In addition to the fishing itself, there are a lot of chores in connection to the rapids fishing. Fishing and chores together form the unique living heritage of Kukkolankoski rapids.
One of the biggest jobs is building the piers in the spring. A lot of manual labour is needed. Piers of different sizes are built with a traditional technique using human muscles and the powerful stream of the river. The biggest structures require a lot of experience and functioning co-operation.
A part of the material has to be replaced every year before the fishing season. The fishermen work in the forest during the early spring to get new timber which is then left drying in the spring sun by the rapids.
In the heart of the winter, while ice covers the rapids, fishermen knit nets for the next season. The older practitioners of the tradition teach the younger. Courses are also organized. Making one’s own dipnet is skilled handcraft.
The buildings on the rapids field are valuable in their cultural history. They are repaired carefully and with attention to detail, following the guidelines of The Finnish Heritage Agency.
The fish needs to be handled and processed for use in households or distribution for commercial use. Local houses have their own ways of preparing the catch and the knowledge of these traditions is transmitted in practice from a family member to another or by small talk within the community. Tips and recipes are shared, new ideas and international flavours are tried. Traditional culture stays alive and evolves.
Heritage events are also organized by volunteers. They come with a varied set of chores: coffee making, decorating, snow shovelling, making skewered whitefish, storytelling…