• Pastor Jim Stultz

Cherokee Fish Trap


I recently had the opportunity to fish with a guide on the Toccoa River in northern Georgia. As we floated downstream the guide pointed out the remnants of an old “fish trap”. He explained that the Cherokee used this contraption for their ancient form of fishing and were very successful. Technically it is called a fish weir. A fish weir, by definition, is a low dam built across a river to raise the level of water upstream or regulate its flow. The old fish trap on the Toccoa is a low wall made from river rocks that forms a “V” shape that points downstream and traps the fish when they attempt to swim through it. Once the fish were caught up in the “V”, they were easily collected in baskets, nets or other clever traps by the Cherokee. I was fascinated by these ancient relics since both my wife and I have a Cherokee heritage.

The Cherokee are not the only builders of traps. The Bible warns us about the traps and snares of the Devil. Paul told Timothy to instruct those to whom he would minister: That they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:26). The writer of Ecclesiastes 9:12 warns us: “For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time…”

All of us are vulnerable to be caught in the devil’s traps. Scripture warns us about the snare of riches and the snare of the fear of man. We can be trapped in the snare of addiction. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, and pornography are powerful snares that trap too many. We can also allow depression, grief, anger and bitterness to trap us. However, the more we study scripture the more we will identify the devil’s snares. And the closer we follow Jesus the safer we will be. If you are feeling like a fish about to float into one of these traps simply cry out to Jesus. He will deliver you.

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