Campobello Island Local Custom Tips by Bwana_Brown
Campobello Island Local Customs: 1 reviews and 1 photos
Typical Herring weir near Head Harbour Light
Using technology developed from that used by Native Americans on this coast for hundreds of years, herring weirs continue to be used today on Campobello Island to help harvest the schools of Herring that swim along the shoreline as they head for various inlets during their summer spawning season. These weirs were developed by the natives to help them deal with the huge tidal ranges experienced in these waters.
The basic idea is a simple one (once you think of it!). At low tide, long wooden poles are driven into the sea floor in a heart-shaped pattern and a net is mounted on them. Another straight net leads from the indented part of the heart toward the shoreline (on the left side of this photo) and acts to deflect any fish swimming along the shore into the 'heart' itself. Once inside the walls of the heart, the fish keep swimming along its circular walls, never 'looking over their shoulder' to see the entrance as they swim past. Eventually, the tide falls to its lowest level, leaving the fish floundering on the bottom. The natives would then walk out on the muddy and seaweed covered bottom to retrieve their catch without the need for boats. Todays weirs are even taller, allowing fishermen in boats to simply use smaller 'purse' nets to empty out the schools of fish trapped inside the weir without having to wait for low water levels.
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