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Fish and Fishing: Research and Resources   Tags: research, research help  

A brief guide to archival and other resources about the history of sport & commercial fish and fishing, with a focus on the holdings of Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs.
Last Updated: May 8, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This guide provides an introduction to resources about the history of fish, fishing and fisheries in the Pacific Northwest region, focusing on the rich resources available through the Heritage Resources programs at Western Libraries. Both the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and Western Libraries Special Collections house substantial resources about these topics, including information about Native American fishing practices and treaty rights, commercial fisheries, fly fishing, and some of the conflicts and controversies surrounding access to fish as a resource.

If you have additional questions, or cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact us (see right-hand column).


From the Library Catalog

Try searching the Libraries Catalog, Summit Catalog or WorldCat for both published and archival sources. Ask an archivist or librarian if you need assistance. Useful search terms may include:

  • Fishery law and legislation
  • Fisheries
  • Fly fishing
  • Fly tying
  • Fly tyers
  • Salmon fishing
  • Salmon fisheries
  • Salmon canning industry
  • Indians of North America -- Northwest, Pacific -- Fishing law and legislation
  • Lummi Indians -- Fishing

Depending on your topic, some useful secondary sources may include:

To Fish In Common - Boxberger, Daniel L.
Call Number: Western Library Wilson 4C - Northwest Collection E99.L95 B68 2000

The Great Pacific American Fisheries, 1899-1965 : recollections of Galen Biery : conversations August 12, 1993-July 20, 199 - Biery, Galen.
Call Number: Western Library Wilson 4C - Northwest Collection (HD8039.F6752 U63 1994) and other locations

The H. W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest - Newell, Gordon (ed.)
Call Number: Heritage Resources--Archives Building CPNWS Reference Room
An illustrated review of the growth and development of the maritime industry from 1895.

The History of Lummi Fishing Rights - Nugent, Ann
Call Number: Western Library Wilson 4C - Northwest Collection E99.L95 N79

Organizing Asian American labor: the Pacific Coast canned-salmon industry, 1870-1942 - Friday, Chris, 1959-
Call Number: Western Library Wilson 3E - Books HD6515.C27 F75 1994
Between 1870 and 1942, people of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino ancestry toiled in the salmon canneries on coastal bays and streams from central California to western Alaska. Successive generations of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans formed the predominant body of workers in an industry that played a central role in the economic growth of the western states and territories. This book traces the shifts in the ethnic and gender composition of the cannery labor market from its origins through its decline and examines the workers' creation of work cultures and social communities.

Pacific Northwest Croatian - Margaret Sleasman
Call Number: CPNWS Reference Room F855.2.C76 C76
History, antecdotes, & stories by & about local Croatian fishing Families in Bellingham.

Special Collections Fly Fishing Collection
Over 1500 titles housed at Western Libraries Special Collections

Heritage Resources

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Heritage Resources
Contact Info
Special Collections, 6th Floor Wilson Library, 360-650-3193

University Archives and Records Center, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-3124

Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-7534
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Heritage Resources


Western Libraries Heritage Resources provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and resarch at Western Washington University and beyond. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives and Records Management work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.



          More Campus Connections

          Credit courses about fisheries management and fly fishing are taught through WWU's College of Environmental Sciences. Check out the WWU Course Catalog for more information.  


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