Natural Connections: The Lake Superior Fishery in Wisconsin Waters

The boat engine rumbled and machinery whirred as a gillnet rose from the depths of Lake Superior. Captain Ross Lind managed the throttle so that the 55-foot-long gillnet-tug-turned-research-vessel named Hack Noyes moved toward the net at the same speed the net lifter reeled it in. A group of interested adults on this Museum-sponsored field trip gathered around the equipment. We were mesmerized by the clicking of the metal teeth on the spinning drum as they gripped and then released the line, and by the lengths of delicate nylon net attached to the line. Capable hands guided the net down a long, stainless-steel worktable and into the storage tub. (Check out the Museum’s Reels on Instagram and Facebook if you want to see a video of this operation.) Gillnets look like a long tennis net, anchored by weights along the lake bottom and held vertical by floats. Small fish swim right through, but bigger fish get caught. Whether a DNR biologist or a commercial fisherman is setting the net, they can choose the fish they target by the size of the mesh and the depth of set.  >click to read<  19:28

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