The Umpqua Basin, including the famous North Umpqua, is home to one of the last “healthy” populations of wild steelhead in the lower 48. The winter-run had an awesome return last season and gave hope to many that there is hope for the species; over 13,000 wild steelhead passed through Winchester Dam. Wild Umpqua steelhead are protected by law and must be returned to the river. However, this year, ODFW is trying to lift the ban and allow harvest of the native fish. In a time when anadromous fish are disappearing, allowing the kill of steelhead, even if the Umpqua has healthy number, is ridiculous.
Tony Wratney, a fellow guide and advocate for the North Umpqua, has created a petition for the protection of wild steelhead. Signing this could help ensure that these incredible fish remain protected and that Umpqua steelhead will be there for years to come. Please take the time to fill out the petition. It will only take a few minutes and might help better continue better conservation.
You can find the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-umpqua-wild-steelhead