Wednesday Wake-Up Call 10.13.21

Umpqua River steelhead stage before continuing upstream.
Photo by Pat Clayton, Fish Eye Guy Photography

Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout UnlimitedBackcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipThe Everglades FoundationCaptains for Clean WaterBullsugar.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.

If you know of an important issue–whether it’s national or local–that anglers should be paying attention to, comment below, and we’ll check it out!

1. 2021 Season Recap: Montana’s Cold-Water Fisheries

As most anglers know by now, it was a tough year for anglers and trout in Montana. Soaring temperatures and low water made for difficult conditions, and most guides and fly fishers went out of their way to ensure that they treated trout as carefully as possible. In this great conversation, Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana, and a local expert aquatic biologist offer a season recap, next season’s outlook, and next steps for protecting Montana’s fisheries and waterways.

Click these links to learn more about these important organizations:

2. United by Hope: Bristol Bay Dialogues

Everyone who cares about Bristol Bay knows the next step is to secure permanent protections for the region amid a Pebble-friendly state government. TU and their partners are at work on lasting safeguards for trout and salmon and the fish-based resources of Bristol Bay.

Earlier this year, former Orvis Breaking Barriers Award-winner Nelli Williams sat down with a handful of people–including Alaska Sportsmans Lodge owner Brian Kraft and his daughter (whom you may remember from this)–who have worked together on the Pebble front lines for nearly two decades.

Listen in as they reflect on last year’s victory, share stories on the paths they took to arrive here, and prepare for the road ahead. And please visit savebristolbay.org/take-action to add your support for long-term protections.

Click here to see all the United by Hope interviews

3. Tell Oregon Fisheries Managers to Support Catch-and-Release for Wild Steelhead

According to Wild Steelheaders United, 89% of the 2,566 public comments submitted this summer to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife on the Rogue-South Coast Plan (RSP) supported a catch-and-release alternative. Despite this overwhelming support for a cautious management approach, ODFW’s October draft of the RSP did not include a catch and release alternative.

Throughout their range, the odds have not been looking good for wild steelhead and in some cases ODFW and other agencies are taking steps to prioritize the long-term health of wild steelhead, as seen with the closures of Columbia River tributaries in Oregon. So, why won’t ODFW apply the same level of caution when it comes to the issue of harvest in Oregon’s south coast?

The Rogue River has experienced the six lowest years on record for juvenile abundance in the last six years. Climate change is decreasing our ability to predict trends in abundance and productivity and on top of that, ODFW already has massive gaps in data. Now is the time for cautious management.

Speak up for wild steelhead of Oregon’s south coast by attending the virtual ODFW Commission meeting on Oct. 15 and sending a letter to commissioners at the link below.

Click here to make your voice heard by ODFW

Click here to read “What You Can Do to Help Wild Steelhead of Oregon’s South Coast

4. President Biden Restores Protections for Three National Monuments

The Wite House announced last week that President Biden will sign three proclamations restoring protections for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monuments. By restoring these national monuments, which were significantly cut back during the previous administration, President Biden is fulfilling a key promise and upholding the longstanding principle that America’s national parks, monuments, and other protected areas are to be protected for all time and for all people.

Click here for a fact sheet on the new protections

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