Fishing

© Photographed July 21, 2015
Aztalan State Park
Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
43.063353, -88.861921
Google Map

Fishing
Fish was an important food resource for the people at Aztalan. Remains of a variety of different kinds of fish have been found: catfish, bass, suckers, buffalo fish, pike, drum, and gar. Each of these fish could have been captured from nearby rivers and streams, and most of these same species can be found in the area today.

Fishhooks and harpoons were fashioned from animal bone and copper: they look much like those we might use today. Although fishnets have not been recovered at Aztalan, we know that people knew weaving, and it is likely that they would have manufactured nets to assist them in fishing. People's ingenuity is also apparent in the remnants of a fish dam created in the Crawfish River in the immediate vicinity of the site. This feature would have made fishing significantly easier since it would "capture" or slow down fish, and it would also have made crossing the river a bit simpler.
The marker is one of a series of markers located on the grounds of Aztalan State Park,



Aztalan has remained a mystery since the early 19th century when it was discovered by settlers who came to the Crawfish River, 50 miles west of Milwaukee. Who were the early indigenous people who inhabited this place? When did they live here? Why did they disappear? Robert Birmingham and Lynne Goldstein attempt to unlock some of the mysteries, providing insights and information about the group of people who first settled here in 1100 A.D. Filled with maps, drawings, and photographs of artifacts, this volume examines a time before modern Native American people settled in this area.

To receive a review copy or press release, to schedule an author event, or for more information contact the WHS Press Marketing Department:
whspress@wisconsinhistory.org.

Note: This book meets and exceeds the requirements of the Wisconsin American Indian Education Act (Act 31).


With the Crawfish River in the background.

Fishing
The photo shows a large chunk of copper, as well as a few copper fishhooks. In addition to fishing with hook and line, nets were also likely used.

 The Visitor Center was closed at the time of my visit.

The marker is located at Aztalan State Park in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

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