Canneries on Klamath yielded large catches

May 30, 2007 11:00 pm
Pictured is the interior of the Klamath River Packing Association cannery, which was formed by merging three canneries in 1915. The equipment inside was the newest technology in canning operations, as the original canneries didn't actually can fish, but preserved them by salting the meat. (Photos courtesy of Del Norte County Historical Society.).
Pictured is the interior of the Klamath River Packing Association cannery, which was formed by merging three canneries in 1915. The equipment inside was the newest technology in canning operations, as the original canneries didn't actually can fish, but preserved them by salting the meat. (Photos courtesy of Del Norte County Historical Society.).

Triplicate staff

Settlers began setting up salmon canneries along the Klamath River in the late , despite objections from Yurok Tribal members who lived along the waterway.

Jones & Richardson marked the first operation near the river's mouth, followed by the Klamath Commercial Co., according to Redwood National and State Park historical data.

The Klamath Packing & Trading Co. opened a cannery in 1890, merging two canneries that operated along the Klamath River. Schooners brought salt, tins and other equipment and exported fish.

Daily catches could total up to 10,000 fish at the canneries, with 1912 marking the record catch at 17,000, according to the park data. In 1908, the Klamath Packing & Trading Co. shipped out 6,500 cases of salmon.

But some businesses and fishermen took too much and in 1934, commercial salmon fishing was declared illegal on the Klamath and Smith rivers.