In This Issue
Steelheader Meetings

Keep up to date at

Association ExCom Meeting
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 15, Association Office, 6641 SE Lake Road, Milwaukie.
For More Info:
President Bill Kremers

Columbia River Chapter
General Meeting
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 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, March 7, Eugene Elks Lodge, 2470 W. 11th. Eugene
Program: Chapter Membership Director Michael Matthews and chapter member Wes McKenzie will present on Bead Fishing tips and techniques for salmon and steelhead.
For More Info:

McLoughlin Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 14, Denny's, 15815 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas. 
Guest Speaker:  Brandon Glass of Hook-Up Guide Service.  Brandon will share his knowledge and tips for being a successful fisherman. Along with the usual door prize drawings, there will be a special door prize for boat seats for a guided trip with Brandon.
For More Info:
President Carol Clark

Mid-Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 1, Albany Senior Citizens' Center, 489 Water Avenue NW, Albany.
Guest Speaker: Curt Currey, Currey Guide Service, LLC, talking about fishing for spring Chinook on the lower Willamette River .
For More Info:
President George Larson

7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 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 March--see notice about the March 4 Steelhead Tournament.
For More Info:
President Bill Hedlund
(503) 815-2737

Salem Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 21, City of Keizer Community Center (City Hall), 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer.
Guest Speaker: Arden Corey, North Santiam River guide and pro fisherman.
For More Info:
President Brian Winn
(623) 363-7387

Sandy River Chapter
General Meeting
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 1, Glenn Otto Park, 1208 Historic Col. River Hwy, Troutdale.
Program: Todd Alsbury from ODFW talking about the Sandy River fishery.
For More Info:
President Steve Rothenbucher

Tom McCall Chapter General Meeting
11:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 15 at The Old Spaghetti Factory, 0715 SW Bancroft Street, Portland.
Guest Speaker: ODFW Director Curt Melcher
For more info:
John Laing
Tualatin Valley Chapter General Meeting
7:00 p.m ., Thursday, March 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

Columbia River Reform Update  
The Squeaky Wheel Gets Some Oil

Last month we encouraged Steelheader members to join other sport fishers in taking action to let Governor Brown, our legislators, and the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission know that the Commission's  January 20 decision to abandon the bi-state Columbia River fisheries reform plan amounted to a betrayal of promises made to the sport fishing community.   
The Steelheaders then went on to launch a petition to Governor Brown requesting her to direct the Commission to fully implement the reform plan, enact regulations consistent with the state of Washington, and to remove commercial fishing lobbyist Bruce Buckmaster from the Commission.
I'm happy to report the proverbial squeaky wheel got some much needed oil.
Wee moments before a somewhat contentious, although in the end civil, reception on February 9 with the Commission at the NW Sportsmen's show, Governor Brown released a pointed letter to the Commission bluntly calling its decision "unacceptable." Governor Brown went on to direct the Commission to adopt rules that "honor th[e] commitments" made in the bi-state reform plan, adhere to the intent of Senate Bill 830 (which affirmed the reform plan), and which are concurrent with the regulations adopted by the state of Washington. The letter said she expected the Commission to align its rules with her policy directive by  April 3, 2017.
The Governor's letter provided much needed leadership, and we applaud her action to remedy the Commission's misdirection. It also reinforces what we've seen before - a unified and engaged sport fishing community - including Steelheaders, CCA, NW Sportfishing Industry Association, NW Guides and Anglers Association, and others - can make a real difference and have a positive impact on behalf of recreational fisheries.
But the battle is far from over. The Commission is slated once more to take up the issue at its  March 17 meeting in Corvallis. And we anticipate some Commissioners - especially those aligned with commercial fishing interests - may attempt to resist or water-down the Governor's directive. Moreover, you can be sure the commercial gill net contingent is hard at work in the halls of Salem and at ODFW trying to once more undo the much-needed and long overdue bi-state reform plan. 
So we're not resting either.
  • We plan to present our petition to Governor Brown to encourage her to stay on top of this issue to ensure that the Commission follows her mandate. 
  • WE NEED YOU THERE - Attend the Commission meeting March 17 in Corvallis. The gill netters always bring a large contingent, and we need to match and exceed their numbers to demonstrate our resolve. 
  • KEEP SQUEAKING - Keep the letters, emails, and calls to Governor Brown, your state legislators, and the Commission coming. You and your fellow sport anglers have had a huge impact thus far, but we must keep the momentum on our side. If you've already taken action - thank you and please send or make a reminder email, call or letter. If you haven't yet made your voice heard - what are you waiting for? Please join us in this historic effort to reform fisheries on the Columbia River.    

Brian McLachlan
Vice President of Conservation - Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Army Corps of Engineers are Attempting to Abandon Their Hatchery Mitigation Commitments

For over 65 years the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has had a "long-standing Cooperative Agreement" with The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers implementing federal mitigation hatcheries in Oregon. In 2015 the Corp informed ODFW that it will terminate that agreement. Recreational "consumptive" fisheries will be eliminated in the Willamette River Basin including Detroit, Foster, Cougar and Middle Fork Reservoirs and the fishery on the McKenzie River.

The Corp had been in communication with ODFW as they planned termination of this Cooperative Agreement and to move to another "contracting arrangement" with other parties offering hatchery production "out to competitive bid", essentially ending ODFW trout production. The Corp plans to implement these changes on July 1st, 2017!

The ODFW has operated seven federally mitigated hatcheries in the Willamette basin. These hatcheries were implemented due to lost production and habitat loss associated with the construction of federal dams.

In late January, 2017 the Corp met with ODFW to discuss the next steps in this process.
* The Corp would let an outside source provide the hatchery operations for up to three years with an annual renewal process.
* The Corp wants to reduce the McKenzie Spring Chinook Salmon by 55% below their mitigation responsibilities, something NOAA Fisheries and ODFW do not support.
* Leaburg Hatchery would be defunded and closed. Trout production would be "offered to bid" for up to 100,000 pounds, reduced from 277,000 pounds, a 64% reduction. (The Corp has offered no explanation why they are unilaterally reducing their responsibilities).
* Bonneville, (Columbia Coho and Chinook), Cole River Hatcheries, (Rogue River ½ pounders) operations would be put out to competitive bid.
Bonneville Coho and Chinook Salmon Hatchery, provides fishing recreation for the Columbia basin and is supported by significant Mitchell Act funds provided by NOAA, this puts one of Oregon's largest and most popular fisheries into significant uncertainty.

What are the effects?
* The Corp is making unilateral decisions to reduce the federal government's mitigation responsibilities as designated in Congressional record.
* The Corp provides 100% of the trout that support recreational trout fisheries above the Willamette Falls. The Corps decision will reduce trout stocking by 64%. The ODFW currently does not have the resources to fall back on should these directives fail.
* Recreational trout fishing would be eliminated from the Oregon's most highly used recreational fisheries, given the proximity to the state's population centers.
* These actions will significantly impact rural communities through lost recreational opportunities.
* These "very significant actions" could be detrimental to the ecological, social and economic values that these Multi-Use fisheries offer.

Who to Call?
Please call, write and email these Senators and Representatives to comment on these actions.

State Senators
Senator Ron Widen
(503) 589-4555

Senator Jeff Merkley
(202) 224-3753

Peter Defazio

Susan Bonamici

Earl Blumenauer

Kurt Schrader

Oregon State Representatives
Phil Barnhart #11

Julie Fahey #14

Cedric Hayden

John Lively

Nancy Nathanson

David Brock Smith smithd

Jon Payne  - McKenzie River Guides

An oldie, but a goodie. We pulled a great, and still relevant, how-to from the archives for this month! - Editor

"What did you catch them on?"
"A rag."
"A what? You caught Steelhead with THAT? No way! Can you buy them? How do you make them?"

It is surprising to me how often I still have conversations like that. It's been a lot of years since the Association's art print was Hoh River Spring Chinook, featuring a brute of a fish zeroing in on a "rag" with a bit of roe. These things have been around for a long time! They do catch salmon and steelhead. In my experience, they outfish other drift float lures, at least in normal to slightly above normal steelhead water.

Click here to read the rest of this on the ANWS Blog!
North Coast Steelheaders
2017 Hook Line 'n Sinker
Steelhead Tournament
$40 Registration Fee

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 3:30-4:30 p.m., Awards
Ceremony at 5:00 p.m.

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 
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

Letz Creek Hatchery Family Fishing Day
Bring the kids out to help us catch 60 fish to send to ODFW for analysis before we release the fish currently in the pond. This is a day to get our kids excited about our hatchery and the next generation of STEP. Bring poles for kids to use, hot dogs will be provided, and you can bring something to share. Contact Ken Johnson  for details.
March 4th 10am -1pm Letz Creek Hatchery 

Tualatin Valley Chapter Winter Fish-Along
Join the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Association of Northwest Steelheaders for a fun weekend of Winter Steelhead fishing. 
March 10th - 12th, Tillamook County Fairgrounds, Tillamook OR
Contact Chapter President Tim Lenihan for details. 

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

Salmon Quest
Benefitting Willamette and Sandy Basin Sport Fisheries
April 1st, P ortland Airport Holiday Inn.

McLoughlin Chapter Depoe Bay Fish Along
Chapter Fish   Along  in Depoe Bay on  May 20  with Dockside Charters.  Last year Dale Edward arranged a  fishing  trip from 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 5hr 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 or the 2.5hr drive will be necessary.  All chapters are welcome to participate in this Fish Along.
Check in time will be  6:30 am   May 20 , at 270 Coast Guard Drive, Depoe Bay 97341. Ph.:  541 765-2545

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

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