« ZurückWeiter »
The interruptions which salmon at present ex- selves on their sides, and worked one against the perience in ascending rivers for the purpose of other, at the same time rubbing their noses spawning, chiefly arise from mill-dams. Thė against the gravel, till they came to the other walls of these, in many cases, are built in so corner of the bed, and then they fell leisurely close a manner, that for months there will not round until they came to the same place again, be enough of water to permit any fish to as at the top of the bed next the stream, where cend. It is only in very great foods that they they went through the same process; they concan successfully overcome the barrier. Noxious tinued in this way for many days, working, and, matter from tan-pits, the steeping of flax, and if it so happened that they were frightened, they gas-washing, expel salmon from a river; p. 133. would run away, and in a little time return to 67. In reference to noxious matter, however, it again.'— It takes them some considerable Mr. Drummond makes an exception in favor of time before they get all their spawn deposited; peat-moss, floated into the forth from Blair- several days; and I have known them, when Drummond: 'I believe it to be troublesome to they have been frightened away, go and leave the nets in fishing; but certainly there is nothing their spawning-beds, and begin at other places.' noxious in the nature of moss to the fish;' p. 141. - The bed is covered as they go along:
Fish ready to spawn are sought after by 'Both assist in it, and while in the act of depopoachers for the sake of the roe. Mr. Little siting their spawn.' He adds, that the male gets says, “It is potted. The gentlemen going to a very long hard bill on his under jaw, which fish in the lakes of Cumberland buy it for the decreases as the spawning season passes;' p. 108. purpose of using it as bait in fishing upon these H. Davy asserts (but whether from having lakes;' p. 119.
seen the operation is not stated), that the female With regard to the mode of spawning, it is fish, in spawning, deposits her eggs slowly on gratifying to peruse the testimony of eye wit- gravel ; the male sheds a wbite seminal liquid
Mr. Halliday thus describes the pro- upon them; and both fish cover the eggs with cess :—When they proceed to the shallow wa- gravel. The male is most active in this operaters, which is generally in the morning, or at tion, which hardens the extremity of the mouth, twilight in the evening, they play round the and bends it into the form of a hook ;' p. 145. ground, two of them together.
The quantity of eggs deposited by a single begin to make the furrow, they work up the female, has been variously stated by different gravel rather against the stream, as a salmon authors. Mr. Johnstone says, “I have counted cannot work with his head down the stream, for them (eggs in the roe) repeatedly; they are the water going into his gills the wrong way from 18,000 to 20,000 on an average;' p. 36. drowns him; and, when they have made a fur- Mr. Halliday says, “They are not all exactly of row, they go a little distance, the one to one the same number; I have found them of difside and the other to the other side of the fur- ferent numbers, from 17,000 to 20,000;' p. 62. row, and throw themselves on their sides when Let us now attend to the character and mothey come together, and, rubbing against each tions of the spawned fish, or kelts, as they are other, they shed their spawn both into the furrow termed. In this state, says Mr. Wilson, 'when
I have seen three pair upon a the spawn is just leaving the fish, it is merely spawning-bed at a time in the Annan; I have just two pieces of skin, just like a cow in calf' stood and looked at them, both while making p. 13. Mr. Johnstone, “By a kelt is meant a the furrow and laying the spawn.'—“They do fish which has recently spawned; it is very thin; not lay it all at once. It requires from about it gets very much discolored; it is very long eight to twelve days for them to lay their spawn.' in comparison witlı its thickness; the head is
— 'I have often taken a number of these kelts very large; the fish is quite out of season; the with the skin rubbed off below the jaws, just fish then cuts white in general;' p. 37. When between the chowk fins (pectorals), almost the the process of spawning is finished, according size of a half crown, with rubbing up the gravel, to Mr. Halliday, they go into a pool to recruit and making the holes for the spawn.'— The themselves ; and, in about a fortnight or three spawning bed is easily known by the thrown-up weeks thereafter, the male fish begins to seek gravel; when I took my foot off the hard gravel, his way down the river. The female fish reand put it on the spawning-hed, it was quite mains longer about the spawning ground; and soft; p. 65. Mr. Little speaks in an equally I have very often found some of the mother fish decided manner. I have frequently looked at going down a kelt as late as when the first of the salmon spawning.'—'When they begin their the fry began to come down the river.'—* In the bed first, it is like one furrow; they make a end of April and beginning of May, I have taken furrow in the shallow part or current of the wa five at one haul in the river Annan,' p. 62. Ile ter, where they begin their spawn, and they con says, in February and March, “immense numtinue working against the stream, until they have bers are caught; and, in the upper parts of formed a bed of perhaps twelve feet by eight or the Tay, there must be thousands taken annuten.'—' for one pair of salmon.'—'In the instance ally,' p. 83. James Gillies has formerly stated I was alluding to, when I saw these salmon first, the number of foul fish (kelts) in February, the bed was very little, but it increased everyHe adds, 'You could not commence before the day. I observed the salmon go very leisurely month of March, without taking the foul fish, down the side of the bed, and go just round because the most part of the she fish come down where they have thrown up the gravel, and come in the month of March from the high lands. back to the same point next the stream; as soon You will see them go down in shoals. The he as they came up to this place, they threw them- fish always seeks his way down immediately
after he spawns ; but you will scarcely get a she that time until the first of May: sometimes I kelt early in the season. You will get the she have observed them going down till the month fish coming down in the months of March and of June; I have seen some of them in the month April, great numbers of them; and you will of June, but they principally are out of the river scarcely get one he fish so late as that month; early in May. The spawn does not come into life all the he's are coming down chiefly in the month I consider till March ;' p. 115. Even with regard of February,' p. 139.
to the time of the fish rising from the gravel, he In the course of their descent to the sea, they says, I have observed, when we have early warm experience interruptions from cruives and dam- weather the fry come early, and when we have dikes; but, when arrived at the place where the a late spring, it is later before the fry rise from tide meets the river, they seem to pursue the the gravel ; of course a great deal depends upon deepest part of the channel or stream, and es the season, but generally they begin to rise about cape all the coble-nets and stake-nets of the the beginning of March, and they end about the estuaries and sea-shore. In reference to the middle of April in rising from the bed;' p. 109. stake-nets capturing kelts, Mr. Bell declares they Mr. Halliday says, I think they generally come do not, p. 29, Mt. Johnstone says, tható very few into life the end of March, or from about the were ever caught in them.'
middle of March to the end of it; but I do not The station in the sea to which the kelts re think they come all into life exactly at one time, sort, yet remains to be discovered. Sir H. Davy but nearly so. Some of the fry appear to be says, “Salmon do not go far out to sea;' p. 145. much larger than others, and I do not see the How be has gained this information does not young fish so plentiful at the sides of the water appear. Not surely from the proprietors of at the first as after some time; p. 62. Sir H. stake-nets on the sea-shore, for salmon seldom Davy says, 'It is stated that the eggs produce enter there, but from May to September ;--not young ones in about six weeks, p. 145.;-an surely from cod and haddock fishers, for the opinion rendered nugatory by viewing in conbait which allures these fish tempts not the nexion the general period of the spawning and salmon. William Bell thinks that the fish that the general period of the appearance of the fry. enter rivers from the sea come from the north, There is very little satisfactory information reP. 33.; the very place, we may add, whence specting the appearance of the fry at the time of the older naturalists brought the herrings. their evolution. Mr. Little says, “I never saw
To return to the spawning-bed, we are com them in that state, but I have often conversed pelled to record the injuries which it must sus with other water-keepers on the subject, who are tain by the present practice of fishing. Mr. placed upon the upper branch of the rivers, and Halliday, in reference to the coble-net (for the they describe them very much in the same way spawning-beds are remote from the stake-net that Mr. William Scoit did when he was exgrounds), as used in the winter and spring, says, amined in the Tay case, that they rise from these We have very strong ropes made of old nets, gravel-beds like a crop of oats or thick beard of and with round circles of heavy rope lashed to grain, rising up all round the stones in very the ground-rope of the net to keep it down; great numbers. The tail comes up first, and sometimes we tie stones to it to keep it to the they will come from these beds with a part of bottom, and sometimes we put two cast-metal the pea about their heads;' p. 109. At such a sinkers. It is generally in the spring that we period, the destruction occasioned by the heavy require the heaviest weights at the bottom of the ground rope of the coble-nets must be truly great. coble-nets, on account of the river being heavier The progress of the fry from their birth-place or more full of water at that season. If thou- to the sea is given in detail by several witnesses, sands of fish should breed in the river, it would all of whom agree in the particulars. The fry, be impossible for spawn to come to perfection, freed from the spawn, and now termed smouts or where we are constantly fishing over them all smolts, betake themselves to pools, and afterthe twenty-four hours with coble-pets.' They wards proceed, according to circumstances, in usually fish the whole fords in the river from myriads along the easy water at the margin of the top to bottom at pleasure, with ground-ropes river, with their heads against the stream, until trailed along them, p. 65. He has seen this they reach the frith where the tide ebbs and process performed on the very places where flows, where like the kelts, which frequently go they use winches and capstans in the Tay; by down at the same time, they retire to the deepest which means they can add more weight to the part of the channel, and disappear in the sea. bottom if they like.' Though he never examined These facts were established upon oath by two the river to determine whether the eggs were competent witnesses in the Tay case, and their actually removed, yet he declares, “I have seen evidence is recorded in the Report, p. 92. The the under rope of the net level down the spawn- Hooded state of the river is most favorable for ing-bed;' and he adds, with force, “ You might their descent, by supplying depths of water on just as soon have a bed of onions to come to the shallows or fords. Mr. Little says, “ The perfection (as a spawning-bed), if a coble-net Coleraine or Bann is a late fishery; and in the and rope was dragged over it, tearing up the year 1820, in the spring of that year, I conmould twenty times a-day; I would take my sidered we lost nearly all the fry; the dry spring chance of the one as soon as the other;' p. 66. did not allow them to come down the small
The period when the spawn evolves the fry, rivers ; they were collected into little pools, and is stated by Mr. Little to be when the natural the people in the country destroyed them; and, warmth comes into the water in the month of in the end of that season of 1820, the fishing fell March ; and they continue going down from off to forty-two tons;' p. 127.
The smouts descend during the months of time, when they set the water of the wheel, March, April, May, and June. Mr. Halliday through the side-sluice; there have been so many states, . From the first time that I have observed taken on some of the mills on the Annan, that them, about the end of March or beginning of sometimes they have fed their pigs with them;' April, they come down until about the 10th or p. 67. "The dam-dikes conduct the fry, when 12th of May. I have seen them in the middle coming down the water, into the mill-dam, of May, and as late as June, in a particularly and when night comes on they do not see, dry season, when the river had not been flooded and they seek their way down the dam, and so p. 63. Mr. Wilson says, “I think they com- they go into the miller's heck or basket and mence going down about the end of April, and are all taken;' p. 67. Mr. Little adds, “ They finish going down about May;' p. 10. James are very destructive to the fry when they come Sime, in his deposition in the Tay case, 'believes down the river; they take amazing quantities as that the fry goes down the river in the month of the fry go down; in dry seasons,
when the waters April;' p. 93. Mr. Little declares, that “they are little, there is no other way for the fry to get are principally out of the river early in May;' p. down the little rivers than by going down the 115. Mr. Johnstone says, “ They have generally mill-lead; in fact, they can take all the fry that reached the sea in the month of May. Some there are in the river at those mills. I have seen reach it in June; a few;' p. 36. While the fry the water black in these mill-leads with fry, seekare in the act of descending to the sea, they are ing down to the sea. I know they take the fry exposed to many enemies, of which the following in Ireland, and cure them like herrings ;' p. 118. are the most destructive:
D. Eel-weirs.—Mr. Little says, . In Ireland A. Coble-nets. As these engines, according the eel-fishery is very hurtful to the salmon fishto the present practice, are in active operation eries. The eels are caught by weirs, set in the during the period of the descent of the fry to the river for taking the eels going down to the sea; sea, we may expect such statements as the fol- the eel-weirs are made of stake and wicker work, lowing. Mr. Johnstone says, that smouts cannot drawn together towards the centre, and the net, pass through the coble-net, “if there be much which is like a bag, is hung at the centre; the dirt in it; and sometimes, particularly when proper season of the eel-fishery is in the months there is a number of them, they get broadside of September, October, and November, when the on; in particular when there are salmon in the eels are going down to the sea to spawn; but net, they prevent the fry from going through so those who have eel-weirs place their nets in the easily; and the net is loose and not extended, river at the time the salmon-fry are going down; more especially when near the edge of the water;' they do this under the pretence of catching eels, p. 40. Mr. Halliday says, 'I have dragged a but really to catch the salmon fry, which they number of them on shore with the coble-nets.' catch and salt in some places in great quantities;' • I have dragged them ashore at the Howe's p. 118. It has been alleged that stake-nets in Pool, on the river Annon; in the Bridge Pool estuaries and on the sea-shore are destructive to at the bridge of Annon, when the boys used to the salmon fry, and various questions are progather them up; and at the Old Mill Pool I have posed by the committee, with the view of eliciting hauled out a good many;' p. 66.
the truth. The answers and documents proB. Angling.–At first sight one might suppose duced, however, demonstrate that there is little that the angler was an enemy of but feeble foundation for the charge. destructive powers. But it appears to be other In reference to the Tay, Mr. Johnstone declares wise in fact. Mr. Wilson says, “I have seen that he never' saw a smout in a stake-net; p. from my own window upwards of seventy or 43. Of the presence of such in stake-nets, Mr. eighty people angling within the distance of half
Halliday also says, “ never; and they could not a mile on the Tweed;' p. 15. Mr. Halliday be there without being seen by me; it was imdeclares, ' I have killed above twenty dozen with possible;' p. 70. Mr. Little declares, “A stakethe rod in one day;' p. 62. Mr. Little says, “I net neither injures the breeding fish, nor does it have killed twenty or thirty dozen of fry, when destroy the spawn of the salmon or the fry; I coming from the school at Annan to Newby, in speak from having attended those nets, and never half an hour, with a rod in an afternoon,' p. 121; having seen any salmon-fry in them;' p. 122. and he adds, I have known even boys and Mr. Sime, and Mr. Shepherd, who surveyed the children
go and kill, in the course of an after- stake-nets on purpose, during the Tay case, never noon, twenty, thirty, or forty dozen ;' p. 132. found in any of them any salmon-fry; p. 92– c. Mill-races.—Mr. Johnstone says, I 93. They are not even taken by the spirlin-nets
, have seen hundreds of them lying dead at which have a small mesh. In fact, not only are the the botom of a mill-race, killed by the wheel.' stake-nets innocent of the charge of catching the
- I have seen them in thousands, and tens fry, but even the coble-net in the estuary can do of thousands, in the water in the mill-leads, them no harm, as they are beyond its reach in seeking to go down, but prevented by the the deep water
. Hence Mr. Sime and Mr. Shepdike across the river, which they could not get herd, though fishing with a small-meshed net on over;' p. 40-41. Mr. Halliday states, ' I have purpose, both in the eddy water and in the seen the miller taking out his creel in the morn- stream, found none after the fry had reached the ing at the Newby mill, and taking baskets full tide, ib. out of it; and I have seen great quantities lying The period of the return of the fry from the dead in the dam behind the mill-wheel in the sea, seems not well determined ; and, on this morning; I have also known the miller to put interesting subject, the evidence is very imperin a heck in the small side sluice, by which fect. Mr. Wilson seems to think that, as grilse, means great quantities are destroyed in the nigloi “they return again at the end of June and the com
mencement of July.'--' Perhaps from the end of occasionally under the very windows of the June they will average three pounds, and at the houses of our nobility, the Cao:les of Duplin end of July about four or five pounds;' p. 10. and Kinfauns, and the Palace of Scoon. Where Mr. Halliday says, ' I think we do not see them this has been prevented, as it seems to have been again from the time they leave the river as done in the Moy at Ballina, Mr. Little declares, fry, until the next year, early in the spring, 'I consider that they had no protection for some when they begin to return to the rivers young years previous to 1816; by that protection it has salmon;' p. 87. Mr. Little says, 'I consider risen from six tons to an average of sixty tons that what we call the fry that go down in the in a season;' p. 106. The same witness adds, early part of the season, if they are allowed to • The Dublin market is just as regularly supplied go down to the sea, return the same year; and with salmon during the close-season, as it is at that we kill them from three to nine or ten pounds any season of the year;' p. 116. How far weight;' p. 111.
these facts bear out Sir H. Davy in his assertion, The witnesses seem generally to agree with that the great northern fisheries, and the Irish the prevailing opinion, “That the salmon fish- fisheries, are much less productive than formerly' eries in the kingdom are rapidly decreasing in (p. 145), the reader must determine. But if we value, owing to the increasing scarcity of fish.' believe the opinion of Mr. Little, in reference But the importance which should be attached to to the Solway, to be true, and extend it, as supthis evidence, will be estimated differently ported by the preceding evidence, to all the other according to the judgment of the reader. Mr. great fisheries, • I believe I can prove, from the Wilson communicates a statement of the number dealers in salmon in the neighbourhood of the of boxes of fish shipped from the Tweed, or rather Solway Frith, that there were more killed in these for the first thirteen miles from its mouth, from the nets by poachers, during the winter season of year 1796 to 1823. In this table we perceive last year, than were killed during the proper seathe very great fluctuations of the fisheries, de- son for killing salmon ;' then must we conclude pending on the seasons : the years 1796. and that salmon are as abundant as ever, but poachers 1815 were as 9.338 to 9.382 boxes; yet 1776 now enjoy a greater share than formerly, to the was to 1797 as 9.338 to 12.665 boxes; and 1815 injury of the legal fisher. was to 1816 as 9.382 to 11.471. The year 1803 The natural foes of salmon are limited in the is less than 1819, and 1809 than 1819 or 1821, evidence to seals and grampuses. In regard to and but a little higher than 1822 or 1823. The the seals, Mr. Johnstone says, “I have often box of salmon previous to 1816 contained six counted between fifty and sixty seals that lie a and a half stones of fish; since that period it con- little from my house summer and winter.' That tains eight and twelve stones. In this table the they feed on salmon is ascertained. “I have seen consumption of the neighbourhood, or what is them chasing, catching, and eating them ;' p. 47. sent to a distance by carriers and coaches is not Mr. Halliday says, “I have observed froni sixty noticed. Hence the table is useless as an index to eighty seals in one flock, and I have seen three of the actual productiveness of the Tweed, though or four flocks within my view at Balmerino;' p. it may serve to illustrate the character of the ex- 74. Since the removal of the stake-nets these ports of Berwick. Mr. Bell' says that, in all depredators have increased ; p. 47, 75. Mr. parts of the Tay, the fisheries have decreased, Little states, that there are few seals in the Solbut no statement is produced, p. 20. J. Proud- way (where there are stake-nets), but that they foot says, “ In 1815, 1816, 1817, and 1818, it was are numerous in Ireland. The grampuses are a tolerable fishery, and the year 1819 was rather in all the sea-coasts around Scotland and Ireinferior with me; perhaps it might not be less land. It is indeed probable that, in the United with some; and since 1820 we have had regular Kingdom Seas, grampuses devour many more bad years successively.' But in reference to the salmon than the inhabitants. influence of the seasons in producing these Mr. Halliday says, “Since the lands have been changes, he says, “ for the last two years they so much drained, the rivers fall in so fast, that have not been so good,' p. 26. In reference to tish cannot get up to the higher parts of the river the fishery in 1824, of May, compared with the so freely as formerly,' p. 82; and Mr. Little corresponding period in 1823, he says, “I be- says, “I consider that the draining of the land in lieve that this season there are more fish caught Scotland has been as injurious to the fishings as in the Tay, as yet, than last season,' p. 33. There the liming of it. Formerly the small waters, in is a statement given by Mr. Little, of the relative consequence of the rains remaining long in the produce of his Irish fisheries, from the year 1808 land and in the marshes, were a length of time to 1823 : we shall give a few examples of inter- in rising and falling ; now they get up very vals of ten years. The produce in tons of fish rapidly, and fall very rapidly. The salmon, when was at the Bann in 1808 and 1818, as 76 to 70; they go up those little rivers to breed, deposit in 1809 to 1819, as 80 to 82; in 1812 to 1822, their spawn; and, at a season of the year when as 65 to 31; in 1813 to 1823, as 47 to 52. In the spawn ought to rise from the gravel, it is left the Bush fishery 1808 is to 1818, as 16 to 12; dry;' p. 117. 1809 to 1819, as 9 to 12; in 1812 to 1822, as 8
Sect. VIII.-OF THE TURBOT Fishery, to 8; and in 1813 to 1823, as 7 to 14; in the Foyle, 1808 is to 1818 as 37 to 44; 1809 to 1819 The Dutch seem to excel both the English as 36 to 58; 1812 to 1822, as 48 to 57 ; 1813 and Scotch in the turbot fishery; which is chiefly to 1823, as 35 to 50.— Evidence, p. 106. conducted on the Broadfourteen's bank, and in
The evidence in this Report shows that poaching the neighbourhood of Heligoland, from the beoperations are carried on both night and day, ginning of April to the middle of August. The
mode of taking the fish is this :-At the be- Ube's, St. Martin's, and Oleron; and that foreign ginning of the season, the drag-net is used, salt is generally preferred for that purpose in the which, being drawn along the banks, brings up West of England ; Dr. Henry, of Manchester, various kinds of fat fish, as soles, plaice, thorn- examined in 1809 the comparative strength and backs, and turbots; but, when the warm weather purity of British and foreign salt, and the result has driven the fish into deeper water, and upon of bis investigation has proved, that the quantity banks of a rougher surface, where the drag-net of pure muriate of soda contained in the large is no longer practicable, the fishermen have then grained fishery salt of Cheshire, is considerably recourse to the hook and line. Each line ex more than what exists in the celebrated salt of tends from one to nearly three miles in length, Oleron, which is the strongest of the foreign and is armed with 600, 700, or 800, hooks, fixed salts; and that the proportion of sulphate and to it at the distance of several yards from each muriate of magnesia is ten times, and of other other. To keep these long lines properly stretched, impurities in foreign salt, three ti:nes as much, and prevent their being carried away by the tide, as in the Cheshire salt. An account of this lead is used or small anchors. The Dutch are analysis was read before the Royal Society, in said to supply turbot to the value of £80,000 per January 1810, and published at Liverpool, in annum to the London market.
1811. Dr. Henry's Table of the result of his exIt having been said that the English salt does periments is so curious that we here insert it. not answer for curing fish, so well as that of St.
Fishing, Right or. It has been held, that them bona et catalla, if they be not in trunks. where the lord of the manor hath the soil on There needs no privilege to make a fish-pond, both sides of the river, it is a good evidence that as there doth in the case of a warren. See he hath right of fishing; and it puts the proof FRANCHISE. upon him who claims liberam piscariam; but, FISHING-Fly, a bait used in angling for divers where a river ebbs and flows, and is an arm of kinds of fish. Of the artificial fly there are the sea, there it is common to all, and he who reckoned no fewer than twelve sorts, of which claims a privilege to himself, must prove it; for the following are the principal :- 1. For March, if the trespass is brought for fishing there, the dun fly, made of dun wool, and the feathers the defendant may justify, that the place is of the partridge's wing; or the body made of brachium maris, in quo unusquisque subditus black wool, and the feathers of a black drake. domini regis habet et habere debet liberam pis- 2. For April, the stone-fly: the body made of cariam. In the Severn the soil belongs to the black wood, dyed yellow under the wings and owners of the land on each side; and the soil of tail. 3. For the beginning of May, the ruddy the river Thames is in the king, but the fishing fly; made of red wool, and bound about with is common to all. He who is owner of the soil black silk, with the feathers of a black capon of a private river, hath separata piscaria; and hanging dangling on his sides next his tail. ' 4. he that hath libera piscaria, hath a property in For June, the greenish fly; the body made of the fish, and may bring a possessory action for black wool, with a yellow list on either side, the them; but communis piscaria is like the case of wings taken off the wings of a buzzard, bound all other commons. One that has a close pond, with black broken hemp. 5. The moorish fly, in which there are fish, may call them pisces the body made of duskish wool, and the wings suos, in an indictment, &c., but he cannot call of the blackish mail of a drake. 6. The tawny