Interviewee: Bob Jacobson

Role: Commercial Fisherman – Active

Date of Interview: 7/12/10

Collection: Oregon Residents in Alaska's Historical Fishing

Click on the link below to play the audio clip from the interviewee.

Abstract: Bob Jacobson explains the movement of fishermen from Newport, Oregon to Kodiak, Alaska to fish. About 50-60 men from the Newport area moved to Kodiak. There were several men that were the pioneers of this group and provided the impetuous for other community members to fish in Alaska. The other fishermen watched their activities and decided also to fish in Alaska because of their example and the crew jobs they provided. There was more potential for fishing in Alaska at the time; whereas regulations were being put in place along the Oregon Coast.


I was born in Northbend, Oregon, 1939.

I think there are probably 50 or 60 guys on the list that matriculated from this area to Kodiak. There were some people from here that went up early that kind of were the forerunners, kind of set the pace for the rest of us. Wilburn Hall was one of them. A fella by the name of Ted Painter Sr. was another. All his boys followed him up there. Clifford Hall was another one. Kenny Knack was another one. And they preceded most of us by 10, or in some cases, 15 years. We were all watching, you know. What are these guys doing? They had a great year. "Let's go, let's do it." So they really provided the kind of, the impetus for the rest of us to, to go to Alaska. Some of it by providing crew jobs to us and the rest of it just by listening to the stories and kind of interpreting what they were saying. I guess all of us at some point in time or another looked at the potential for doing well in the fisheries up there as opposed to long term looking at the potential down here. And that's the reason a lot of us ended up up there. Plus, as I said earlier, it was a great adventure. Some place new. And just, it was a lot of fun.

You know, at the time I went to Alaska, the handwriting was on the wall that something was gonna happen to the salmon fisheries, and that's where I got started and that's where I spent most of my time down here. They were already starting to talk about limitations on Coho because Coho stocks were declining. And that, as a matter of fact, happened. You know, not too long after that. And while there wasn't a lot of talk at that point in time about limits in the trawl fishery down here, rockfish, flatfish, it was pretty clear that they were going to take some steps some place along the line to limit the fishery down here. You know it's a pretty, 320 miles of coast line is a pretty small coast. He was talking about Alaska with just a lot of area up there, and a lot more potential. So that's what basically all of us were looking at. And without exception, almost without exception, all of us who went to Alaska had had some experience down with fishing. Almost all. There were a few that might have gone up as friends of fishermen up there that didn't have experience here, but not very many.

To listen to Bob's interview, click here.