Who We Are

A few years ago several fly fishers began to notice suction dredge mining on streams and rivers that were closed to fishing because of Endangered Species concerns. Then they learned how miners had tried to take control of the last refuge of the endangered West Slope Cutthroat, the North Fork of the Clearwater, posting No Tresspassing signs along the riverbank on Forest Service land.

evidence of stream damage caused by mining activity

After comparing notes and doing exhaustive research, they realized Washington’s laws and regulations for in-stream hobby mining are detrimental to fish and habitat.

Out of this, these folks began the Fish Not Gold, a grass roots campaign seeking to reform Washington state laws similar to recent changes in California, Oregon, and Idaho. They believe that suction dredge mining causes irreparable harm to the very salmon, steelhead, and trout that taxpayers have spent millions of dollars trying to recover and restore. Washington’s legendary rivers are under extreme pressure from this form of mining.

Joining this band of fly anglers now are conservationists, white water enthusiasts, backpackers, Native American tribes and ordinary folks worried that the dollars we are spending for habitat restoration are being washed downstream by this destructive form of mining.

Our Partners

Cascadia Wildlands

Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Conservation Northwest

Gifford Pinchot Task Force

Nooksack River Steward


Snoqualmie Indian Tribe

Washington Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers

Wild Steelhead Coalition

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