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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

John Kallunki Clatskanie 2007

6th Finglish trip December 2007 #4

John Kallunki, a third generation fisherman on the Columbia River, mainly catches salmon and smelt. His Finnish roots are in Kuusamo and Sievi. His grandfather Arvid with his three brothers and a sister came from Finland to Canada in the early 1900s. Arvid moved from Canada to the USA, first to Michigan and then to Oregon.

In its 1,200 mile course to the ocean, the Columbia River flows through four mountain ranges and drains more water to the Pacific Ocean than any other river in North or South America.

It once produced the largest salmon runs on earth, with returns often exceeding 30 million salmon per year; today, only a fraction return to spawn..

Clatskanie comes from a Native American word, Tlatskani. Clatskanie is also the name of a Native American people, whose numbers dwindled from smallpox, intermittent fever, warfare, and intermarriage until they numbered only three people in a 1910 census. Raymond Carver (1938–1988), short story writer and poet, was born in Clatskanie. Many of Clatskanie's inhabitants are of Nordic heritage, specifically Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian.

Next Wilho Saari Naselle Washington USA

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