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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds

Wyam Falls

 
 
Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 1, 2010
1. Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds Marker
Captions: (center left) Long-handled nest caught Chinook, Sockeye, and Coho Salmon.; (upper right) Natives (Indians) fishing the Falls prior to dam construction.; (bottom right) Chief Tommy Thompson 1853-1959 (?) For many years Thompson headed the group of tribal leaders who supervised fishing at the Falls.
Inscription. Before a network of dams controlled the Columbia River it was a raging torrent. Here at Wyam Falls, known today as Celilo Falls, a vertical drop of more than 20 feet and sheer basalt bluffs on either shore forced the river into seething, boiling rapids.
From time immemorial this region comprised the fishing grounds of all Indian tribes of the middle Columbia River area. Early Indians speared huge salmon while on the rocks and their descendants built platforms over the rushing waters from which they gathered fish in long-handled nets. These fishing grounds and the right to take fish from the Columbia River were reserved in 1855 treaties between the tribes and the United States.
Dam construction, which began in the 1930s, forever altered the riverís character. When The Dalles Dam was completed in 1957, the storage basin behind it filled in above the falls and inundated the fishing grounds. Treaty reserved fishing rights, however, continue to be exercised by Indian people of the middle Columbia River area. The loss of Wyam Falls did not mean the loss of the Indian way of life.
 
Erected by Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Travel Information Council.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Beaver Boards marker series.
 
Location.
Wide view of the Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 1, 2010
2. Wide view of the Ancient Indian Fishing Grounds Marker
45° 39.003′ N, 120° 57.632′ W. Marker is near The Dalles, Oregon, in Wasco County. Marker can be reached from Celilo Park Road 0.1 miles south of Celilo-Wasco Highway (Oregon Road 206), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Celilo Park Road becomes the parking lot for Celilo Park. The marker is on eastern side of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: The Dalles OR 97058, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Greatest Indian Fishery of the Northwest (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Celilo Falls Fishing Grounds (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Deschutes River Crossing (approx. 2.6 miles away); Deschutes River Crossing Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 2.8 miles away); First Sight of the Columbia River (approx. 5.7 miles away); Sam Hill Country (approx. 7.6 miles away in Washington); Stonehenge (approx. 8.1 miles away in Washington). Touch for a list and map of all markers in The Dalles.
 
Also see . . .
1. Significant Events in the History of Celilo Falls | Oregon Historical Quarterly, 108.4. (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
2. Tangled Nets: Treaty Rights and Tribal Identities at Celilo Falls | Oregon Historical Quarterly, 105
Lake Celilo image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 1, 2010
3. Lake Celilo
Looking from the shoreline, at Celilo Park, across the lake behind The Dalles Dam, where the fishing grounds of the Celilo/Wyam Falls are submerged.
. (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
3. The Corps of Engineers and Celilo Falls | Oregon Historical Quarterly, 108.4. (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
4. Salmon Nation: Recalling Celilo. (Submitted on August 20, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Native Americans
 
Modern Day Fishing on the Columbia River image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, August 2, 2010
4. Modern Day Fishing on the Columbia River
Like many generations before him, fishing with a dip net is practiced on the Columbia River. Now rather the Celilo Falls, the fishing is done at more tranquil settings like here at Cascade Locks.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 19, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,170 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 19, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.   4. submitted on August 20, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.
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