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Camp Water

Camp water is close to home. Here you will find information on stuff happening here in the shop and on our local waters. You'll also find our weekly newsletter feature, Trailer Trash Thursday, a fun collection of fly fishing videos, perfect for a midweek distraction. If you don't get the newsletter, be sure to sign up today!

Is a Salmon a Salmon?

Joel La Follette - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 "The Prize Fish the Columbia Spring Silver Side.

Other Varieties in the Waters of Puget Sound.

AN INTERESTING PAPER FROM SIR JAMES G. SWAN.

The most important fish taken in "Washington Territory, both as to quantity and extensive use made of it by the natives and settlers for food, as well as for the valuable branch of business of export purposes in the salmon, of which including the trout, there are sixteen varieties as enumerated by Cooper and Suckley in their reports on the zoology of the territory, and by Girard, St. John Kichardson and other authorities, who have written upon the ichthyology of the northwestern coast. 

Dr. Suckley, with an originality quite commendable in him, has adopted indian names for new varieties which are more readily understood by the people ot the territory than the unpronounceable Greek and Latin names commonly used in scientific descriptions, and his names have been adopted by all subsequent writers.

The finest salmon taken on the Pacific coast are the spring silver salmon ol the Columbia river, of which the choicest are taken near the mouth of that river, and are known as Chinook salmon, from the fact that the early fisheries were principally located at that point. 

This salmon is named ( salmoquinnat) an evident corruption of the name of a delicious variety, found in the Quin-nai-ult river, near point Grenville. north of Grays Harbor. The salmon quinnat entered the Columbia river in May and June, and generally abundant when the salmonberry (rubus spectablis) is ripe, say about the 10th of June. 

The spring salmon of the Columbia reach a great size, fifty pounds being not an unusual weight for them to attain. Some even reaching to seventy-five pounds. They are excessively fat when they first enter the river, but after ascending to the upper waters, they become thin and lose their finest flavor. They are in their best condition when they first come in from the ocean.

The most delicious variety I have tasted in the territory are taken in the Quinnaiult river.and are known as quinnaiult salmon in distinction from any other variety. They rarely attain ten pounds weight, but they are very fat and of the most delicate flavor imaginable. 

The names and varieties of salmon and salmon-trout in Washington territory, as given by Dr.George Suckley, as given in his zoological report to Gov. Stevens areas follows:

1. Salmo Quinnat, Spring Silver salmon, May and June'.

2. Salmo Quinnaiult, April and May.

3. Salmo pancidens, weak tooth salmon, May and June.

4. Salmo Tsuppitch, while salmon, September.

5. Salmo Truncutus, silvery winter salmon, or squaretailed salmon, mid-winter.

6. Salmo Gairdinori, spring salmon, May and June.

7. Salmo Confluentus, Nisqually salmon June.

8. Salmo Sconlin, hook nose salmon, September and October.

9. Salmo Pro ens, bump back salmon, September and October in alternate years.

10. Salmo Canis, dog salmon, or spotted salmon, October and November. 

11. Salmo Gibsii, black-spottedsalmon-trout, May.

12. Salmo Spectablis, red spotted salmon-trout Mid Summer and Autumn.

13. Salmon (Fario) Aurora, orange spotted trout.

14. Salmo Clarkii, brook trout or Clark's salmon.

There are several other varieties of trout, but, as yet they have not been properly defined, and in some instances are known to be the young of other fish.Young salmon called by the English grilse, or yearlings, are often taken on the waters of Puget Sound and called trout by inexperienced persons, and of the trout proper, there is but little doubt that the young of some species have been classed as new varieties,from being different marked than the adults. As an almost invariable rule, the best varieties of salmon frequent the large rivers, while the inferior kinds, like the hook nose and dog salmon frequent the smaller streams. Those two last named varieties enter the rivers of Puget Sound in immense numbers in the fall, particularly the dog salmon or spotted salmon, which run up the smallest streams, in vast shoals, even running out of the water upon the shores in their blind eagerness to surmount impossibilities and reach headwaters of the stream to deposit their spawn.I t i not my intention at the present time, nor will the limits of a newspaper article give space to a description of all these varieties and the rivers they frequent, but I would suggest to those engaged in the business of canning, and particularly those person who think that "a salmon is a salmon," to examine into this matter and they will find descriptions of all varieties in the zoological works of Suckley and Cooper, and in part 2 of vol. 12 Pacific railroad reports. There is quite as much difference in the quality of our salmon as between the fat eulachon and the dry smelt, or between extra number one mackerel and "tinkers," and those establishments who pay the most attention to to the selection of the best varieties will find the market demand will give them the preference. 

ODFW Sets Summer Salmon and Steelhead Seasons

Joel La Follette - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Press release from ODFW


Monday, June 12, 2017

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2017 summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons for the Columbia River.

The summer season is similar to last year, except that the daily bag limit on hatchery steelhead has been reduced to one fish due to poor expected hatchery and wild steelhead returns. The season begins this Friday, June 16 with a daily bag limit of two adult salmonids, which may include up to two hatchery Chinook, but no more than one hatchery steelhead. Sockeye may also be retained as part of the adult daily limit. The season is expected to remain open through July 31.

Fishery managers are forecasting a return of 63,100 summer Chinook and 130,700 summer steelhead, and 198,500 sockeye salmon, all lower than last year’s actual returns.

The fall season, which begins Aug. 1, includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” Chinook season in the mainstem Columbia. Upriver bright Chinook are well known for their larger size and aggressive nature. Fishery managers forecast that 582,600 fall Chinook will enter the river this year, which is down from about 640,000 returning fall Chinook in 2016.

Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations are needed this fall including area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling 1-2 month closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries. When retention is allowed, the 1-steelhead bag limit will also remain in effect throughout much of the fall.

Anglers are reminded that Columbia River fisheries are managed to quotas and that regulation changes and in-season modifications can happen quickly, based on actual returns and harvest rates. ODFW recommends that anglers make sure they understand the latest season dates and regulations before venturing out on the water by checking the Columbia River Regulations Update Page online.

What About Salmon Protection?

Joel La Follette - Saturday, May 13, 2017
What about salmon protection?

That the food fish of our state need better protection that is now afforded his agreed.
You have already or doubtless will received considerable literature on the subject, but no matter how attractive the argument, stop and consider how much it may be colored by self interest.

The United States Bureau of Fisheries are the greatest expert authorities on the subject and have no ax to grind. Read what they say.

Department of Commerce and Labor
Office of the Secretary, Washington DC
Hon. Charles W Fulton

Sir: The Department realizes the importance of various questions affecting the salmon fishery in the Columbia River brought up in your letter of the 18th ultimo, and has taken this opportunity to make a thorough investigation of the matter. There can be no question that the status of the fishery is unsatisfactory, and that under existing conditions the trend may be steadily downward, with the result that in a comparatively few years the run of salmon will be reduced to such degree that thousands of fishermen maybe thrown out of employment and much capital rendered idle.

The federal government is without any jurisdiction whatsoever in the premises, and the duty of conserving the salmon supply in the Columbia devolves on the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho; but this department has been charged by Congress with the important fish culture operations in the Columbia basin, and has felt compelled from time to time to direct attention to the necessity for giving adequate protection to the various species of salmon frequenting that stream.

The department is convinced that the run of salmon in the Columbia can be amply maintained for an indefinite period if artificial propagation is supplemented by rational protection; but artificial propagation alone cannot cope with the situation, and, as a matter of fact, the recent experience of the department has shown that its benefit labors are rendered almost futile by the failure of the states to appreciate this fact.

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.


Respectfully, Oscar S Straus
Secretary

Oscar Solomon Straus (December 23, 1850 – May 3, 1926) was United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor under President Theodore Roosevelt from 1906 to 1909. Straus was the first Jewish United States Cabinet Secretary.

I came across this article in the Madras paper while doing research on another project and thought I'd share this perspective from 1908. 

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