Update, May 19, 2022: Petitioners including Douglas County, Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby, Inc. and Scott Worsley (a fishing guide) filed for a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent from taking effect the Commission's April 22 decision to not release hatchery summer steelhead smolts in 2022 and to eliminate the Rock Creek hatchery summer steelhead program until the case is decided on the merits or is otherwise disposed of by the court.
Late yesterday morning, the Marion County Circuit Court granted the petitioners' request. Hatchery summer steelhead smolts will be released consistent with the court order which is expected to be issued by the end of the week.
In light of this development, the Commission intends to delay to a future (yet to be determined) date, the special meeting to discuss information received from various tribes and other comments related to the Rock Creek summer steelhead hatchery program that was requested at its last meeting on May 13.
Summer steelhead returns declined significantly in 2021 across much of their range (Cape Blanco to British Columbia). This included an historically low run of 450 wild summer steelhead in the North Umpqua basin.
This low return combined with recent environmental conditions affecting summer steelhead in the basin (wildfires, drought, low flows, high stream temperatures, ocean conditions), prompted ODFW staff to reassess the population and factors that could be limiting their abundance. The assessment and public input will help form recommendations about the summer steelhead hatchery program that staff will present to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission April 22, 2022.
North Umpqua Summer Steelhead Status Assessment, 2022 (pdf)
Public Involvement Process
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