the early fishing industry as it developed in the Pacific Northwest in the late 19 th century. Now, in this lecture we'll be talking mainly about almost exclusively about the salmon fishing industry. Bear in mind that there’s a lot more than salmon fishing that fuels the North West fishing industry, but we'll just be talking about salmon today. Marketing salmon to customers outside the region began as early as the 1820's. Again, with the Hudson's Bay Company starting that trade along with other companies joining in in the years following. But the commercial boom in the salmon industry that would have a lasting impact on the region didn't really get started until the 1860's. 1866 to be exact. When two entrepreneurs from Sacramento California, Hume and Hagood opened the first cannery on the lower Columbia. Now, Salmon biology is essential to understanding the early salmon fishing industry, so I'm going to review just a little bit about salmon biology to give you the background to understand how the early salmon fishing industry got going. Salmon are what we call and anadromous fish. That means that it's a fish that lives both in the salt water and fresh water at different times in its life cycle. And anybody who has
5 had an aquarium and kept fish knows that if you put a fresh water fish in salt water aquarium, it will die. If you put a salt water fish in a fresh water aquarium, it will die. Salmon live both in salt water and fresh water depending on the life cycle. Salmon are born in fresh water streams and they live about the first year of their life in the fresh water streams until they reach fingerling length. At that point, they begin a migration to the ocean where they'll spend the next several years of their lives growing and maturing before they head back into their natal stream, the stream they were born in to spawn and then die. This life cycle lasts for about three to five years and just before the salmon come back to their natal streams to spawn, they'll congregate at the mouth of those rivers and their physiology will actually change. They'll change from being a salt water tolerant fish to being a fresh water tolerant fish and it requires dramatic physiological changes. And you'll see that in the change in color and the change in shape of the salmon. Now, what all that meant for the early salmon industry is that fish, salmon that is, actually will come to you if you're a fisherman looking for salmon rather than you having to go out and expend a great deal of energy chasing after them. If you wait at the mouth of the river during the seasons when the salmon are running on their way up the rivers to spawn, you actually can wait for them and they arrive and you can pick them out of the water as they come up that river. That's what I mean by salmon coming to you rather than you having to go out and chase them. It's only those fisherman that don't have access to a site along the river mouths and up the rivers where the salmon are spawning that need to go out on the open ocean and capture salmon. So, the early salmon industry was centered on the mouths and along the streams and rivers of the Inland Northwest. Technologies that
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- Fall '19