Guided by the best available science, Native Fish Society advocates for the protection and recovery of wild, native fish and the stewardship of the habitats that sustain us all.


  • Abundant, diverse, and resilient wild, native fish in every watershed in the Pacific Northwest.
  • River Stewards in every watershed who understand and champion the needs of wild, native fish in their homewaters.


Positive change for wild, native fish occurs when local communities champion environmental policies that are based on the best available science and guide the conservation and recovery of wild, native fish.


Positive change for wild, native fish occurs

  • When communities support science-based policies and act strategically by focusing their support toward key decision makers.
  • Communities support good policies and act strategically when local advocates (River Stewards) work in their communities as effective champions for wild, native fish by educating and activating their local communities.
  • River Stewards are effective champions for wild, native fish in their communities when they are empowered and inspired with the best-available scientific information, communications tools and expertise, grassroots organizing training, policy information, strategic planning resources and the support and experience of the River Steward community to identify and address challenges facing wild, native fish.
  • Native Fish Society creates positive change for wild, native fish when we empower, inspire and grow our network of grassroots River Stewards by providing them with the information, tools, training and community resources they need to be effective local advocates.


  • HARVEST REFORM (Primary)
  • Habitat protection (secondary)
  • Hydropower reform (secondary)
  • Focus staff and River Stewards on hatchery and harvest reform initiatives, while being flexible and opportunistic to take on issues that affect wild, native fish including habitat protection and hydropower reform.
  • Hatchery and harvest issues are the primary focus, while following and assisting with habitat protection and hydropower reform. In watersheds where hatchery and harvest needs have been addressed, elevate the focus of habitat protection and hydropower reform opportunities.


Top Down, Bottom Up, & Middle Out

Bottom Up: River Stewards ask for help from fellow River Stewards, District Coordinators, and program staff.

Middle Out: Staff and River Stewards engage like-minded partners to grow an informed and active constituency for wild, native fish.

Top Down: Staff identify regional /statewide opportunities and leverage local advocates and networks.

Bottom Up:

Place based River Stewards identify challenges and opportunities in their watershed and then solicit the support necessary (from River Stewards, District Coordinators, staff and networked experts to successfully lead recovery for wild, native fish at the watershed level. Stewards prioritize projects that:

  • Improve the health of wild, native fish in their watershed.
  • Features an issue the River Steward is passionate about within the context of management / habitat / hatchery reform prioritized over habitat protection and hydropower reform.
  • Has a SMART goal.
  • One that builds broader support for the work of Native Fish Society.

Middle Out:

Staff and River Stewards identify and engage like-minded groups to broaden the impact of our top down and bottom up based initiatives. Prioritize partnerships that:

  • Expand the demographic reach of our initiatives.
  • Leverage complimentary competencies, i.e. to our grassroots expertise, a partner could lend their specific scientific, legal, policy, lobbying expertise (especially when working at the federal level).

Top Down:

Staff integrate the best available science and policy information to guide a region wide strategic approach to our work, which prioritizes initiatives that:

  • Creates the broadest positive impact for wild, native fish; innovates and advances the conservation and recovery of wild, native fish.
  • Provides a specific benefit to the likely success of the campaign or initiative through our participation.
  • Allows us to be nimble enough to play both offense and defense on primary issues.
  • Leverages our grassroots network of River Stewards, members, supporters or conservation coalition members.


During our 2016 organizational strategic planning process, the Native Fish Society’s board and staff realized that our majority of white, male fly fisher supporters represented a narrow slice of Pacific Northwest communities and perspectives, limiting our ability to achieve our organizational mission and vision. To serve our deep passion for wild fish, we sought resources to increase the capacity of the NFS staff, board, and volunteers and sharpen the focus for how NFS could intentionally increase the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of our organization. In 2017, NFS applied for and was awarded a DEI technical advisory grant with the Meyer Memorial Trust to participate in a 2-day DEI training and a 3-day Equity Strategy Session with the Center for Diversity and the Environment. The 2-day training was hosted by the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians and 18 staff, board, volunteers and partners from the Siletz participated. The 3-day Equity Strategy Session was hosted in Central Oregon and 9 staff, board, and volunteers participated.

The following Organizational Equity Strategy distills our rationale for pursuing greater diversity, equity, and inclusiveness at the Native Fish Society; outlines steps for reaching our goals; and the Native Fish Society’s desired DEI state. We’d like to thank the Meyer Memorial Trust for their generous support and Queta Gonzalez at the Center for Diversity and the Environment for her guidance as we begin this journey as an organization.

Why a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness Focus for NFS

It takes dedicated people, with a deep connection to place, to steward special places and species like the Northwest’s native fish and homewaters. Coalitions of local people united across difference towards common goals make the most powerful coalitions, by demonstrating the unifying value and need for wild fish and their homewaters. Reviving the keystone species of our region is an endeavor shared by all of the Northwest’s communities. To cultivate the public groundswell needed to fuel this work, to increase our relevance to all of the Northwest’s communities, and to leverage increased creativity, resilience, and innovation, the Native Fish Society has committed to the transformational work of becoming more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.