Q. What is the history of the Tri-State Steelheaders?
Tri-State Steelheaders (TSS) began in the 1960’s as a club for recreational anglers and became a non-profit in 1985. In 2000, TSS joined the RFEGs and began the current focus of working on habitat restoration. TSS has always maintained a focus on outreach and education – which it continues today.
Q. What is an RFEG?
The Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups (RFEGs) are a collection of 14 non-profit groups geographically representing regions in the Columbia Basin and Puget Sound in the State of Washington. These groups were started in 1990, and Tri-State Steelheaders joined the RFEGs in 2000. These groups work to restore native fish populations and habitats in their local communities and basins and perform outreach and education. For more information see http://www.rfeg.org/coalition/
Q. Why is TSS important?
The combination of the non-profit status with the focus of fisheries and river restoration and community outreach and involvement makes the work of TSS particularly important. Other organizations represent specific clients, demographics or government agencies. TSS most simply represents you and what you envision for your community in relation to water and fisheries resources. As a non-profit, we work to stimulate necessary restoration and enhancement projects to benefit our fish populations, aquatic ecosystems and promote responsible resource stewardship.
Q. What does TSS do?
TSS has three overarching objectives: river and fisheries restoration, outreach and education and recreational opportunities. Under these objectives, TSS has been involved in river and habitat restoration in the Walla Walla, Tucannon and Asotin basins working on fish passage, riparian restoration, wetland development, levee removal/set backs and placement of large woody debris. Our outreach and education program reaches local grade schools, colleges and various local interest groups. Lastly, we promote recreational opportunities including water access, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing and conservation.
TSS works with partner organizations or schools to promote public action, awareness and resource stewardship. Our services include project management, educational and classroom activities and materials and various local events to promote resource understanding and stewardship.
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Q. Where does TSS work?
TSS works in the lower Snake River area that spans the anadromous waters in Southeastern Washington, Northeastern Oregon and Northcentral Idaho. Our watersheds span multiple states and our fish move among these areas. As an RFEG, TSS represents Southeastern Washington including the Walla Walla, Tucannon and Asotin basins.
Q. What feature projects has TSS completed recently?
TSS has completed several habitat restoration projects related to fish passage from the Walla Walla River to the upper reaches of Mill Creek and important flood plain and riparian restoration in the Walla Walla River. Lastly, TSS was heavily involved in a riparian restoration project in the urban areas of Walla Walla and College Place (CURB).
TSS also worked over the last 3 years on the recreational harvest regulations for salmon allocation between the lower Columbia and east side basins. TSS was the only representative from the east side of the Cascades participating in this workgroup and is a proponent of more equitable harvest for the east side anglers.
For more information about our projects, please check the pages on our website.