Densmore on fish traps
The use of traps: These were of two sorts, the small traps used in catching small fish and a large form of trap known as a "sturgeon rack" for catching the large Lake Superior fish. The small traps were made of twigs and branches of trees and were placed in shallow water where the current would carry the fish into them. In describing the "sturgeon rack" Mrs. English said: When I was a child we lived near a place where two deep rivers met and flowed into Lake Superior. In the spring, as soon as the ice went out, the sturgeon 5 or 6 feet long came from Lake Superior and went up these rivers. In order to catch them as they returned to the lake the Indians constructed a framework across the river. This was made by sinking heavy poles like piling not far apart. On top of these they placed timbers strong enough for persons to sit upon, and between the poles they strung basswood cord back and forth until it formed a stout netting through which the fish could not pass. When the fish came down the river the Indians, seated on the framework, caught them with hooks and killed them with clubs.
Frances Densmore, Chippewa Customs (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1979) 126.