Today we have some troubling information coming out of the Deschutes River. According to the Deschutes River Alliance, a closure of the steelhead season is more of a when than an if, unfortunately. Below you will find a release from the River Alliance about what they anticipate for the famous steelhead river.
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From the Deschutes River Alliance:
During last night’s presentation, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) shared its steelhead management plans in the Columbia Basin. In the coming weeks, we will share our full analysis of ODFW’s plan.
For now, we want to share the facts on ODFW’s proposed closure framework for the lower Deschutes River (LDR). The framework provides clear benchmarks for ODFW’s closure decisions, making the process much more transparent.
Under the proposed framework, ODFW will make three closure decisions during each steelhead season. The first decision comes in May and is based on the previous year’s escapement of wild steelhead from the LDR. If ODFW’s finalized escapement estimate is above 625, the season will begin ‘open’ on June 1. ODFW’s current escapement estimate forecast for 2021 is 480 – meaning the LDR will likely start the 2022 season ‘closed.’ This estimate will be finalized on May 1.
ODFW’s second decision comes in early August and is based on wild steelhead passage at Bonneville Dam during July. Steelhead angling will open on August 15 if passage numbers exceed 9,900. If those numbers exceed 18,700 in July, steelhead angling on the LDR will open earlier – by August 10 at the latest.
The third decision comes in early September. If Bonneville passage numbers exceed 23,100 wild steelhead between July 1 and August 31, steelhead angling on the LDR will open on September 15 and stay open until May 31. If the August or September passage numbers are below these numbers, angling will be closed.
Bonneville passage numbers can be tracked, Deschutes River Alliance!
There is still time to share your questions or concerns with ODFW. The submission form will remain open until this Friday (April 22) and is available here: LinkIn.Bio We encourage you to submit any questions or concerns you still have about ODFW’s upcoming plans for steelhead management. If ODFW responds to your question, please share that response with the DRA by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org.