Sustainable, evidence-based fisheries management is critical for reviving abundant wild steelhead.
The best available data from historic and state sources strongly suggest a 90% ongoing decline of steelhead in the Nehalem River since the 1920s. Oregon Coast wide, agency data suggest steelhead in most rivers have been declining at a rate of 20-24% per decade since the 1980s. If the average rate of decline continues, it puts nearly all coastal steelhead populations at risk of extinction within 50 years.
In fact, in 2014 the department chose to remove coastal winter steelhead from the state sensitive species list, clearly showing they consider populations to be “healthy” and abundant. This management decision is troubling in the context of the observable decline in the strata apparent from ODFW’s own monitoring and evaluation data from this time period. It continues to show that past information about run sizes is lost or forgotten, shifting the baseline of true abundance and healthy populations on the Oregon Coast.
These alarming trends call for action. Join the movement calling on ODFW to evaluate population trends of Oregon Coastal and Rogue/Klamath Mountain Province steelhead populations for consideration in re-listing as state Sensitive Species or Sensitive-Critical Species. This action would:
- Encourage better monitoring of coastal steelhead to detect either positive or negative changes in populations over time.
- Advocate for further research to identify threats and methods to address the threats.
- Educate people on what coastal steelhead need not just to persist, but to truly thrive, and the actions individuals and communities can take to bring these fish back to abundance.
- Inform management actions that can reverse the trend and revive Oregon Coast steelhead.
Please sign the action alert today, and join the wild fish community as we work together to create a future with abundant, wild fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving local communities.