Memories of Dr. Harry, from Dr. David Sampson

When I first arrived at OSU Pete Leipzig recommended that I read Harry’s thesis to get a historical perspective on Oregon’s groundfish and fisheries for them.  It is a great source of information.  That is wonderful that the OSU library now has an on-line copy.

I never met Dr Harry, but in 1999 he contacted me by email about the English sole stock assessment that I had done and then about bottom fish in general.  We exchanged a few emails that year and I sent him copies of some of my work.

Here is some text from an email Dr Harry sent me in March 1999.

You mentioned that Peter Leipzig was interested in my thesis because of the
historical information in it.  I read again some of this history which brought
back memories mostly pleasant of these early otter trawlers.  One of the
vessels mentioned is the Rose Ann Hess owned by Arthur Hess.  Arthur was
primarily a grower of bent grass in the Astoria area, and his son skippered
the boat.  We rigged up a beam trawl designed after trawls in use in
California, chartered his boat and sent it out to find pink shrimp.  I can
still vividly recall the boxes of glistening pink shrimp the first ever
landed from Oregon or Washington.

“Another otter trawl event was when Dudley Turnacliff,  a fish processor from Newport brought in a different species of rockfish to be identified.  He had sent a boat into deeper water than was commonly being fished. He had seen ocean perch on the east coast and thought this might be the same species.  The fish were Pacific ocean perch, the first
to be landed commercially.”

Dr Harry’s thesis is an incredible source of information about the early years of the groundfish fisheries.  I used it in connection with the stock assessments I completed on English sole, petrale sole and Dover sole.


About finleyc

I'm a writer and a historian of science. I'm interested in the intersection of science and policy in the oceans, and especially around fishing.
This entry was posted in Carmel Finley, fisheries science, Fishing, History of Science, History of Technology, Pacific Fishing History Project, Rosefish, Sebastes rockfish and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Memories of Dr. Harry, from Dr. David Sampson

  1. Roseann Roppel says:

    I was named after the Roseann Hess back in 1946. In Astoria , Oregon. I would like a picture of the boat and other history. Do you know who I could contact?


    • finleyc says:

      That boat sounds familiar. You could check the link to Dr. Harry’s thesis in the blog. The other good resource would be the pages of Pacific Fisherman from the 1945-46, but they live in Newport, at the Guin Library at the Marine Science Center. There should be pictures somewhere. Was it an Astoria boat?


      • Roseann roppel says:

        Yes, an Astoria boat named after a grand matriarch named RoseAnn Hess. I found a couple of pictures of the boat so far. It ended up in Kodiak. Burned once and then years later sank in a storm. I would
        Ike to hear more stories about it.


  2. finleyc says:

    Did you check with the Clatsop County Historical Society?


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