White Salmon River


The White Salmon River is one of 14 designated waterways as a wild Steelhead gene bank.

Native Species

  • Winter-steelhead
  • Coho-salmon
  • Fall-chinook-salmon
  • Summer Steelhead
  • Pacific Lamprey
  • Spring Chinook Salmon

Native Fish Society is excited to announce the start of our Washington wild Steelhead gene bank monitoring program! We are kicking off this effort on the White Salmon River. We are working with WDFW and Friends of the White Salmon to help tell the story of our wild native fish in this river and several others. Paul Fortino, our Board Chair and River Steward on the White Salmon has been instrumental in bringing this work to NFS, and we are thrilled to be a part of such a great undertaking.

Washington State has 14 waterways designated as gene bank Steelhead streams, which means that no hatchery Steelhead are released in these waterways in an effort to bolster and revive wild native Steelhead populations. NFS is embarking on this monitoring effort to collect valuable data that can help us, our partners, tribal nations, and the management agencies understand the impact of designating rivers as wild Steelhead gene banks. And with this information, we hope to understand where the gene bank model can be applied to save and increase declining runs of wild native fish throughout the region.

We will be assisting with redd counts for Coho beginning in December and shift to counts of wild Steelhead redds beginning in January 2021. Our efforts for this cycle on the White Salmon will conclude in May of 2021.

So we need you! If you are an experienced redd counter or interested in learning and want to volunteer for our White Salmon project, please contact J. Michelle Swope, our Washington Regional Coordinator, for more information at jmichelle@nativefishsociety.org or by calling (360) 349-0743. This is the first of many redd counting opportunities that we will have in the coming years, as we look at both our wild Summer and Winter runs of wild Steelhead. Please join us in telling what we hope is a positive story of wild Steelhead recovery in Washington State.

The White Salmon River is a 44-mile (71 km) tributary of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington. Originating on the slopes of Mount Adams, it flows into the Columbia Gorge near the community of Underwood. Parts of the river have been designated Wild and Scenic. The principal tributaries of the White Salmon River include Trout Lake and Buck, Mill, Dry, Gilmer, and Rattlesnake Creeks.

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