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Fishing on the Banks of the Snake

At the high end of summer, many seek the cooling pursuit of piscatorial pleasures. These youngsters, with their net full of steelhead, were captured on glass by John B. Wilson, a professional photographer in Lewiston, Idaho, between 1915 and 1920. In the background can be seen a river steamer at the grain storage building (possibly the Interior Warehouse Co.) just this side of the Lewiston-Clarkston bridge. The horse, an aid to pulling in the net, was also useful in getting home again.

Fisherman and Fishes
Boys with catch on banks of the Snake River near Lewiston, Idaho

Steelhead are a variety of rainbow trout which spawn in the Snake, Clearwater, and Salmon River drainages, migrate to the ocean as juveniles and return as adults several years later. Fishing for steelhead is different today; it is mostly catch-and-release in an effort to return to the pre-dam days of plentiful fish stocks. The National Marine Fisheries Service has recently proposed that Idaho steelhead be granted “threatened” status under the Endangered Species Act. The Idaho State Fish and Game Department manages this diminishing resource for Idahoans.

Natural resources issues such as these are documented in the Wilderness Archives at the University of Idaho Library. Papers, correspondence, photographs and other records are collected to provide an historical basis for today’s decisions and programs. To participate in this effort, please contact:

Special Collections and Archives University of Idaho Library Moscow, ID 83844-2351 208-885-0845

Written August 1996 for the library’s Digital Memories website.

Caption: Boys with catch on banks of the Snake River near Lewiston, Idaho, John B. Wilson, photographer, ca. 1915. #18-84, Historical Photograph Collection, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library.

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