TU Meeting Tonight: What’s wrong with the Sandy River? Hatchery impacts on wild salmonids

Join us tonight for our monthly TU meeting, Wednesday March 9th at 7pm, in the green room downstairs on the left at the Vet’s Club, 1626 Willamette St. Eugene. We’re hosting special guest Spencer Miles. Spencer is a steelhead fly fisherman and wild fish advocate who lives in Portland. He is a river steward for the Native Fish Society and has recently been involved in a campaign to reform the Sandy River’s salmon and steelhead hatchery programs.

Save Sandy Salmon Postcard - Front

Save Sandy Salmon Postcard - Back

Here is a quick blog post outlining the issues: A story of two rivers:

The Sandy River originates on the flanks of Mount Hood and flows for 55 miles before reaching the Columbia. Along the way, it is joined by the Bull Run, Little Sandy, Zig Zag, and Salmon rivers. The watershed encompasses an area of 508 square miles. Every year it receives over 1,250,000 hatchery salmon and steelhead, and decade after decade the runs of fish continue to decline. Last year, 674 wild winter steelhead spawned in the Sandy. ODFW’s abundance goal for wild winter steelhead is 1,519 fish (down from a 1997 upper basin goal of 4,900 fish).

The habitat on the Sandy River is good, with minimal logging occurring in the past few decades and over $75 million spent on habitat restoration since the year 2000. Two dams were removed in 2007. Despite habitat improving year after year, wild runs of anadromous salmonids continue to decline.

Hope to see you all there. -MS

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