A surface skimmer is a plumbing fitting set at water level, containing a weir mechanism and a debris basket. The skimmer is part of the suction side circulation system.
Beneath the skimmer lid, the basket strains debris, as the first line of defense in filtering the water.
Attached to a telescopic pole, a leaf rake is a very useful tool in keeping the pool clean. Also called a skimmer net are the flat dip and flip nets, which aren't as useful.