Op – Ed: Why the Status Quo in Washington State is Failing Steelheaders


Wild Steelhead Coalition Board Member Jonathan Stumpf on the harsh reality that is the status quo of Washington State steelhead.

Most anglers will change anything and everything to feel the tug of a wild steelhead. After swinging through a few juicy runs without a grab, we’ll vary our presentations. A few more unproductive runs will result in changed tips, new flies, or yes… even a bobber and bead. By the end of an unfruitful day, we might even wade waist-deep and bare-assed if we thought it would guarantee a hookup.

Yet when it comes to altering angling practices to conserve and rebuild wild steelhead populations, our community of anglers can be more reticent to discuss change. Even in hallowed waters like Washington’s Olympic Peninsula (OP), where one of the last strongholds of wild winter steelhead stocks are on the precipice of collapsing, we are reluctant.

The harsh reality is that the status quo in Washington State is failing all steelheaders and the magnificent fish we pursue. After witnessing five distinct steelhead populations get listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, we know more. Yet so far we have failed to do better.

LINK (via: The Drake)

Today is the last day to tell the WDFW to adopt regulations that protect wild steelhead. 


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