Recent Posts


Marty Sheppard Oregon Trout Trail Yellowstone Southern Coast Abel Reels Redfish North Umpqua Kickstarter Willamette Falls Sea-run Cutthroat Extinction hot water Simon Gawesworth Steelhead Instagram Road Trip Press Release Salmon-Trout Owyhee River Steelhead Sanctuary Cookie Lady Nehalem River Winter Spey Strategies #keepemwet Dean Finnerty Dolly Vardon Caddis Fly Fishing Film Tour small creeks Rio Fly Lines BC Pelton Dam Bonefish New Zealand Summer Steelhead flies Steamboat Creek Roamerica Lost and Found Winston Fly Rods Deschutes Salmonfly hatch Guided Fishing Pyramid Lake Native Fish Society invasive species Salmonflies Bass Lahontan Cutthroat Tenkara Fishing Report pay it forward Boston Whaler frying pan river Outdoor Adventure Day Christmas Corey Koff Puget Sound Clackamas River Little Creek Outfitters G3 Waders native fish Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fly Fishing Collaborative SA Mia Sheppard Frank Moore Kate Koff Salmon Black Spot Nevada Oregon Tarpon Ochoco Creek Frank Amato Winston Morrish's Fluttering Stone Blast from the Past Poachers Patagonia Rainbow Trout Skaters Carp Northern California Snow Brown Trout Atlantic Salmon Trout Spey Olympic National Park Christmas Trees Cuba Willamette Oregon Trout Bum McKenzie River Mako Shark Invasives Sharks Rio Trask Sage Fly Rods PMDs saltwater Mousing Stefan Tritscher Williamson River Pacific ocean How to Brian O'Keefe A River Between Us fly fishing Redside Rainbow Film Contest Craig Montana Salmon Watch Alaska Simms Mending Kenny 5 Legs Twin Bridges Senator Jeff Merkley Winter Steelhead Warm Water Scientific Anglers Sweden Goldenstones Spring Chinook Coho Salmon North Coast: Chinook Salmon John Day River Black Friday Metolius Conway Bowman boat cleaning stations photography Kispiox PGE Lincoln Motor Company Bull Trout Klamath Kamchatka Bozeman Klamath Dams Elk River Big Bugs hatcheries Spey-O-Rama Bruce Buckmaster Bulkley Rogue River Jay Nicholas Prineville Fly Fishers Club of Oregon Brian Silvey Big Trout Echo Douglas County Colorado Salmon Fly Trout Unlimited Small Streams Mexico The Creel Oregon Back Roads Deschutes River Alliance CFR Jason Atkinson Adventure tippet rings Trout Bum Road Trip Sage Port Orford Sea-runs Crooked River FarBank Water Time Outfitters State of Jefferson March Browns Redband Trout Senator Ron Wyden Green Drakes vintage news Florida Keys Deschutes National Forest Kevin Callaway Parasite Chum Salmon Whitefish Columbia River Steamboat Inn Vets Bill Bakke Eric Neufeld Montana roll cast Fly Tying Casting for Recovery Dry Fly McKenzie Clackamas Kenny Morrish Todd Moen Spirit River Willamette River Metolius River Cutthroat Trout Wild Steelhead Coalition Smithers British Columbia Wild fish Renzetti Trout-a-Thon Klamath Lake Wader Maker Contest Deschutes River Streamers Bill Black Rio Products Coho West Slope Cutthroat Native Trout Bryan Huskey Trout Seychelles Soul River Atlantic Salmon Fly Expo Jurassic Lake Spey Fishing Tips John Day history LaFollette homestead Green River Home Waters for the Holidays "Clipped" Tying Contest Soft Hackles Mountain Goats Bamboo Rods Klamath River ODFW Maupin Project Healing Waters Dale La Follette Sr. Bauer Fly Reels Fly Reels Travally Grand Teton on-line fly shop Keepemwet Fishing Coat Drive F3T Permit Sea lions Fall River Trailer Trash Thursday Salmon habitat Legos Costa Sea Trout Travalley Elk & Sixes Rob Crandall Catch Magazine Bamboo Nautilus Reels Hardy Reel Bears Fishing License Sandy River Argentina A River for Christmas


Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Willamette Steelhead on Verge of Extinction

Joel La Follette - Monday, August 07, 2017

This is an ODFW Press Release that I received at 10:35 this morning. I hate to see the words extinction and steelhead in the same sentence. It makes me feel a bit ill and very mad.

Willamette steelhead on verge of extinction due to increasing sea lion presence at Willamette Falls

Monday, August 7, 2017

SALEM, Ore. – One of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest’s iconic fish, native steelhead trout, have been migrating over Willamette Falls in Portland to spawn in Cascade Mountain rivers for millennia. They are now at high risk of going extinct, based on a new analysis by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1999 due primarily to the impacts of federal dams and habitat loss, wild native Willamette steelhead have now slipped to high risk of extinction. Willamette steelhead now face a new and growing threat from male sea lions that have learned to exploit the fish as they congregate below Willamette Falls before navigating upriver to spawn.

Continuing a decade-long downward trend, the number of wild steelhead returning to the upper Willamette this year was the lowest on record, with only 512 fish passing above the Willamette Falls. ODFW scientists found that sea lions consumed at least one quarter of the wild steelhead run and warned that if sea lion predation continues at these levels, there is an up to 90 percent probability that at least one wild steelhead population will go extinct as a direct result of the predation. The near-term risk of wild steelhead extinction can be significantly reduced or avoided by limiting sea lion access to Willamette Falls.

“We know what the problem is and have seen this coming for about a decade, we just couldn’t take action to prevent it,” said Dr. Shaun Clements from ODFW.

California sea lions have expanded along the West Coast over the past four decades to a population of nearly 300,000 animals coast-wide today. As numbers increased, a small proportion of sea lions – all males – have expanded their range into freshwater areas where migrating salmon and steelhead are especially vulnerable, including in places such as Ballard Locks in Washington, Bonneville Dam, and at the Willamette Falls, where fish tend to congregate before moving upstream. At these locations, predation by sea lions is especially high and adversely impacts salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. In the 1980s, sea lion predation on winter steelhead at Ballard Locks in Seattle effectively destroyed the Lake Washington stock.

“Removal of afew problem individuals will have no impact on the overall sea lion populationbut can significantly benefit ESA-listed fish,” said Robin Brown, leadscientist for ODFW’s marine mammal program.

Any solution toaddress the threats to wild fish populations will have to strike a balance between the recovery of imperiled salmon and steelhead populations and theongoing conservation of sea lions. Also at stake are significant regionalinvestments in recovery efforts, such as improvements in fish passage at dams,restoration of fish habitat, and implementation of fishing regulations that prohibit anglers from harvesting wild fish. ODFW scientists have determinedthat curtailing the immediate impact created by sea lion predation is essential to saving the steelhead from extinction to support the success of long-term recovery efforts.

Sea lions are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). TheMMPA, unlike the ESA, has fewer tools for managers to use to balance the conservation of predators and prey and prevent these situations in locations where fish are most vulnerable. Sections of the MMPA were revised in 1994 to allow limited management ofsea lions for the purpose of protecting ESA-listed salmon and steelhead.Unfortunately, the revisions do not allow for proactive management and cannotaddress emergencies like that occurring at Willamette Falls.

“We are in on-going discussions with state and tribal fishery managers and several stakeholder groups,” said Dr. Clements, “Given the situation at Willamette Falls, everyone is united in their call for swift action, and ODFW stands ready to provide expertise to the Northwest congressional delegation on a bipartisan,compromise bill to revise the MMPA to address these emergency situations without undermining the strength and importance of this law.” Bills in the House and Senate; H.R. 2083, sponsored by Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), and S 1702, sponsored by Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho), represent the first steps toward that goal.

“We are at a point where any more delays in the Willamette may condemn this run toextinction,” Clements said. “We need to act now or extinction may be our legacy.”

Upper Willamette wild steelhead have been listed as “threatened” under the federal ESA since March 1999. ODFW has not allowed harvest of these fish for more than 20 years. California sea lion populations are robust, and the animals are not listed under the Endangered Species Act, but are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.


Dr. Shaun Clements, (541) 223-8437
Rick Swart, (971) 673-6038

Contact Us

21570 Willamette Drive West Linn, OR 97068

2014 Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Privacy | Legal