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Notes on the fisheries of Gloucester, Massachusetts June, July 1882
By S. J. Martin [Letters to Prof. S. F. Baird. ]

June 4, 1882
The number of pounds of fish landed here during the month of May 1882 was as follows : George's cod, 2,170,000 pounds; George's halibut, 57,200 pounds; Western Bank cod, 4,381,000 pounds; Western Bank halibut, 33,500 pounds; Grand Bank halibut, 492,000 pounds; shore fish, 768;000 pounds; herring, 635 barrels; salt mackerel, 1,430 barrels. The shore fish consist of one-third cod, the balance pollock, hake, and had- dock. The amount of Western Bank fish is the largest that ever was landed, in Gloucester in one month. Gloucester, Mass, June 4, 1882.

June 11, 2004
During the past week there were 35 arrivals from George's, with good trips; 11 from Western Bank, with good fares. The George's vessels average 22,000 pounds to a vessel. The Western Bank vessels average 40,000 pounds to a vessel. There have been 12 sail from shore fishing; 20 sail with small trips of salt mackerel; one vessel with fresh halibut. The fishermen are all doing well. Fish of all kinds are high.
GLOUCESTER, Mass., June 11, 1882.

June 22, 1882
Mackerel are plentiful. The vessels catch them from Noman's Land, 40 miles S. E. down to Mount Desert, and thence the whole length of the Nova Scotian coast as far as Cape Canso. There are no mackerel inshore. Last year at this time there were plenty of mackerel inshore, this side of Cape Cod. One vessel arrived last night with 320 barrels from Noman's Land. One vessel arrived from Mount Desert with 270 barrels, 30 miles S. E. from Mount Desert Rock. The farther east the better the mackerel. The mackerel caught off Noman's Land are small. Mackerel are low today - $5 per barrel, including the barrel.

All the mackerel are sold out of pickle. A fortnight ago, when the first mackerel came along, there were some large shad mixed with them, and some small ones which the fishermen call "smutty-nosed shad," about the size of alewives. The others were large, weighing from 4 to 5 pounds. Some were caught with drag-nets, and some with seines, some of them being taken S miles from Cape Cod and some in Ipswich Bay.

Six salmon have been caught in traps from Kettle Island to Portsmouth.

The Western Bank vessels are bringing in good fares, of codfish. The dogfish have struck all along the coast in large schools (driving the shore fishermen off the ground), in such large numbers that the trawls could not be used, as the fish eat them to pieces. One vessel belonging to Marblehead is fitting out to catch them.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., June 22, 1882.



July 5, 1882
Fishing has been good the past month. The mackerel catchers have done well. A large body of mackerel have been down the Nova Scotian coast. Three large fares arrived during the last two days: Schooner Leona 540 barrels; schooner Henry N. Woods, 440 barrels; schooner I. E. Garland, 400 barrels. These three trips were caught 25 miles VV. S.W. from Seal Island, Nova Scotia.

Some of the vessels found plenty of mackerel S. E. 30 miles from Mount Desert Rock. When the mackerel get in that locality they seem to stop. Last year mackerel were on the same ground in the months of July and August. The largest mackerel I have seen this year were caught in the traps at Cape Sable. They were two-thirds large. Those now caught on the eastern shore are one- third large, and I think the body of large mackerel passed down the Nova Scotian shore. All the mackerel they have caught in nets from Cape Sable to Canso are large.

Mackerel sell as fast as they arrive. There were 2,000 barrels here this morning. All sold at 12 m. for $5 per barrel; $4 a barrel not rimmed; that is, barrel and all. The first school of mackerel came along the 1st of June; there were some shad mixed with them. Ten days ago, off Portland, some of the fishermen set nets for mackerel and caught some large shad and small ones. They have caught some in all the weirs along the coast. Mackerel and shad will go together; so will mackerel and herring. Two vessels set their seine around a school of mackerel; when they got the seine pursed up they were part herring and part mackerel. Some of the shad are large; some are small. I saw one taken from a trap at Kettle Island which weighed 5 1/4 pounds.

Seven salmon have been caught in the traps at Kettle Island; three caught at Milk Island. The codfish on the shore ground are scarce. Hake are very plentiful. The oldest fishermen say they never saw hake so abundant as they were the first of June. A vessel catching 40,000 pounds salt fish gets two-thirds hake. Last year they would have two-thirds codfish.

The amount of fish landed here during the month of June was as fol- lows: George's cod, 2,514;000 pounds; George's halibut, 99,300 pounds; Western Bank cod, 5,684,000 pounds; Western Bank halibut, 89,400 pounds; shore fish (mixed), 1,235,000 pounds; Grand Bank halibut, 460,000 pounds; received from Maine (mixed), 1,500 quintals; from British provinces (mixed), 3,200 quintals; mackerel, 25,960 barrels; mackerel (fresh to can), 735 barrels; herring, 80 barrels.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., July 5, 1882.

July 23, 1882
During the past week thirty-five schooners have arrived with full fares of mackerel, averaging 300 barrels per vessel. The vessels have done best on Cashe's. A week ago they did well in the Bay of Fundy; some of them doing very well on Cashe's. All the mackerel come across Cashe's. Schooner Eliza Abby set her seine around a school of mack- erel, on Friday, on Cashe's, and got so many fish that the middle of


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the seine was torn away. The vessel arrived this morning with half the seine gone, and came near losing the boat. The captain says he thinks there were 500 barrels in the seine. Mackerel sold yesterday for $6.25 per barrel. I think they will be worth $7 per barrel next week. The last mackerel caught on Cashe's were of good quality. A trip of 330 barrels, packed there Friday, contained 30 barrels of No. ones, 150 barrels No. twos, and 150 barrels No. threes. The mackerel in the Bay of Fundy are not so fat as those caught on Cashe's ; the mackerel caught on Friday, just referred to, being the best caught this year. The largest and fattest mackerel are sold as fast as they arrive.

Dried George's cod took a jump yesterday from $6 per quintal to $6.50. George's codfish are scarce. There have been twenty arrivals from George's during the past week, averaging 12,000 pounds to the vessel, selling their fares at $3.50 a hundred out of the vessel. That is the highest price paid for codfish since the war. Codfish are scarce on all the inshore grounds. Hake are plentiful. The fishermen say the hake have not been so abundant for twenty years. Dried fish of all kinds is high. George's cod will be sold for $7 a quintal next month. I was much pleased, while rowing round the harbor yesterday, to see the name "Spencer F. Baird" on the stern of a new, handsome schooner. Capt. John Viber will command her. GLOUCESTER,, MASS., July 23, 1882.


July 30, 1882
Since Monday morning there have been 63 arrivals with salt mackerel, full fares, the vessels averaging 334 barrels each - the largest week's arrival of mackerel this year. The last sales were at $7 per barrel with the barrel. Two vessels, absent seven days, returned with 400 barrels. The mackerel have all been caught from Cashe's to Grand Mannan Island, Bay of Fundy. They are all offshore.

The codfish on the eastern shore is a failure this season. Nothing but hake there. The cod were plentiful last season. The small boats on the eastern shore have not done anything this summer; no cod, no mackerel, no hake inshore. The vessels that fish on the George's Bank find the codfish scarce. Some vessels, absent two weeks, arrived with 4,000 and 5;000 pounds codfish. Codfish are high; sold green out of the vessel at $4.35 per hundred pounds. Dried George's cod sold at $7 a quintal. All kinds of fish are very high.

Schooner Martha C., which arrived last night, reports bluefish plentiful on the western part of Cashe's. There have been no bluefish an the eastern shore this summer inshore. Last Thursday night a large school of whiting, or Old England hake, came in the harbor. All the nets were full of them; two horse-cart loads were taken out of a small trap set in the harbor. Some of them were large and full of spawn.

The dogfish are abundant all along the coast. Captain Gill, in a small vessel, with four men, caught 3,000 in one day on trawls. They yielded 73 buckets of livers, which sold at 55 cents per bucket.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., July 30, 1882