TU Business Snake River dams

Sawyer Paddles and Oars stands with TU on Lower Snake dam removal

I’d imagine many have heard someone in a fly shop say something along the lines of, “Your fly rod is only as good as your fly line.” While I don’t know that I’ve heard it said often, I feel strongly that the same principle applies to the oars rowing your boat.

Since 1967, Sawyer has been making paddles and oars for every kind of self-propelled watercraft you could think of, and doing a darn good job of it. From their home on the banks of Oregon’s Rogue River they have provided boaters around the world with what has become the gold standard of water-shoveling implements. From the Delaware to the Skagit and everywhere in between, if you see a drift boat you’re pretty likely to find a pair of their iconic square-top oars sitting in the oarlocks.

Having called the banks of the Rogue — one of the most iconic steelhead rivers in the nation – home since the company’s inception, it’s little surprise that the folks at Sawyer are passionate about recovering and protecting these embattled fish. We are proud to have their support for Trout Unlimited’s proposal to remove the four lower Snake River dams.

“I grew up in Washington and attended WSU in Pullman, Wash. — a short drive away from the Snake River and the Lower Granite Dam.” says Derek Young, Sawyer’s territory manager for the northern U.S.

“During summer breaks, I’d spend time at the river recreating and began to notice that the water was getting warmer (this was 1989-93) every year, and one summer we stopped going due to a large number of dead migrating salmon. Back then, I didn’t make the connection between warming water and salmon migration and sustainable populations, but when I started getting actively involved with TU and cold water conservation in 2015, and eventually founding the Yakima River Headwaters Chapter, it all made sense on a larger scale. The water was warming, the fish were prematurely dying, and there were fewer wild fish returning to spawn. So, it’s personal because the wild salmonid rivers of the PNW are my homewaters, my Headwaters. Removing the Lower Snake River Dams is a critical step in restoring wild salmonid runs in the PNW.”

While I have absolutely no complaints about my Sawyer oars, the fact that they are a company who has always stood strong on conservation issues makes me even prouder to support them. If you’re in the market for some new rowing sticks, I’d strongly encourage you to look no further than our friends up in Oregon.

Sawyer Paddles & Oars 

Gold Hill, Ore. 97525