Presentation Title

It’s not a Herring, it is a Candlefish: Herring, Salmon Trolling and the life history of a S’Klallam Fisherman

Session Title

Ecological and cultural context of Pacific herring in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

Port Gamble Bay in Washington State is the location of the eastern most historic S’Klallam settlement, nəxʷq̕iyt. The bay has historically been second largest spawning habitat for herring in the Puget Sound area of the Salish Sea. Herring constitute a pivotal, multi-dimensional, under-examined role in S’Klallam subsistence and marine fishing patterns though time. Archeological work on Point Julia on the shore of Port Gamble Bay has revealed the presence of herring remains dating to approximately 800 B.P. In addition to their role as a seasonally harvested food herring also served a critical role in S’Klallam salmon trolling. Knowledge of herring was historically and remains a critical dimension of S’Klallam salmon trolling practices. Between 1907 and 1915 Washington state law barred and disrupted the use of S’Klallam terminal salmon harvest practices resulting in the expansion of S’Klallam salmon trolling. Throughout this period Port Gamble S’Klallam fishers continued to manufacture their trolling equipment and gained reputations as highly skillful and intuitive trollers. During the 20th century the Port Gamble S’Klallam fisherman Russell Fulton was recognized as one of the mostly highly skilled and knowledgeable S’Klallam fisherman. Russell was a critical conduit for the transmission of traditional knowledge about herring, salmon and trolling between nineteenth century fishermen and living S’Klallam treaty-right fishermen. The fishing life history of Russell Fulton provides an ethnography of continuity and changes in S’Klallam fishing illuminating the transmission of fishing practices and knowledge from the mid-nineteenth century through the Boldt Decision and the development of the S’Klallam treaty commercial fishing fleet. Russell Fulton’s fishing life history provides an exceptional insight into S’Klallam fishing and the production and transmission of S’Klallam herring knowledge.

Key Words: S’Klallam, Herring, Salmon, Fishing, Trolling, Treaty-Rights, Knowledge, Anthropology, Subsistence, Archeology

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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It’s not a Herring, it is a Candlefish: Herring, Salmon Trolling and the life history of a S’Klallam Fisherman

2016SSEC

Port Gamble Bay in Washington State is the location of the eastern most historic S’Klallam settlement, nəxʷq̕iyt. The bay has historically been second largest spawning habitat for herring in the Puget Sound area of the Salish Sea. Herring constitute a pivotal, multi-dimensional, under-examined role in S’Klallam subsistence and marine fishing patterns though time. Archeological work on Point Julia on the shore of Port Gamble Bay has revealed the presence of herring remains dating to approximately 800 B.P. In addition to their role as a seasonally harvested food herring also served a critical role in S’Klallam salmon trolling. Knowledge of herring was historically and remains a critical dimension of S’Klallam salmon trolling practices. Between 1907 and 1915 Washington state law barred and disrupted the use of S’Klallam terminal salmon harvest practices resulting in the expansion of S’Klallam salmon trolling. Throughout this period Port Gamble S’Klallam fishers continued to manufacture their trolling equipment and gained reputations as highly skillful and intuitive trollers. During the 20th century the Port Gamble S’Klallam fisherman Russell Fulton was recognized as one of the mostly highly skilled and knowledgeable S’Klallam fisherman. Russell was a critical conduit for the transmission of traditional knowledge about herring, salmon and trolling between nineteenth century fishermen and living S’Klallam treaty-right fishermen. The fishing life history of Russell Fulton provides an ethnography of continuity and changes in S’Klallam fishing illuminating the transmission of fishing practices and knowledge from the mid-nineteenth century through the Boldt Decision and the development of the S’Klallam treaty commercial fishing fleet. Russell Fulton’s fishing life history provides an exceptional insight into S’Klallam fishing and the production and transmission of S’Klallam herring knowledge.

Key Words: S’Klallam, Herring, Salmon, Fishing, Trolling, Treaty-Rights, Knowledge, Anthropology, Subsistence, Archeology