Gleason Cove Park
Gleason Cove Road, Perry
From this waterfront panorama of Passamaquoddy Bay, including Gleason Cove, Western Passage, and Deer Island in New Brunswick, view herring weirs—traditional fish traps made of sticks and brush that lead migrating herring along a maze-like fence into an enclosure, where they are netted and transported to shore with small boats. The vertical sticks of the weirs still stand, but the weir may or may not be active, depending on the season, year, and the whims of the herring. Stroll the gravel beach, comb the tideline for treasures, or relax in the grass of this quiet park.
207.853.2501 | www.perrymaine.org
Year-round. Parking. Water access. Picnic.
A weir is a fence of woven sticks and brush designed to trap migrating fish as swim toward or along shore. European settlers adopted and altered the designs of the original Wabanaki inhabitants. A straight line of sticks extended from shore into the water, sometimes hundreds of feet, and met a circular arrangement of net and sticks stuck in the bottom. Schools of herring passing along the coast would become trapped in the weirs, where they would swim in circles until dipped out by fishermen.
Herring were scooped into small open boats, then rowed or sailed to the dock or a waiting sardine carrier. The fish were loaded into baskets, a standard industry measure and usually made by Passamaquoddy artisans.