Wild Steelhead Coalition launches Wild Steelhead Now or Never

The Wild Steelhead Coalition (WSC) is excited to launch the Wild Steelhead Now or Never campaign, a multi-media effort that strives to educate steelheaders about the plight of wild steelhead and empower all steelheaders to become wild steelhead champions. With these iconic fish on the brink across their native range, time is not on our side. It is now or never for wild steelhead and steelhead anglers.

For the last twenty years, the Wild Steelhead Coalition has been fighting to increase the return of wild steelhead to the waters of the West Coast. Over its two-decade history, the WSC has scored many victories and learned countless lessons about conserving and restoring wild steelhead runs. Despite the immense progress forged by the WSC and our partner organizations, wild steelhead populations have continued to slip ever closer to extinction. All of this begs a vital question: we know how to save wild steelhead, but does our society have the willpower to do it?

We believe the answer to that pivotal question can be yes, but to realize this power, passionate steelheaders must spearhead a revamped movement to save these wild fish. We hope the Now or Never Campaign, which utilizes print, audio, and social media to capture leading voices from across Steelhead Country, will inspire steelheaders to lead this movement and become as invested in saving wild steelhead as we are in catching them.

“Throughout my life, I have seen the incredible lengths anglers will go to catch wild steelhead,” said WSC co-founder and board member Rich Simms. “We willingly endure miserable conditions, invest thousands of dollars, and spend countless days on the water in the hopes of connecting with these special fish. To ensure the future of wild steelhead fishing, all anglers need to channel the same level of passion, perseverance, and resources into saving these fish as we do in chasing them.”

“We are at a vital inflection point for the future of wild steelhead,” said Greg Topf, WSC Board Chair. “If we act now, we have the opportunity to reverse decades of decline and chart a bright future for wild steelhead and angling. However, if the status quo remains, populations will continue to decline, more rivers will close fishing, and the future of steelheading will be in serious jeopardy.”

Recognizing this powerful inflection point, we hope the Now or Never Campaign will help ignite a revamped movement to save wild steelhead and improve steelhead fishing across the West Coast before it is too late. We can forge this brighter future, but time is not on our side. It is now or never for wild steelhead.

Interested parties can learn more about Wild Steelhead Now or Never Campaign at the Wild Steelhead Coalition’s website. For press inquiries or to speak to someone at the coalition, please contact brian.bennett@wildsteelheadcoalition.org

The Wild Steelhead Coalition was formed in 2000 by a group of Washington anglers deeply troubled by the loss of their beloved wild steelhead fisheries in the rivers of North Puget Sound. They set out to learn more about the causes of fishery collapse and dedicated themselves to reversing these terrible trends. Today our members live and work throughout Steelhead Country. The WSC works tirelessly to build partnerships among stakeholders, educate the public, and advocate for the science-based management required to restore wild steelhead populations to sustainable levels within their native watersheds.