Steelhead on the Southern Washington Rivers

I was recently informed by TU that "they" (I don't know who) were considering upping the incidental Steelhead Catch from 2 to 5 percent by netting on the Columbia. While this does not sound like a lot you have to remember how big the Columbia is. Does anybody have any info on this ? I think there was supposed to be an open meeting on this but I can't remember where or when, and if it's past the meeting did anybody find out the results.:dunno


Active Member
I believe this had to do with the chinook gill net fishery bycatch on the Columbia. Meeting is past. Not sure where the issue stands at this point.

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
Here is a link for the Bonneville Dam fish counts:

When you first look at the counts, you may think that a million plus salmon and a half million Steelhead seem like a large number of fish. Then you have to put it into perspective, a river like the Fraser river in Canada has 200-300%(conservative)more fish. The mighty Columbia must have been mighty in her day, I would guesstimate that she carries only a few percent of what she once did...

Steve Buckner


This refers to the columbia river tangle tooth fishery. This is a fishery that needs to be shut down not expanded. For the last three years it has been a joke that has resulted in great mortality to steelhead and other non-targeted species.

The current proposal is to raise incidental take of steelhead from 2% to 7%. Know that the steelhead they are talking about upping the by-catch on are most all ESA listed as either threatened or endangered stocks.

One particular run is on the Toutle. Dan Rawdings, Region 5 Anadromous Fish Biologist assessed this proposal this way.

"The combination of impacts from a commercial fishery that takes 5-7% of ESA listed steelhead, combined with the small but measurable sportfishing cnr mortality, will likely put the Toutle River wild winter run steelhead in JEOPARDY.

In this case, "jeopardy" means pushed beyond the point where they could recover."

The testimony has already been taken and now it is in the hands of the commission(s). I know the WSC, WFFF and TU are all monitoring and lobbying for this proposal to go down. Even though the deadline has passed, it would not hurt to make sure the commission knows you find this unacceptable!
Thanks for the info. I am going to monitor the TU site and see what the outcome will be. If we loose this battle hopefully there will other avenues to persue to keep this from happening.:(
Can you imagine what the mighty Columbia must have been like in it's hayday. Before they put up all of those stupid dams. and what size the fish must have been. I have been down the Bonneville Dam and toured the area and they have these old pictures of Guys bringing in Sturgeon over 1000 lbs. I wonder how big the Salmon used to be back then!