In much of Washington, wild steelhead are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The above quote came from an article announcing the availability of Washington State’s new steelhead themed license plates, which are available for $28 bucks each. It was buried in the article so I decided to lift it and place the most valuable information about this whole project at the top. Washington steelhead are in unbelievable peril and some of that probably stems from all of us loving them too much. They go about their life cycle and we mess with them with a long stick and a hook. I know, I know, playing with fish. But, I’ll probably continue to pursue them until they die or I do. Nothing better than standing in a Northwest River with a spey rod, feeling the power of the river against your legs, with each cast possibly bringing the largest rainbow trout of your life to the beach.
Anyway, these plates are adorned by Derek De Young’s art and I like his work. But I like Derek even better. He’s one cool dude. In his interest, and in the steelhead’s interest, you should own these plates if you drive in Washington. The sales of these plates aren’t going to save steelhead, but they might help save a single run somewhere. And that makes it worth the purchase.
Columbia Basin Bulletin: Steelhead enthusiasts can now show support for their favorite species by purchasing a vehicle license plate with an image of Washington’s iconic state fish.
The steelhead specialty plate went on sale this week and revenue generated from plate sales will be used by the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife to help support activities critical to conserving populations of native steelhead.
More than 4,000 people expressed interest in buying a steelhead license plate last year when WDFW collected the signatures required to seek legislative approval to offer a new specialty plate. The 2016 Legislature gave the OK to proceed with steelhead license plate sales.
“We can’t wait to see steelhead license plates on vehicles across this state,” said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director of WDFW’s Fish Program. “This is a great way to help fund efforts to conserve steelhead in Washington.”