In This Issue
Steelheader Meetings

Keep up to date at

Association Quarterly Board Meeting
10:00 a.m., Saturday,  February 18th, Camp Angelos,
32149 SE Stevens Rd, Corbett, OR 97019
For More Info:
President Bill Kremers

Columbia River Chapter
General Meeting
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 8, 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, February 7, Eugene Elks Lodge, 2470 W. 11th. Eugene
Guest Speaker: Bob Rees, Executive Director, will discuss current issues impacting the Steelheaders including legislative issues, environmental issues, and how to grow the organization with new members.
For More Info:

McLoughlin Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 14, Denny's, 15815 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas. 
Guest Speaker: John Esler, PGE biologist and former chair of the ODFW Commission, will discuss fish and PGE projects.
For More Info:
President Carol Clark

Mid-Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, Albany Senior Citizens' Center, 489 Water Avenue NW, Albany.
Guest Speaker: Rick Breckel and Rich Bryan of Kokanee Power will address local kokanee conservation, work party efforts, and fishing techniques and locations.
For More Info:
President George Larson

7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 14, Chehalem Senior Center, 101 Foothills Drive, Newberg.
For More Info:
President Ty Campsey 503-705-8296
North Coast Chapter General Meeting
No meeting for February.
For More Info:
President Bill Hedlund
(503) 815-2737

Salem Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 20, City of Keizer Community Center (City Hall), 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer.
For More Info:
President Brian Winn
(623) 363-7387

Sandy River Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, Glenn Otto Park, 1208 Historic Col. River Hwy, Troutdale.
Guest Speaker: Brandon Wedam, B & R Tackle.
For More Info:
President Steve Rothenbucher

Tom McCall Chapter General Meeting
11:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 15 at The Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft Street, Portland.
For more info:
John Laing
Tualatin Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m ., Thursday, February 9,  Meriwether National Golf Course,
5200 SW Rood Bridge Road, Hillsboro.
Get there early at  6:00 p.m.  for Tech Table to learn new fishing techniques!
For More Info:
President   Tim Lenihan

Mad? - Angry? - Frustrated? 

You're not alone. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission's betrayal of sport fishers and the bi-state reform plan has the recreational fishing community in an uproar.  Now turn those negative feelings into positive action. Remember - it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. So squeak loud, and squeak often. Together, we can turn this mess around. Here's how you can help. Now - "Just do it."
You've Got Mail - Write a letter or email to Governor Brown, your state senator and  representative, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Look to the Steelheaders' webpage ( ) and action alerts for talking points.  

You Make the Call - After sending your letter or email, call your senator's and representative's office. A  personal phone call often gets more attention than an email or letter. Talk with a real person. Be respectful. Tell them how important sport fishing on the Columbia River is to you and your family. Tell them how frustrated you are with the Oregon Commission's broken promises. Ask them what they plan to do about it.

We Need to Talk - Request a personal meeting with your senator or representative (or  both!). Be nice. Offer to buy them a cup of coffee. Tell them how important sport fishing and this issue are to you. And then ask them for their support!

A Warm Reception? - Attend the ODFW Commission reception  February 9 at the Sportsmen's Show. It  starts at  4 p.m.  in the Green Theater. Director Melcher and members of the Commission will be there for a little meet and greet.    

Can I get a Witness - Testify at the Oregon Commission meeting in Tigard on  Saturday, February 10Columbia River issues are not on the agenda so if you decide to attend and testify, you'll need to follow the procedures on the Commission's webpage. 

Go Fishing - Yes, go fishing! And take a kid or vet with you. The steelhead are running and life's too short to let an out-of-touch  Commission get us down.

Brian McLachlan
Vice President of Conservation - Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Winter Steelhead Fishing
on the Alsea River

Southwest of Corvallis and just past Mary's Peak is the Alsea River, my personal favorite winter steelhead river in Oregon. When it comes to winter steelhead fishing, the Alsea has it all: abundant hatchery steelhead, good bank access, plentiful boat ramps, and a highway that runs right along the river. Many of the boat ramps are now in excellent condition thanks to the hard work of our  Mid Valley Chapter. Beware, there are also a couple of ramps that will test your skill in backing up a trailer and your strength in winching the boat back on the trailer. When it comes to steelhead fishing, I like to divide the Alsea into four parts. 

The upper part, from the North Fork Hatchery to the top ramp at Mill Creek, is bank fishing only and is the section to fish when the river level is over six feet. Next is the river from the Mill Creek ramp to the boat slide and cable launch at Missouri Bend. In this section, the bottom is primarily gravel, the water is easy to read, and the water is all class I, unless a tree happens to fall in the river. I like floating this section when the Alsea is between five and six feet.

Once you hit Missouri Bend, the character of the river changes. The bottom is now primarily bed rock, the water is more difficult to read, and an increase in boat skills is required. There are also miles of river to cover from Missouri Bend down to the next take out at River's Edge park. Generally, the boat traffic is sparse in this section because of the rapids, the long distance between ramps, and the few good fishing holes. There are, however, some excellent fishing holes in this section, especially where Fall Creek flows into the mainstem.

From River's Edge to the ramp at Five Rivers, the water is similar to the best water by "the Oregon Rock." You cannot miss it as the rock face is almost identical to a map of Oregon. I like fishing this section from Missouri Bend to Five Rivers ramp when the Alsea is running between 5.5 and 4.5 feet. The Alsea then changes once again where Five Rivers flows into the Alsea. Five Rivers is the largest tributary to the Alsea, and both salmon and steelhead hold in this section figuring out which way to go.

The lower Alsea has several boat ramps spaced every couple of miles with the last "ramp" being just below the Barclay Bridge. This take out is nothing more than a bedrock shelf and is for 4WD vehicles. If you have never taken out here before, scout it ahead of time. The next ramp is miles downriver in tidewater, and you will miss dinner; hell, maybe even breakfast. Once again, the river bottom is primarily bed rock, not that easy to read, and there are a couple of rapids where you must be on the sticks. One of these rapids is just below the Rock Crusher. This rapid and I have never gotten along. I would say I have gotten my passenger wet here 50 percent of the time. It is even more exciting when you hook a steelhead just above the rapids and it decides to go down river! I prefer fishing here when the river level is between 3.8 and 5 feet. Once the river get below 3.8 feet or so, the rapids get a little tight.

There is some good bank access in the Five Rivers area as the highway parallels the river here with good parking. This area also has the best plunking shack in Oregon just below the Mike Bauer bridge. The parking spaces here are plentiful, there is a nice restroom, and even handicapped access. The people at the shack are friendly, there is always a fire going, the fishing stories flow, and there's even the occasional sound of a ringing bell. 

When it comes to techniques, the Alsea is no different than any other steelhead river in Oregon. It is a fairly snaggy river, so bring lots of tackle. I personally focus primarily on float fishing, usually with steelhead beads. Of course, you can never go wrong drifting roe. There are some excellent tailouts I do like to plug, and a few holes where I will toss spinners. Because the river is so snaggy, I seldom use a diver and bait setup. 

The Alsea used to be primarily a December and January river, but that has changed with hatchery practices as fishing is more spread out with the season lasting well into March or the start of the spring Chinook season.  

Be sure to add the Alsea to your list of river destinations, and check out a Mid Valley Chapter meeting, the first Monday of every month, to connect with fellow Steelheaders who love this river.

Bill Kremers
President - Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Persistence and Public Input Pays off for Forage Fish

The Northwest Steelheaders have realized that the bottom line of "Ocean Conditions" affecting salmon and steelhead returns is the presence of  forage  when and where our game  fish  need them. So we engaged the Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect unmanaged  forage   fish  from harvest until the species could be assessed and harvest limits set that would not hurt our game fish .  Last June NOAA Fisheries put the protections into rule, citing the huge public input (including Steelheader sign-on letters and individual testimony) as part of their decision.

We had a similar campaign to apply the same rules in Oregon's territorial waters, with sign-on letters and other outreach. ODFW appointed the Steelheaders to represent sport  fishing  in the three person task force to come up with the state rules. The ODFW Commission approved the Fishery Management Plan to protect  forage   fish  this past fall. It took four years along with hundreds of Steelheaders and other anglers just spending a couple of minutes of time to make it happen but it is a huge win for our sport fisheries.

Norm Ritchie
Development Director - Association of Northwest Steelheaders
2017 Member Survey

Have you completed the survey?

Your responses will impact ANWS!
North Coast Steelheaders
2017 Hook Line 'n Sinker
Steelhead Tournament
$40 Registration Fee
Registration includes
$20 in Gift Certificates + Prize Drawing Entry

Register by March 1st

Big Fish Prizes!
$100 First Place Prize each of these 5 categories
Tillamook Residents * Out of County
Women * Seniors  (65+) * Juniors ( <16)

Fish weigh in at 3:30-4:30pm, Awards Ceremony at 5pm.

Obtain registration forms at Hook Line 'n Sinker Sportsbar and Grill in Garibaldi.
415 Garibaldi Ave, Garibaldi, OR 97118

or download at

Questions - contact Len Clarke 503-329-6572
2017 Willamette Salmon Quest

Join the Steelheaders for the 2017 Salmon Quest Fishing Tournament April 1st. 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

2017 Family Fish Camp

Advanced anglers and absolute beginners, come together for a fun weekend on the Sandy River!!

The second annual Family Fish Camp will take place March 17-19, 2017 at Camp Angelos near  Troutdale, OR. Sleep in cabins, make new friends, and learn the basics of fishing! Experienced  Steelheader volunteers will teach knot tying, fish identification, equipment essentials, and how to  land fish! Families will leave the weekend with the skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm needed to  explore the rivers and lakes that provide endless outdoor recreational opportunities in the  beautiful Pacific Northwest.

If you know a family that wishes to get into fishing, have them visit our Steelheaders' web page  for Family Fish Camp. If someone you know needs financial assistance to attend the camp, have  them indicate that on the registration form. NO ONE WILL BE TURNED DOWN AS LONG  AS SCHOLARSHIP DOLLARS ARE AVAILABLE!

The event is also looking for volunteers of all kinds! From knot tying experts, to casting  enthusiasts to cooks, any Steelheader may play a role in the success of this year's camp. Contact

Molly Orr at for more details or watch the Family Fish Camp Event Site!
Upcoming Events 
Pacific Northwest Sportsman's Show
February 8-12, Portland Expo Center, 2060 N Marine Drive
Wednesay-Friday, 11:00-9:00; Saturday, 10:00-8:00; Sunday, 10:00-6:00
Contact Mike Myrick, OR 503-281-6438, to volunteer for our booth and gain free admission.

North Coast Steelheaders
Hook, Line, and Sinker  Winter Steelhead Tournament  
Proceeds support Tillamook Broodstock Program.
Saturday, March 4th. Fish daylight to 3:30, any Tillamook County river. Weigh-in, 3:30-4:30, and awards, 5:00 pm, at the Garibaldi Hook Line 'n Sinker Bar and Grill. Five 1st Place prizes for biggest fish landed by: Tillamook County resident, Oregon resident, Woman, Senior, and Junior. For additional information, call Len Clarke, the event coordinator, 503-329-6572 or Becky at Hook, Line, 'n Sinker Sportsbar & Grill, 503-801-3331

Family Fish Camp
A fun place for Families to learn how to fish in the the Pacific Northwest
March 17th - 19th, Camp Angelos, Corbett OR

Sandy River Chapter/ODFW "Steelhead 101" Workshop
February 25, 9:00-4:00, Glenn Otto Park, Troutdale OR
Learn the elements of steelhead fishing. This workshop will feature hands-on approach, and will cover the following topics: Regulations and licenses required, selection of the proper matching rod and reel, how reels work and how to cast, types of lines and which techniques to use them with, how to tie essential knots, hook sizes, types, and sharpening.  Register here
Salmon Quest
Benefitting Willamette and Sandy Basin Sport Fisheries
April 1st, P ortland Airport Holiday Inn.

Watch this space for future events!
The Steelhead  e-newsletter is sent to all 
Northwest Steelheaders members each month.

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