Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Klamath California Pacific Sea Lamprey Fishing

Klamath, CA is about an hour north of Eureka, and is the location where the Klamath River empties into the Pacific Ocean; and holy cow, the immense amount of river water encountering westerly ocean swells results in very turbulent seas and steep breaking waves!  The mouth of the Klamath is also were fisherman, particularly Yurok Indian fisherman, hook Pacific Sea Lamprey swimming upstream near the shore.  I had no clue what they were doing at first, but several friendly fisherman showed me their catch, explained how delicious the meat is (if you can get past the oily texture), and described how massive the surf is at this location during major winter storms.  After photographing the activity at the mouth of the Klamath, I drove a few miles south through immense redwoods towering above deep gullies.  I eventually reached a gigantic cliff that rose several hundred feet above the ocean.  The sea was incredibly turbulent below; and sadly, stratus and fog blocked the view of the setting sun.  However, these sea cliffs will be a future photography destination when clear skies and giant swells become collocated...the pictures should be spectacular.

For more on Klamath lamprey fishing, check out this New York Times article.

Lamprey fisherman waiting to hook an unsuspecting lamprey swimming close to shore.
Most lamprey fisherman kept their catch in small sand pits along the beach.
Sea cliffs towering hundreds of feet above the ocean--located several miles south of the Klamath River.