Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

5-2010

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies

Department

Biology

Major Advisor

Mark G. Plew, Ph.D.

Abstract

The ethnographic literature describing indigenous groups that traditionally inhabited the course of the Snake River commonly cites anadromous fish as an integral and seasonal part of their subsistence pursuit. This study maps known fishing sites and associated landscape variables along the Snake River. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to analyze known fishing sites within the framework of surrounding physiographic features as they related to fishing strategy, salmon behavior, and decisions regarding fishing site selection. Examining the immediate stretch of adjacent river, relevant physiographic features are identified, inventoried, and their intervals recorded. The locations of Snake River fishing sites are studied as geographically dependant phenomenon in order to quantify associations with background variables, and ultimately predict aboriginal salmon harvest locations. The results indicate that three background variables conditioned aboriginal fishing site selection. Islands, rapids, and falls are associated with fishing site locations to the greatest degree.

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