SEASIDE — In the mid-19th century, men in boats powered only by sail or oar, fished with nets at the mouth of the Columbia River. Facing great danger, the gillnetters had to contend with fish traps, horse seiners and numerous adverse conditions. During 1880, more than 200 fishermen drowned. By the 1950s, dams, pollution and negative effects of fish hatcheries severely reduced returning salmon runs in the Columbia River. As the fishing industry declined, many fishermen left for Alaska and some left the industry, altogether.
Former Seaside municipal judge, Robert Moberg, will share some of the 150-year history of gillnet fishing at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 30, during Seaside Museum’s History & Hops series held at the Seaside Brewing Co., 851 Broadway. He will discuss the work that was their joy, but is now “A Way of Life – All but Gone.”
Moberg was born and raised in Astoria. He started gillnet fishing with his father on the Columbia River at age 10 and continued for some years in Bristol Bay, Alaska, ultimately putting himself through college and law school by fishing.
The Seaside Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit educational institution with the mission to collect, preserve and interpret materials illustrative of the history of Seaside and the surrounding area. The museum is located at 570 Necanicum Drive and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information is at seasideoregonmuseum.com