Landlocked salmon (here so called) are, I think, nearly or quite as plenty at Grand Lake Stream as they were ten years ago; this, I think, is almost entirely due to the hatchery under the charge of Mr. Atkins; the tannery at the head of the stream having entirely destroyed their natural spawning beds, the deposit of hair and other refuse being in some places inches deep. The twenty-five per cent. of all fish hatched, which are honestly returned to our river, is, I think, each year more than we would get by the natural process, under present circumstances, in ten years.
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Prof. Spencer F. Baird, U. S. Commissioner Fish and Fisheries:
Sir: I think it has been clearly demonstrated in this Dominion that by artificial propagation and a fair amount of protection, all natural salmon rivers may be kept thoroughly stocked with this fish, and rivers that have been depleted, through any cause, brought back to their former excellence.
I would instance the river Restigouche in support of the above statement.
This river, which empties into the Bay of Chaleur, is now, and always has been, the foremost salmon river in New Brunswick, both as to size and number of fish. It has not a dam or obstruction to the free passage of fish from its mouth to its source, yet up to 1868 and 1869 the numbers of salmon had constantly decreased. This, no doubt, was occasioned by excessive netting at the mouth, and spearing the fish during the summer in the pools; natural production was not able to keep up with this waste.
In the year 1868 the number of salmon was so small that the total catch by anglers was only 20 salmon, and the commercial yield only 37,000 pounds. At about this date, the first salmon hatchery of the Dominion was built upon this river and a better system of protection inaugurated; every year since some hundreds of thousands of young salmon have been hatched and placed in these waters, and the result has been, that in 1878 one angler alone (out of hundreds that were fishing the river) in sixteen days killed by his own rod eighty salmon, seventy-five of which averaged over twenty-six pounds each; while at the same time the numbers that were being taken by the net fishermen below, for commercial purposes, were beyond precedent, amounting in that one division alone (not counting local and home consumption) to the enormous weight of 500,000 pounds, and the cash receipts for salmon in Restigouche County that year amounted to more than $40,000, besides which some $5,000 was expended by anglers; this result was almost entirely brought about by artificial propagation. A new hatchery of size sufficient to produce five million young fish annually will no doubt soon be erected by the Dominion Government upon this river.