Record low numbers of steelhead returning to Columbia River

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Record low numbers of steelhead are returning to the Columbia River this year, prompting conservationists and anglers alike to call for a halt to recreational fishing for the sea-run fish. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that as of this week, just 29,000 steelhead passed the Bonneville Dam since July 1 — less than half the average of the past five years. A coalition of conservation and fishing groups sent a letter to the Oregon, Washington and Idaho agencies that manage fish and wildlife requesting an immediate closure of recreational steelhead fisheries on the Columbia River, the Lower Snake River and their tributaries.