Received today - WSC Reponse to proposed ESA listing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Received today - WSC Reponse to proposed ESA listing

04-10-2006, 12:28 AM
FYI, The following letter to the editor was sent out
to various newspapers and magazines laying out the WSC
response to the proposed ESA listing of Puget Sound
Wild Steelhead. It is with our hope that this proposal
will engage those who care about wild steelhead to
become more involved.

March 31, 2006
Wild Steelhead Coalition optimistic for action to
protect and recover Puget Sound steelhead

Puget Sound's wild steelhead are legendary in angling
circles for their size, strength, beauty, and
mystique. The past decade has been anything but the
best of times for Puget Soundís steelhead. In fact,
they have been experiencing a long downward spiral in
their abundance for decades. For many concerned
anglers it has been frustrating that steelhead
troubles have received much less media attention and
agency action than those of other depleted populations
of Pacific salmon. NOAA Fisheries officially
acknowledged the severe depletion of Puget Sound
steelhead with their recently released proposal to
list them as Threatened with extinction under the US
Endangered Species Act. As members of the Wild
Steelhead Coalition conservation group, we are hopeful
that steelhead recovery plans can be developed and
meshed with existing salmon recovery efforts like the
Shared Strategy for Puget Sound, which up to now have
been aimed at protecting and recovering ESA listed
Puget Sound bull trout and chinook and chum salmon.
While many of the habitat requirements for steelhead
overlap with those for bull trout and salmon, there
are unique issues to address for effective steelhead
recovery plans. Steelhead populations are complex,
with a wide variety of freshwater and ocean rearing
periods and generally mysterious migration patterns in
the ocean. Steelhead also use an exceptionally diverse
suite of habitats in both very large and very small
streams. We commend NOAA fisheries for their careful,
comprehensive, and considerate status review for Puget
Soundís wild steelhead. We are also optimistic that
the proposed ESA listing will galvanize public support
for taking the actions needed to improve the
protection for and recovery of our priceless, but
severely depleted steelhead populations in Puget


Wild Steelhead Coalition
Rich Simms