by Mark Spreadborough, UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 290
The workday started like most workdays…I grabbed my tool pack and gear from my work van, secretly wishing I was unloading my fishing pole and waders, or rifle and pack instead.
A rooftop HVAC retrofit job lay ahead of me, and I was heading up to the roof of a 6 story building in downtown Vancouver, Washington to gather some data and get measurements for the job.
As I stepped over an iron girder that supported an air handler, I had to shift where I was going to land my foot because I saw something on the roof. When I cleared the girder, I looked at what I thought was a piece of garbage and was stunned.
I’ve seen fish caught in flood pools that dried up, and left out in the open like that. I’ve also seen invasive species and trash fish caught and left on the river bank by fishermen. Of course, I’ve seen thousands of spawned out salmon washed up on the river banks, smelling up the place.
However, I’ve been working on rooftops for 25 years, and I’ve NEVER seen a fish on a roof.
I looked around to see if anyone was playing a prank on me, but there was nobody. I had to take a picture.
After much pondering, I suspect a bird had snagged it from the nearby Columbia River, and brought it up high to eat his breakfast in peace and quiet. Perhaps my opening of the penthouse door startled the fishing bird away….. or… that fish was the smart one that figured out how to fly and the secret has now died with him.
I’ll never know…. but the weirdest thing I ever saw on the water wasn’t on the water, it was brought to me at work to puzzle over, and I have pondered it ever since.