Today I talked to the ODFW biologist in charge of the lower Deschutes. He said that it was too early to know how many wild steelhead would return this season but if he had to guess it would be similar to last year, which was one of the lowest on record. He was optimistic, however, that the population would recover if conditions improved. As I have discussed on this blog, that’s a very big if and trend is not encouraging. He acknowledged that less angling pressure would benefit wild fish but thought that I went too far to state that it was immoral to target them. While I really want to fish the lower Deschutes, for now I am going to focus on coastal rivers where counts are at or above their 10 year averages. Hopefully, counts on the Deschutes will significantly climb over the next couple of months.