The Salmon Fishery of Penobscot Bay and River in 1895-96 eBook

Hugh McCormick Smith
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 30 pages of information about The Salmon Fishery of Penobscot Bay and River in 1895-96.

Extent and condition of the fishery in 1895 and 1896.

While the number of nets operated in these two years was practically the same, the catch in 1896 was much greater than in 1895, and was one of the largest in the recent history of the fishery.  A comparatively large number of fishermen reported that they took more salmon than in any previous year.  The salmon, however, were smaller than usual, and their market value was but little more in 1896 than in 1895.

The traps set especially for salmon, or in which salmon were taken, numbered 193 in 1895 and 184 in 1896.  These, with the accessories, had a value of $12,474 and $13,146, respectively.  The boats and scows required in the construction and operation of the nets numbered 188 in 1895, the same in 1896, and were valued at $3,576 and $3,599, respectively.  The number of men engaged in the fishery was 127 in 1895 and 126 in 1896.  In the comparatively unimportant branch of the fishery carried on with gill nets in the vicinity of Bangor, 10 nets, valued at $189, were used in 1895, and 11 nets, worth $199, in 1896; these were set by 6 men in the first year and 7 in the next.  The boats numbered 4 in 1895 and 5 in 1896, and were valued at $29 and $37, respectively.

The total number of salmon caught in 1895 was 4,395; these weighed 65,011 pounds and yielded the fishermen $11,356; in gill nets 117 salmon were caught, weighing 1,985 pounds and valued at $323.  In 1896 the result of the fishery was 6,403 salmon, weighing 80,175 pounds, with a market value of $12,716; the gill-net catch this year was 246 salmon, with a weight of 3,444 pounds and a value of $492.

The outcome of the fishery in 1896 exceeded that of 1895 by 2,008 salmon; increase in weight was 15,164 pounds, and in value $1,360.  The percentage of increase in these items was as follows:  Fish taken, 46 per cent; weight of catch, 23 per cent; value of catch, 12 per cent.

As an illustration of the uniform increase in the number of salmon taken in 1896, the following facts may be cited:  The nets that were set in both years numbered 162; of these, 146 nets, or 90 per cent, took more salmon in 1896 than in 1895; and only 16, or 10 per cent, took the same number or less.  The comparative figures for the nets that secured more fish in 1896 were 3,449 salmon in 1895 and 5,681 in 1896.  The nets whose catch was the same or less in 1896 caught 295 fish in 1895 and 289 in 1896.

The largest number of salmon taken by one fisherman in 1895 was 408; these were caught in 3 nets on the lower side of Sears Island, in the township of Searsport.  Other catches by single fishermen in 1895 were 104 salmon in 4 nets in Stockton, 102 in 5 nets in Northport, 150 in 3 nets in Islesboro, and 150 in 3 nets in Verona.

In 1896 the 3 Searsport nets first mentioned took 426 salmon, and a large number of fishermen secured between 100 and 200 fish in 2 to 5 nets.  Thus, in Stockton 100 fish were caught in 2 nets, 105 in 3 nets, and 110 in 1 net; in Penobscot 192 salmon were taken in 2 nets, 105 in 2 nets, and 127 in 2 nets; in Northport 5 nets obtained 204 fish and 4 nets 125 fish; in Islesboro 3 nets took 130 fish, 3 nets 150 fish, 4 nets 190 fish, and 2 nets 100 fish; in Verona 3 nets caught 174 fish, 2 nets 106 fish, 3 nets 150 fish, 1 net 100 fish, and 2 nets 170 fish.

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The Salmon Fishery of Penobscot Bay and River in 1895-96 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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