April 11, 2016 Jay Taber
In July 1974, the year U. S. District Court Judge George Boldt ruled on the American Indian treaty fishing rights case United States v. Washington – commonly known as the Boldt Decision – I was a cannery tender captain, buying salmon for Port Chatham Packing Company of Seattle, owned at the time by a pair of Norwegian brothers named Norman and Erling Nielsen.
Port Chatham smoked salmon was known worldwide for its exceptional quality, and counted gourmet chef Julia Child among its steady customers.
The salmon I procured for Port Chatham came largely from Lummi (a.k.a. Lhaq ‘temish) and Samish Indians, who caught the Chinook salmon so prized by connoisseurs of the Nielsen’s Norwegian-style BALLARD LOX. Sometimes, when seas were rough off Cherry Point where they fished, I took my vessel into the Sandy Point Marina and tied up to a friend’s father’s private dock. […]