Archaeological Fish Traps on the Coast of British Columbia

Author(s): Deidre Cullon; Rhy McMillan; Heather Pratt

Year: 2017


Fish traps are a ubiquitous fishing feature on the Northwest Coast, with thousands of features recorded at hundreds of sites. This fishing technology represents a use and modification of intertidal and riverine environments at an industrial scale, yet protocol and management practices ensured that fish populations flourished. As in other areas of the Northwest Coast, First Nations and archaeologists in British Columbia have documented fish traps, resulting in the registration of 822 fish "trap" or "weir" sites at the provincial Archaeology Branch. These represent more than 94% of all recorded fish traps sites in the province. Our review of this archaeological data set is presented, revealing a wide distribution of fish traps, varying trap design, and differing modes of construction. Dating from as early as 4500 cal 14C years BP to the early twentieth century when they were banned, fish traps in British Columbia represent an innovation that was integral to those living on the Northwest Coast and they remain important to our understanding of late Holocene fish management practices.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Fish Traps on the Coast of British Columbia. Deidre Cullon, Rhy McMillan, Heather Pratt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431581)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16556