The North Umpqua Needs Your Help

Jake Crawford September 06, 2023

The North Umpqua River in southern Oregon is one of the most revered steelhead streams in North America and is considered the most beautiful and challenging of the Pacific Northwest’s steelhead systems.

It is an iconic, American classic that has captured the souls of countless anglers and drawn them back year after year to test their skills against one of the most challenging and rewarding runs of steelhead in the world.

Unfortunately, the North Umpqua’s revered summer steelhead runs are at an all-time low and for the second time in three years, the river is now closed to recreational angling due to poor returns.  While the fish face many challenges, the current most threat is just outside Roseburg, Oregon where the derelict, privately held Winchester Dam, a century-old timber crib dam lies. This dam is owned by the Winchester Water Control District and provides no hydroelectric power or irrigation water and has been in disrepair for years causing harm to the river’s fish and water quality downstream for local communities.

Since August 7th, the company repairing the dam has caused numerous violations resulting in fish kills, blocking total fish passage during the tail end of the peak steelhead migration window, and pollution being directly discharged into the river.

The North Umpqua River needs your help and we encourage you to act now by following this link to sign the Native Fish Society petition to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission asking them to enforce the documented violations, including a massive lamprey kill, delay of salmon and steelhead migration, and concrete being directly pumped into the river.

We also ask that you consider joining The Steamboaters and supporting their important work as generously as possible.  Since its founding in 1967, The Steamboaters have proved to be a leading advocate for the wild fish in the North Umpqua River, and they are dedicated to continuing this important support.  As a Thank You for supporting their work to protect and restore the river, everyone who becomes a member will receive a copy of “North Umpqua by Dan Callaghan” in the mail.  This hardcover photographic essay takes you on a journey of the changing of the seasons and captures the heart and soul of the iconic North Umpqua River.

Thank you for your support.

Native Fish Society Action Alert

Ask ODFW Commission to hold Winchester Water Control District accountable for the harm and killing of state sensitive species.

The Steamboaters

A member organization that works tirelessly to protect the fragile North Umpqua River in Oregon.