State to look at Wind River steelhead management

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter

Published:

 

STEVENSON — A public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Rock Creek Hegewald Center, 710 S.W. Rock Creek Drive, to discuss steelhead management in Skamania County’s Wind River.

Biologist John Weinheimer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will discuss his agency’s efforts to restore wild steelhead in the Wind River watershed.

The department stopped stocking the Wind River with hatchery-origin steelhead in the mid-1990s.

“The Wind River is managed above Shipherd Falls to perpetuate wild steelhead, while the lower river provides sport-fishing opportunity for hatchery steelhead and salmon,” he said. “We’d like to discuss this strategy with anglers and hear what they have to say about fishery management on the river.”

Hatchery steelhead headed for other streams stray into the lower Wind River, but not are passed up the fish ladder at Shipherd Falls.

“The fisheries below the falls provide major recreational and economic benefits for the region,” Weinheimer said. “It’s a balancing act from a management perspective, and we want to hear how it’s working for area anglers’ point of view.”