The Fish Trap Powerhouse

Category: featured

Today the crew lifted a winch — the trap’s final component —  to the top of the pilings, marking the trap’s completion. This 400-pound piece of machinery is the only mechanical component of the trap and it is powered by the sun. It was a difficult undertaking lifting it 30 feet above the water, but the effort today will save the crew’s backs and hands from having to manually lift the spiller in the months to come.

As testing begins, we will rely on the winch to lift hundreds of salmon each day for the crew to spill into our live well. From there, we will pit tag the fish, clip a genetic sample, measure the fork length of the fish, and release them back into the Columbia River, vigorous and lively.

With our work station built and our trap in place, we are ready for our first day of test fishing.




  1. Interested in the procedures performed on the fish that are marked. Are they done in the water or out of water? How do you keep the stress and movements down on the sample fish to prevent injury? How looes it take to perform the sampling/tagging of the individual fish?

    1. The procedure is very quick (less than 25 seconds per fish encountered). The gills and majority of the fish’s body are always kept underwater within our live-well compartment. By flipping the fish gently upside-down and covering the eyes, they remain calm for a short period of time enabling the procedure to be undertaken safely. Thanks for your question!

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