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Frank Moore Passes at 98

The legendary war vet and river champion left an indelible mark.

Frank Moore Passes at 98

Frank Moore's passion for the North Umpqua River and wild steelhead led to important river protections statewide. (Photo courtesy of Trout Unlimited and Wild Steelheaders United)

Decorated World War II veteran and champion of Oregon’s North Umpqua River Frank Moore passed away peacefully Sunday at his family’s side. Moore found solace in fly fishing, which he used as a respite from the PTSD he suffered in the war. Moore’s story of landing at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, along with his passion for fly fishing, steelhead, and the North Umpqua, are chronicled in the film Mending the Line.

He and his wife, Jeanne, purchased the Steamboat Inn in 1957 where they hosted and guided hundreds of anglers. It was here where he met the filmmakers who would create the documentary Pass Creek after hearing his appeal, which brought attention to detrimental logging practices in the North Umpqua drainage. The film played a key role in the creation of the Oregon Forest Practices Act which protects river health by mandating buffers zones around rivers that cannot be logged.

Jeanne’s discoveries of rare plants in the drainage lead to even more protections. And in 2019, the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area was established which provides safeguards for over 100,000 acres in the Steamboat Creek and North Umpqua watershed. Steamboat Creek is a critical spawning tributary for steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and rainbow trout.

Moore also served as commissioner of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and received the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservationist of the Year Award, among other honors. In 2010 he was inducted into the Fresh Water Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.

He is survived by Jeanne and their three children.

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