The streams were rich in fish. Several methods were employed in their capture. One of these was to construct a trap such as is sometimes employed by white men today. This was done by building wing dams diagonally down toward the middle of the stream until the two ends almost met, and placing in the narrow outlet a long basket made of willow withes woven loosely together and closed at the lower end, which was raised above the surface of the water below the dam. The fish were then
driven down stream and into the trap by the Indians wading and flailing the water with sticks. Upon striking the basket the fish were thrown into the lower end and out of the water, where they were easily caught and killed.
Another and by far the most effective method was the use of the soap-root. Several baskets of the bulbous root of this plant, which is found in plenty in the meadows and along the streams in the higher elevations, were lathered and carried to a stream, where they were beaten into a pulp which was thrown into the water, or rubbed on stones in the stream, where it formed a lather much after the manner of soap. This lather had a sort of paralyzing effect on the fish, causing them to rise to the surface where they could easily be scooped up into baskets. In this manner large quantities of fish could be taken and it was the method most often employed.
Fish were also taken by the use of hooks made of bone and lines fashioned from the bark of the milkweed, with spears made of small poles and pointed with bone, or by snaring. The latter was done by forming a noose of a deerskin thong, or milkweed line, slipping it into the water and over the fish, and giving a quick upward jerk which tightened the noose about the fish and threw him from the water. This method required considerable patience and skill, and was usually resorted to only as a sport, or when no other method was available. The fish were cooked by roasting on hot rocks or over a bed of coals.