Artist Eileen Klatt is a “Salmon Pilgrim”

Artist Eileen Klatt paints salmonids that are gone or disappearing.

After growing up fishing for perch, sunfish, bass, and crappies, Idaho-based Eileen Klatt turned her artistic eye on the trout, salmon, and steelhead of the Columbia River Basin, especially those strains that are now extinct. For two years, she became a “salmon pilgrim,” traveling to all the rivers that were once but no longer are home to anadromous species—“follow[ing] the ghosts of salmon as they led [her] deep into the heart of the Columbia River.”

Clearwater River steelhead.

The result was “A Litany of Salmon,” a series of 61 life-size paintings of salmon and steelhead dedicated to the lost populations in the Columbia River Basin. The collection has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the Pacific Northwest and is available for future exhibitions.Klatt also draws and paints gorgeous trout images that capture the colors and patterns of fish from specific watersheds. For more information and too see galleries of Klatt’s artwork, visit her website

Extinct Walla Walla River fall chinook salmon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *