Mark Schmidt remembers fishing as a kid for steelhead on the Molalla River.
He also remembers how rain could ruin a day on the river.
“If we could so much as hear the raindrops on the shingles in the night, we were aware that we would not be fishing in the morning,” Schmidt recalls.
That rain sent dirt pouring from logging operations into the river. It made the water look like orange, wet cement. It often made the river unfishable for Schmidt – and downright unhealthy for the salmon and steelhead themselves.
That was in the 1960s. Today, the federal Clean Water Act and state forest practices laws require landowners and loggers to follow standards, called Best Management Practices, to protect the quality of myriad streams and rivers that flow through forests.