Oregon Public Broadcasting Provides an Update on the Fish Trap Project

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)— a primary television and radio public broadcasting network for Oregon and southern Washington— aired a special on the fish trap project last night on its weekly television program Oregon Field Guide. The episode highlights the fish trap as a means to reduce bycatch mortality in commercial salmon fisheries and selectively harvest hatchery fish for wild salmon recovery, killer whales, and the benefit of Columbia River commercial fishing communities.

Reporter Cassandra Profita of OPB takes the viewer on a field trip to the Columbia River fish trap near Cathlamet, WA where commercial fisherman Blair Peterson and Wild Fish Conservancy biologists are operating the gear for selective harvest of hatchery fish and research of wild salmon bycatch survival.

The modified salmon trap near Cathlamet, WA in the lower Columbia River in 2020.

Throughout the episode, OPB provides beautiful scenes of the river and a promising historical fishing technique resurrected for the first time in over 80 years. Profita does a fantastic job of introducing the public to the science, the history, and many of the social challenges associated with fish traps and a potential transition from conventional commercial fishing practices in the Columbia River.

Fishermen harvest salmon from the spiller of a fish trap in the lower Columbia River in the early-20th Century.

Click the button below to let OPB take you into the field and on a trip through history. From your living room, observe an ancient fishing practice that holds promise to nearly eliminate bycatch mortality in commercial fisheries for the recovery of wild salmon and restoration of the Columbia River’s renowned commercial fisheries.

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