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Oregon plagued by steelhead

Huge run of hatchery fish needs thinning

A thick run of early winter steelhead is returning to hatcheries on six of Oregon’s North Coast rivers through the end of January.

If anglers miss them the first time, fish managers plan to trap them, truck them downstream and “recycle” the fish for another run past anglers’ hooks.

The last third of a strong early winter steelhead run is still on its way up the North Fork Nehalem, Necanicum and Klaskanine rivers, as well as Big Creek, Gnat Creek and the Nestucca River basin’s Three Rivers.

“We have a pile of steelhead showing up in some of these rivers,” said Oregon Fish and Wildlife biologist Robert Bradley, noting that the run will be over by the end of the month.

“We really don’t want these fish spawning in the wild. We want them caught.”

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