March 19, 2010

Fishing for Information in the Pacific Northwest

Posted in fish, information resources tagged at 1:00 am by mknight1130

When I walked into StreamNet Regional Library, for a librarian’s lunch, I was awed at the amount of information available on fisheries and the Pacific Northwest watersheds. Waves of journals, books, and maps stretched out to be greeted as I meandered down each aisle. This collection, enough to fill the first floor of our floating home, is only a tip of the iceberg. The librarian, Lenora, talked about the on-line as well as future digitization of the collection. Closely connected with the Inter-tribal Fish Commission,  The library provides rare materials and perspectives about fishing conservation and watershed recovery. It is a unique gem in the heart of Portland. Upon reflecting on my visit to Streamnet, I was wondering about other types of fishing information and perspectives.

I perused the Internet Public Library, http://www.ipl.org/ and found 2 interesting websites on Pacific fisheries and related watersheds.

The first is the Pacific Fishery Management Council http://www.pcouncil.org/. The council, formed by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, comprises of state, tribal and federal advisers creating and disseminating fishing policies; e.g. through the website. The website is well organized with options to search by type of fish (e.g. salmon) or by fishing management concepts. Fishing laws are spelled out and are current, making it easy for a fisherman to wrap his/her head around the legal fishing limits.

The second is the Center for Columbia River History,  http://www.ccrh.org/comm/river/index.php . The center is a collaboration between the Washington Historical Society; Portland State University, and Washington State University in Vancouver. The site provides information on treaties and legal decisions made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Links to histories of dams, traditional equipment, Canadian documents and other documents open pages with clear descriptions and relevant information. A photo archive and oral history are available too. For the person researching a historical perspective on fishing management, this website is extremely helpful. For example, there is evidence provided on the salmon fisheries and the decline in salmon population.

From what I am reading and seeing along the Columbia River, salmon stock is pretty low and the fishing is very competitive. I see fishermen in boats an arm length away. Hopefully more rain will come to fill the Columbia river and increase the current. Then the fish will flow faster downstream.

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