Thursday July 14, 2005
By Alice Mullaly
In the summer of 1901, a debate raged as to whether or not fishing for trout was still worth the effort.
Seems a lot of Oregonians just weren't sure about it any more since the legislature, in that year, set the state's first-ever limit on the number of trout a person could catch and keep. Prior to 1901, if you could catch it, you could keep it.
One story tells of C.D. Thompson, who later became a teacher at Medford High School, his neighbor and their two sons, who had for years spent one week each summer fishing the Upper Deschutes (deh-SHOOTS) River in Central Oregon near Bend. The first six days they would enjoy their remote campsite and the teaming river, practicing casting their flies with un-barbed hooks. But on the seventh day, the barbs went on and they fished in earnest. A wagonload of ice then met them at the camp so they could take their catch home to dry for the winter's supply of tasty trout.
Why the debate? What was the limit? Why they could only keep 125 fish…per man! For Thompson, his neighbor and their boys, it just hardly seemed worth the trouble.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Alice Mullaly, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Family story from the Author's Father; "Oregon's History of Fish and Wildlife Administration", contributions made by Robert Mace, Bob Kuhn and Lisa De Bruyckere, South Willamette Watershed District Wedsite, http://www.dfw.state.or.us/springfield/history