Welcome to Roll on Columbia

The Columbia River and Me
Welcome to my website about the Columbia River. This river fascinates and intrigues me. From the first people whose lives were woven into her fabric, through the frenzy of harnessing her waters, and now looking into the future, the Columbia River will prevail. What is our relationship with her and how will that change as we go forward into a new day?

Why do I care? Some things cannot be explained. I suppose you could say I was bit by some kind of Columbia River bug brought on by a series of serendipitous encounters (see Blog -archives-September)  and reading great books by others so inflicted (see Recommended Books).

I invite you to join me on my journey through these pages and if you have your own stories about the Columbia River, I’d like to hear from you. She continues to inspire us all as she keeps rolling on…..

Larry the Fisherman and his Wild Dream

His name was Larry. I discovered him as he unloaded his fishing gear from his white Ford pickup parked along side the Columbia River in Canada about 35 miles north of the border. His name immediately struck me as a curious coincidence. The lone sockeye salmon to return to Redfish Lake in Idaho in 1992, once the spawning grounds of over 30,000 fish, was named Larry-Lonesome Larry. But this Larry was not lonesome. I asked him about fishing and he proceeded to whip out his smartphone to show me all the bull trout he and his family had caught just the other day on the Duncan River. Threatened with extinction south of the border, apparently that is not the case in Canada. Larry was a regular to this particular location on the Columbia River just below Hugh Keenleyside Dam where he often catches rainbow trout and whitefish. Originally named High Arrow, this dam raised the surface of the Columbia River 40 feet blending together upper and lower Arrow Lakes and inundating prime agricultural land, traditional First Nations sites and displacing people and wildlife. Completed in 1968 and located just upriver of Castlegar, BC it was the second of the 3 Columbia River Treaty dams built in Canada. Realizing I had a gold-mine of local information right before my eyes, I asked about the dams. There are many in the area, and Larry, his dad and brothers and probably most of his friends had all worked on several of them at Continue Reading →

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