Kaxdegoowu Héen Sháali (Montana Creek Fish Trap)

Introduction and Preparation

Introduction to this Resource Kit

Do you enjoy making things with your hands? If so, you are in luck! By participating in the activities in this resource kit, not only will you gain knowledge, you will also be able to design and build your own trap. Pretty cool!

Get ready to:

  • Construct a model of a funnel trap and demonstrate how a marble is trapped.
  • Describe what a trap is, what its purpose is, and what makes it effective.
  • Explore traditional Tlingit fishing practices and observe the ancient Kaxdegoowu Héen Sháali (Montana Creek Fish Trap) located in the Juneau-Douglas City Museum (Juneau, Alaska).
  • Learn about the discovery, excavation, preservation, and eventual exhibition of this ancient trap.
  • Use your new knowledge to design and build a trap using everyday materials.


The first activity requires a plastic bottle for constructing a model funnel trap. Gather the following items before you begin:

  • Empty quart, liter, or larger sized recyclable plastic soda bottle
  • Small marble (or make a marble sized ball from tin foil) The marble should be small enough to fit through the bottle opening.

There are also some materials you will need to have handy when it is time to design and build your own trap. You might want to gather these materials now. Most of these materials are used items that you would recycle:

  • Paper cups
  • Carboard paper towel or toilet paper rolls
  • Empty Kleenex boxes
  • Dixie cups
  • Empty cereal boxes
  • Craft sticks
  • tape, glue, string, scissors

You may not need everything on this list and you may find other things you can use as well.

One more note: Be sure to move through the activities in the order they are presented in this kit.

Have fun!