Posted on June 06 2017
The river’s steelhead are struggling.
Tucker Jones is certainly comfortable speaking in front of a surly audience. This much is clear from the outset. The burly, self-deprecating Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist is standing in front of a group of 50 guides and anglers on a blustery spring evening at his agency's office overlooking the Columbia River in The Dalles, Oregon. Jones and his colleague, Rod French, who manages ODFW's Deschutes River fisheries program, are here as the bearers of bad news. Before they begin their presentation, a Tidewater Lines barge glides ominously past the picture windows opposite the lectern where Jones is just clearing his throat, as if to remind anglers that the river was re-made a half-century ago. It isn't just for fish anymore. "Well, as most of you know," Jones begins cordially, going for a yarn-around the campfire tone, "steelhead and salmon runs in the Columbia are in pretty bad shape this year. So we're here to tell you about some management actions we have to take."