Record low number of steelhead return to Columbia River

Record low number of steelhead return to Columbia River

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Conservationists and anglers are calling for a halt to recreational fishing for steelhead after a record low number returned to the Columbia River this year.

As of this week, just 29,000 steelhead passed the Bonneville Dam since July 1. That is less than half of the average of the past five years.

A coalition of conservation and fishing groups sent an urgent letter to the fish and wildlife agencies in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

The memo requests an immediate closure of recreational steelhead fisheries on the Columbia River, the Lower Snake River and their tributaries.

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