It’s over 2,100 miles from the Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River in eastern Washington to Sylvania, Ohio. I know that’s true because Google Maps told me. You can check it out on the internet, the source of all truth. So you might think that a guy who runs a fly shop and guide service in a suburb of Toledo doesn’t have much of a stake in the game when it comes to removing the lower four dams on the Snake to save salmon and steelhead. In fact, that’s almost certainly what you might think if you didn’t know my friend Brad Dunkle at Wildwood Anglers.
But anyone who knows this guy knows he’s all in when it comes to conservation. When I asked Brad if he and his business would stand with Trout Unlimited on this issue, he didn’t hesitate for an instant. Here’s what he said: “Years ago, I fished for steelhead extensively in Idaho, so this issue is genuinely near and dear to my heart. Some of the greatest moments of my life, not just of fishing, occurred on the Snake and tributaries like the Clearwater, Salmon and Grande Ronde. The indelible memories from these almost mystic waterways are profound. They are ingrained in my soul. These rivers shaped my career and the type of fisherman I am today.”
Brad is a great TU Business member and a dedicated conservationist. He’d been following our efforts to remove the lower four dams on the Snake for some time. He knew firsthand the impact of those dams on the iconic fish he had known and loved so much. Those four dams are responsible for reducing salmon and steelhead runs on the Snake and its tributaries by over 90 percent. As Brad Dunkle says, “We are now at a crossroads. And the consensus amongst the scientific community is we must act now to prevent a complete collapse of wild steelhead and salmon. Dam removal is the next logical move to enable these anadromous fish passage to and from their home waters.”
So when you’re in Sylvania, Ohio, be sure to stop by and see Brad at Wildwood Anglers or check out Toledo’s No. 1 fly fishing outfitter and guide service online. He’s the real deal.
Sylvania, OH 43560