Longhouse - Front

Bag Nets

Bag netting was another method to catch fish in the slower and deeper parts of the Fraser River. The bag net had a mouth, which was 4 metres by 1.5 metres, with the bag portion of the net being several metres long. The net was held within a few centimetres of the bottom of the river, using appropriately long poles. The Stó:lō were able to gauge when the net was along the bottom of the river through fixed feathers at the bottom of the net poles-the feathers were used to feel the bottom, much in the same way that feathers are used to feel sturgeon at the bottom of the river. The entire apparatus was held by two individuals on separate canoes, and these canoes were paddled very quickly downstream to catch as many fish swimming upstream as possible. A cord was released, while holding taut the trailing bag portion of the net, and the mouth of the bag net was folded closed, using the poles that held the net at the river bottom. Once the net was secured, the canoes were run ashore, and the net was emptied there. During this activity, young men often speared the fish that escaped the net.

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