Fish spear, ca. 1900

Contributed by Hudson Museum, Univ. of Maine


Carvers created fish spears or leisters for catching salmon, eels and other migratory fish species.

This example originally had a 12- to 18-foot shaft of spruce for a handle.

Fishermen, using torches, attracted fish to the surface, then used leisters to spear them. The outside wooden prongs grasped the fish and the center prong pierced the fish's back.

Salmon spearing was prohibited by state law in 1912.

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About This Item

  • Title: Fish spear, ca. 1900
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • State: ME
  • Media: Wood, steel
  • Local Code: HM 2529
  • Object Type: Physical Object

For more information about this item, contact:

Hudson Museum, Univ. of Maine
5746 Maine Center for the Arts, Orono, ME 04469
(207) 581-1902

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