The department sees no reason for the elimination of fish wheels from the river as there is no evidence to show that this form of apparatus is particularly destructive to salmon. The condition that is especially favorable for the passage of salmon, namely very high water, renders the wheels unserviceable and, on the other hand, periods of very low water, are also unfavorable for the wheels. During the past two or three seasons the catch of salmon by wheels has been comparatively small; but even if it were very large it would be a fact of no special significance in the present connection.
The Columbia River is, however, made to yield a quantity of salmon far greater than regard for the future supply permits, and the drain is yearly becoming more serious. No one familiar with the situation can fail to appreciate the menace to the perpetuity of the industry that is furnished by the concentration of a tremendous amount of fixed and floating apparatus of capture in or near the mouth of the river.
This apparatus comprises about 400 pound nets or traps, over 80 long-sweep seines, and more than 2200 gill nets, the last having an aggregate approximate link over 570 miles; and these appliances capture more than 95% of the fish taken in Oregon and Washington waters of the river, the figures for 1904 being nearly 34,000,000 pounds, or 98.7 percent of the total yield. Under such conditions, it is self evident that but comparatively few fish are permitted to reach the upper waters where the spawning grounds are located.
The details of the measures necessary to place to save an industry of the Columbia River on a permanent basis cannot be elaborated by the department at this time, but in general it may be said there should be (1) a restriction on the amount of apparatus employed in a given section; (2) an adequate, weekly closed season covering possibly two days at first, the reduced later if the circumstances warrant it; (3) an annual closed season, preferably at the beginning of the salmon run, and (4) joint arrangement between the states, so that protective measures can be harmonious.
This is kind of a throw-back Thursday as we revisit a short film that came out over 4 years ago. The Outside Bend Productions crew has evidently had to get real jobs as we haven't seen much from them in awhile. That's really too bad as they do good work and even took home a Trashy Award a few years back.
This came across my Instafacesnaptweet feed this morning and the beautiful images captured me. Makes me want to get out and explore small creeks with my camera....