50 Years of Smith-Root

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Smith-Root Staff
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014 will mark the 50th year that Smith-Root has partnered with research scientists in the conservation of fisheries. Dave Smith and Lee Root had an advanced understanding of electronics while at the University of Washington in Seattle in the early 1960s. They were in the process of developing map digitizers to aid in the evaluation of timber acreage across the Pacific Northwest when a fish biologist approached them about a concept they had heard of in Europe: Electro-Fishing. By 1964, Smith-Root was formed and the Type V Backpack Electrofisher was developed for use in streams. Over the years, Smith-Root improved upon the design to become the world leader in electrofishing technology. The Smith family moved the company to Vancouver, Washington (near Portland, Oregon) around 1970, and recently recognized the integral contribution of Lee Root by naming the latest models of backpack electrofishers after him: LR-20B and LR-24. Just as we thank those within Smith-Root who have developed the company over the last 50 years, we also thank the research science community for their continued dedication to conserving global fish populations.