April 2022 Newsletter

Salem Chapter Northwest Steelheaders Newsletter for April 2022


Another Successful Learn the River Trip – Stayton to Green’s Bridge

On Saturday, April 2nd, a few of our Salem Chapter members participated in another successful Learn the River Trip organized by the North Santiam River Guides Association. The weather and river conditions were great for this month’s drift from Stayton to Green’s Bridge. Those participating gained valuable navigation knowledge about that stretch of the North Santiam River. A safe passage was enjoyed by all including the area of the much feared “braided channels” mid-way between Shelburn and Green’s Bridge. Many thanks to our past Club Secretary, Bob Johnston, for providing these great photos and much needed shuttle service for our long river drift.



Learn the River Trip participants gather for a quick safety meeting and prepare to shove off at the Stayton Boat Ramp

April 19th Meeting: Program Speaker is Bart DeBow – Fish Count Specialist with ODFW

Have you ever wondered how many salmon and steelhead are in the North Santiam? If so, you’ll want to attend our next membership meeting on April 19th . Plans for our meeting include a presentation by Bart DeBow of the ODFW. Bart is a Fish Count Specialist on the North Santiam River at Bennet Dam located just above Stayton. His primary duty is to provide fish video monitoring at both the upper and lower fish ladder facilities so that accurate fish counts can be recorded and tracked. Bart has been a valuable resource for me and my fishing buddies in the past when we’re trying to figure out if there are any salmon or steelhead running above Stayton and, if so, how many. Bart’s information will cover annual fish count statistics from 1997 through 2021. Please plan to attend and bring all your questions.

Board of Directors Meeting Held on April 6th

Our Board of Directors Meeting was held at Sportsman’s Warehouse at 6: 30 PM on April 6th. In addition to our usual business, we were pleased to have one of our newer members, Nigel Hearne, join us and discuss some possible strategies for improving our club’s membership numbers. Ever since the COVID pandemic began in 2019, our membership has dropped significantly and our regular meetings have either been cancelled or poorly attended. While the reasons for this trend are obvious and have been beyond our control, we did discuss a few ideas which may help to grow our chapter membership in the future.

Here are a few of the ideas we brainstormed at our meeting:

Re-activate the Northwest Steelheaders Association Raffle Drawing

Prior to the pandemic, our Salem Chapter participated in the ANWS annual raffle. Our members regularly volunteered to sell raffle tickets at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Salem and, in the process, we met many prospective new members who later attended our meetings and became members. This event proved to be an effective means of public outreach and membership growth until COVID restrictions made it impossible to continue. Perhaps we could start this effort back up again when public health conditions permit.

Re-initiate Fishing and Outdoor Skills Classes witAnother Successful Learn the River Trip – Stayton to Green’s Bridgeh ODFW

Here again, prior to the pandemic, our Salem Chapter was actively involved in organizing and teaching Outdoor Skills classes with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In the past, this popular class has attracted prospective new members to Salem all the way from Portland and Eugene.

Sponsor More Youth Fishing Events and Training Classes

Old age and COVID has taken a toll on the number ofAnother Successful Learn the River Trip – Stayton to Green’s Bridge our active members over the past year and it makes good sense to focus our volunteer efforts on young people. That being the case, it’s a good idea to help interest kids in fishing any way we can. Offering youth fishing classes and events like “Hooked on Family Fishing Day” would be a great way to accomplish that.

These were a few of the ideas we discussed at our Board Meeting and it would be great if more of our members could join us to share additional ideas in the future. Please remember… you are all invited and welcome to attend. Our next Board Meeting is scheduled for May 4th.

Submitted by Mike Ferris – Club Secretary