Intertidal Fishing Weirs: “Go-Help-Yourself” Subsistence on the Oregon Coast



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Intertidal fishing weirs were used by indigenous Oregonians as an efficient and dependable method of procuring several fish species. Investigation of fishing weirs is challenging due to their locations in submerged mud flats, but archaeologists from the University of Oregon, working closely with members of Oregon’s coastal tribes, significantly advanced their study in the early- to mid- 1990s. This presentation will address fishing weir environments, terminology, and methodology, and take a close look at some of the most interesting investigations to date.

Biographical Information

Bradley Bowden has a M.S. from the University of Oregon and has worked in cultural resource management for 25 years. He’s worked for several Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic firms and universities. He has published articles in the AOA’s Occasional Papers and the Journal of Northwest Anthropology and given presentations at the AAA, NWAC, and MAAC. He studied Late Holocene settlement in the Willamette Valley at the U of O, but was fortunate enough to get to work on projects with several coastal archaeologists where he developed an interest in fishing weirs.


Indigenous peoples -- Fishing -- Oregon, Weirs -- Design and construction, Subsistence economy -- Oregon -- Pacific Coast


Anthropology | Environmental Sciences

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Intertidal Fishing Weirs: “Go-Help-Yourself” Subsistence on the Oregon Coast