When They Are Running


5 X 7 card with envelope. Blank inside.

Item No. WHE925

Story on the back of the card:

When they are running, everyone revels. Fisher people cast their lines from shore. Fill lakes and rivers with commercial vessels and flotillas of boats. Brag about their catch. Above, sloppy osprey drop shredded pink morsels; they are not tidy eaters. Humans are not the only mammals harvesting the catch. Sea lions greedily devour much more than their share, according to some. The inspiration for all this carnivorous exploitation is salmon—the iconic species of the Pacific Northwest.

I’ve walked the shore along the Columbia River and talked to fishers at different seasonal runs. I’ve seen the spawned-out carcasses along the banks of the Skagit River. I photographed the fisher at dusk as he gutted his catch at Deception Pass. In Washington State, you can relate to the state of exuberance that comes to fish, bird, and mammal alike. Plants benefit, too. When salmon arrive, to spawn and die, their bodies introduce ocean nutrients to inland ecosystems. We can guess at plants’ exuberance for this fishy cycle by witnessing healthy forests.