Portland, Oregon-based photographer - 503.421.5700

Pacific Lamprey Harvesting Underway at Willamette Falls

Added on by Thomas Boyd.

Native Americans from the Yakima and Warm Springs tribe harvest lamprey eels from the Willamette Falls in Oregon City. This ended up being a very challenging shoot. The rocks were slippery as ice. Normally, there are board installed above the falls to minimize the flow of water. This year, however, this was not the case so it was punishing to be under the falls. The amount of water was overwhelming to both fisherman and photographers.

I was really impressed with the tribal youth that fished. Some of them were doing it for the first time and they were troopers. The jumped in and went for it. I was even a little weary when eels where wrapping around my ankles when I crossed through the pools at the base of the falls. These kids were unflappable and bagged hundreds of fish.