Close to 100,000 acres on public land in the North Umpqua River drainage has been set aside as a wild steelhead sanctuary, thanks in large part to Pacific Rivers and Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
The bill designates 99,653 acres that permanently protects portions of Steamboat Creek, critical steelhead spawning habitat in the North Umpqua watershed. The steelhead sanctuary is being referred to as the Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary. It includes more than 50 miles of spawning habitat for winter and summer steelhead, coho salmon, and cutthroat and rainbow trout.
Last year it looked as though the bill would pass having made it out of the Senate, but didn’t gain traction in the House. Groups working on this bill are advocating for a reintroduction in 2017.
The North Umpqua is one of the West’s most treasured steelhead rivers where anglers can consistently rely on wild steelhead to return each year. And much of that is due to Moore’s stewardship on the river.
Moore, who lives on the North Umpqua with his wife Jeanne, has been a steward of the river since he returned home from World War II, where he fought on the shores of Normandy during the Allied Invasion earning the prestigious Chevalier of the French Legion of Honory for bravery. Moore also helped run the Steamboat Inn in its early years, served as a commissioner for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission from 1971 to 1974, has won numerous conservation awards and is a member of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Those who know Moore and his wife, and know the importance of the North Umpqua, are hopeful that the legislation passes. In every sense of the word, Moore is one of Oregon’s treasures and it is only fitting that this sanctuary is named after him.
Updates will follow as this legislation moves closer to passing.