Photo: Adam Haarberg.

Steelhead Returns Hit Record High

Jun 04, 2023 by Jana Hemphill
We have exciting news to share about adult steelhead returns in Central Oregon!

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One of the Deschutes Land Trust's long-term partners for the reintroduction of salmon and steelhead in the upper Deschutes River region, Portland General Electric (PGE), recently reported some exciting news about steelhead!

A record high 130 returning adult steelhead were released this spring above the Round Butte Dam. This is the most that have been recorded since reintroduction efforts began.

All 130 adults passed through the Round Butte Dam as juveniles, as they headed downstream on the Deschutes River. The majority of these spent two years in the ocean, meaning they made their journey to the ocean in 2020.

The increase in returning adult steelhead is likely due to some updates to fish reintroduction efforts in 2020, including releasing smolt (one year old fish), acclimating the smolt to their home stream before releasing them downstream, and nighttime releases.

We look forward to seeing if these successes continue in future years!

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