The Tendoy Store on the banks of eastern Idaho’s Lemhi River is a place arrested in time and frozen in the annals of the Pacific Northwest’s rich salmon fishing heritage. Among the small general store’s charming clutter are groceries, t-shirts, tube socks, post office boxes and a small assortment of dry flies mounted to a white sheet of cardboard.
For more than sixty of her ninety-two years, Viola Anglin has owned and operated the Tendoy Store, but those decades have come with unexpected and unwelcome change. Anglin misses the long-ago mornings when salmon fishermen swarmed her wares, buying salmon eggs and filling up on enough calories to sustain them during days casting lines on the Lemhi.
“I was an angry old lady when the salmon fishing was no more,” she said. “I had loved it and made a terrific living in those days. But when it was gone, it was gone.”
The Lemhi is a key tributary of the Salmon River, named for the deluge of salmon and steelhead trout that once returned to central Idaho each summer from the Pacific Ocean. For thousands of years, salmon have been the beating heart of Idaho. They have fed families, boosted the economy, challenged determined anglers, nourished the bodies and spirits of Native Americans, and have been the ecological…
Click here to read the rest of this in-depth article, derived from IRU’s Salmon Stories project and written for Voices for Biodiversity, a new anthropological e-zine that works on “connecting the human animal to the global ecosystem.”