Smiley Salmon Harvest provides locally processed and sustainably harvested Pacific Northwest Albacore tuna and Coho salmon to assisted living centers and the local food bank in partnership with local on-shore processors.
In 2022, the Smiley Brothers and Sisters fish harvest program is going better than ever! Each year presented different challenges, and now we have a solid team of volunteers, and FishPeople Garibaldi Landing and Bell Buoy have stepped up to provide processing and canning. Every food pantry and school backpack program has received thousands of cans of salmon; the immature “Jack” salmon are filleted and delivered fresh to our local assisted living facilities and senior meal programs. Fresh salmon for the residents has been a welcome treat over the years.
In 2009, Joe Watkins, manager of the North Fork Nehalem Hatchery asked Imie Camelli, the head of the local food bank, if she wanted some hatchery Coho salmon from the Waterhouse Falls fish trap upstream from the hatchery.
The first part of the season saw many food grade fish going to waste but the food bank had no way to store the salmon.
Bill Campbell, retired Community Development Planner for Tillamook County, worked with Darus Peake, then owner of The Tillamook Bay Boathouse Cannery in Garibaldi, to process and can the donated bounty of salmon at cost.
Mike Ehlen worked with volunteers to capture fish, get funding, and increase awareness. They worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to make the project happen.
Peggy Campbell, a counselor at Neah-Kah-Nie High School, and art teacher Steve Albrechtsen, worked with students to design can labels as a class project and teachers Beth Gienger and Jim Cox organized students for can labeling parties.
Laura Swanson joined as volunteer coordinator soon after.
The Smiley Brothers & Sisters Salmon Harvest has been featured on “Grants Getaways”; in the Oregonian, including a front page article in the 2012 Thanksgiving Day edition. Over the years, there have been many articles in local newspapers as well as in Oregon’s 1859 Magazine.
The Smileys have received The Tillamook Futures Council “Visions Award” and The Oregon Tourism and Hospitality Industry Achievement Awards for Outstanding Oregon Tourism Volunteer Program.
2009 & 2010 – The processed salmon was provided to the North Tillamook County Food Bank, together with fresh salmon filets to The Nehalem Bay House and The Kilchis House, Assisted Living Facilities, for residence meals. In 2010 the North Tillamook County Food Bank Board asked for a smaller percentage of the canned salmon with the balance provided to the Tillamook Regional Food Bank.
2011 – We added NW Albacore Tuna donated through the Garibaldi – Oregon Tuna Classic to the project and distributed that years donated tuna to the Tillamook Regional Food Bank together with Waterhouse Falls salmon.
2012 – We distributed NW Albacore to assist the Nestucca Valley Backpack Food For Kids providing essential nutrition to 270 south county school children, The North Tillamook County Food Bank and the Tillamook Regional Food Bank.
Fulcrum Community Resources is the sponsoring 501(c)3 non-profit to process donations and grants for the project, from many private donors to larger commercial contributions and grants. The Eugene Schmuck Foundation, Columbia Bank, U.S. Bank, Safeway foundation, Oregon Hunters Assn., Port of Nehalem, Northwest Health Foundation, and the Tillamook County Creamery Association.