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Steelhead under stress

Winter Steelhead runs are heading toward extinction if Sea Lions aren’t curtailed – ODFW

Standing up for Wild Steelhead on October 15th

This summer, 2,556 people asked ODFW to adopt Catch and Release regulations for wild steelhead on Oregon’s Rogue and south coast rivers. 89% of comments received by the department on harvest endorsed Catch and Release until adequate monitoring is in place!

ODFW did not hear our voice. Instead, they are trying to move forward with a plan that maintains, and in some rivers increases, the harvest of wild steelhead despite lacking the monitoring data necessary to know that this harvest will be sustainable.

Please attend the virtual ODFW Commission meeting on Oct. 15 and ask the Commission to adopt catch and release regulations. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to speak up and let your voice be heard for wild steelhead.

Testimony will be virtual and you can testify from anywhere. We have posted an outline on our website to make it easy for you to sign up and testify. Attached to this email is a comment template to help you craft your testimony. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

What you need to know to testify:

* No population estimates and/or escapement goals for the Rogue and south coast.
* Proposed monitoring does not commit to obtaining or using adult population estimates or escapement goals for Rogue or south coast.
* No current estimate of harvest rate or overall mortality in Rogue or south coast. Idaho observes a 5% catch and release mortality rate * and Washington uses an 10% catch and release mortality rate. Oregon does not observe a catch and release mortality rate nor is it  included in this plan.
* Catch and release for wild steelhead will not eliminate harvest opportunity; harvest of hatchery steelhead will still be available.
89% of wild harvest occurs in the Rogue and Chetco River’s; both of these rivers have thousands of winter hatchery steelhead for harvest opportunities.
* Catch and release will continue to allow opportunities to fish without closing down the sport fishery.

* Register by 8am on Wednesday, October 13 to give virtual public testimony on the release of Wild Steelhead in southern Oregon. NFS recommends that you register early to ensure that you have the opportunity to share your voice.

Thank you for being a part of the movement as we work together to restore abundant wild fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving local communities in southern Oregon and beyond.

For the wild,
Kirk Blaine
Southern Oregon Regional Coordinator
Native Fish Society
kirk@nativefishsociety.org

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