Steelhead and Salmon Issues
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Steelhead and Salmon Issues

Steelhead and Salmon Issues 

The cumulative impacts from habitat loss, restricted access to traditional spawning sites, water diversion for competing uses (i.e. municipal, agricultural, hydro-electric, etc.), genetic degradation related to stocking or aquaculture, mining, overharvest, climate change, decreased water quality, poor regulation enforcement and lacking or insufficient recovery and management plans have greatly reduced populations of wild salmon and wild steelhead in their native ranges.

The FFI advocates for conservation of existing wild steelhead and wild salmon stocks and recovery of depressed, threatened and endangered populations.  We are hopeful that through dedicated research, education and advocacy on their behalf, wild salmon and wild steelhead will recover and thrive in perpetuity.


FFI's Actions

  • 9/13/2023 Letter to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  Letter was signed by 32 NGOS in support oa comprehensive solution for salmon recovery in the Columbia Basin that includes restoring a free-flowing lower Snake River.
  • 11/15/2022 - Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) - letter to Chair Brenda Mallory (CEQ); endorsing the September 30, 2022,  NOAA/NMFS technical report and its conclusions and recommendations regarding “Rebuilding Interior Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead”. 
  • 08/17/2022 – Senator Patty Murry and Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Maria Cantwell – Letters joining 60 Conservation Partners supporting leadership for moving the proposal forward to remove the four out-of-date dams from the Lower Snake River for recovery of salmon, steelhead, orcas and tribal cultures in the Columbia and Snake River Region. 
  • 8/27/21 - Steelhead Protection - Letter to OR, WA and ID FWCs urging emergency closure of fishing seasons for ESA-listed steelhead  minimize further mortality of declining stocks especially under prevailing drought conditions affecting the Columbia and Snake River Systems.
  • 7/22/21 - Steelhead & Salmon Injunctive Relief - Learn more about why Fly Fishers International has joined Earthjustice and other Conservation Partners in seeking injunctive relief for more water to be released from a series of dams in the Columbia and Snake River Basins in the spring of 2022. 
  • 4/12/21 - Congressman Simpson's Snake River Proposal - signed on to letter to the NW congressional delegations asking for their leadership in restoring salmon to the Columbia River Basin by working with Congressman Mike Simpson to refine and advance his proposal that would breach the four lower Snake River dams, while simultaneously taking care of communities, irrigators, shippers, and power generation.
  • 8/31/20 - Winchester Dam - Signed on to letter to Oregon Department of State Lands raising concerns about past maintenance and reconstruction activities at Winchester Dam.
  • 8/14/20 - Klamath Dam - Klamath_Renewal_Grant_Support_Letter_14AUG2020
  • 6/9/20 - Puget Sound Aquaculture - Signed on to Our Sound, Our Salmon comments on Cooke AquacultureAquaculture’s NPDES Application to rear Oncorhynchus mykiss in Puget Sound open water net pens
  • 4/13/20 - Columbia/Snake River Environmental Impact Statement Comments - Signed on to a Earth Justice letter to the Army Corps, Bureau of Reclamation, Bonneville Power administration, Dept. of Interior, and Dept. of Energy providing comments on the Draft Columbia/Snake River Draft Environmental Impact Statement.Senior Conservation Advisor Rick Williams played a significant role in the development of these comments.
  • 3/6/20 - Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement - Signed on to Save Our Wild Salmon letter to the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Dept. of the Interior and U.S. Dept. of Energy asking for an extension of the public review and comment deadline for the Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
  • 8/26/19 - Klamath River Hydroelectric Settlement - Provided comments authored by Mark Rockwell and Rick Williams to the Federal Energy Relicensing Commission supporting the Amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the KRRC applications for transfer and surrender.

Dave Peterson's special guest is Dr. Richard Williams, a fisheries ecologist focusing on the conservation of native steelhead, redband, and cutthroat trout in western North America. Dr. Williams will discuss the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead Recovery.

Dave Peterson's special guest is Dr. Richard Williams, a fisheries ecologist focusing on the conservation of native steelhead, redband, and cutthroat trout in western North America. Dr. Williams will discuss the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead Recovery.


Historically, the Columbia River basin (including the Snake and Salmon Rivers) was the most productive Chinook salmon habitat in the world. Today all Snake River populations are federally listed under the Endangered Species Act and at risk of extirpation. Russ will briefly describe the history, status, and trends of salmon and steelhead populations in the broader Columbia and Snake River basins before focusing on Chinook salmon populations within central Idaho’s Middle Fork Salmon River basin (MFSR). Results of decades-long, collaborative research have advanced knowledge of the landscape and local biophysical conditions and processes that influence salmon habitat, and the distribution, diversity, persistence, and recovery of wild salmon. Research results highlight that essential building blocks for recovery persist in the MFSR, however, recovery is limited by outside-basin factors. These data may be applied to inform effective salmon recovery strategies across the Snake River basin.

Hosted by Tom Logan, FFI Board Member and Conservation Chair Jim Cox, Director of Donor Relations for Western Rivers Conservancy, along with Bruce Williams, WRC and FFI Board member, will make a presentation entitled “Sometimes To Save A River You Have To Buy It.” WRC has been working for more than 32 years to conserve and protect lands on more than 170 rivers and streams in nine western states. The presentation will focus on how WRC purchases properties across the West to protect and conserve vital river ecosystems and to provide compatible public use and enjoyment. Included in the program is stunning photography with updates on many of the organization’s past and current projects focusing on outstanding fly fishing streams including Idaho’s Salmon and Snake Rivers; the Rio Grande river system in Colorado; California’s Klamath River system, Oregon’s John Day and Williamson rivers and Washington’s Hoh River among others.

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