In This Issue
Steelheader Meetings

Keep up to date at

Association ExCom Meeting
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, Association Office, 6641 SE Lake Road, Milwaukie.
For More Info:
President Bill Kremers

Columbia River Chapter
General Meeting
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 NE Fourth Plain Road in Vancouver.
For More Info:
President Don Hyde
Emerald Empire Chapter General Meeting
6:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 4, Eugene Elks Lodge, 2470 W. 11th. Eugene
Guest Speaker: Tina Fountain from Mazama's Fishing Pro Shop and Gun Room will be discussing techniques for Spring Chinook.
Newcomers Fishing Clinic for successful techniques begins at 5:30pm
For More Info:

McLoughlin Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 11, Denny's, 15815 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas. 
Guest Speaker:  Officer Chris Allori, Oregon State Police, Fish and Wildlife Division speaking about his job and experiences.
For More Info:
President Carol Clark

Mid-Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, Albany Senior Citizens' Center, 489 Water Avenue NW, Albany.
Guest Speaker: Ms. Elise Kelley, ODFW Biologist, will address current condition of the Willamette River fisheries.
For More Info:
President George Larson

7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 11, Chehalem Senior Center, 101 Foothills Drive, Newberg.
Guest Speaker: Bruce Goins from Goins Outdoor Adventure speaking about summer steelhead.
For More Info:
President Ty Campsey 503-705-8296
North Coast Chapter General Meeting
No meeting for April.
For More Info:
President Bill Hedlund
(503) 815-2737

Salem Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 18, City of Keizer Community Center (City Hall), 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer.
Guest Speaker: Sam Wurdinger, owner of Dinger Jigs, will provide information about fishing for steelhead and salmon.
For More Info:
President Brian Winn
(623) 363-7387

Sandy River Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, Glenn Otto Park, 1208 Historic Col. River Hwy, Troutdale.
Program: Board Elections as well as some great How-To mini-workshops. 
For More Info:
President Steve Rothenbucher

Tom McCall Chapter General Meeting
11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 19 at The Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft Street, Portland.
Guest Speaker: Todd Alsbury, ODFW fish biologist.
For more info:
John Laing
Tualatin Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m ., Thursday, April 13,  Meriwether National Golf Course,
5200 SW Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro.
Guest Speaker: Cody Herman of Day One Outdoors speaking on spring chinook fishing.
Get there early at  6:00 p.m.  for Tech Table to learn new fishing techniques!
For More Info:
President   Tim Lenihan

Family Fish Camp 2017
Was a Success!

Family Fish Camp was so fun!! Thirty-two volunteers dedicated last weekend to teaching families the basics of fishing. Fifty-one families, including seventy-one children, learned how to tie knots, identify fish and fish parts, and rig gear. The muddy trout pond didn't slow anyone down! Many kids caught their limit of trout  on Saturday, while others practiced their cast, tested the water quality of the Sandy River, painted fish prints, or warmed up by the fireplace. Before leaving  on Sunday, parents learned how to plan a fishing trip while kids caught more trout at the pond!

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Molly, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you and everyone else involved for a fun weekend! My kids had a lot of fun! You are all awesome people.

Sharon, Jesse, & Joel


Truly an amazingly well run event. you and your staff worked very hard in planning and delivery and it showed!!!!

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The photos from Family Fish Camp are up on our  Facebook Page! Feel free to tag, comment, and share photos of your family! You can also email me any that you'd like added to the album.

For more fun, here are some many family-friendly fishing events to check out this summer:
  • Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife's Family Fishing Events. They hold events around the state, throughout the summer, at stocked ponds. ODFW Angler Educators will be on site to provide instruction and help kids reel in their catch.
  • ODFW also provides a Free Fishing Weekend every summer when you don't need to purchase a license to fish. This year's weekend will be June 3-4, 2017.
  • Every year on Free Fishing Weekend, Arlington hosts a Fishing Derby  with prizes and family fun.
  • I'm Hooked, Inc is a non-profit in Portland that aims to connect urban youth to the great outdoors through fishing clinics. Their event calendar can be found here.
  • If you go to these events and get hooked on fishing, here is a list of family friendly fishing holes near Portland.
  • Don't forget about your membership! If you would like to get involved with the Steelheaders, find your local chapter to be in the loop on fishing events.
Have Fun Fishing!

Molly Orr
Confluence AmeriCorps Member
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Association of Northwest Steelheaders & National Wildlife Federation

YOU Testified in Salem on Wednesday!

On Wednesday, March 29 th , we marched your voice into the annals of the 79 th legislative assembly in our state's capitol. If you were one of the 6,000 angry anglers that signed our petition , you were well represented. Thank you!

To see what we said on your behalf, go here and scroll ahead to the 40:00 minute mark to see the Steelheaders testimony. There were 2 other powerful testimonies as well, with NW Guides and Anglers Association member Rob Bignal at the 1:00 hour mark and Liz Hamilton of NSIA at the 1:08 minute mark.  So, where are we at with implementation of the Bi-State Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement?:
  • WIN!  Consistent with the agreement, gillnets will NOT fish in the mainstem Columbia in the spring or summer for the foreseeable future. There may be a tooth tangle net fishery for spring Chinook after the run size update (that often happens in early May) IF AND ONLY IF there are still impacts left over from the off-channel fisheries that are going on right now.
  • WIN!  Consistent with the agreement, 80% of the allowable spring and summer Chinook impacts are allocated to sport anglers. That means we'll have meaningful fisheries this spring and summer! Gillnets won't be able to target summer Chinook, but the commercial fleet can find other ways of harvesting their share.
  • LOST! Contrary to the agreement, if the Oregon commission has its way, we'll be stuck at a 70/30 allocation for fall Chinook FOREVER! Rural communities - which desperately need tourism dollars -- will never see the  economic benefits of fully prioritized sport fisheries.. We were promised an 80/20 allocation by 2017. BROKEN PROMISE!
  • LOST! The gillnet fleet has yet to develop an alternative method of harvesting abundant fall Chinook from the mainstem. If the Oregon commission has its way, contrary to the agreement, the commercial fleet will  be allowed to fish gillnets in the mainstem river FOREVER!  BROKEN PROMISE!
  • EYEPOKE! The best way to maximize sport fishing economics and opportunity is open up fisheries that can sustain the harvest. The August 1 st opener of the Young's Bay Bubble not only produced great catches of Rogue strain hatchery Chinook, it also kept hatchery fish from spawning with  wild fish in our rivers. Too many hatchery fish spawning in the wild jeopardize our  hatchery programs, and it makes no sense - including according to ODFW fisheries managers - for the Commission to keep the hatchery fish rich Young's Bay Bubble  OFF LIMITS to the sport fleet. HOW HYPOCRITICAL IS THAT? To top it off, the proposed 2018/2019 budget has $221,000 of our Columbia River endorsement fee dollars going to produce salmon for these off-channel commercial fisheries!
As you can see, OUR WORK IS NOT DONE! We are making progress however, and we have you to thank! We'll keep up the pressure and continue to work on your behalf.

Please help us keep fighting for sport anglers like you on the Columbia and elsewhere. If you're a Steelheader member, thank you for adding your name to our list of supporters to implement the Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement. If you are not a member, or know someone that isn't a member, PLEASE JOIN WITH US because we need everyone's support to.

Please go to our membership page and sign up or give a gift membership to someone that cares!

You can also go to our DONATION PAGE and contribute to our Columbia River campaign. These dollars help fund our activities in Salem and in front of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Rest assured, the
Association of Northwest Steelheaders WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR SPORT ANGLERS to uphold the commitments made in the Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement. We want you to get what you paid for, what you sacrificed for, and what you were promised.

Bob Rees
Executive Director - Association of NW Steelheaders

Oil Spill Safety Legislation Advances in Salem

The fire chief of Mosier may have said it best in the public hearing: "Transporting oil by rail is nuts." Yet Oregon still lags behind California and Washington in spill prevention and response requirements. Two bills in Salem right now attempt to bridge the gap between where we are and best practices: HB 3344 and HB 2131.
March 13th Steelheaders' Executive Director Bob Rees was invited to speak to a panel of state legislators on these bills and account for the existing value of the fisheries that an oil spill could place at risk. "We all depend on the oil we get by barge and pipeline for our own use here in Oregon, and we need to make that oil transport as safe as possible. The Mosier spill, though, has proven that these new oil-export trains now passing through our state bound for anywhere from Washington to California or beyond are simply not worth the risk to our salmon and steelhead fisheries."
Also invited to speak to the panel with uniquely expert testimony was Sherwood-based pro-fishing guide Rob Bignall, with It's All Good Guide Service. 28 years ago Rob was in Valdez, Alaska where he worked the big Exxon clean-up. Rob pointed out how an equivalent spill on the Columbia or Willamette could be even more disastrous and ruin even more habitat: " The rivers flow at 2 to 5 miles an hour and these things could get out of hand very fast."
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney has already introduced a companion bill, SB 7, to move these issues on the Senate side of the Capitol. We'll keep tracking these bills, and we'll keep supporting the legislation that makes oil transport safer for our salmon.

Kalama: Safe For Salmon?
Will Rogers once advised "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
We might be a little late to the whole "stop digging" thing when it comes to the fishery harming impacts of climate change like increasing ocean temperatures and ocean acidification.  But that's not stopping China's ironically named " Northwest Innovation Works" from proposing the world's largest methanol refinery and export facility to plunk down on the Columbia at Kalama. 

Sure, the pipeline would be a risk, along with a take of your private property if you live along the route it goes through. However, even if it's not going through your personal backyard, it would still consume 200 megawatts of electricity, 4.8 million gallons of water (equal to 100,000 people daily use) and more natural gas than all the homes and businesses of Washington combined, every day. The steam plume would be taller than Mt. Hood. The end result of all this, of course, is not cheaper local power: The proposal of the Chinese is to convert the gas for raw overseas export to be made into....plastic.
The Kalama methanol export plant hasn't been permitted yet. With Washington Governor Inslee alongside Washington's new Department of State Lands Director Hilary Franz on duty to watchdog the permit process, we might get a break. 

Truth be told, it's up to us to make sure the path of least resistance does not run through our hog lines.
So join us for a photo-op, a salmon bake, and a workshop on what you can do to keep Kalama safe for salmon on April 29th, and bring your boat (any size is welcome!) as we'll have signs and banners for a big group photo on the water. 

For more information check out the video Columbia Riverkeeper produced here

Hope you can make it. The next generation of anglers and our salmon are counting on us! 

To get organized for the April 29th event contact Michael O'Leary

Michael O'Leary
Conservation Consultant - Association of NW Steelheaders
Volunteers Needed!

One of the things that makes Steelheaders great is that everyone enjoys fishing along with protecting and making our fisheries better. Often forgotton is the great diversity in talent and skills that many of our volunteers bring to this amazing organization.

We love all the time and energy that all our volunteers give to the many projects and programs that the Association and all the Chapters run. However, there are some particular skills that are likely amongst our members that we would like to tap into for some ambitious outreach and organizing goals the outreach team is looking to tackle.

Do you have any skills and time you could volunteer, perhaps even professional services that you would like to donate in:
  • Graphic, Web or Print Design
  • Non-profit Member and Donor Database management
  • Fundraising
  • Event Planning
It's true also that many hands make the load light. Can you reach out and can help ANWS?

To help ANWS with these, contact Aaron Bento -
2017 Willamette Salmon Quest

We are sorry and disappointed that our highly anticipated QUEST tournament will not be held on it's original April 1st date, but the good news is that is has been switched to June 17th! We want to provide the best possible experience for Quest, and we couldn't justify that with for the Columbia River above flood stage this weekend.

However! We are planning something great for the new date!
Be sure to get your seat! Ticket sales have been extended!

Join the Steelheaders for the 2017 Salmon Quest Fishing Tournament June 17th. Begin your day with a full day of spring fishing with the best guides and anglers in the area. Fin clipped salmon and steelhead can put you on the winners' platform. The day concludes with a dinner, awards, and silent auction at the Airport Holiday Inn in NE Portland. Angler registration fee includes guided fishing, dinner, and award ceremony. Proceeds from the tournament are dedicated to improve sport fisheries through on-the-ground restoration and fisheries projects in the Willamette and Sandy river basins.

More details at the Salmon Quest Event Page

Upcoming Events 
Hatchery Steelhead Release
Saturday April 1st, Letz Creek Hatchery
Releasing our 14,000+ winter steelhead from from our STEP hatchery at Letz Creek. We have fertilized, incubated, raised, fin-clipped, and reared them in our pond since last February and now the will begin their journey to the ocean for mother nature to nurture and return them back to us.
Contact Ken Johnson for more details

ODFW Family Fishing Day
Saturday, April 15th - Hebo Lake 
Join the Tualatin Valley Chapter as they assist ODFW with the Family Fishing Day.
Contact Tim Lenihan for more details

First Responders on the Water
Saturday, April 15th
Join First Responders on the Water a free salmon fishing trip for first responders in Washington County
Contact Tim Lenihan for more details

Siuslaw River Clean-up
Saturday April 22nd at 10:00 a.m.
We have planned our Siuslaw River clean-up for the stretch of river beginning at Whitaker Creek. Hot dogs, etc. will be enjoyed following the event.
Contact Ken Johnson  for more details

Mid Valley Chapter Dinner and Auction
Saturday, April 22, 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 51 in Lebanon
The social hour and silent auction will begin at 5:30 with dinner at 6:00. Order tickets by April 17 by calling Kim Dowe, 541-760-2565, and, yes, Mid Valley does take credit cards!

Sandy River Chapter Potluck Dinner and Auction
Wednesday, May 3, Sam Cox Building in Glenn Otto Park, Troutdale
Social hour and silent auction begin at 5:30 with dinner at 6:00. There's no charge for dinner (although donations are encouraged), but please contact Leslie Hinea by April 24 if you plan to come: 503-255-0600 or email at

McLoughlin Chapter Depoe Bay Fish Along
Chapter Fish   Along  in Depoe Bay  May 20  with Dockside Charters.  Last year Dale Edwards arranged a  fishing  trip with this company, and we had a great time with a lot of  fish  caught. This will also be the first day of Halibut season.  This trip will be a 5-hour outing for $80 and if you wish to crab another $ 20 .  All arrangements should be made through Dockside Charters at 541-765-2545 . Tell them you will be  fishing  with Dale Edwards and the Northwest Steelheaders. You may want to consider a motel to avoid a very early morning 2.5-hour drive.  All chapters are welcome to participate in this Fish Along.
Check in time will be  6:30 a.m.   May 20 , at 270 Coast Guard Drive, Depoe Bay 97341. Ph.:  541 765-2545

Salmon Quest
Benefitting Willamette and Sandy Basin Sport Fisheries
June 17th, Portland Airport Holiday Inn.

Watch this space for future events!
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