1775 – Bruno de Heceta, aboard the Santiago, sights the Columbia River, Naming it Rio Dan Roque. Estimated historic Columbia River Salmon Runs fluctuate between 11 million and 16 million fish, of which Native North Americans may have captured 4.5 to 6.3 million. (Bottom, 2005)
1779 – Captain James Cook looked for the Northwest Passage, found the Columbia River and started the trade in beaver pelts. Trapping beaver was the first major change in salmon habitat on the west coast.
1789 – McKenzie crossed the Rocky Mountains to the British Columbia Coast
1790 – Britain gains rights to territory in treaty with Spain (Bottom, 2005)
1800 Up to 16 million Salmon and Steelhead return each year to the Columbia and Snake rivers
1890s Effects of mining, logging, farming, and fishing cause decline in salmon runs

1806 Lewis and Clark crossed the continent to the mouth of the Columbia River, spend winterat Fort Clatsop and return east.
1811 David Thompson followed the Columbia to its mouth
1811 John Jacob Astor established fur trading post at Astoria
1813 Astor’s Company, the Pacific Fur Company, sold to the Northwest Company 1818 Spring Chinook salmon harvest begins. (Bottom, 2005)
1821 The Northwest Company merged with the Hudson’s Bay Co
1824 Hudson’s Bay Company located at Fort George (Astoria)
1834 The average number of beaver pelts taken is 3,000. The trapping of beaver in the
Northwest was the first major ecological change of salmon habitat by humans.
1823 Astor Company exports pickled salmon to London (Bottom, 2005)

1825 Hudson’s Bay Company establishes Fort Vancouver and Fort Coleville; disease reduces

Lower Chinook Indian population to half its historic level. (Bottom, 2005)
1828 The first saw mill established at Mill Plain on the lower Columbia River by Hudson’s Bay Company.

1829 Capt. John Dominis brings the brig Owyhee into the Columbia River to fish salmon and

1830s 1840
The depletion of beaver in the 1830s took place 100 years before the first extensive surveys of salmon habitat.
From 1840 to 1855 is the most severe and persistent drought on record. The 1830s and 1890s are also periods of sustained low flows. Other notable low flows occur in 1775, 1805, and 1925. (Gedalof et al. 2004)
The center for the fur industry moved north to Vancouver Island Irrigation begins in watershed.
Brittan and America settle their boundary dispute and Americans continue to take beaver pelts.
The Columbia River Basin covers an area of 259,000 square miles. Before any water resource development, over 163,000 square miles of the basin was accessible to anadromous salmonids.
trade. During two summers in the area, they put up 50 barrels of salted salmon that sold in

Boston in 1810 for $.10 per pound.(Bottom, 2005)
Aug. 14, 1848 Oregon Territory created
1848 The citizens of Oregon were concerned enough about salmon stream protection to include a provision for salmon protection in their territorial constitution of 1848. That provision required fishways at all dams. Since this law went into effect it has been poorly enforced.
1850 Pre-development run size is estimated to be from 10 to 16 million wild salmonids.
1852 James G. Swan was traveling by sea from San Francisco when he recorded in his diary at the Columbia River was in flood stage and that the water 30 miles off the mouth was covered with sawdust and boards.
Mar. 2, 1853 Washington Territory created
. 1854 It was believed that humans would assume control over salmon production with hatcheries the same way agriculture controlled the production of plants and animals.
. 1855 Treaties between the United States and Columbia River Indian tribes is signed and the tribes secure the right to fish in usual and accustomed places.
1859 First irrigation project constructed in the Columbia Basin Feb.-Mar. 1865 return of smelt after 17 years absence
1851 Tansey Pt. Treaties with Lower Chinook Indians; only about 8,000 native peoples survive in Columbia River basin. (Bottom, 2005)
1866 First salmon cannery built on the river at Eagle Cliff by Hume and Hapgood. It is the area’s first intensive fishery; 275,000 lb Chinook catch. Washington State adopted its first fishing gear restrictions.
1866 — dredging and snagging operations conducted by Corps of Engineers on Willamette River near Portland
. 1869 On May 10th the last spike was driven into the transcontinental railroad in Promontory, Utah, opening the west coast up to fish transfers from the east coast.
. 1870 California creates a board of fish commissioners.
1870 10,200,000 lb Chinook catch. (Bottom, 2005)
1870 Timber around estuaries and along navigable rivers was nearly exhausted, causing a major impact on salmon spawning and rearing areas.
. 1870 The American Fish Culturists’ Association was founded. It later was renamed the American Fisheries Society, a professional organization that has numerous technical journals in fisheries.
. 1871 Shad introduced from the Hudson River in New York state into the Sacramento River in California. These fish were transported over the newly constructed transcontinental railroad.
. 1872 First game laws passed by the Oregon Legislature making it illegal to use explosives or poisons to take salmon.
. 1872 On October 23rd, 30,000 chinook salmon eggs are shipped from California to the East Coast; all but 7,000 die in transit. About 200-300 hatch and are raised to fingering size and planted unsuccessfully in the Susquehanna River in March 1873. These eggs were collected by Livingston Stone from the McCloud River in California and used the transcontinental railroad to ship the eggs.
. 1873 Stone, with a special railway car, the California Aquarium Car, leaves Charlestown, N.H. for the Pacific coast on June 3rd. Approximately 300,000 fish, including catfish, eels, bullheads, perch, bass, trout, and lobsters, are accidentally planted in Nebraska’s Elkhorn River when a railroad bridge collapses. This does not end the enthusiasm for moving these species west.
. 1874 Payette River, Idaho, produced a commercial catch of 30,000 pounds of sockeye salmon or 7,000 fish.
. 1875 The U.S. Fish Commissioner, Spencer Baird, told the fishing industry that artificial propagation would eliminate the need to regulate the harvest.

1867 Hume and Hapgood can 18,000 cases of Chinook. Fishermen earn $.15 per fish.

Native Fish Society
1876 Camp Creek, a tributary to Crooked R in Oregon degraded from a meadow and willow sheltered creek to a gully of raw banks devoid of fish habitat. This creek is still degraded in 2005. This was caused by over grazing that set the creek up for failure during severe thunder storms.
. 1876 Introduced shad show up in the Columbia River.
. 1877 There are three salmon hatcheries on the West Coast. Hume begins releasing chinook salmon fry at his Rogue River hatchery. This hatchery joins the McCloud River Hatchery in California and the Clackamas Hatchery in Oregon.
. 1877 Approval granted for establishment of 20 foot Columbia River channel by means of dams, dikes and revetments
. 1878 The first salmon hatchery is built in the Columbia Basin on Clear Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas River. It was started by salmon canners to increase the supply of salmon from the Columbia River. The salmon runs were declining.
1878 Oregon creates a state fish commission and passed the first conservation law which restricted mesh size on the gillnet fishery.
. 1878 The Oregon Legislature enacted a one day fishing closure in this state’s coastal streams, but enforcement was a problem.
. 1879 One hundred and fifty east coast striped bass are successfully transplanted by Livingston Stone to the Pacific near Martinez, Calif. Striped bass are predators and consume salmon smolts.
. 1880 In 1880, Alvin Anderson, British Columbia inspector of fisheries, realized that Pacific salmon are organized into separate local populations, with each river having its own distinct stock. He recognized that the supply of salmon in a river depended upon the number of spawners in that river. Andersons’ views reflected earlier recognition that Atlantic salmon faithfully returned to their home stream. Accepting the stock concept led managers in British Columbia’s salmon fishing to limit fishing effort by restricting both the timing of fishing and the type of gear permitted. Pacific salmon were believed to be genetically uniform in the U.S., spawning in rivers at random.
1880 Sockeye salmon runs declining and the Payette River sockeye fishery is commercially extinct.
1880 The number of salmon canneries on the Columbia reaches the peak of 39.
1880 The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts was established as the first government-run center for fisheries research in the United States.1880’s—Corps of EngineerscarriedoutsnagremovalinlowerChehalisRiver,throughout decade
1883 The year when the harvest of chinook salmon peaked on the Columbia River. There were 1,700 gillnet boats in the fishery. They took 42,799,000 pounds of fish which is about 3

1877 Oregon and Washington legislatures approve laws to temporarily close fisheries by

Native Fish Society
provide no Enforcement.(Bottom, 2005)
million fish and processed 600,000 cases of canned salmon. Form then on the runs decline rapidly with 18,135,000 pounds taken in 1889.
1883 Livingston Stone surveys the Columbia River to locate a suitable hatchery site.
In the United States, the influential Livingston Stone maintained that salmon ran up rivers randomly, fostering the misconception that salmon were readily transplantable from river to river. Stone’s rejection of the home-stream concept encouraged reliance on hatcheries, and transplanting of stocks became a cornerstone of salmon management in the United States. If salmon had no real dependence on their home streams, then why not move them around so as not to conflict with other desired uses of the land.
. 1883 David Starr Jordan, the first president of Stanford University and the leading academic salmon biologist of his day, shared Stone’s view, stating, ‘It is the prevailing impression that salmon have such special instinct which leads them to return to spawn on the same spawning grounds where they were originally hatched. We fail to find any evidence of this in the case of Pacific Coast salmon, and we do not believe it to be true.
. 1884 George Brown Goode tells the World Fisheries Congress that salmon on the Columbia are under complete control of the fish culturists, even though there was no solid evidence of success. The U.S. Fish Commission viewed hatcheries as the primary management activity, saying that it was easy to make fish so abundant through artificial propagation that regulation of the harvest would be unnecessary.
. 1885 In summer, Atlantic shad are transported in a railroad car to the Pacific coast and planted in Washington Territory and Oregon waters
1885 Dam at Willamette Falls put in service
. 1885 Early hydroelectric development at Spokane Falls
. 1886 Columbia River chinook salmon stocks continue to show visible signs of depletion.
. 1887 Oregon establishes a three person State Board of Commissioners to enforce fish and game laws.
1887 Congress Directs U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate causes of declining salmon runs.
1889 There are 57 fish wheels operating in the area 30 miles above Bonneville and near Celilo Falls. The best wheels catch 6,000 fish a day.
1889 The canneries began processing sockeye salmon and steelhead for the first time. A few years later chum salmon and coho were being canned. These are species that had previously been considered inferior, but the chinook catch had decline so much that other fish were needed to keep the canneries operating.
1889 Hydroelectric development at Willamette Falls Nov. 11, 1889 Washington achieves statehood
Native Fish Society
1890 Washington State creates the Washington Fish Commission.
1890 The salmon decline at Kettle Falls on the upper Columbia is severe and has been in sharp decline since 1882.
1890s In the Grande Ronde valley logging accounted for 15 to 20 million board feet per year and loggers used a system of splash dams which blocked salmon migration and destroyed spawning and rearing habitat.
1892 The Oregon Legislature establishes a hatchery fund from license fees.
. 1892 The Columbia River fishery employed 5,545 workers, and salmon were harvested by 378 pound nets, 38 seines, 1,314 gill nets, 57 fish wheels, and 75 dip nets.
. 1893 Oregon establishes the State Game and Fish Protector position beginning the combined fish and game administration in Oregon.
. 1894 Salmon investigations are started by the U.S. Fish Commission because there is an “alarming decrease in the salmon catch of the Columbia River within recent years.”
. 1894 Marshall McDonald, U.S. Commissioner for Fish and Fisheries, said, “We have relied too exclusively upon artificial propagation as a sole and adequate means for maintenance of our fisheries. We have been more disposed to measure results by quantity rather than quality, to estimate our triumphs.”
. 1895 Columbia River salmon harvest reached 30 million pounds.
. 1895 Marshall McDonald, U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, conducted the first study of Columbia River salmon stocks and concluded that over-harvest was evident and predicted salmon abundance would decline.
. 1896 The Oregon State Fish and Game Protector said, “I am convinced that not more than 10% of the ova spawned in the open streams are hatched, owing principally to spawn-eating fish that prey on them… while from artificial propagation 90% are successfully hatched. What more need be said in favor of fish culture?”
. 1898 Oregon splits the fish and game management programs and creates the Board of Fish Commissioners comprised of the governor, secretary of state, and the fish commissioner. A Board of Game Commissioners followed in 1899.
. 1899 The salmon harvest declined to 18 million pounds.
. 1899 Oregon and Washington established a joint fishery management program involving two committees of both state legislatures. The purpose was to reach coordinated agreement on Columbia River fishery regulations.
. 1900 Gas engines were added to salmon boats, leading to the creation of the ocean troll fishery. It started with 500 boats and by 1915 there were 1,500.

1897 Federal Little White Salmon and Upper Clackamas Hatcheries begin production.