From Tracy Penell, for Trout Unlimited:
A few weeks back on the campus of the University of Washington, Trout Unlimited’s Wild Steelhead Initiative brought together scientists, conservationists, and anglers alike for a workshop exploring the current state and restoration potential of wild steelhead. As a novice steelhead angler and young professional in the world of fisheries, I was glad to have the opportunity to participate in this discussion amongst a group with such an exceptional breadth of knowledge. It was also great to just be connected to a community who is supportive and believes in the restoration of wild steelhead populations. I think this sentiment held true for any of the workshop participant regardless of their history with steelhead. Whether you’ve been captivated by steelhead since the days of Salmo gairdneri, or you’re a new member of the anadromous Oncorhynchus mykiss obsession, this workshop was worth it.
The series began with a look into the life of a steelhead, breaking down the diverse life histories of this singular species. Each topic was introduced broadly, and followed up with a more detailed look at the issue from an angling and restoration perspective. The fundamentals of what makes a steelhead unique were discussed, ensuring a solid foundation on which to build upon throughout the day. Variables impacting steelhead survival, abundance, and sustainability were also examined. Contributors seamlessly transition from discussions on individual fitness and genetic heritability to adaptability and hatchery management; tying together elements from throughout the day and ensuring a connection of information across themes.
Speakers representing TU, NOAA, UW-SAFS and WDFW offered great insight to the most current research available, and discussed the benefits and challenges of various management strategies. The resilience of the steelhead was highlighted as the panel scientists expertly weaved together their research with a deep passion for angling, making for a rich discussion on science, management, and fishing. Yes, these scientists were also anglers.
Whether the information garnered from the Steelhead Science Workshop for Anglers serves as an introduction or a refresher, the time spent among the knowledgeable speakers and participants was invaluable. It is the hope of the greater fishing community that together we can go about the protection and restoration of this incredible species with the determination and resilience of a wild steelhead.
So yes, I totally think it was worth it and you should go to the event in Corvallis on June 27th.
Here is the Schedule of the event…
Steelhead Science Workshop for Anglers 2015
The primary objective of the workshop is to inform anglers about the state of the science regarding steelhead issues most relevant to their angling opportunity and experience, and to provide an opportunity for anglers to share their insights with, and ask questions of the scientists. We have selected some of the very best scientists to present because they are not only experts on their topic of interest, but also because many of them enjoy fishing for steelhead. The workshop will feature eight presentations by five scientists, each of which covers a particular aspect of steelhead science (see below for topics). Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. The workshop will close with two short movies on steelhead. We believe that anglers will leave the workshop with a better understanding of steelhead science and how that science can be used to help develop sustainable fisheries.
We suggest arriving early because seating is limited to 100 individuals and entry will be based on a first come, first serve basis.
2:00 John McMillan, TU Introduction and opening remarks
2:05 Jason Dunham, USGS/OSU The story of O. mykiss, a fish both steelhead and rainbow trout
2:35 John McMillan, TU The diversity of steelhead and implications for resilience
3:05 Matt Sloat, OSU Adopting a life history: Why one fish becomes a rainbow trout and another a steelhead
3:45 Mark Lewis, ODFW Monitoring and estimating steelhead population size in Oregon rivers
4:15 John McMillan, TU Managing steelhead for sustainability: monitoring, harvest, and angling pressure
4:45 John McMillan, TU Hatcheries: Tradeoffs in harvest, conservation and productivity of wild steelhead
5:25 Neil Thompson, OSU An in-depth look into the potential causes of domestication in hatchery steelhead
5:55 John McMillan, TU Examples of wild steelhead success, where and why, and implications for moving forward
6:15 Steelhead movies, Trout Unlimited Two short movies on steelhead and conservation, including beer and pizza