Dick Goin Passes Away – A giant of citizen science on the Peninsula

This is incredibly sad news. I first met and interviewed Dick and his wife Marie for “Voices of the Strait.” Dick started fishing on the Elwha in the 30s, when his family moved there to farm from the midwest. For the next 80 years, he documented the salmon, worked in the mills, noticed how the mill pollution was causing them to die in huge numbers, and became what then was called a ‘conservationist”. In his own low key way, was one of the people who helped form the backbone to the battle to remove the Elwha Dam, which luckily he got to see happen before he died. I was extremely impressed by the humble nature of Dick and Marie, and understood when they did not choose to accept the “Eleanor Stopps Award” which was given to them a few years ago by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. To them, it was just who they were, and didn’t require special attention.

Dick published a piece of personal research called, “Roll Call of the Lost” about what he experienced on each of the rivers he fished on the Peninsula. I’ve published it here for anyone to use in their personal journey to help restore the salmon. I think it is a fitting tribute to his life, and I cannot find it published anywhere else. He told me when he gave it to me that he was alright with me sharing it with others.


Our hearts go out to Marie and Dicks’ extended family. We all will miss him in our own ways.

You can listen to Dick describe his life at my video, “Voices of the Strait.”  He was so influential that I started the film with  a short clip of him, and he tells his full story later in the film.

The Peninsula Daily News has a good obituary.

Dick Goin, defender of Elwha River salmon, dies at age of 83

Dick Goin, who gave voice to the Elwha River’s salmon, has died. Services are pending for Goin (pronounced GOH-in), 83, who died of natural causes Sunday night at his Port Angeles home surrounded by family members, said Marie, his wife of 64 years, on Tuesday. The Goins received the Clallam County Community Service Award in 2007 and the Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in September 2011. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

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