Waking up before the sunrise, the crew paddled out to the trap for the first day of test fishing! With the spiller deployed and the tunnel open the trap was finally operational. Almost immediately salmon began to swim into our spiller. Within the first half hour we had produced a catch of over 70 Chinook, […]
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 […]
Climbing to the very top of the pilings, the crew hung the final compartment of the trap, known as the “spiller.” This key piece of the puzzle is arguably the most important component of a fish trap. Fish that have attempted to swim around the “lead” net, which is positioned perpendicular to shore, enter the […]
With construction nearly complete, we made a necessary trek into town to resupply on hardware, food, and fuel. By chance, we crossed paths with Blair Peterson, a veteran commercial fisherman and our partner in research. It was a wonderful opportunity for the crew to take a moment to relax and chat for a bit. Blair, […]
The crew rolled out of bed this morning straight into their wet suits, waking up early to catch an exceptionally low tide. Construction has progressed smoothly, but a small hangup (invisible from above) can spell disaster when it comes time to fish. Despite the blustery weather and chilly temperatures, this low tide provides a valuable […]
With all the hardware in place, the crew watches the sun as it set over the trap. It’s a lot of work assembling our pulleys, lines, and aluminum poles in just the right positions, but attention to detail now will pay off when it comes time to fish. An osprey caught its dinner just upstream […]
The crew climbed to the top of the pilings today to install a new platform for our winch. You can feel the sway of each gust of when you’re nearly 30 feet above the river. Luckily, no tumbles today. We also continued hanging nets and securing weights to deploy the heart, jigger, and lead sections […]
Got to work hanging nets today. Just remembering how difficult this whole process is, especially in strong winds. The web gang bravely tip-toed along the gunwale of our work boat, climbed the pilings, and dangled from the ladder to do what the old-timers refer to as “hanging the trap” (installing the nets). A job well-done.
Today was our first day on the water. Conditions were a bit rough, with high temperatures, thick smoke from the British Columbia forest fires, and some strong winds, but our crew managed to drift the work platform upstream and install a massive marine mammal gate at the entrance to the trap to prevent entry from […]
Packed up the equipment in Duvall and made the long trek down the highway to Cathlamet, Washington where we will meet with fisherman Blair Peterson. So glad to be back in Cathlamet to construct and test Washington State’s first commercial fish trap in 80 years.