New England Salmon Hatcheries and Salmon Fisheries in the Late 19th Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 51 pages of information about New England Salmon Hatcheries and Salmon Fisheries in the Late 19th Century.

A somewhat similar record might be given of the river Saguenay.  Some years ago anglers and net fishers of this river said it was useless to lease from the department, as the scarcity of salmon was such as not to warrant the outlay.  A hatchery was built, and this state of things is now wonderfully changed; so much so, indeed, that in 1878 salmon, from the great numbers which were taken at the tidal fisheries, became a drug in the market, selling often as low as three cents per pound, and angling in the tributaries was most excellent.

Some one hundred million young salmon have been artificially hatched and distributed in the waters of the Dominion during the last few years, and new government hatcheries are constantly being erected.

Yours, &c.,

Frank Todd, Fishery Overseer, Saint Croix District.

ARTICLE II

SKETCH OF THE PENOBSCOT SALMON-BREEDING ESTABLISHMENT

by

Charles G. Atkins

Written by request of Prof.  S. F. Baird, for the London Exhibition, 1883

Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, Vol. 3, Page 373, 1883

The rivers of the United States tributary to the Atlantic, north of the Hudson, were, in their natural state, the resorts of the migratory salmon, Salmo salar, and most of them continued to support important fisheries for this species down to recent times.  The occupation of the country by Europeans introduced a new set of antagonistic forces which began even in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to operate against the natural increase and maintenance of the salmon and other migratory fishes.

In many localities the closing of smaller streams by dams, and the pursuit of the fish with nets and other implements, had already begun to tell on their number; but it was not until the present century that the industrial activities of the country began to seize upon the water power of the larger rivers and to interrupt in them by lofty dams the ascent of salmon to their principal spawning grounds.  These forces were rapid in their operations, aided as they were by a greatly augmented demand for food from a rapidly increasing population.

In 1865 the salmon fisheries were extinct in all but five or six of the thirty rivers known to have been originally inhabited by them.  In many of these rivers the last salmon had been taken, and in others the occurrence of individual specimens was extremely rare.  Among the exhausted rivers may be mentioned the Connecticut, 380 miles long; the Merrimack,180 miles long; the Saco,120 miles long; the Androscoggin, 220 miles long; and some twenty smaller rivers.  There still survived salmon fisheries in the following rivers, namely, the Penobscot, the Kennebec, the Denny’s, the East Machias, the Saint Croix, and the Aroostook, a tributary of the Saint John.  The most productive of these was the Penobscot, yielding 5,000 to 10,000 salmon yearly.  The Kennebec occasionally yielded 1,200 in a year, but generally much less.  The other rivers were still less productive.

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New England Salmon Hatcheries and Salmon Fisheries in the Late 19th Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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