SJC, Salmon Nation to collect and share fish stories

San Juan County’s Environmental Stewardship Department wants to hear and share your fishing stories. We are collaborating with Salmon Nation — an organization recognizing that the fight for wild salmon is about much more than fish — it’s about culture, livelihoods, and the viability of our natural and human systems.

San Juan County will collect stories for our Fish Tales of the San Juans — Now and Then project from native and non-native elder fishers of their experiences from decades past when Chinook were plentiful in our waters. We also will interview those fishing our waters today to spotlight current patterns and conditions in the San Juan Islands. Video clips of these interviews will be compiled to tell, in a powerful way, a broader story that helps to instill a conservation ethic in both residents of and visitors to the San Juan Islands.

We will conduct casual 20-minute interviews with fishers in mid-to-late August. If you would like to share your story of fishing in the old days, or of the extraordinary challenges facing our tribal, recreational, and commercial fishers today, contact us by Aug. 7 at

Those interviewed may choose to also contribute their Fish Tale to our collaborator Salmon Nation for their Salmon Story project. Hundreds of stories are being collected about why wild salmon are important to people from all walks of life. Anyone from the North Slope of Alaska to Northern California may participate.