Hang ‘Em High

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 “heart” compartment, which is v-shaped with the apex pointed upstream. With a natural drive to move upstream, salmon swim out of the heart through what is known as the “tunnel.” Once fish swim through the conical shaped tunnel webbing, they are unable to find the narrow outlet of the tunnel to escape and become fully entrapped in the rectangular spiller compartment. Lifting the web bottom of the spiller toward the water’s surface enables fish to be carefully sorted for selective harvest or release. Completing this important part of the trap, the crew is just about ready to start fishing.

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