Gill Nets

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Gill nets are employed in two different ways, the set and the drift net.  One end of a set net is usually tied to the shore and the other end is tied to a float and anchored out in the river.  The net is usually placed in an eddy where the fish linger en route up the river.  It is often left there for several weeks and it is checked once or twice a day…Each family’s set net site is respected by others and unless the river changes, the same family may use the same site for many years.

Drifting requires a similar net but longer.  The net is deployed from the skiff in a line across the flow of the river.  One end is tied to the skiff and the other is tied to a bright orange or red float.  The fisherman feeds the net out over the bow as the boat is run at right angles to the current.  By rowing or running the outboard at an aidle, the net is then held taut, allowing the current to drift the net and boat in a gentle arc down the river.  At the end of the drift, the net is pulled in and the fish are removed.

-Always Getting Ready, Upterrlainarluta (James H. Barker)