Threats to imperiled salmon runs are plentiful: dams, logging, roadbuilding, hatcheries. You can add one more to the list: suction dredge mining for gold in prime salmon spawning streams. This reckless activity typically involves using a gasoline-powered motor with a long vacuum hose connected to it that sucks up the riverbottom gravels in an attempt to locate flecks of gold — destroying vital salmon eggs and anything else that lives along the riverbed.
California took action to ban this harmful practice. This has led to a new "gold rush" here in Oregon and other states in Cascadia. Iconic places like the Lower Rogue River, the Illinois River, and the South Umpqua River in Oregon have become ground zero for this activity. With salmon and steelhead populations struggling in Cascadia, it is important that this practice is banned.
Please add your name below and join with other anglers, conservationists, and recreationists in calling for the governors in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska to do everything in their power to encourage their legislatures, state agencies, and the federal entities operating within their states to take all possible legislative and enforcement actions to protect salmon and steelhead habitats from this unnecessary and destructive endeavor.
Top Image: A Suction Dredge Mining rig (unknown credit). Bottom Image: Steelhead will benefit from the passage of suction dredge legislation (photo courtesy of Caddis Fly).