In Memory of Dr. Bill McNeil

September 13th, 1930 - April 16th, 2013

Dr. William J. McNeil (Bill) passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at his home in Salem, Oregon.  Dr. McNeil was with family and his faithful labrador retriever when he died Tuesday morning.  He was 83 years old.

Dr. McNeil was a well known fisheries professor at Oregon State University and former director of the OSU Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources.  Dr. McNeil also worked for the State of Alaska, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the University of Washington, Oregon Aqua Foods, and as a private consultant, addressing numerous issues surrounding Columbia River salmon stocks.

Dr. McNeil believed mutual respect and collaboration among stakeholders could result in a marriage of salmon preservation and enhancement efforts which achieve many if not most stakeholder goals.

Bill said, "Look... it's working great in Alaska.  There's no reason it can't work in Oregon as well."

Despite suffering from Alzheimer's disease late in life, Bill continued to pursue his dream of ensuring that Oregon's salmon resources remain accessible to future generations.

Accordingly, Bill became a founding member of Salmon For Oregon Association in 2011.   Salmon for Oregon is a private, non- profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Oregonians have access to robust and diverse salmon resources.

Dr. William J. McNeil was a retired professor of Fisheries at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He held a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries from Oregon State University, A Master of Science in Fisheries from Oregon State University and a Ph.D in Fisheries from the University of Washington.

As a renowned fisheries biologist Dr. McNeil traveled the world conducting research and presenting on topics related to salmon management.  During his career, Dr. McNeil authored hundreds of professional reports and articles relating to salmon aquaculture.

An advocate for pragmatic, scientifically based marine management and salmon recovery, Dr. McNeil was a pioneer of the highly successful government and private salmon hatchery programs in Alaska.

Dr. McNeil touched many lives.  As his friends and colleagues well know, Bill loved to share a good story from his past.  As a tribute to Bill, who wished to avoid ceremony on his passing, we ask that you share a story or anecdote about Bill on the Salmon for Oregon Facebook page, or in an e mail to:

We will post it for you.

The stories will give us all a chance to remember Bill fondly by preserving a bit of his unique legacy for his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beyond.

No services were planned.  The McNeil family has asked that those who want to remember Bill make a donation in his name to Salmon For Oregon Association.  P.O. Box 38, Stayton, OR 97358

Thank you for your support and friendship throughout Bill's life.  

We will miss you Bill.