The winter steelhead season itself was a pretty tough one. On the North Umpqua it just seemed like we were chasing the end of the rainbow. The steelhead just never showed in the numbers we're used to seeing. Something has to be said about the fact that this would be the first generation of fish we've seen from the year wild fish were allowed to be killed. I know it was tough fishing throughout the Northwest for winters, so I'm hoping we'll see a healthier return next year.
The Rogue seemed to fair even worse, but the killing of wild fish continues here. I just don't get the logic of killing wild fish on the Rogue. We have two hatchery programs on the Rogue system, one below Lost Creek dam and the other on the Applegate. There should be plenty of hatchery fish to take home to the table. Science has shown wild fish are key to the future of healthy fisheries and history has shown hatcheries don't work. I wish I could just have happy steelhead stories, but the Rogue needs our help. Look for more on this in the future.