Thursday, May 19, 2005

Poor Harvest For Popular Subject Of Northwest Indian Art

The salmon fish is a popular subject in Northwest Indian art since it has been one of the main food sources for the Northwest Indian tribes for centuries. However, the tens of thousands of adult Chinook salmon that were expected to swim up the Columbia River this spring are missing. The numbers are so bad that Idaho, Oregon and Washington states have all ended commercial fishing. The four Northwest Indian tribes with treaty rights to harvest the salmon have also ended fishing. Most environmentalists are convinced that federal dams are causing this problem. The slow moving, sometimes overheated reservoirs behind the dams confuse the salmon, who usually breed in fast, cold currents. The dam machinery can also be lethal, particularly to outbound juvenile fish. "We need to figure out what happened," said Charles Hudson of the intertribal commission. "But there is no question that year in and year out, the hydro system is the biggest killer of fish." See Northwest Indian art salmons for examples of carvings of this fish.

northwest indian art salmon

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