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The Salmon

Nations on the Columbia River based their economy, culture and religion on salmon fishing. A secondary food source was the wappato root.  Fish we Have Met With' Pacific Coast Fishes of the Lewis & Clark Expedition by Dennis Dauble, Ph.D. Fisheries biologist    Download PDF 393 kb


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From the Journals of Lewis and Clark

October 17, 1805: " I took two men in a Small canoe and assended the Columbia river 10 miles ... large Mat Lodges* of Indians were drying Salmon**."
  The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Mat Lodges* - These are the first mat lodges that the Corps had ever seen.

Salmon** -  End of the annual salmon migration up the Columbia River.

A secondary food source was the wappato root. 

November 4, 1805: " gave us a roundish roots about the size of a Small Irish potato which they roasted in the embers until they became soft,  this root they call Wap-pa-to the Bulb ... it has an agreeable taste and answers verry well in place of bread.  we purchased about 4 bushels of this root and divided it to our party."    The Journals of Lewis and Clark


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