Combat Fishing on the Klamath 

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Photo by Heidi Walters
Klamath Beach Road is jammed with fishermen's vehicles these days.
Photo by Heidi Walters
View from atop Klamath Beach Road looking down on the Klamath spit Wednesday Aug. 28, 2013.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Fishermen must walk past the Yurok Tribe's ceremonial dance grounds to get to the south spit side of the Klamath River mouth.
Photo by Heidi Walters
The eroded, much-traveled trail to the south spit.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
It gets really tense down on those crowded spits of the Klamath mouth, but last Wednesday, Aug. 13, there were more scenes of fishermen and fisherwomen working politely together to untangled their fishing lines. Busier days, we hear, there were fistfights and shouting matches.
Photo by Heidi Walters
It gets really tense down on those crowded spits of the Klamath mouth, but last Wednesday, Aug. 13, there were more scenes of fishermen and fisherwomen working politely together to untangled their fishing lines. Busier days, we hear, there were fistfights and shouting matches.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Xu Chang of Crescent City retrieves his Uncle Siavu Chang's fish.
Photo by Heidi Walters
This is the first time Siavu Chang has fished, and this is his first-ever caught fish.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Emina Lekovic of San Diego helps a stranger — Aaron Lujan of Santa Rosa — haul his fish, and then himself, back up the steep bank.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Aaron Lujan and his Chinook.
Photo by Heidi Walters
James Sandborn of Lake Tahoe says "there's so many fish that people are friendly." Well, that was his experience last Wednesday, anyway.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Al Robles of Fremont has fished at the mouth of the Klamath every year since 1974. He remembers other times the mouth ran parallel to the ocean. And, yes, he's seen fights when the crowds get too elbow-to-elbow.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Bernie Reis from Brookings, Ore.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Ying Lor of Crescent City retrieves his friend Soua Vang's fish.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Soua Vang of Fresno hoists his big Chinook high.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Cliff Amarantes of Sonoma has been fishing the Klamath mouth since 1998. Last Wednesday he roamed the south spit cheerfully urging people to chill out, to not keep the fish they snag (catch elsewhere on the body than the mouth), to enjoy themselves. "People get very uptight," he says. "Everybody wants to land every fish, and it doesn't work that way."
Photo by Heidi Walters
The tall sand bank on the south spit can be treacherous. It collapses constantly as the river and feet whittle it away.
Photo by Heidi Walters
This fellow doesn't have a big fish on his line — his line is trapped by a pile of gloppy, wet, collapsed sandbank that almost trapped his friend, too.
Photo by Heidi Walters
The banks of the Klamath mouth are littered with sandy fish guts and bright fish gills
Photo by Heidi Walters
Inexplicably and wastefully, the Klamath mouth sand spits are also littered with abandoned catches.
Photo by Heidi Walters
It's heavy, heavy work hauling your catch the long way back to your car, especially without line, sack or bucket — as Andrew Rees of Washington state discovered last Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Will Yeager of Washington state drags his catch hooks and line.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Rod Widing of Washington state figures his catch weighs 70 pounds.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Rod Widing of Washington state rigged a handle for his catch-hauling get-up.
Photo by Heidi Walters
This fellow brought an onion sack to carry his salmon.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Others brought buckets on big-wheeled dollies to haul back their catch.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Sea lions and birds mob the entryway to the ocean where schools of big salmon dash in and out.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Sea lions and birds mob the entryway to the ocean where schools of big salmon dash in and out.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Some people stashed their fish under makeshift awnings to keep out the hot sun, then went back to the river to angle for more.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Some people left their catch out in the sun.
Photo by Heidi Walters
More sensible people put their fish in coolers — or at least buried them in wet sand until it was time to go
Photo by Heidi Walters
Back at the car, stowing all that Chinook in coolers.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
North spit, mouth of the Klamath, Aug. 13, 2013.
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013
Photo by Heidi Walters
Even when the north spit's swallowed by the incoming tide and encroaching river, one must fish.
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Photo by Heidi Walters
Scene from the mouth of the Klamath River on Wednesday Aug. 13, 2013

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