In Argentina, It's Dams: 2 - Steelhead: 0

Today will feature an Op-ed by guest blogger Roy Tanami. Roy is a good friend and someone I've had the pleasure of traveling to some pretty far corners of the globe to fish and work with. We took a trip to Argentina a couple of years back to shoot some TV footage on the Rio Santa Cruz for steelhead. I, of course caught nothing but the back of my shoe. Roy being the avid steel-header he is, got pretty fired up the other day talking about the plans for the Santa Cruz. See below

TR

Sccast
Photo Roy Tanami

They're behind already and the game just started. Plans were just announced in Argentina to put not one, but two dams on the Rio Santa Cruz: the second largest river in Patagonia and home to the world's only known and documented population of Atlantic run steelhead.

Hardy descendants of McLeod strain rainbows from CA planted in the early 1900's, Argentina's Santa Cruz steelhead are arguably the most distinctive run of steelhead in the entire world. Apparently though, the government down there doesn't give a damn so to speak, as their planned megaproject to plug this river in two spots will in all likelihood spell the end of line for these magnificent fish.

All this just as the Santa Cruz and its unique steelhead were becoming known among fly fishers worldwide as a cool and exotic "new" destination fishery (and pumping tourist dollars into the economy). Go figure. It seems shortsightedness isn't reserved only for our politicians, and maybe history isn't such a good teacher after all...

The game's not over quite yet though... Send letters, go fish the Santa Cruz, make some noise, and with any luck, maybe we can help turn the tide... You can email:

Mr. Rodolfo Beroiz, Undersecretary of Continental Fisihing Dep. of Santa Cruz rmberoiz@santacruz.gov.ar

Mr. Fernando Marcos, Director Continental Fishing Dep. of Santa Cruz pescascruz@speedy.com.ar

Let them, and us, know what you think. Who do you think's gonna win? Do fly fishers and Atlantic steelhead have a hope? Should we even care?

Check out: http://freeargentinewaters.wordpress.com/ for more details