Marine Reserves News: A Charter Captain Returns to the Reserves

A Deeper Dive

Returning To The Reserves:
Lars Robison Checks In On His Backup Fishing Spot

Charter captain Lars Robison

Depoe Bay’s fishing fleet sits tied to the docks as Lars Robison makes himself comfortable in the captain’s chair of his 50-foot fishing vessel, the Samson. The captain is breaking from the boat’s routine off-season maintenance to discuss his connections and knowledge of the area now encompassed by the Cascade Head Marine Reserve. Despite his seat behind the wheel, Robison has no plans to throw his lines, cross the rough channel and head to sea on this blustery winter weekday.

In recent years, Robison has been chartered by the ODFW Marine Reserves Program to guide the hook-and-line surveys conducted as part of the long-term monitoring of the Cascade Head Marine Reserve. But his connections with and knowledge about these waters goes much deeper.

“I was a deckhand on my dad’s boat in 1968,” he says of his earliest encounters with the waters that would become Cascade Head Marine Reserve later in his lifetime. Robison’s early exposure to these waters paired with his continued interactions over the years helped shape and reinforce his personal identity. For Robison, this identity is multi-generational.

Within his specialized history of fishing these nearshore waters, those of Cascade Head Marine Reserve always had an important meaning to Robison.

“It was a backup,” he says of the area that was farthest from the Depoe Bay fleet’s historic nearshore fishing range. “If you weren’t catching fish, you kept working your way up the coast to get them, and then come back down the line. It was usually really good at times because it didn’t get fished much.”

Social scientists often refer to this as “place dependence,” or an attachment to an area based on a very specific function that can’t be performed anywhere else.

With a profession spanning five decades off of a 15-mile stretch of coastline, this charter boat captain’s sense of place for the Cascade Head Marine Reserve area remains deep and unchanged. This is despite changes in management as well as his use and interactions with the area.

Read more in our interview with Lars Robison as we explore his knowledge of the Cascade Head Marine Reserve area, how he came to know these waters, and his continued connections with this place.

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STAC Meeting: March 17th in Corvallis


The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) will be holding a meeting on March 17, 2020 from 1-5 pm in Corvallis at the Historic Old School located at 4455 NE Highway 20.

An agenda for the meeting will be posted in the near future on the website.

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