UW News

January 7, 2010

Salmon stars: Help identify this week’s Lost and Found Film

Editor’s Note: The UW Audio Visual Services Materials Library has more than 1,200 reels of film from the late 1940s through the early 1970s, documenting life at the University through telecourses, commercial films and original productions. Some of the short films are easily identifiable, but many more remain mysteries. Who shot these films and why? Can you help answer those questions? Faculty and staff can use the comments field at the end of the story to send ideas. Those outside the University can e-mail filmarc@u.washington.edu.  

This week we have another fish film for you. Called Duwamish, it’s a two-and-a-half-minute gem made in about 1968. As the film opens, we see a boat on Puget Sound, with West Seattle in the distance. Men let out a net from the back of the boat into the Duwamish River and capture numerous salmon, which are put into a tank on the boat’s deck. A long metal device is inserted into the salmon’s mouth, after which it’s tagged and returned to the water.

The scene then switches to a smaller boat and a dock, where salmon are captured in a net and placed into what looks like a garbage can filled with water. Then, in a laboratory setting, a man puts fish into a long glass tube filled with water. A chart indicates the salmon’s blood pressure and breathing. Finally, there’s a boat docked near the mouth of a river.

Film Archives Specialist Hannah Palin believes the research depicted is being conducted by the School of Marine Affairs and the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, but she’d like to know what experiments are being conducted and why. And as ever, she’d like to know why the film was taken and how it was used.

Last week’s film, Moon Mapping, brought a wealth of information for Palin — mostly from faculty in the Geography Department. One believed the film depicted a project to make maps of the moon from photos that were used for simulations of moon landings at Boeing’s Space Center in Kent. Interestingly, the informant said, a 16 inch square clay section of lunar topography still survives in the geography map case, very possibly made in the lab shown in the film. Palin hopes she’ll get just as much information about Duwamish.