J. Michelle Swope

Clean-Up on the Kalama

As wild runs continue to decline and emergency rules around fishing closures are becoming commonplace, Native Fish Society endeavors to facilitate meaningful ways for local stewards to have positive impacts on our streams…so with that in mind, we submitted a grant proposal to the Clark-Skamania Fly Club, and were awarded funds to leadseveral volunteer river clean-up events.

The focus of this work is the Kalama River, a 45-mile tributary of the Columbia River, originating in Washinton’s Cascade Range just south of Mount St. Helens. The Kalama River is best known among fisher folk for its spring Chinook Salmon and summer hatchery Steelhead runs. But along the winding road that follows this beautiful river, trash collects. It is not uncommon to come upon abandoned coolers, old tires, bait containers, and household trash along the roads, at the boat launches, and along the river itself.

Our first clean-up event was held on Saturday, July 23rd, and we were able to remove over 25 garbage bags full of trash. Not only did the fly club donate funds for this effort, but they also showed up in force to participate in the clean-up. Noses were held, gloves were worn, and we got the job done–special award goes to Kuni Masuda for the fullest bag! Afterward, club president Michael Golob and his wife Paula hosted us at their cabin for a barbecue. Many thanks to all that turned up for this clean-up!

We will be hosting another clean-up this fall, date to be determined...but you all are invited! For more information, contact NFS staff J. Michelle Swope, Washington Coordinator.

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