Once upon a salmon…

Thirty-fifth Annual Report: Department of Marine and Fisheries 1902

To His Excellency the Right Honourable SIR GILBERT JOHN ELLIOT, EARL OF MINTO,
Governor General of Canada.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY:
I have the honour to submit herewith, for the information of Your Excellency and the Legislature of Canada, the Thirty-Fifth Annual Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, Fisheries Branch.

I have the honour to be,

Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,

RAYMOND PREFONTAINE,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries.
DEPARTMENT OF MARINE AND FISHERIES,
OTTAWA, February, 1903.

Excerpts from the report:

This year’s pack has been the largest known in the province amounting to 1,247,215 cases against 1,026,545 in 1897. 1,154,717 cases were sockeye salmon (O. nerka), exceeding the total pack of 1897 of all kinds of salmon. On Fraser River the pack of sockeye in 1901 was 974,911 cases as against 897,115 cases of all kinds in 1897.

If you are curious a case was 48 pounds.

Large as this amount is, representing 30,000,000 fish it could have been largely increased, possibly doubled had the canneries had capacity enough to have handled all the fish available during the run.  On Fraser river, the canneries placed 200 as the maximum number of fish they could guarantee to take from each boat and for 12 days, from 6th to 17th August this limit was enforced. The fishermen could consequently during this period fish only for a short time each day. During the height of the run they dare not put more than a small length of their net in the water. In some cases nets were sunk and lost from the weight of the fish.

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