Where Have All the Salmon Gone?

Originally Posted on the Deep Roots Initiative, Cortes Community Radio (CKTZ)

Narrator: “… Fishing was once a cornerstone of British Columbia’s economy, but we’ve been hearing stories of diminished runs and out of work fishermen for years. Roy Hales lives on Cortes Island, where the fishing industry seems to be mostly spoken about in the past tense. So he set out to find out where have all the salmon gone.”

Episode #4: Where Have All the Salmon Gone?

Roy Hales: “First I wanted to find out what fishing meant to the people on Cortes Island…”

His interviews, in order of their appearance in this documentary:  

  • Ken Hanuse, Klahoose First Nation
  • Lynne Jordan, curator, Cortes Island Museum
  • Joe Jordan, retired fisherman, Cortes Island
  • Ray Kendall, former panel member of the Pacific Salmon Commission, former biologist & retired fisherman,
  • Cec Robinson, streamkeeper, Cortes Island
  • Jenifer Nener, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Canada

“The Cortes Musem has lists of the commercial fishermen who used to be based here. I counted 41 names working on at least 30 boats during the 1970s. Now there are two boats.”

Only producer Roy Hales’ inquiries took place during one of the biggest chum runs in recent history.

“Hanson Creek is one of the more extreme examples. We’ve seen years where there have been three or four fish, a good year thirty fish. I don’t have the totals yet, but it looks like a couple of hundred for sure ….” – Cec Robinson

The story took an unexpected direction …

Click on this link to access the podcast, Where Have all the Salmon Gone.

Click on this link to access news of the launch of the Deep Roots Initiative.

Photo Credit: Salmon bones by Thomas Quine via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)


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