Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Fishing Season on The Rogue
Here we are in Gold Beach, 23 miles south of us, at the mouth of the Rogue River. This river is still wild, meaning that it doesn't have damns and distractions. The adult chinook salmon that enter the river to go spawn in their ancestral habitats are fat and happy at this time of the year. The first rains have blasted the opening of the river, and here you can see the small boats all trying to catch the big one.
Fishermen are allowed two catches per day. They hope to get a big one, this time of the year, as the salmon has spent years at sea before returning to spawn.
The female will die after spawning, exhausted by the activity, and at that point she will be a delightful meal for a hungry bear. Bears have been known to scaveng in town, close to camping grounds before the salmon's return to spawn.
This cycle of life and death takes place every fall.
There is a ceremonial run, called The Run to the Rogue, performed by the native population, the Siletz and other tribes, from their reservation in the north part of the state, down the coast to the Rogue, where their hunting and fishing places used to be before the white men displaced them forcefully. They gather at Agness, a small town up the Rogue River, barely accessible by mountain roads, where they have a pow-wow, a gathering, called The Gathering of The People. On their run down the state, they stop at each community, and are welcomed and fed by townspeople, until they reach their final destination.
Should you want to read about The Run to the Rogue, visit our paper or look up "Run to the Rogue" on your google bar to learn about this event and other Native American events and cultural facts.