Northwest Steelhead Primer

Steelhead

Leland Miyawaki, former Fishing Manager of Orvis Bellevue, has written a terrific piece on Northwest Steelhead. Leland discusses how Northwest steelhead are categorized by the years they spend in the ocean before returning to spawn and what gear is needed for each year group. He also discusses fishing tactics and emphasizes the need to be able to cast 80 – 100 feet on the bigger Northwest rivers – a polished double haul is mandatory.

You can read the article here.

Hood Canal Bridge: A Steelhead Deathtrap

The Hood Canal Bridge connects the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas in Washington state. It is the world’s longest floating bridge that exists in a saltwater tidal basin (7,869 feet in length). A vital link between those peninsulas, daily traffic flow is over 16,000 vehicles daily. Made up primarily of pontoons, it’s anchored at both ends by fixed bridges.

But it is those center sections that may be acting as a deathtrap for Hood Canal steelhead – and potentially salmon. At low tide, the pontoons cover 95% of the canal’s width. Steelhead, which swim in the upper layers of the water column, may be held up by the 12-foot deep pontoons, making them easier prey for predators (eagles, seals). Or the complex water flows around the bridge may be confusing the fish.

Fisheries scientists don’t fully know yet what’s going on. But it’s clear this is another adverse impact on increasingly vulnerable fisheries.

Read more here.