WSC November Speaker?!? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: WSC November Speaker?!?

10-15-2002, 11:26 PM
Just noticed that the WSC staff annouced November's speaker - none other than Bill McMillan himself!

Details here:

November Meeting Details (

10-18-2002, 06:31 PM
Yes, Bill McMillan will be the guest speaker at the November 6th general meeting. His presentation will be on "Hatchery/wild steelhead interactions: case studies from Northwest streams" .

10-25-2002, 12:01 AM
Updated Info regarding Bill McMillan's Presentation at the Wild Steelhead Coalition meeting 11/6.

Presentation Title:

How Hatcheries Impact Wild Steelhead Populations and What Wild Steelhead Can Provide Without Hatcheries

Description of the Program:

Steelhead managers have attempted to provide hatchery steelhead for Harvest while protecting wild steelhead populations in two basic ways:
1) Selecting for early spawning so the resulting hatchery stock of Steelhead will not spawn with wild steelhead, or 2) take wild brood stock each year in the hopes that the resulting hatchery steelhead will be so similar to wild steelhead that if they spawn together the wild population will be "supplemented" (or added to) with resulting steelhead that are the same. Evidence will be provided that both of these hatchery steelhead avenues significantly and negatively impact wild steelhead populations.

The question by anglers might well be, "Well, how are we supposed to have steelhead to fish for without hatcheries?"

The program will provide examples of places where wild steelhead perform well in those few remaining streams in Washington and Oregon where hatchery steelhead have not been introduced, or where hatchery introductions were eliminated for a time. It will be suggested that if there is to be a steelhead angling future, steelhead managers and anglers will have to become stronger advocates of streams increasingly managed for restoration of wild steelhead populations through the elimination of hatchery steelhead releases. We have a rapidly altering planet, a rapidly altering climate, and the best chance we have for steelhead adapting to those changes is through the maximized genetic diversity represented by the remaining wild steelhead populations. They can no longer fight both hatcheries and the altering planet we live on.

Bill McMillan biographical information:

Bill began drift fishing for steelhead at age 12. As a 16 year old in 1961, He landed his first steelhead on a fly in Wind River canyon.

Bill majored in biology at junior college and then fisheries at the
University of Washington in 1965-66. But he considered those the bleak Donaldson years in which the only UW fishery world was that of concrete ponds beside Lake Union. The UW was his first fishery battleground, and like most of those since, it was a losing fight. Bill sampled several colleges over the next 2-3 years majoring in English and then philosophy and finally decided the educational system was taking him nowhere he wanted to go. Thankfully he considered that he didnít disgrace himself with a degree. After all, it was the 60s.

Thereafter Bill devoted his life to fishery activism from outside the
System rather than from inside. Fishing became a primary means for data collection. He became a hobby ichthyologist and a fly rod became his "microscope."

In 1972 Bill began freelance writing/photography with fishing, fishery, and conservation subjects his primary focus. In 1979 Bill began organizing volunteer steelhead spawning surveys on streams in southwest Washington. In 1983 he initiated the first snorkel surveys to document declining wild steelhead numbers in Washington. In 1989 Bill was on the first Washington Fishery Policy Task Force, was on a Spotted Owl Advisory Board, and was one of the original 17 founders of Washington Trout.

In the falls of 1995 and 1996 Bill was American director of a remote camp on the Kamchatka Peninsula during the Russian/American scientific expeditions documenting the range of Asian steelhead. On return from Russia, He moved to Puget Sound and became a member of Washington Trout's field crews collecting culvert data, determining presence or absence of fish in streams prior to logging, doing spawning surveys, snorkel counts, and identifying locations of native headwater trout populations in Eastern Washington. Bill continues to do so today whether as a part time employee or as a volunteer while living on the Skagit River.