Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ancient Fish Traps

Finally took advantage of a low tide to scramble over the rocks to get to the fish traps below the Spring Tavern.

This is the photo I took earlier the same day.  It's somewhat ironic, that this ancient technology is framed by modern power line.

Fish traps were often built at the mouths of rivers.  The Clallam River, now that folks have stopped messing with it, is gradually working its mouth westward along the shore.  Could it be heading back to an old mouth that came out across the fish traps?  It's just now uncovered a set of big rocks that have been under a sand ridge for decades.

The right-hand trap is rather shallow, and quite weedy.  The left-hand one, however, is clean, knee to thigh deep, with a bed of clean sand.  There were no fish in either of them.  If they were closed off, they wouldn't threaten any fish that were ever trapped in them, because they're full of water, even at low tide, and the water is deep enough in the left one to remain cool between tides.  The left one would be rather delightful as a wading/swimming pool for the little kids.

However, they're really only accessible, at least easily, by canoe, or down a rock slide toward Sekiu.  Over there is what appears to be another fish trap, but with larger boulders.  The ones around the Spring traps look as though five to six people could have moved them, using fulcrum points and small logs.  It's definitely a community, or CSDI, project (Chief Said Do It).

I'm sorry, I'm hanging around too many First Nations folks up here, and their sense of humor is rubbing off on me.  Which is kind of like my Dad's, who grew up in Colorado, and picked it up there.   As in:

What did Custer say when he saw all those Indians coming around the bend at the little Big Horn?

"What's wrong with them?  They were all right at the dance last night."

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