September Spotlight: Mike Harvey, Fisherman and Photographer Leaving a Legacy for Salmon

Mike Harvey is one of Riverkeeper’s most enthusiastic volunteers. In 2019 alone, he has helped with the Pete Seeger Sing-along event, donated time to administrative tasks in the Portland office, and generously made Riverkeeper a beneficiary of his will.

Mike Harvey is a man of many talents. At various times he has been a commercial fisherman in Alaska, an organic gardening teacher for a prison, and instructor to teachers of English as a Second Language at Portland State University. 

2019.09 Mike Harvey Member Spotlight

After decades as a commercial and recreational fisherman, he traded in his fishing poles for cameras. “When I see amazing moss in sunlight with a sunbeam on it and steam coming off it with that magical green color, that’s the kind of thing that leads me to want to take pictures of colors and textures in nature.” 

His concern for salmon and their key role in the environment is the driving force behind his motivation to contribute to Columbia Riverkeeper, “To me, the abundance of salmon is like the canary in the river. When salmon are abundant and returning to spawn, it says that there’s something healthy in the environment, and when the inland environments and ocean environments are healthy we should rejoice.” 

With so many environmental nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest working to protect natural habitats, Mike explained that Riverkeeper’s coalition-based focus to balance the interests of many user groups factored strongly in his choice to become a member and advocate. He admires that there’s no demonization of commercial fishers while at the same time respecting the traditions and current practices of Native American tribes.

Upon being asked why he included Riverkeeper in his will, Mike replied, “I can’t think of a more effective organization doing the job of cleaning up the river and keeping salmon alive and healthy. Most of the successes we’ve had with salmon enhancement have been through legal action.”

Mike is an exceptional Riverkeeper member whose passion for fighting the good fight on behalf of our beloved river shines through every statement. Riverkeeper greatly appreciates his dedication and contributions towards our shared mission of protecting salmon and the clean water they need to thrive.

Leave a Legacy of a Clean Columbia River and a Healthy Climate

For more information, contact Columbia Riverkeeper,, 541-387-3030.