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Salmon Fishing

Reef-netting. The Lummi People fished at many locations in the San Juan Islands, locations that were allocated to families based on rank and inheritance. Before Europeans settled in the area the Lummis used a unique fishing method called reef-netting. A net was suspended between canoes in the path of the salmon on their way to spawning grounds. Artificial reefs were created to guide the fish into the net. These reefs were made from cedar bark and nettle Reef-netting in the San Juan Islandsfibers with beach grass woven in. When the fish swam in, the scoop shaped net was raised and the fish were trapped.

This way of fishing all but ceased after the canneries arrived and fish traps were installed to harvest large volumes of salmon, so many salmon in fact, that the canneries often could not process all of the catch. The Carlisle Packing Company on Legoe Bay occupied several hundred acres and more than 200 people worked there.

A spin-off industry developed to process Lummi Island's cannery waste - fish fertilizer.

1935 marked the end of the fish traps when they were outlawed. At this time the reef-net fishing was re-established and still can be seen off the shores of Lummi Island. Albeit a modernized version, but essentially the same method is employed today. Now-a-days the fish are caught and stored live in the holding net under the barge until the buyers come out to the barge to purchase the catch.

For many years salmon were also caught with gillnets. But since the institution of government fishing limits, only a few gillnet operations exist today.

Make your family's reservation TODAY, call:
Island Vacation Rentals
owned & operated by Seaside Lodging Northwest

Telephone: (360) 758-7064 or toll free (888) 758-7064
1695 Seacrest Drive, Lummi Island, WA 98262

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