It is simple but it is too complicated to explain. On Friday the high school students set a net under the guidance of Herman and James. David and I were invited to come along and watch (and learn).
This is the goal,
So I will try to explain through pictures and videos and diagrams. We were out on the ice for two and a half hours and nine high school students helped out and learned as well. James and Herman are seasoned fisherman and patient teachers.
We all trooped out onto the lake. Herman wanted to set the net about a quarter of a mile out.
This is James and David. James is a teacher at the school. He is a fisherman and he also is a trapper.
We chopped and chiseled a hole in the ice. The ice was about 6-8 inches thick in most places. Herman told us to spread out. That didn't make me nervous at all!
We pushed a 15 foot pole under the ice and then pushed it with a stick. It had a long rope attached to it. We then looked through the ice to see where it was. It was easier than it sounds. At that point we chiseled and chopped through the ice again.
These are Herman's mitts. They are older than him and he is older than me!
Once we pushed the pole along hole by hole we were ready to set the net. We put holes in the ice about every 20 to 25 feet. I keep saying "we" but really the kids and Herman did most of the work.
The nets were tied at the first hole and the last. They were weighed down with rocks.
This is David and James. James was looking up at a lowing flying Dash8. We never see planes like that around here. I'm not even sure they can land on the LK airstrip.
It wasn't all work and I love it when 17 years still make snow angels. We set off for home and Herman asked all of us to come back at one o'clock the next day to check the nets.
The next day,
We had to recut the two holes. About 2 inches of ice had formed over them.
Only two high school students turned up to help. This is Sweetgrass and Honey Rain. Lovely girls and good workers. We all look frozen but really we weren't.
This is what is looked like when we pulled up the net. I couldn't get over the number of fish we caught. We have to untangle the fish before the net froze to them. Herman was the only one good at this.
We caught forty fish. 33 trout and 7 whitefish.
What a crew!
Herman and David pulled the sled part way home and then Sweetgrass hauled it the rest of the way home behind her skidoo.
The fish will be shared throughout the community. Even the dogs will get some of the fish. A net like the one we set can provide fish for an entire family for the winter (including the dogs and ravens).