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Today, we need your help encouraging the State of Oregon to shutter the deadbeat Leaburg Fish Hatchery on Oregon’s iconic McKenzie River. Right now, Oregon lawmakers are considering whether to provide funding to keep Leaburg operational after the federal government, the original funder for the hatchery, moved operations elsewhere.
Oregon lawmakers need to hear from you about the need to invest in HABITAT, NOT HATCHERIES! Please sign the petition to lawmakers today. Want to have an even bigger impact? Call the lawmakers listed at the bottom of this email, and tell them: THE BEST HATCHERY IS A HEALTHY RIVER — LET LEABURG GO!
Leaburg Hatchery presents serious problems for wild fish recovery, the health of the McKenzie River, and the pocketbooks of taxpayers including:
ODFW’s production proposal for Leaburg will have direct impacts on native and Endangered Species Act listed fish.
There is significant legal liability surrounding the Leaburg Hatchery program as ODFW lacks approved Hatchery Genetic Management Plans for summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon and the proposed production at Leaburg could impact legally protected threatened fish.
The facilities at Leaburg Hatchery need considerable renovation to meet current operational and safety standards.
There are concerns about the water quality impacts of Leaburg Hatchery operations on the McKenzie River–the hatchery’s water quality permit is significantly overdue for renewal and the hatchery has been issued notices of noncompliance for past water quality violations.
Continuing to operate the deadbeat Leaburg Hatchery puts our wild fish and our ecosystems at risk and asks Oregon’s taxpayers to foot the bill.
We know that the best hatchery is a healthy river. The State of Oregon needs to prioritize its limited funds where they can be of greatest benefit to our native fish and our communities. Our fish and our state will be better served if public funds are utilized to restore our wild fish and their homewaters. Let’s give our wild fish the best hatcheries we can—healthy rivers.
Sign the petition now, and take a moment to call the lawmakers listed below. Tell them to LET LEABURG GO!
Campaign & Columbia Regional Director
To double your impact, call these lawmakers:
Senator Betsy Johnson: 503-986-1716
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: 503-986-1717
Senator Kathleen Taylor: 503-986-1721
Representative Jeff Reardon: 503-986-1448
Senator Lew Frederick: 503-986-1722
Representative Paul Holvey: 503-986-1408
Representative Courtney Neron: 503-986-1426
Representative Dan Rayfield: 541-740-7744
Nymphing is good right now with stonefly nymphs, wormy patterns, larger jigged hare’s ears, pheasant tails and mega princes.
Grannom Caddis, March Browns and Salmon Fly adult insects were present yesterday. There was very little surface activity, however that is likely to change as water temps creep up and water levels continue to drop.
From BENNETT HALL Corvallis Gazette-Times
A national conservation group is highlighting threats to the Willamette River and calling on the federal government to take action to protect imperiled fish runs.
The Willamette was one of 10 waterways listed in the 2019 edition of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers,” which is being released today. The report, issued annually since 1984 by America’s Rivers, aims to call attention to looming environmental threats and opportunities to address them.
The group urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate steps to protect imperiled spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead runs by improving operations at its 13 Willamette Basin dams. It also calls on Congress to secure funding for the work.
According to an advance copy of the report provided to journalists, an estimated 300,000 spring chinook and 200,000 winter steelhead once came back from the ocean each year to spawn in the headwaters streams of the Willamette Basin, but those numbers have plummeted since the dams’ construction, with fewer than 5,000 wild spring chinook and 1,000 wild winter steelhead making the return trip last year.
While those numbers are bolstered by the release of hatchery fish, many environmental groups argue those fish do nothing to protect the survival of wild populations and may even pose an additional threat.
With no functioning fish ladders, the report states, salmon and steelhead fighting their way upstream to spawn must be collected and trucked to the tops of the dams, while juveniles attempting to migrate downstream sometimes can’t get past the dams without being forced through power turbines.
The report asks the Corps of Engineers to live up to the terms of a federal biological opinion issued in 2008 in response to a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit watchdog Willamette Riverkeeper, which called on the corps to make significant improvements to fish passage and water quality at its Willamette Basin dams.
While some steps have been taken to improve conditions in the network – including new fish collection facilities at dams on the North and South Santiam rivers – many of the promised improvements remain unfinished more than a decade later, leaving some wild fish runs in grave danger, the report claims.
“The threat is inaction, to sum it up in a word,” said David Moryc, senior director of American Rivers.
“We have to do something to make sure Willamette River winter steelhead and spring chinook don’t go extinct.”
Plans are in the works to build downstream fish passage structures at Cougar Dam on the McKenzie River system and Detroit Dam on the North Santiam, but Moryc said both projects could be derailed by President Donald Trump’s budget request, which drastically cuts funding to the Corps of Engineers’ construction account.
The Democratic members of Oregon’s congressional delegation have written a letter to the leaders of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development urging them to preserve funding for the work, and Moryc is asking Oregonians to make their voices heard on the issue.
He said the public can also push for more fish passage improvements by commenting on the Corps of Engineers’ latest studies on fish populations and water quality in the Willamette Basin.
Travis Williams, executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper, said he hopes the American Rivers report will motivate Oregonians to fight for threatened Willamette River fish runs.
“I think the good thing about a listing like this is that it elevates the issue and makes people say, ‘Hey, this is real – if we don’t do something, winter steelhead could go extinct in a couple of years,’” Willams said.
“We need this to happen in the next couple of years, to see real action and successful fish passage up and down the system, project by project,” he added.
“We need the corps to kick this thing into overdrive.”
The other waterways listed in the 2019 “America’s Most Endangered Rivers” report are the Gila River in New Mexico, New York’s Hudson River, the Upper Mississippi through Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, the Green-Duwamish River in Washington, Alaska’s Chilkat River, the South Fork Salmon River in Idaho, the Buffalo National River in Arkansas, Big Darby Creek in Ohio and the Stikine River in Alaska.
Ohio’s Cuyahoga was named River of the Year. Once so heavily polluted that it regularly caught on fire, the Cuyahoga became a symbol of the environmental movement and has undergone massive cleanup efforts.
Bring in your leaky waders of any brand, jacket of any brand, pant, shirt, boot you name it and the Patagonia Worn Wear Team will take on the task of fixing it on the spot.
We will have the BBQ going and some of your favorite brew on tap, stop by from 10-4pm. 168 West 6th Eugene.
Check out what Worn Wear is all about HERE.
Join us for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival April 17th at the Wildish Theater. The IF4 is a wonderful collection of professionally made fly fishing films from around the globe that highlight the beauty and culture of fly fishing. The IF4 is an exciting night of films and raffling off over $4000 in great fishing gear, art, and trips all for an amazing cause!
The film festival is a fundraiser for Fly Fishing Collaborative, a Portland based non-profit working to provide sustainable solutions to human trafficking. FFC partners with the fly fishing community and local leaders in high trafficking areas to fight for freedom and recovery for children affected by human trafficking.
Doors are at 6:15pm to allow for viewing of the raffle and silent auction items, show begins at 7pm. Cost is $15 per ticket, and can be purchased online at flyfilmfest.com, at Home Waters Fly Fishing or Caddis Fly Shop. Check out the trailer and get your tickets.
The Wildish Theater is located at 630 Main St
Springfield OR 97477–4765
Every ticket purchased helps to put power in the hands of the powerless!
In this video, Tim shows a simple way to put your rod together. Beginning with the rod-tip, not only is your rod protected, but your reel is protected from dirt. Why am I just learning this?
The Patagonia Worn Wear Mobile Tour will be stopping by the Caddis Fly on April 17th. The Worn Wear Team will be available to repair any and all brands of gear from 10am to 4pm on April 17th, 2019.
About Patagonia’s Worn Wear program
VENTURA, Calif. (March 31, 2015)
Extending the life of our garments is the single most important thing we can do to lower our impact on the planet. In keeping our clothes in use longer, we reduce overall consumption.
Today, we’re proud to launch a cross-country mission to change people’s relationship with stuff. The Worn Wear Mobile Tour, kicking off April 2 in Ventura, Calif., and ending May 12 in Boston, is our attempt to encourage customers to make their clothes last a lifetime.
As part of the tour, we’re bringing repair staff from Patagonia’s repair facility in Reno, Nev., on the road to offer free repairs on busted zippers, rips, tears, buttons, pulls and more – in addition to teaching people how to fix their own gear. Used Patagonia items will be for sale. The tour will be stopping at a myriad of locations such as retail locations, coffee shops, farmers markets and trailheads.
Patagonia’s Worn Wear program was created in 2013 as a way to encourage people to take good care of their gear, washing and repairing as needed. The program aims to keep clothing, regardless of brand, in circulation for as long as possible. When it’s time for a replacement, we want you to invest in something that lasts.
That’s why Patagonia makes the best quality, most functional products in the world, guarantees them for life and owns the biggest garment repair facility in North America. And it’s why were going on tour – bringing Worn Wear’s critical message to communities across the country.
“There is nothing we can change about how we make clothing that would have more positive environmental impact than simply making less,” notes Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. “Worn Wear is a celebration of quality products and their relationship to our lives. It’s a simple but critical message: keep your gear in action longer and take some pressure off our planet.”
The Worn Wear Wagon is a one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, created by artist/surfer Jay Nelson. The solar-powered camper shell is made from redwood salvaged from giant wine barrels and mounted on a ’91 Dodge Cummins fueled by biodiesel. The mobile repair shop, complete with an Industrial Juki sewing machine, will be open to anyone who brings in a garment, regardless of brand. The tour will aim to educate visitors about the philosophy behind Patagonia’s Worn Wear program.
Check out this incredible story of the Winnemem Wintu tribes journey to get salmon back to the Mcleod River in Northern California.
This handcrafted, custom bench will be built and permanently installed along the edge of Steamboat Creek to celebrate and commemorate the recent successful passage of the public lands bill that includes The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary. Frank and Jeanne have inspired so many people, including Rusty Lininger, co-founder of Source One Serenity. Together with other veterans, Rusty is constructing this beautiful wooden bench to honor the decades that Frank and Jeanne have dedicated in advocacy and stewardship for the North Umpqua, providing a natural sanctuary for wildlife as well as people.
Click HERE to help fund.
We are collaborating with the US Forest Service to identify an appropriate location for the bench installation. This campaign was created to support the craft and installation of this bench, in lasting tribute to Frank and Jeanne, and as a functional place of rest and respite for everyone who takes pause along Steamboat Creek.
More about Frank and Jeanne Moore and the Wild Steelhead Sanctuary in the video below:
Funds raised will cover:
Time and labor
Installation and anchoring
Commemorative and descriptive plaque
Any amount raised over the goal will be retained by Source One Serenity for immersive outdoors programming for veterans.
About the artist and Source One Serenity:
Rusty Lininger is a combat veteran with PTSD who found healing by fly-fishing along the North Umpqua River, much like the healing that Frank found when he returned from WWII. Rusty and his wife Elena co-founded the non-profit Source One Serenity to give other trauma-affected veterans a purpose and a place for healing though outdoor activities and land stewardship in the North Umpqua and Steamboat watershed. Rusty is a talented woodworker and together with other vets, he is handcrafting a durable, functional, and beautiful bench that embodies the spirit of Frank and Jeanne, and that will integrate with the landscape that is now named in their honor.
Above photo taken at Belinger Ramp on the lower McKenzie.
Just off Camp Creek Road
Another angle at Belinger
Eweb Ramp’s parking lot under water
Silver Creek Ramp
Blue River Ramp
Thanks very much to Mike Reardon for sharing some photos he took April 8th.
We are looking at nearly a week before things are remotely “fishable”. This is a great time to get out all your fly gear and organize, clean and prep for the coming season. Get all your fly boxes out on a table and organize flies by hatch or location. Examine fly lines, clean lines that need it, replace the others. Get all your tippet spools together, how are they for quantity? If there are only a few winds of 4x left on a spool you know you will need more. Better to find this out when you have time to cope than when you are on the water. If you know your tippet spools are more than 24 months old toss them and get new ones. If you know the date you purchased them put it on them so you know how old they are next time you organize.
We recently got our hands on a copy of Matthew Miller’s new book, Fishing Through the Apocalypse: An Angler’s Adventures in the 21st Century. Miller is Director of Science Communications for The Nature Conservancy and a great writer.
The book dives into the subculture of microfishing, the tropical invasives of Florida, the glory of chasing huge gar, sturgeon, and even bluegills – all full of brilliant writing and wildlife biology insight, and told from the viewpoint of someone who loves to fish.
Miller writes of streams of the east and upper Midwest, the places I grew up where the water ran foul and unnaturally orange, devoid of any life, places that had once ran thick with shad, eels, chubs, bass, or other species. Those ecosystems are almost surely irrevocably destroyed. Hardly anyone has a living memory of what those rivers and streams had been like. And so Miller wants to document what it means to fish now, to avoid losing what is there today to shifting baselines.
But he also wants us to look critically at our chosen (hobby, lifestyle, career, religion…idk?), with clear eyes, to see modern fishing for what it really is. A few excerpts below:
Much of the fishing we experience in the 21st century is no less unnatural than pulling Amazonian fish from a trash-strewn Miami canal. The aesthetics may be more pleasing, but the situation is just as synthetic. We just can’t see through it through the haze of nostalgia and the pleasure of a fish on the line.
You can catch a hatchery rainbow and perhaps lie to yourself that it is actually a wild fish. You can’t do that with a banana trout. You know it was only recently swimming around a concrete run, gulping pellets. For this reason, perhaps all stocked fish should be bananas. Then maybe anglers could acknowledge the reality that much of the 21st century fishing relies on similarly unnatural fish.
The annual sportsman’s show at the county fairgrounds has a large inflatable pool filled with trout. Kids can stand around it and “fish” for those trout. You never see an adult do this, of course. You couldn’t dangle a line into a swimming pool and not feel a fool. And yet, many ponds, streams and reservoirs offer exactly the same fishing situation, just in a more natural setting.
Can we still delude ourselves that our hooks and lines connect us to the natural world?
Fisheries managers boast of their scientific approach, but this science belongs to modern livestock production, not wildlife biology.
No matter how real they make it, you can’t shake the idea that it’s an inferior copy of something magnificent… And if we aren’t careful it could be the symbol of our future.
The book also delves into the other side of hatchery programs, the state agencies and wildlife organizations doing everything possible to keep tiny populations of wild native fish alive. These scenarios haunted me as well.
There are a few examples in the book where the survival of these populations will rely on sustained intensive human management.
I asked Miller, “Do you have any reservations or concerns about putting that much effort into conservation project with no hope of reaching a sustainable state? Aren’t invasive species part of fishing in the apocalypse?
I ask as someone who for a long time would’ve wanted to fight to save every precious relict subspecies. But when we are supporting these populations, how wild are they? How are they different from a hatchery program? And could these resources potentially be directed toward more sustainable instances of preserving biodiversity?”
Matt responded with the following:
This is an excellent question. First, in many places, the habitat is so changed that restoration of native species (or removal of non-native species) is simply no longer feasible. Certain waters would be a waste of time and money to try to restore. These ARE novel ecosystems, and we are going to have to make peace with the fact that not everything can be restored to a “pristine” state (whatever that is).
That said, I think intensive management in a number of instances CAN restore native species. I believe it is worth the expense and effort, for reasons I’ll explain in a bit. For many native trout streams, particularly in the West, the problem is not habitat or water quality or massive, landscape-scale changes. It’s because someone stocked the waters with non-native species, often for angling purposes. That’s a problem, but not an insolvable one.
In Yellowstone, for instance, the habitat is great. Cutthroat trout will thrive if invasive species are removed. That requires a massive effort, to be sure. And it’s reliant on the hope that no one will restock the waters illegally (this is a matter of outreach and changing angler values, another difficult but not impossible problem). However, the effort is working towards a sustainable state. Cutthroat trout can thrive in Yellowstone. I believe we will live to see this full return to native fish glory in the park.
Gila trout similarly require intensive management now. And events like fires have hampered the program, but that’s because the full restoration hasn’t occurred. There is progress. Again, Gila trout can thrive in many areas if the non-natives are removed. That’s possible without much difficulty in some wilderness streams. In others, it requires interventions like the concrete barriers I describe in the book. In others, it will mean Gila trout are sustained through hatcheries. But the bottom line is that this is all working towards sustainability: towards a future where Gila trout are abundant and resilient. Again, I don’t think that is impossible.
For me, the underlying principle is Leopold’s admonition to “save all the parts.” I think intensive management is worth it because in the future, values towards nature can change, restoration techniques and technologies can change, a lot can change. If we have still have the native subspecies and strains, we can work towards a future where they thrive without intervention. In the meantime, that may require human intervention. That may be idealistic, or wishful thinking, but that’s the future I want to see.
I think there are many thorny issues around all wildlife in the Anthropocene. Right now, nearly any surviving rhinos require 24/7 surveillance of armed guards. The options appear to be to forego this intensive protection, and have rhinos go extinct. Or guard them with the hope that someday we will not need to guard them and rhinos will go on with their lives. Some believe we are only delaying the inevitable by guarding them. I do not have the answers, but ultimately it comes down to values.
I value native fish. Maybe that ultimately blinds me to the reality, but I think it’s worth doing what it takes to “save all the parts” and work towards a future where these intensive efforts aren’t necessary.
Freshwater ecosystems are our most endangered and fragile. This book provides a great lens for looking at these species with an angler and conservationists’ eye. It’s bracing, but hopeful. Definitely put this on your reading list. -MS
After surviving the worlds largest spring cloud burst and bailing “The Beast” twice, the March Brown hatch got going. The fishing on top proved very successful with the Western March Brown and the March Brown Sparkle Dun. The fish to hand were plentiful in the 10-14 inch range and we caught more rainbows verses cuts.
With rain (heavy showers) anglers should look to fishing near the banks. We found as the water flow increased the fish pushed toward shore. Current river forecast shows increasing flows on all valley streams. The hatch was sporadic but consistent enough to keep rises showing. Also, caddis were present during the entire day: no bugs during the deluge of water from the heavens. Bugs went to bed around 4:00.
The current forecast looks like heavy rain near term and then on to showers for most of the coming days. It will rain, but the bugs will come. Get out there!
Please join us for a showing of one of the most important fish conservation films ever produced. ARTIFISHAL sheds light on our failings in producing and protecting fish. If you want the truth about hatcheries and hatchery fish this film is a must watch.
At present we plan on showing this film at Ninkasi Studios 155 Blair Street Eugene on April 25th at 6:30pm. Please RSVP if you plan to attend. – 541 342 7005 or email us at email@example.com to confirm your attendance.