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Vodrey Fishery

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table filled with net floats and fishing gear
There are no known images of the Vodrey Fishery, but this picture depicts an unknown location at Isle Royale in 1938, exhibiting a whole table of traditional floats used to support fishing nets.

National Visual Inventory Cards 30-111

History

Godfrey Vodrey first came to Isle Royale in the 1870's to perform work for one of the mining operations on the island. He began fishing the waters of Isle Royale in the 1880's within the Chippewa Harbor area and reportedly overwintered at the site of the Johnson Fishery. His name is also on the roster of lighthouse keepers at the Isle Royale Lighthouse from 1880 to 1883. Vodrey would later operate his own fish camp in a small cove, now known as Vodrey Harbor, in the early 1900s. At the time, Vodrey Harbor was one of the few remaining locations along the south shore of Isle Royale not already claimed by other fishermen. Since larger boats were unable to navigate into this harbor, Vodrey likely had to meet the boats off-shore, or at other fish camps, to pick up supplies and ship his catches. It is not known whether Vodrey maintained an icehouse, but he likely limited his catch to salt herring over lake trout to minimize travel. Vodrey is the only known fisherman to have used the site as a fish camp. After abandoning his camp, Vodrey worked as a fish inspector for the Booth company. The harbor was later used by fishermen and their families as a picnic area. Today, no evidence remains of Vodrey's use of the area as a fish camp.

Isle Royale National Park

Last updated: August 24, 2020