to hear this. I have
helped with this every year since
being a member. It has been an
event that we all looked forward to in
June. I hope it will be replaced with
something else for us to help with. I
want to thank Jennell Hoehne from
ODFW for all the work she has done
over the years to make it happen.
(Note: ODFW will replace the big
event at Bonneville with several family events at other metro area locations. Check the calendar of events at
June 25, our chapter has its
annual fishing event at Dave
Campbell's pond on Sawtell Road in
18 • The Northwest Steelheader
Molalla. It is a beautiful setting with
the pond stocked with 200 trout.
Bluegill and crappie are there, too.
This is a day for the kids, and prizes
are awarded for fish size, with everyone winning. It is a potluck and BBQ.
Our chapter is having a yard sale
at the Church of Christ on Webster
Rd. July 23. August 13 is the Family
Picnic at Clackamette Park from
11:00-3:00. All friends and family are
welcome for the potluck, BBQ, and
games. Squirt guns are highly recommended for defense. I always
come armed to this event and enjoy
every minute of it, especially when it
is a hot day.
September 10 brings us to the
beach at Barview Jetty for our annual Crab-a-long. After a fun day of
crabbing there is a crab feed on
Saturday night and an award for the
biggest crab, an ongoing trophy with
names of all previoius years’ winners. December brings us the
Chlristmas Party.
If you are interested in any of our
chapter events or can donate usable
items to our yard sale, please give me
a call at 503-632-6074 or 503-522-9613,
or send an e-mail to [email protected] If other chapters need help
with events, please contact me as this
is an association of many, helping
where needed.
Carol Clark,
Newberg Chapter
In cooperation with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District,
the chapter put on a free salmon
BBQ for seniors and their families.
Chapter members fished in order to
catch enough fish for all the seniors
in the Chehalem Valley.
This summer the chapter will
help with improvements in Baker
Creek to allow better fish migration.
Well also help at Rainbow Lake for
free fishing weekend.
Kevin Hula,
Past President
New! Columbia River
Chapter (Vancouver)
Meetings were held in June and
July. Future meetings will be held
second Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., Pied
Piper Pizza, 12300 NE Fourth Plain
Rd. Contact Don Hyde, 360-835-3372,
[email protected]
First Summer Rendezvous
June 24-26 a group of
Steelheaders enjoyed the
first Summer Rendezvous
weekend. Fishing was on
Green Peter Lake, Foster
Lake, and the South Santiam.
Fishing, games,
Saturday night
BBQ, and
spending time
with friends—
nothing better!
Smokin’ Salmon
by Carol Clark, McLoughlin Chapter President
y first fishing trip of the season
was very interesting—nearly
ending in disaster, it taught me a lesson. May 16, I was offered a seat in a
boat with some long time friends of
mine, Wes and Willy Cochell and
Tony Heinrich. We launched Tony's
Thunder Jet at Meldrum Bar and
anchored off the West Linn side
below Meldrum. Fish were being
picked up all around us. Tony
hooked a springer to put one fish in
the boat.
It was my turn next for the rod to
“tap tap,” a keeper sturgeon out of
season for them. The next bite was
the springer I was looking for, a fish
to put on my virgin tag, one for me to
smoke. I just love playing a fish and
working him, enjoying every minute
of just tiring him out until he is ready
to give in and be led into the net. It’s
nice with a good rod with lots of feel
to it, along with my counting reel.
A little more time went by, and
then my pole did it's “tap tap” thing.
Another sturgeon, but this one was
something else. I had heard lots of
stories about fighting an oversized
sturgeon. Wow—what a time I had!
We went way down river with him as
he took us where he wanted. I had
him up to 12 feet and out he went to
200. Tightening my drag, I brought
him back in only to have him go
back and forth around the boat for
quite a while. I sat down twice,
switched arms a couple of times,
and just rested. I believe he was resting, too. The three onlookers in the
boat were watching and thought
about taking my rod, but they were
afraid that the rod was going to
break so they opted not to. Finally,
after nearly an hour, I brought him
up. He was about eight feet long, the
biggest fish of my life. My forearms
were sore for days.
I took my fish and Tony's home
to smoke. After brining them
overnight, it was into the smoker the
next morning. I put the Big Chief
smoker on the back deck as I have
done for many years. The smoker
was new, I might add. Before going
to town in late afternoon, I put in a
fresh pan of chips. My nephew,
Patrick Kirchem, and son Joe were
going to go with me, but Patrick
decided to stay home even though
he had lots to do in town. I was kind
of disappointed he decided to stay
home but, in hindsight, it was a
blessing from above.
When I got home later, Patrick
was out in the shop. The fish was on
my counter on the racks in a heap
with some gone. I wondered what
the heck had happened—had the
dogs knocked the smoker over? I
went outside to investigate the
smoker. First, I saw an ax with the
smoker off to the side. There was a
big burn spot on the deck, a hole
burned right through the decking.
The house had a black spot on the
corner and on the downspout.
I went out to the shop, gave
Patrick a big hug and thanked him
for saving my house. I have no close
neighbors, and we live on a back
country road, so my house easily
could have burned to the ground.
Patrick had been working out in
the shop when he thought he had
decided to go into the house to get a
cigarette. He noticed the smoker
was really smoking. When he came
back out, he realized the smoker
was really going, and he wasn’t
smelling the usual smoking smoke.
He picked up the smoker, and the air
ignited the deck, which went up in
flames. He grabbed the hose, only to
find it was too short and without
enough water pressure. Fortunately,
I always have five-gallon buckets to
catch rain water. He grabbed five
buckets and dumped the water on
the fire. Then he got an ax to make
sure the fire was complete out. I just
can't imagine the commotion he
went through! Bottom line is that he
saved my house.
When I tried eating a piece of
fish, I thought it was a little heavy on
the smoke. Then it dawned on me: it
had the extra smoke from the deck.
I realize it was not smart to put the
smoker on the deck. I was told by a
friend that the old smokers had a
porcelain insulator which kept it
from over heating but the newer
ones don't. He once had a smoker
start a fire in his woods. The back
part of the smoker where the plug is
was totally fried. I really learned a
lesson! I need to buy a new smoker
—and next time I will be more careful where I place it.
Summer 2011 • 19
is rod tip dove as the
salmon spun in the current and headed westward
from our anchored position.
The fish was pulling so hard,
in fact, that our son Wade
had a difficult time removing
his rod from its holder.
Meanwhile, wife Maggie and
son Blake cleared our outfits
from the water while I cast
off the anchor line.
We followed the bigshouldered Chinook streaked
toward the center of the
river, with me steering.
Refusing to give up, the fish
stayed deep, as Wade tried
to pry the bottom-hugging
Chinook toward the surface. The fish seemed tireless,
each time Wade gained a few feet of line the fish would
respond by peeling yards from his reel.
According to retired ODFW fish biologist Don Swartz,
historically speaking, the Columbia's run of summer
Chinook was its most numerous. For example, during the
1880's (for a 10-year period) the average annual run of
summer Chinook migrating up the Columbia was four to
Wade, Maggie, and Blake Ramsey celebrate Wade’s summer chinook.
20 • The Northwest Steelheader
five million fish. During this same time period, the annual
commercial harvest averaged one to two million fat
salmon per year and, of course, they were then all wild
fish produced by habitats since blocked by dams or
Things are much different now, with this year's summer Chinook run projected to be near 100,000 fat salmon,
which is a big run by recent standards.
Although not likely, keep in mind that the Columbia's
salmon seasons do sometimes change. You can quickly
confirm the season and daily limits by visiting the News
Release sections of the Oregon or Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife website or by calling their
offices. For Oregon dial: 503-947-6001; for Washington
dial: 360-902-2500.
The good news for anglers wanting to participate in
this close-to-home fishery is that summer Chinook are
much larger than spring run salmon. Although these
salmon come in all sizes, many average 20 to 35 pounds
with more than a few 40-plus pound Chinook harvested
by lucky sport anglers each year.
Although this year could be different due to high, cool
water and a late spring runoff, meaning the fish may act
more like spring salmon, it has been my experience that
summer Chinook respond best to lures fished in a stationary fashion, which means that plunking rather than
trolling produces best.
Spinners like a size 5 Toman Cascade are what we
use when plunking in fast water. Favorite spinner colors
include metal finishes like copper, gold and 50/50; and
painted finishes like green, chartreuse, red, and rainbow
in various combinations. The rule here, like most fishing,
is to try different colors and let the fish tell you what they
Typical spinner rigging when fishing the fast water
areas near Bonneville Dam are a 50-inch leader combined with a 16 to 24 inch weight-dropper line. Paramount
to avoiding what can quickly become a twisted mess,
when fishing a spinner, is to rig a swivel half way down
your leader.
Given the fast currents near Bonneville, the length of
your weight dropper line might vary depending on current speed and/or the contour of the bottom. For example, if you're anchored where the bottom gets progressively deeper downstream from your boat or the current
is soft, consider using a full 24-inch weight dropper line.
In areas where the bottom is flat and current strong near
bottom, a short dropper line (16 to 18 inches) might produce better than a long one.
The standard rig for anglers fishing spinners farther
downstream on the Columbia near Portland or Longview,
where the river current is often slower, are different. For
example, a popular spinner setup for many areas of the
lower Columbia might include a 30- to 36-inch weight
dropper line combined with a 24-inch leader to spinner.
Plugs, like a medium size Flatfish or Kwikfish, work
where currents are slower and are often rigged behind a
60-inch leader and held near bottom with a 24- to 30-inch
dropper line connected to a weight.
Typical rigging for fishing fast water
areas of the Columbia River.
Of course none of this was on
Wade's mind as he wrestled the summer Chinook through the strong,
sometimes swirling, currents of the
Columbia River. The fish did finally
tire, but not before convincing us he
was much larger than his final 20pound heft.
Although not a guide, Buzz is considered a cold-water sport fishing
authority. In addition, Buzz is a hallof-famer for both The Northwest
Steelheaders and The National Fresh
Water Fishing Hall of Fame. Berkley
offers a line of Buzz Ramsey branded
fishing rods designed specifically for
salmon and steelhead. Currently,
Buzz is Brand Manager for Yakima
Bait Company and a member of the
management team and can be
reached at
(800) 515-1275 or 503-659-0238
In Milwaukie, 1/4 mile south of The Bomber
Get your home loan from an experienced
Mortgage Broker and NW Steelheader member!
• In house underwriting
and funding
• FHA & Conventional
• Purchase
Steve Salveson,
• Refinance
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[email protected]
16100 NW Cornell Rd. #210, Beaverton, OR 97006 • (503) 716-5910
2011 Salmon Quest
Jack Dowty, center, won the Big Fish
he 2011 Salmon Quest was a
huge success, with more than 100
participants and most boats landing
fish. Winners of the 2011 Salmon
Quest were announced at the Hall of
Fame Banquet on April 23, 2011, at
the Portland Airport Holiday Inn.
Everyone enjoyed a day on the
river with a guide or celebrity host.
Big fish and the winning team
received plaques and winner’s jackets. Second and third place teams
received plaques. All participants
received commemorative mugs, and
guides received commemorative
Big Fish: Jack Dowty in guide
John Shmilenko's boat. Fish was
1st Place: Four fish (34", 30", 30"
and 27") landed by Rick Stiggins and
Tim Welsh with guide Bill Miller of
Northwest Guides and Outfitters.
2nd Place: Three fish (34.5",
34.25" and 33") caught by Mark
Rowlands and Dan Spearing with
Guide Tim Juarez of T&S Guide
3rd Place: Two fish (32.75" and
35.25") boated by Larry and Renie
Brown with Guide Jim Martin.
Thanks so much to everyone
who participated and congratulations to the winners!
Plan to Participate in Next
Year’s Salmon Quest:
April 21, 2012
2011 Hall of Fame
Banquet and Auction
he 24th Annual Banquet and
Auction had the added excitement of Quest participants awaiting
the announcement of the winning
Trey Carskadon was inducted
into the Hall of Fame Celebrity spot
due to his hard work for SAFE and
long-time support of ANWS. Joli
Ritchie, a life member and perhaps
the only member who’s 100 percent
support since she doesn’t fish, was
inducted as a Hall of Fame Foot
Soldier. Ian Fergusson received the
Member of the Year award, and the
McLoughlin Chapter was named
Chapter of the Year.
Trey Carskadon and Joli Ritchie
were inducted into the Hall of
22 • The Northwest Steelheader
The Salmon Quest and Hall of
Fame Banquet and Auction were
made possible by the following
Alten Sakai & Company
Clackacraft Drift Boats
Frank Amato Publications
Fisherman's Marine and Outdoors
Joe Domenico, Farmers Insurance
Steelheaders McLoughin Chapter
Stevens Marine
Yakima Bait
Yakutat Lodge
Thank you for your support of
the Steelheaders!
Dick Posey was unable to be
present to receive his President’s
Award; it was presented to him during a lunch arranged by his brother
Tom. This year, President Jay Burris
presented special certificates to Joe
Domenico, Leslie Hinea, Bob
Oleson, Tom Smoot, and Joyce
Sherman. Joe and Joyce surprised
Jay with his own certificate.
Due to the generosity of bidders
and careful tracking of donated
items, their value, and the amount
bid, the auction not only was financially successful but resulted in information useful for next year’s event.
Now that Steelheaders have
adopted Salmon Quest as a regular
spring event, the Hall of Fame
Banquet and Auction will be moved
to the fall, with the 2012 event scheduled for November 10.
24th Annual Hall of Fame Banquet
and Auction Donors
Valuable donations of merchandise, services, and artwork made the 2011 auction fun-filled and a successful
As Northwest Steelheaders, we owe thanks for the support of these contributors. The Association means a great
deal to thousands of Pacific Northwest residents.
However, it is as anglers that we truly owe these donors a
debt of gratitude. Following the fish has become a passion
for us which can best be described as a way of life.
Preserving those fish for the future has become, of necesAlder Creek Kayak and Canoe
Frank Amato Publications
Howard Anderson
Kent Anderson
Anderson’s Outdoors, LLC (Kent
Angler’s Book Supply
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Tom McCall Chapter
McLoughlin Chapter
Beckel Canvas
Belknap Hot Springs Lodge
Benchmade Knife
Gary and Kathy Benson
BiMart Corporation
Bings Kitchen
Bob’s Sporting Goods
Buck Knives, Inc.
Nicole Butterer
Camp Angelos
Catcher Co.
ClackaCraft Drift Boats
Clackamas County Sheriff ’s Office
Curtis Trailers
D & G Bait Company
Ollie Damon’s, Inc.
Dean’s Guide Service (Dean Pierce)
Joe Domenico
Downriver Adventures Guide Service
(Randy Wilson)
Dr. Slick Co.
Edwards Boat Anchors
Eleanor’s Undertow Café
Elephants Delicatessen
Enchanted Forest
Ed Fast Guide Service
C.C. Filson Co.
First Bite Jigs
Fisherman’s Marine and Outdoor
Flying Pencil Publications
The Frame House
Fred Meyer
Galice Resort
sity, a mission. These donors to the 2011 auction helped
make that mission a reality.
The auction also represents countless volunteer hours.
We cannot begin to thank all of the people who made
calls, assembled mailings, picked up items, tracked donations as they arrived, loaded everything into vehicles for
transport to the hotel, set everything up, acted as runners
and security, and stayed late to pack up display units. This
great donation of time and effort is sincerely appreciated!
Jack and Brandon Glass (Team HookUp Guide Service
Robert L. Haggblom
Hamilton’s Appliance
Harvey Marine
Scott Haugen
William Hedlund and Jennie Martin
Hood River Distillers, Inc.
Douglas M. Hunt
Idaho Rivers United
Inter-Fluve, Inc.
Iorio Restaurant
Ironwood Pacific Outdoors, Inc.
Jake’s Grill
Katayama Gallery
Bill Kremers
Krieger Enterprises
Lake Grove Arts & Frames
Lamiglas, Inc.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Yancy Lind
Roger A. Long
Diane Loop
Chad Lynch’s Guide Service (Chad
Madison River Fishing Company
Jim Martin
The Mill Casino and Hotel
Music Millennium
Old Mill Marina
Olson Bros. Automative Services
Oregon City Golf Club at Lone Oak
Oregon Fishing Club
Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc.
Oregon River Trails (Bill Kremers)
Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation
Angi Orton
Pamplin Media Group
Don Perry Metal Art
Dean Pierce (Dean’s Guide Service)
Portland Trailblazers Inc.
Pride of the West, Inc.
Erica Quinn
Rainbow’s End Jigs, Flies, and Tackle
Raven Maps and Images
Red’s Guide Service (Trevor “Red”
Don Rhyne Painting Co.
River City Fly Shop
River Graphics
River’s Edge Outfitters (Mark Trask)
Matt Rockweit
Royal Wulff Products
Nelson Rutherford
Mr. and Mrs. Dave Schaerer
Les Schwab - Beaverton
Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio
Siletz Bay Lodge
Silver Horde Fishing Supplies, Inc.
Silver Reef Hotel, Casino and Spa
Skamania Lodge
Jim Snook, Outdoor Sport Cartoonist
Spirit Mountain Casino
Brad Staples (Western Fishing
Adventures, LTD)
Eldon and Joyce Steiner
J. M. S. Enterprises
Stevens Marine
Trevor “Red” Storlie (Red’s Guide
Sun Country Tours
Tad’s Chicken ‘N Dumplins
Team Hook-Up Guide Service (Jack
and Brandon Glass)
Jim Teeny Products/Dirt Roads &
Temple Fork Outfitters
Thirty-One Gifts
Toby J’s Custom Carving & Log
Furniture LLC
Tradewinds - Newport
Pat Wallis
Weasku Inn
Western Fishing Adventures, LTD
(Brad Staples)
Wholesale Sports - Clackamas
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Wright & McGill
Summer 2011 • 23
The Expert
hen you close your eyes and
think about what an expert
steelheader looks like, what do you
see? Do you see the face that appears
in pages of your grandfather's old
fishing books? I often think about the
man who's well over double my age
with that tried and true, windburned, grizzly veteran look to him. A
man with an exterior of stone and
hands twice as hard. Eyes like ice,
never looking at you but seemingly
looking through you as if he's measuring up the kind of person you are
inside. He makes you slightly uncomfortable, but at the same time his
encouraging and positive attitude
give him the demeanor you can't
help but want to be near. His beard
sports a few days' growth and looks
as if it was once groomed, but now
his appearance is no longer of any
meaning to him. His smile is cracked
and faded, but has the same happiness behind it as a kid’s at Christmas.
When he speaks, you can't help
but listen, and you can feel an air of
confidence and success in his voice.
You know that every word he speaks
about steelhead will make you a better angler than you were before you
heard it. He talks about things and
people you have heard mutterings
about before, but never paid any
mind to because it seemed like nothing more than useless babbling.
Names like Waller, Kreh, and Howell
leave his mouth in the same breath
as words like Potato Patch, Sustut,
and Dean. They're said in such a way
they there's no doubt every word that
he says comes from the truth and
experiences that haven't been exaggerated in the least. He commands
respect without ever asking for it,
and it's obviously due. But wait…
What about the other expert?
You know, the one's who's not the
wrinkly old guy immortalized in
some old sepia photo in the back of
a dusty book. The expert steelheader
I'm thinking of is playing David Allan
Coe or some other flannel-wearing
redneck country star while launching
a driftboat that looks like a Busch can
cut in half. The trailer looks like it
was constructed from the other half
of the can with a little rubber and
wire holding it together. There's no
chance in hell all the lights on his
junky looking trailer work, but he figures he's married to the local sheriff’s step-cousin so he should be off
the hook and people should be able
to see the tail lights on his '88 F-150
around his beer can boat.
This expert steelheader is rolling
into the ramp at the crack of 9:20
rocking his mud-covered ExtraTufs
with the tinge of cow crap and PBR
surrounding him. He's almost always
a few years either side of 40, but
sports the vocab of someone 20
years older who was born in a barn
and hasn't gotten too far from there
since. He brashly throws the boat off
the trailer, pinging it off a few rocks
on the way to the water before
screwing a big wad of chew into the
bottom of his can and stuffing it in his
upper lip. His arsenal is made of up
of two old bait casting setups, one of
which was a hand-me-down from
his dad when he turned 14 and the
other he bought for the missus a few
months after they were married,
which was easily more than a
decade ago.
There's a little dull grumbling and
some old school swearing and hand
waving going on between him and
his one fishing buddy, who's obviously cut from the same cloth, as they
get all situated in the boat. After
some rustling and a little shove off a
grass wad using one of the splintered
old oars, the two are on their way
down the river and the first fist-size
glob of eggs is sailing through the air,
landing with a splat just shy of the
overhanging brush a few feet above
a likely looking tailout. Is that the
steelheader you see when you imagine an expert?
How about the new expert? The
(continued on page 26)
24 • The Northwest Steelheader
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The Expert
continued from page 24
guy who's probably somewhere
between 20 and 30 years old and is
still so engulfed in the steelhead
excitement that he spent the last
three hours he was awake before a
trip checking multiple river levels on
the Internet and calling every friend
he has in his cell phone hoping to get
a report from the last two days. He's
already spent a good 45 minutes cutting his scientifically-cured eggs into
ideal sized chunks for the water he
expects in the morning. One more
mouse click to triple check the projected rainfall, and he's off to bed, but
only for a few hours.
He's up well before his alarm
ever chirps and already has the coffee brewed and the truck loaded
before he grabs his polarized glasses,
a hat with the logo of some piece of
gear he'll be using that day plastered
across the front of it, and a banana
for the road before he's out the door.
No boat trailing behind today—
where he's going, boats simply can't
go. He'll drive hours alone in the dark
to get to where he knows the steelhead are and no one else will be.
His car will come to a sudden
stop at a pullout somewhere deep in
a wet canyon. The routine is flawless
as he flips on his headlamp and steps
into his top-of-the-line waders and
laces up his brand-new boots. The
Endow the
Northwest Steelheaders
by Becoming a Life
The Northwest Steelheaders
are offering a new program,
the Budgeted Life Membership. You pledge $100 per
year for five years, the money
goes into an endowment
fund, and you are a member
for life—it’s a win/win situation! Your life membership
will support ANWS forever.
Use the form on page 31 to
sign up.
26 • The Northwest Steelheader
rods are carefully unloaded from the
car. All of them were rigged the night
before while he was thinking about
which technique to use in the morning. The different fishing styles are
coordinated with a specific rod since
each of them are designed for that
specific style and are rigged up
accordingly. Once his wading jacket
and chest pack are zipped up and
snapped on, he descends off the
road down a tiny trail that is only lit
by his little light. The narrow path
looks as if one false step between its
sloppy mud and tangled roots could
send him crashing towards the water
much faster than he'd ever hoped for,
but it's not a problem. He’s made this
controlled fall many times, and his
sure feet won't suddenly fail him
He shields his light from the
water as he gets to the river’s edge.
Avoiding alerting any shallow holding
fish of his presence, he carefully
chooses his weapon and places the
others out of the way in the brush. He
cradles one of his gummy bear-like
clusters of roe in the loop on his knot
and snugs a small pink Corkie up
against his hook. He flips his light off
as the gray light starts to shoot over
the surrounding mountains, and he
stares out across the water, waiting.
All he can see is the white water
breaking over the rocks between the
dark patches as his breath evaporates into the morning air. All he can
feel is the sting of the frozen air
against his face and the presence of
steelhead in those blank spaces
between white.
What does an expert look like?
How does he act? How old or young
is the fisherman who consistently
goes to the river and goes home successful? Who is the expert fishermen
other fisherman see in their imagination whey think about what it is to be
an expert? The expert possesses a
demeanor other than success.
Experts come in all shapes and sizes,
ages and personalities. Expert varies
from one steelheader to the next.
There's no one person or one stereotypical look. The one thing they all
have in common, no matter what
they look like, is when they're on the
water, in their element and catching
fish, they're all expert steelheaders.
Editor’s Note: Twenty-six year old
Josiah Darr was born and raised on
the Columbia River and Multnomah
Channel. Josiah writes a regular column for Salmon Trout Steelheader,
and has written feature columns for
Salmon & Steelhead Journal,
Northwest Sportsman and Fish
Alaska. Josiah has guided in Alaska
and currently works as the sports editor for the Tillamook HeadlightHerald. If Josiah isn't typing away on
his computer, you might be able to
find him hiding in a dark Coastal
Swivel Oar Locks
his new stainless steel swivel oar
lock is a big improvement over
standard brass oar locks. The inside
of the collar is lined with ABS so the
rope wrap will slide
easily. The oar lock is
designed so oars
move freely without
slop. An oarsman can
row at any angle with
these oar locks, sitting
or standing. For those
who like to scull their
boat, these oar locks
are a real advantage.
The oar locks are
secured with two
washers and a nylock
adjustment up and
down on the oar shaft.
These are a real rowing improvement.
For more information, contact
Clackacraft, 503-655-9532.
August 6 Annual Meeting, 10:30, Lincoln City Driftwood Library, 801 SW Hwy 101 #201, Lincoln City. BBQ following meeting (approximately 4:00) at Joyce and Marty Shermans’ house, 6110 NE Sal La Sea Drive,
Roads End. Contact Joyce Sherman, 503-319-5325; board members and families are welcome. Please
bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to the BBQ.
August 13 McLoughlin Chapter Annual Picnic at Clackamette Park. Contact Carol Clark, 503-632-6974,
[email protected]
August 21 Emerald Empire Awards BBQ. For information, contact Dale Johnson 541-520-3936.
September 8 ExCom Meeting, 6:30, ANWS Office, 6641 SE Lake Road, Milwaukie
September 9-12 McLoughlin Chapter Crab-A-Long, Barview Jetty County Park, Barview. Open to all Steelheaders members. Crabbing around Garibaldi, group dinner Saturday night; trophy for biggest crab caught that day.
Contact Carol Clark, 503-632-6974
October 13 ExCom Meeting, 6:30, ANWS Office, 6641 SE Lake Road Milwaukie
Note: You may participate in meetings via teleconferencing; check meeting agendas or call the office, 503-653-4176.
Raffle Tickets
Thanks to the generosity of Bruce Belles at
ClackaCraft Drift Boats, we will raffle a complete
ClackaCraft 16’ High Side Drift Boat. Tickets will cost $6,
or 2 for $10.
Yakutat Lodge has donated a four-night, five-day trip
once again. Airfare is donated by ANWS. Second through
fifth prizes will be similar to the prizes offered for 2011.
Selling raffle tickets is a quick and easy way for
chapters to increase their treasuries! The Association
arranges for the prizes, maintains the organization’s raffle
license, and prints tickets and posters. In other words, the
Association provides a ready-made way for chapters to
make money. Every member should sell at least a few
tickets—or buy tickets themselves.
Volunteer Opportunities
One of the main strengths of the Northwest Steelheaders is the many dedicated volunteers who make the organization successful. There are many ways to
get involved at both the chapter and Association level. Here are some ways to
get involved:
• Help with the Portland Sportsman Show booth or Central Oregon Sportsman
Show booth, both for setup and during the shows. Contact Mike Myrick at
503-281-6438, [email protected]
• Office and clerical support suited to your skills and interests in the
Association's Milwaukie office. Contact Russell Bassett at 503-653-4176, [email protected]
• Help count steelhead and their redds, sample macrovinterbrates, and monitor temperature on the Salmonberry River. Contact Ian Fergusson at 503-9578875, [email protected]
• Help organize the 2012 Salmon Quest tournament. Contact Norm Ritchie at
503-807-7729, [email protected]
• Help with the Hall of Fame Auction and Banquet, both with the myriad of
things to do in advance and during the event. Contact Joe Domenico at 503778-0151, [email protected]
• Help your local chapter organize river clean-ups, habitat restoration projects,
kids’ fishing days, environmental education activities, fundraisers and other
Support Our
The companies that advertise in The
Northwest Steelheader are helping to
support our mission by choosing to
advertise. They know that their future
sales require more than simply
advertising what they do. By advertising here, they are demonstrating that
they have a huge stake in healthy
fisheries. These companies have
earned our support!
Anglers’ Workshop . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Bentley Boat Tops . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
ClackaCraft Drift Boats . . . . . . . . .25
Kone Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Lamiglas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Line Keeper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Marine Technical Experts . . . . . . . .9
Pavati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Rainbow’s End . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Sunset Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Yakima Bait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Yakutat Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Summer 2011 • 27
Steelheaders Work to Protect North Coast Fisheries
By Russell Bassett and Ian Fergusson
he State of Oregon manages over
500,000 acres of the Tillamook
and Clatsop State Forests on the
North Coast of the state. These
forests provide vital habitat for some
of Oregon's premier salmon and
steelhead fisheries, including the
Kilchis, Miami, Nehalem, Salmonberry, Trask and Wilson rivers, the
Tillamook and Nehalem bays, and
offshore fisheries of the North Coast.
These fisheries provide important
sources of income to local communities on the Oregon North Coast and
to the state as a whole.
In addition to anchoring globally
important wild salmon and steelhead runs, with proper management
the state forests could provide abundant wildlife habitat, air and water
purification, flood and climate regu-
28 • The Northwest Steelheader
lation, carbon sequestration, wetlands, world-class recreation opportunities, and diverse forest products.
More than 400,000 people get some
or all of their water supply from
Tillamook State Forest rivers. The
Steelheaders and our partners
believe part of this enormous public
forest should be designated for permanent conservation.
Steelheaders have been working
for several years to both advance
conservation protections and defeat
calls for logging to outweigh all other
values. The Tillamook and Clatsop
state forests provide values and benefits far beyond timber production.
Timber harvest is an important form
of employment and wealth for the
North Coast; however, fishing, recreation, and tourism are also well-
recognized and important elements
of a diversified North Coast economy.
Steelheaders is joining forces with
the Wild Salmon Center and the
Sierra Club (North Coast Forest
Coalition) to ensure a mixed and balanced management of forests,
including significant areas managed
for shorter-term timber production
and other significant areas managed
for long-term conservation.
Salmon Anchor Habitats were
developed in 2003 as a result of a collaborative effort among the Oregon
Department of Forestry, Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife, as
well as conservation groups such as
Oregon Trout and the Wild Salmon
Center. The purpose was to recognize those areas as special places for
the production of salmon, and to pro-
The combination of
increased timber harvest and climate change
makes temperature
monitoring more important than ever. Ian
Fergusson and Jeff
Pfaender getting ready
to place a monitor in
the Salmonberry
drainage. Inset, the
monitor is very small
but can record from late
May through midSeptember.
vide a greater level of protection for
them. Now, the Department of
Forestry has proposed an increased
level of clearcutting within the
Salmon Anchor Habitats. We think
that is wrong. The best salmon habitats deserve more protection, not
Our vision also includes using
the best-available science when
making decisions about management of the state's forests. A recent
article in The Oregonian (“Review
Rips State Forest Plans,” April 30)
revealed that the Oregon Department of Forestry consistently failed to
use the best available science in
evaluating the impacts of its proposal
to significantly increase clear-cutting
and reduce older forest habitat
across the 500,000-acre Tillamook
and Clatsop State Forests.
The review was requested by
the Oregon Board of Forestry, recognizing that their plan to boost logging would be controversial and
irreversible. The review was con-
ducted by a team of scientists at
Oregon State University's reputable
Institute for Natural Resources
(INR). The INR found that none of
the 11 limiting factors used by ODF
to analyze the effects of logging
increases on rare species were consistent with existing science.
Particularly troubling was the scientists' finding that ODF did not measure or model fish habitat or fish populations, ignoring well-documented
models and studies already done for
Oregon Coast salmonids. This is a
critical oversight, in view of the
importance of salmon and steelhead runs in the Tillamook and
Clatsop State Forests.
The INR's scientists found that
increased clearcutting of older
forests would result in a “high probability” that one or more species
could reach a tipping point in its
ability to survive as a result of ecological stress. The scientists asserted that ODF ignored many studies,
including highly relevant informa-
tion collected in state forests, which
might have pointed to different
The INR found flaws in ODF's
economic analysis, which minimized
the economic effects of fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, camping
and other recreation, and maximized
the economic effects of timber harvest. ODF has failed to realize the
tremendous economic, social and
environmental benefits of investing
in recreation, fishing opportunities,
healthy streams and rivers, and
growing older forests in the
Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests.
This science review should be a
wake-up call.
Ultimately, the Board of Forestry
needs to do a better job of protecting
older forests, salmon streams and fish
and wildlife on Oregon's publiclyowned state forests. Decisions should
be made using the best available science. It is long past due for the Board
to cement longer-term protection for
key salmon anchor habitats and protect them from extensive clearcutting
and road building.
Please help the North Coast
Tillamook and Clatsop state forests
and preserve our world-class North
Coast fisheries. Please sign the petition:
OnlinePetition.html. You can join us
on Facebook: http://www.faceb o o k . c o m / p a g e s / I m - a - Fa n - o f O r e g o n - S t a t e - Fo r e s t - C o n s e r v a tion/107537452614631. For information, click
During the December ‘07 flood, a road
built above Bathtub Creek to enable
timber harvest failed, causing a huge
debris avalanche. The debris flow
deposited a huge section of tree buried
decades ago alongside the mainstem
of the Salmonberry. That debris flow
may have caused the destruction of the
Spruce Run Road highway bridge.
Summer 2011 • 29
h en I began writing for The
Oregonian in 1981, I heard the
phrase “good old days” so often I
actually got a little depressed.
Would my own children get to
(have to) hear that from me? Come
to think of it, would I ever get to see
them myself? The good old days, that
is, not the kids.
Have I ever! …And so have you.
Some of them are here
now, in fact. Witness this
year's nearly seamless management of a spring chinook salmon fishery that
not only came in a little
higher than predicted, but
also provided fisheries to
every user on the river.
Sport, tribal and non-tribal
gillnet, even upriver fishers
enjoyed good fishing and
catches despite all the preseason grumbling.
As I'm writing this, in
fact, my son texted me from
the flooded Columbia River
below Bonneville dam,
where he and a friend
found some quiet water, no
other boats for miles, and
caught three nice salmon
(one was a jack).
That's him in the photo at the
right, by the way, netting a good-olddays fish of his own during the recent
melee in Oregon City. His own son
will be born soon, and I hope he
never has to tell the new junior how
good the fishing used to be.
Remember when we couldn't
fish the Columbia River at all? More
than once, actually. And then there
were the years we were given just a
bit of March and no April. The summer chinook run didn't even exist, for
the most part.
Good old days?
More like the bad old days.
Perhaps, as I…umm, "mature"
(yeah that's it, mature) in this job, my
own codger-message will be to
remind everyone of the bad old
instead of the good old days.
Yes, in the bad old days the
Columbia River was closed to all
spring chinook fishing. In fact, in the
worst of the bad old days, so was the
Willamette River, for that matter.
30 • The Northwest Steelheader
Don't I recall some years with bag
limit and days-of-the-week restrictions, as well?
In the bad old days, treaty tribes
were the enemy. In today's good old
days, they're valuable allies with
court-ordered powers that help sustain salmon and steelhead runs.
In the bad old days, so much of
the offshore coho salmon run came
from aquaculture that when
and companies
folded, we lost
our fishery for
awhile. In today's good old days,
we're fishing under quotas that aren't
always filled and wild coho runs
have rebounded to the point we're
actually getting to fish for and take
home wild silvers.
Want more? In the bad old days,
no one ever dreamed of a coho
salmon run in the Willamette Valley.
Today's good old news is the presence of a still-pioneering run so
strong we're allowed to keep three
per day above Willamette Falls, finclipped or not.
In the bad old days, winter steelhead numbers waned precipitously
on north coast rivers and we
despaired at the sight of high, muddy
waters spewing from unprotected
watersheds. In the good new days,
broodstock programs have restored
not only a vibrant fishery, but anglers'
sense of participation. And, even better, there's more concern than ever
before about healthy, productive
riparian zones and watersheds.
Lest we get complacent, however…
There remains a long list of problems. Fall chinook salmon are up and
down on the coast; Clackamas and
Sandy river runs remain both biological and political challenges; a difficult paradigm shift has begun in the
way we manage and harvest
Columbia River salmon, and, perhaps most important, sport anglers
seem to be sacrificing traction to
their own apathy.
I may not be old enough
to remember (as some still
do) the good old days, but I
spent a career watching and
recording our progress
through many of the bad old
I've watched others rise
to their highest levels often
enough to realize it's possible to keep making a difference. No one need despair
enough to sit back and
accept the shrug of a shoulder.
In the climax scene of
one of my favorite movies,
The American President,
Michael Douglas (playing
President Andrew Shepherd) tackles
his political opponent in an impromptu speech to the press corps.
"Bob's (his opponent) problem
isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have
serious problems to solve, and we
need serious people to solve
them…Bob Rumson is not the least
bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things
only: making you afraid of it and
telling you who's to blame for
it…That's how you win elections."
It's also how you lose fisheries.
Bill Monroe, a young 66-year-old, is
the “sort of retired” outdoor writer for
The Oregonian newspaper. Born in
Portland and raised in a Navy family,
he is a journalism/fish and wildlife
graduate of OSU, a dedicated Beaver
(and duck hunter) and relentless
advocate for fish and fish habitat.
Columbia River (Vancouver)
2nd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.
Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 NE Fourth Plain Rd., Vancouver
Don Hyde, 360-835-3372, [email protected]
1st Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Senior Citizens Center, 489 Water Ave. NW, Albany
Contact President Bill Nyara, 541-401-9559,
[email protected]
Deschutes Basin
Quarterly meetings, July, October, January, April
Environmental Center, 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend
President Yancy Lind, 541-788-5514, [email protected]
2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Chehalem Senior Center
101 Foothills Drive, Newberg
President Andy Bodeen, 503-537-5364,
[email protected]
Emerald Empire
1st Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Eagles on the Green, 1375 Irving Rd., Eugene
President Bill Robbins, 541-689-5075,
[email protected]
North Coast
2nd Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
ODFW Tillamook Office, 4907 3rd St., Tillamook
President Bill Hedlund, 503-815-2737, [email protected]
Tom McCall
3rd Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.
Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft St., Portland
President Dave Reggiani, 503-657-5379,
[email protected]
3rd Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Paradise Island Mobile Home Park, Community Center
Room, 3100 Turner Rd SE, Salem
President Dana Roberts, 503-364-7923,
[email protected]
Sandy River
2nd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
Round Table Pizza, 16550 SE McLaughlin Blvd, Milwaukie
President Carol Clark, 503-632-6974,
[email protected]
1st Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Glenn Otto Park
1208 Historic Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale
President Jeff Stoeger, 503-282-4830,
[email protected]
Tualatin Valley
Mid Coast
Call for information
Co-President Brian Hudson at 541-997-5836, [email protected] or Co-President Greg Harlow at 541-2722536, [email protected]
2nd Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Aloha American Legion Hall
20235 SW Alexander, Aloha
President Mark Hutchinson, 503-649-1028,
[email protected]
Please call the office, 503-653-4176, if you are interested in developing a new chapter in your area.
Summer 2011 • 31