We have seen this fish wheel before, at a distance, taken from the Cascade Locks side of the river.
This is what was called a "skow fishwheel" as you see it is attached to a boat like affair, so could be moved from area to area when wanted. The big fish wheels were the ones that were stationery.
Charlott on 2nd February 2016 @ 7:06am
Question or two: I see this pipe running in the foreground. What was it for? I thought maybe they were pumping the fish from the skow up, but it just doesn't appear that the diameter would be big enough for salmon.
The fencing there. I have seen that in other photos and there is a huge blown up picture of Celilo Falls at Cousins' Restaurant in their banquet room, that shows just behind the fall a huge long fencing type things like this. My only guess is something to deal with erosion, but that don't make sense to me really.
The men in this photo definitely are not the fishermen. Maybe the owners of the fish canneries.
Charlott on 2nd February 2016 @ 7:16am
Looks like they are all holding large salmon as well. Can anyone explain how a fish wheel worked?
Rawhyde on 2nd February 2016 @ 7:29am
Does the copyright say 1898?
Here is my theory on a story.
These men have traveled downriver on the steamboat to the Upper Cascades.
The steamboat docked and the men hopped on the portage train, which then stopped at the fish wheel, so they could walk down the bank, across the plank and buy a fish. They will finish their train ride to the Lower Cascades, where they will board another steam boat and continue their trip home to Portland. When they walk into their house, with salmon dangling from their hands, their wife will say....."get that out of here, it stinks!!"
L.E. on 2nd February 2016 @ 8:07am
Not an expert on fishwheels, but have seen them work on the Yukon and Copper rivers in Alaska. Used to dipnet for Copper river reds from the shore. Were allowed 40 fish per family. No commercial fishwheels in Alaska anymore as they were outlawed many decades ago. They were so efficient they could wipe out a salmon run in a river in short order. Personal use fishwheels were all a little different as everyone had their own idea what worked the best. But generally a group of guys would go together to build one. They all worked on the same principal. Current turned the wheel when water hit wooden paddles. Then nets or wooden open-topped boxes that were coming around underwater would scoop up the fish as the wheel turned. Then as the wheel approached the top the fish would fall into a trough of some kind and slide into a scow or other catchment basin adjacent to the wheel. Simple but efficient as they could fish around the clock.
Buzz on 2nd February 2016 @ 11:27am
The copyright date is 1899.
Arthur on 2nd February 2016 @ 2:24pm
There is a full size replica fish wheel in the great museum at Stevenson WA. It has steps up to a viewing platform and full explanation of the operation..
Kenn on 2nd February 2016 @ 3:53pm
That is pretty much how they worked Buzz. I remember the holding tank at the one that was called "Big Eddy" in The Dalles. That holding tank was huge and I think they tended it maybe once every 24 hours. Ofcourse, Big Eddy was a stationery wheel and if I remember the largest on the Columbia River.
Charlott on 3rd February 2016 @ 7:07am
The fences are just there to guide the fish into the wheel. Note that the different fences was there so that the scow can be repositioned to work at differing water heights. Not sure on the "pipes" they may just be poles that were used to help position the scow in relation to the shore.
Longshot on 4th February 2016 @ 5:30am