Wild Steelhead and Iconic Fisheries Campaign

Steelhead anglers around the world hold certain runs of wild steelhead in almost mystical regard: Snake River wild B-runs.  Skagit River wild winters. Thompson and Dean River summer steelhead in British Columbia. TCA has initiated projects to prevent the loss of these iconic fish and fisheries and bring them back from legend and lore to present and future prominence.


Wild Steelhead and salmon have made and still make the Pacific Northwest from California to Alaska a mythical and magical place for angling.  But certain places are on the brink of losing their wild fish.  TCA will not allow these wild runs disappear and special places to close to angling on our watch.  Political and economic choices prevent wild steelhead, salmon and trout from expressing even modest productivity on iconic rivers up and down the west coast.  TCA will mobilize passionate anglers who care about the wild rivers and wild fish so that these places and these fish are not lost to the future.


Wild Steelhead and Iconic Fisheries Campaign Projects


The Last Steelhead - An Eco-Rock Opera


Columbia - Snake River B-run Restoration Project


B-Run wild steelhead are so mythical that many do not even understand what they are.  Historically attributed to Idaho Rivers, the “B-Run” is actually a component of the Columbia and Snake River wild steelhead run that biologists have distinguished by their size (larger than 30”) and the timing of their return (the bulk of them cross Bonneville after the “A-Run” (steelhead less than 30”).  B-run steelhead are big fish, but they are not only an Idaho product.  Consider the Lewis River or Wind River summer steelhead that are early-return fish of considerable size.  No matter what may be known about these incredible fish, fewer than 7,000 wild B-Run steelhead crossed over Bonneville Dam in 2016.  These magnificent game fish are salmon size and therefore, are susceptible to nonselective gillnets aiming for chinook salmon.  They also face recreational angling pressure in a very small number of cold-water refuges as they migrate up the Columbia River - once the greatest wild steelhead river on the planet.


Thompson River Steelhead Restoration Project


The Thompson River, a large tributary to the massive Fraser River in British Columbia, was loved to death in the 1980s, but it is not gone yet - and TCA refuses to say goodbye to this magnificent river and its iconic wild steelhead.  These wild animals are buffeted by bycatch in Fraser River commercial fisheries and by inadequate streamflows in key spawning tributaries.  TCA will work with regional and local partners to ensure Thompson River wild steelhead return from near-oblivion.  The future must include Thompson River wild Steelhead.


Dean River and Dean Channel Protection Project


Dean River wild steelhead may be at the top of the list of iconic wild steelhead.  But these wild fish, bound for a virtually inaccessible wild river, are literally tossed overboard from commercial fishing boats that intercept them in pursuit of virtually worthless hatchery chum salmon in the Dean Channel, before they can enter the powerful and wild Dean River.  TCA will work to end this wasteful practice.



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