Experiments were carried out to measure forces on and wake characteristics downstream from fish cages. Cylinders made from metal mesh with porosities of 0%, 30%, 60%, 75%, 82%, and 90% were tested in a towing tank. The drag force was measured with strain gauges, and the flow field downstream from the models was analyzed using particle image velocimetry. The Reynolds numbers ranged from 1000–20,000 based on the model diameter and 15–300 based on the diameter of the strings of the mesh as an independent obstacle. High porosities (here, 82% and 90%) lead to low water blockage and allow a substantial amount of water to flow through the model. The data indicate that the wake characteristics change toward the wake characteristics of a solid cylinder at a porosity just below 75%. The drag force is highly dependent on the porosity for high porosities of a cylinder.