Harvesting the River
Harvest Transport History

Home > Harvesting > Fish > Tools> Nets, Jugs, Motors, and Traps

  Commercial Fishing Tools and Techniques

collage of fishing tools

Each fisherman was limited in the amount of fish caught by the time and work he put in. During spawning season and in the winter, groups of fishermen would work as a group to seine the river and lakes for large catches.

Commercial fishermen on the Illinois River in the first half of the twentieth century used small boats powered by oars or outboard motor. The fish-catching tools used by these fishermen on the Illinois included a variety of nets such as trammel nets, seine nets, hoop nets, gill nets, and cast nets. Fish basket traps were used specifically for catching catfish. Trot lines and jug lines were other techniques used. These all involved setting the nets, traps, or lines out, usually overnight, and returning in the early morning to haul in the catch. Some of these men left a filmed record of their catches, others retold their fishing exploits on audio tape. Traditional tool-making is demonstrated along the river during festivals.

Images Videos Audio clips

(-)Harvesting Subjects
    Harvest Introduction
        Fish Species
        Fishing Industry
        Tools and Techniques
        Waterfowl Species
        Hunting Industry
        Tools and Techniques
        Fresh Water Mussel Species
        Musseling Industry
        Tools and Techniques
        Natural Ice
        Commercial Ice
        Ice Harvesting

State of Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources Illinois State MuseumSearch