Cole Morven works for the Nisga’a Fisheries and Wildlife Department. For about 10 or 12 years now she’s been going out to monitor the annual eulachon run, a fish so important to her people that it is known as “our saviour fish.”
“The winter supply of salmon would be skimmed down over the winter, so the eulachon saved our people and held us over until salmon season again,” Morven tells Skeena Strong.
On a sunny March day this year she shot some videos of the fishery bay crew taking in a big haul of eulachon. “I feel grateful for allowing me to monitor them throughout the years,” she said.
In the video she shot, Morven explains, “the net is set with anchors and a frame is used to keep the net open under water. The hooks you see are made of hemlock. Those are prepared before fishing starts, along with cleaning of the fish bins and cooking pots.”
She goes on, “The hooks are used to gather the net and the line of workers send the eulachons down to the end to be dumped in the boat. At the same time, the safety boat is watching for ice and logs. Each camp has a crew leader that guides the crew with prepping and with fishing. Safety is a high priority.”
Every time she goes out on the water she’s awed by what she sees, “the dedication, hard work, time and money that the fishery bay crew puts into feeding their elders and people.”
“They take pride in what they do and give thanks for the saviour fish,” she says.
Check out the video HERE.