Seasonal Encampments for river fishing were set up at this place the Native Americans called Yosocomico, meaning "within the enclosure". These temporary villages were situated on the shoreline at good fishing spots that the Indians returned to year after year. The Coastal Plain Region offered saltwater and freshwater rivers, bays and creeks. In addition to resident fish species, many more migrated here from the Atlantic Ocean each spring to spawn. Among these were herring, shad, and striped bass. The Indians could catch and store large numbers of these fish to support themselves. The fish were smoked or dried, preserving the meat for use throughout the year.
Members of the Late Woodland culture were ingenious fishermen, using what was provided by nature to supply themselves with tools. Nets were made of willow branches skillfully braided together. Lacking iron to make hooks, they fashioned them from bone or wood. Several methods of catching fish were used including spearing, bow and arrow, netting and trapping. Another interesting method was night fishing. A fire was built on a raised deck in the center of the canoe. One person would tend the fire, while a person on each end of the boat would spear fish that surfaced, attracted by the light.
(lower left) A typical Woodland period
(lower center) Smoking fish to preserve it for the months ahead.
(right) Attracting fish to the water's surface with fire light.