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Grill to Save Bristol Bay

Savor Bristol Bay cedar grilling planks are now available for purchase from Fire & Flavor Grilling Co. All proceeds from cedar plank sales directly benefit the Save Bristol Bay campaign. Buy your cedar plank today.

Water & Wine

Not sure what wine to have with your wild salmon? Check out one of Trout Unlimited's Water & Wine partners and invest your dollars in a winery that's investing in the future of our wild salmon

WW Business Partners

Wondering where to go to dinner or where to buy some wild salmon? Check out our growing list of WhyWild Business Partners with businesses all over the country committed to sustainable wild salmon fisheries and doing their part to save wild salmon. View the list

Summer 2009

Trout Unlimited's - Why Wild Campaign

Summer 2009

Trout Unlimited's WhyWild e-newsletter

WhyWild is Trout Unlimited’s community of consumers, chefs, retailers, businesses, sport and commercial fishermen, processors, and others in the salmon marketplace who value wild Pacific salmon and all that wild salmon support and sustain. To learn more, please visit:

Program Director, Elizabeth Dubovsky
419 Sixth Street, Suite 200, Juneau, AK 99801

Bristol Bay goes to the UK

This April, a group of Bristol Bay Native leaders and salmon fishermen traveled to London to meet with Anglo American’s executives and shareholders at their annual meeting and voice their concerns and questions about what the proposed Pebble Mine would do to the Bristol Bay watershed and their way of life.  Anglo American, one of the largest mining companies in the world, is pushing to develop the Pebble Mine – what would be one of the world’s largest hardrock mines - in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

“This land of bounty is our home. It has provided for our families, our culture and our traditional way of life for tens of thousands of years,” said Lydia Olympic, a delegation member and past president of the Igiugig Village Tribal Council. “We need our lands and waters to stay pristine to continue living healthy lifestyles. We are the ones who will live with pollution and toxic mine waste long after Anglo American has left.”

Also part of the week’s events was the London premier of Red Gold, TU’s award-winning documentary film about Bristol Bay, its people, wild salmon, and the proposed Pebble Mine.  Local London chefs and sustainable food groups participated in the Red Gold screening event, as did several English fly-fishing celebrities, such as Charles Jardine and Peter Cockwill.

»Read more about the Alaska delegation's visit to London

Salmon Conservation Updates

Taku River spared from experimental hoverbarge

The Taku River, Southeast Alaska's most productive salmon river -- with fisheries for Chinook, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink salmon -- has been threatened the last several years by a proposal from a Canadian mining company, Redcorp Ventures Ltd., to run a large air-cushioned hovercraft vehicle (or “hoverbarge”) along with other large amphibious vehicles up and down the Taku.  The hoverbarge and its army of vehicles (never used on the Taku River before) would have been used to move equipment, fuel, and mining ore between the Tulsequah Chief Mine site and Juneau, AK during the fall, winter, and spring months.
This spring, Redcorp announced that it would be putting its plans to develop the Tulsequah Chief Mine on hold indefinitely due to financial troubles.  The news came as relief to conservation groups (including TU) and Taku River salmon fishermen, who have been fighting to protect the Taku River’s robust wild salmon fishery and prevent it from becoming an experimental site for Redcorp's proposed transport system.  The untested operation, which would require permits from Alaska state agencies, raised many questions and concerns about the negative impacts the hoverbarge and assistant vehicles would have on critical salmon habitat (both spawning and rearing grounds) throughout the entire Taku River system.

This reprieve from the risks associated with Redcorp’s barging proposal will allow TU to refocus on collaborating with other conservation and fisheries groups and stakeholders to permanently protect the Taku River and other high value wild salmon watersheds throughout Southeast Alaska.

»Learn more about efforts to protect the Taku River

Obama Administration makes a visit to Salmon Nation 

In late May, Obama administration officials went to the epicenter of the battle over the Columbia/Snake River salmon recovery plan, which has been stuck in court for nearly a decade.   The Administration’s visit was a promising step during the current 30-60 day review of the Columbia River salmon policy, and one that gave hope to fishermen of all stripes in the Columbia/Snake River Basin.  They greeted the Obama Administration’s visit to Portland, OR with a parade of boats, circling the hotel where meetings with administration officials were taking place.  Some members of the fishing community were disappointed that they weren't granted a seat at the discussions with the federal delegation led by former Oregon State University professor and new head of NOAA Jane Lubchenco, but all agreed that having the Obama administration take notice of the NW salmon crisis and send high-ranking officials to the region was a welcome change.
Due to plummeting salmon returns to the Columbia River Basin and the resulting fishing restrictions and fishery closures, salmon fishermen of all kinds in the Northwest have had to haul out their boats and hang up their nets, lines and rods.  While a combination of factors have caused of the decline of wild salmon stocks in the Columbia/Snake Basin, the four federal dams on the lower Snake River just upstream of its confluence with the Columbia have played an inordinately large role. Many of which are outdated and impede healthy migration both up and downstream of the largest swaths of intact salmon and steelhead habitat left in the lower 48 in central Idaho.  Up to 90% of salmon smolts are killed when they try to go through the Snake River’s hydropower system on their migration out to the ocean.

One of the pieces on the negotiation table -- which Trout Unlimited and its partners have been working to implement as a part of a comprehensive recovery plan -- is the breaching the four lower Snake River dams. Although the vast majority of scientists have said that free passage and natural river conditions to and from the largely-intact spawning and rearing areas in central Idaho and northeast Oregon must be a part of the recovery plan, the federal agencies in charge of writing that plan have refused to include breaching the four lower Snake dams as an option.

»More about reconnecting wild salmon to the Snake River


Healdsburg's Steelhead Festival: A celebration of wild fish, healthy rivers and people

California’s Russian River once hosted the third-largest steelhead run in California and attracted anglers from around the world, but declines in the steelhead population have led to the listing of the species as ”threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.   To honor the Russian River’s once prolific steelhead runs and in an effort to bring them back, Trout Unlimited’s Redwood Empire Chapter launched the Healdsburg Wild Steelhead Festival.  Every February,  the town square -- in the heart of Sonoma County, CA -- fills with conservation organizations, kids, chefs, vineyards, fishing guides, agencies, families, and local businesses celebrating the deep connection between the Russian River and wild steelhead

The Healdsburg’s Steelhead Festival ensures that this connection remains strong.  Local chefs showcase their favorite wild salmon recipes and conduct public cooking demonstrations. Members of Trout Unlimited’s Redwood Empire Chapter educate festival participants about the benefits of eating wild over farmed salmon and invite attendees to participate in wild salmon and steelhead habitat restoration projects on local streams.   Local vineyards, some of which are part of TU’s Water and Wine Program showcase their participation in these restoration projects alongside their newest wines.  At the end of the Festival, new advocates for California’s wild salmon and steelhead are born as well as a new appreciation for California’s wild fish and rivers.

As more locals and tourists have flocked to the Fest, it’s prompted the local community to take action. Sonoma County supervisors declared February “Steelhead Month” and committed to restoring a run of 50,000 wild steelhead in the Russian River. Recently, the festival’s success sparked the city, local businesses, and individuals to donate almost $100,000 toward restoration of Foss Creek, a stream which runs through downtown Healdsburg and into the Russian River.  The Festival continues to demonstrate that connections, education, and celebration can result in change.  It’s also a ton of fun.

»More on Healdsburg’s Wild Steelhead Festival and next year’s event 

Vote With Your Fork

Vote with your Fork

If you live near or are passing through the Seattle neighborhood this summer, keep an eye out for Bristol Bay salmon on local restaurant menus.  Seattle chefs (thanks to Seattle Chefs Collaborative) will be featuring Bristol Bay wild salmon on their menus to do their part to save Bristol Bay, Alaska - our nation’s largest wild salmon fishery.

»Learn more about the Savor Bristol Bay campaign and participating restaurants

From the kitchen

Delicious&healthy salmon

Alison Arians of the South Anchorage Farmer’s Market and Rise&Shine Bakery helps educate consumers each week about sustainable, healthy food choices through her work with Alaska’s farmer’s markets and her personal food blog, Alison’s Lunch.

»Make one of Alison’s favorite wild salmon recipes in your own kitchen

Know your salmon

Like wine, there are many different kinds of wild Pacific salmon to choose from, each with its own flavors, textures, and serving methods.  Some wild salmon species are even dramatically cheaper than others, meaning that you can enjoy wild salmon more often.  Try a new kind tonight and figure out which one’s your favorite.

»Become a savvy salmon shopper

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