Generations of Dip Net Klickitat River, WA

Photos and Film by Sean P. O'Connor

Video Produced by Cassandra Profita, The EarthFix News Team and Oregon Public Broadcasting

Perched on the cliffside, Anthony George Jr. prepares his net for the day ahead. Like most of his family, George Jr. has worked his adult life mastering the finesse of Dip Net fishing.

Wild salmon wait on the fishing platform for the fish packer to arrive and bring them to the coolers at the canyon's rim.

Ira Yallup has been fishing from these scaffolds for most of his life. He and his family members spend more than half of each year fishing these Northwestern waters.

A cable crossing shuttles fishermen and their catch from one end of the canyon to the other. The tribe members work together to transport supplies and labor to the otherwise unaccessible platforms on the other side.

Johnny Jackson is the Cascade Klickitat Tribe Elder and Chief. He grew up fishing from these platforms on the river below. Over his many years, Jackson has witnessed countless challenges for himself and his people.

"...because it's one thing that the state and the white people never realized, is that the Salmon, which we know as Wakanish. Was our main food and way of life and we depended strongly on it."

-Johnny Jackson

A traditional net rests in a swirling eddy line along the edge of the Klickitat River. The net construction is done by hand and the craft is passed on through the generations.

Ira Yallup dips his net before the first sunlight hits the canyon walls. He and his family build and refine these platforms with each passing day.

Coolers with ice and wild salmon line the beds of pickup trucks waiting at the canyon rim. Each day, the fish are trucked to various markets to be sold to support the fishermen's families.

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