When STEP biologist Tom Rumreich thinks about how much good the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program has done for fish and habitat in its 35 years, he thinks of the volunteers who’ve planted countless trees to shape and stabilize banks.
He can picture the multitude of children who’ve had the opportunity to catch and learn about fish.
He recalls a creek restoration project in the program’s earliest days, where gravel and hatchbox fry Coho salmon were added where habitat had been damaged. He’s excited today to know that now, three-and-a-half decades later the Coho are still there.
In other projects, volunteers have corrected fish passage in places where barriers kept salmon from getting back to historic spawning areas.
“The small streams and barriers like that, looking at them individually, it’s not significant, but when you look at them collectively along the coast of Oregon, it’s huge,” Rumreich said.