Ronald C. Cease

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science


Political Science

Physical Description

1 online resource (166 p.)


Fishery law and legislation -- Oregon, Steelhead fishing




In late Spring of 1969, shortly before the Oregon Legislative Session adjourned, House Bill No. 1302 as amended passed the last legislative hurdle and was signed by the Governor. The new statute recognized steelhead trout as a game fish and provided for an incidental catch of these fish by the commercial fishery.

HB 1302 was a turning point in a century of conflict over anadromous fish of the Columbia River. The bill served as an armistice in a long sports-commercial steelhead conflict by providing some protection for these fish from commercial fishing. However the bill held off a major shift in the sports-commercial balance of power for only five years. The "final" victory went to the sports fishermen in 1974--the voters approved Ballot Measure No. 15 which banned steelhead from sale.

Although the sportsmen finally won the steelhead battle, they may have lost the war. Unless the erosion of fish runs caused primarily by dams is checked the fishery may disappear.

Chapter I gives an overview of HB 130 and discusses the significance of the Columbia River anadromous fishery to Oregon. Chapter II is a history of the Columbia River fishery and traces the conflict between the various fishing interest groups. Chapter III details the causes of the conflict and describes the relationship between dams and declining runs of fish. Chapter IV discusses the Legislative passage of HB 1302. Chapter V discusses lobbying and pressure group activities concerning HB 1302. Chapter VI chronicles events subsequent to passage of HB 1302. Chapter VII contains summary and concluding remarks.

Persistent Identifier