Former Seaside municipal judge Robert Moberg will share some of the 150-year history of gillnet fishing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, during Seaside Museum’s History and Hops series held at the Seaside Brewing Co. He will discuss the work, that was their joy, is now “A Way of Life — All but Gone.”
In the mid-19th century, men in boats powered only by sail or oar, fished with nets at the mouth of the Columbia River. Facing great danger, the gillnetters had to contend with fish traps, horse seiners and numerous adverse conditions. During 1880, more than 200 fishermen drowned. By the 1950s, dams, pollution and negative effects of fish hatcheries severely reduced returning salmon runs in the Columbia River. As the fishing industry declined, many fishermen left for Alaska and some left the industry, altogether.
Moberg was born and raised in Astoria. He started gillnet fishing with his father on the Columbia River at age 10 and continued for some years in Bristol Bay, ultimately putting himself through college and law school by fishing.
History and Hops is a series of local history discussions hosted by the Seaside Museum on the last Thursday of each month, September through May, at Seaside Brewing Co., 851 Broadway.
The museum is located at 570 Necanicum Drive, Seaside and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found at www.seasideoregonmuseum.com