Gillnetting – how it works

Sonia - July 4, 2013

Ever wondered how Otto and our other fishermen catch your fish? They are gillnet fishermen, which means they use nets which lay vertically in the water like a fence. Lead weights at the bottom of the net and floating corks attached to the top of the net keep the net in place.

Fish swim into the net but get stuck at the largest part of their body, just behind their gills. They can’t swim through the net and their gills prevent them from swimming back, so they stay in place until the fishermen bring up the net.

The nets are sized to target specific species. Fish that are too big will bounce off the net and have to go around, while fish that are too small will pass through the nets with no problems. Currently they are using a sockeye net but if they wanted to catch coho salmon they would use nets with a larger weave, and if they wanted to catch pinks they would use a net with a smaller weave.

This method of fishing allows fishermen to catch only the size/type of fish they want to catch and drastically reduces the by-catch associated with other types of fishing.

Salmon-Gillnetting

Sonia - July 4, 2013


Back to blog

Gillnetting – how it works

Sonia - July 4, 2013

Pledge your support and become a member to enjoy the freshest fish in BC!

Sign up now