Notes on the Fisheries of Gloucester, Mass. October 13- November 13, 1883
By S. J. Martin [From letters to Prof. S. F. Baird.]

MACKEREL. During the past week there have been 42 arrivals with salt mackerel. They landed 8,000 barrels- mostly No. 4 mackerel. They average about 1,500 to the barrel. There were a few large ones. Last week small ones were plenty from Thatcher's Island to Cape Cod. Vessels coming from the eastward report plenty of small mackerel as far as Matinicus. Four vessels from the bay of St. Lawrence brought 1,390 barrels, and reported mackerel plenty October 5 and 6. They caught as many as they could take care of. I think there will be three vessels from Gloucester go down to the Nova Scotia coast after mack- erel. The prospect for large mackerel is poor. .

The mackerel from the Bay of St. Lawrence were of good quality and sold for $14 a barrel without being culled. Large No. 1 mackerel have sold for $23 a barrel; No. 2 for $14 a barrel; No. 3 for $10 a barrel; and there is no sale for No. 4.
-GLOUCESTER, MASS., October 14, 1883.

Pollock and cod have been scarce this fall. Forty sail of small craft which were out two days on the pollock grounds, came in with 2,000 pounds. There are no sperling this fall, so that most of the boats will use nets.
-GLOUCESTER, MASS. October 28, 1883.

MACKEREL. The mackerel-catchers are all at Provincetown. There are plenty of small mackerel in Barnstable Bay. Vessels make good hauls when there is a chance to get out. The weather has been bad for seining the last fortnight--wind northeast, with thick weather. Small mackerel were seen schooling on Middle Bank last night. We have got 13 sail of mackerel-catchers in the Bay of St. Lawrence, and 15 sail have gone down to Cape Breton Island after mackerel.

There were plenty of mackerel schooling off Sydney, C. B., last Tuesday. Some vessels made good hauls. Schooner Edward Webster, Capt. Solomon Jacobs, and Schooner Warren I. Crosby, Captain Carroll, went through Canso last Thursday, bound for the Bay of St. Lawrence, after mackerel. -GLOUCESTER, MASS., October 28, 1883.

GEORGE'S COD FISHERY. The vessels that go to George's after codfish have done well. There have been three arrivals this week, with 40,000, 45,000, and 54,000 pounds of codfish, respectively. The time gone was fourteen days. They used squid for bait.



SQUID Squid are plenty on George's, on Cashe's, and in the Bay of Fundy. They are plenty on the whole coast from Grand Manan, Bay Fundy, to Middle Bank. Vessels that have come in from Le Have Bank and Brown's Bank say, there are, plency of squid on all the fishing banks of the Nova Scotia shore. A few have been caught off the mouth of the harbor.

HALIBUT FISHERY. The vessels that go after fresh halibut have done well. There have been three arrivals this week from the south east part of Grand Banks, with 65,000, 55,000, and 68,000 pounds of fresh halibut, caught in 140 fathoms of water. GLOUCESTER, MASS., October 28, 1883.

MOVEMENTS OF MACKEREL When the mackerel came on the coasts of Massachusetts and Maine the largo mackerel came first, aud passed to the eastward. Then came the small ones, which also passed to the eastward. The latter came up inshore this fall. Boston Bay was full of them all the time during the month of October. The large mackerel were farther off shore. They came across Cashe's. A few of them were caught at Chatham.

Some of the vessels which have come in during the last two days saw mackerel on the northeast part of George's. Those mackerel came out of the Bay of St. Lawrence. They come up the Cape shore as far as Cape Sable, then strike across to the north-west part of George's, and work southwest the whole length of the bank; how much farther I don't know.

When they went to the eastward they went down the whole length of. George's Bank, went across to Cape Sable, and followed down the whole length of the Cape shore. Some of them went through the Straits of Canso. Some of them went down as far as Scatary Island, and then took a westerly course in the Bay of Saint Lawrence. Some of the large mackerel went up by the island of Saint Paul and were not seen afterwards. Some vessels which were off the Labrador coast after herring saw large mackerel there. According to the last reports from the Nova Scotia shore there are plenty of mackerel there working westward. '
GLOUCESTER, MASS., October 31, 1883.

MONTHLY SUMMARY.The amount of fish landed at Gloucester during the month of October was as follows: Shore mackerel - 24,091 barrels; mackerel from the Bay of St. Lawrence, 4,343 barrels; herring, __ barrels; cod from George's Bank, 956,000 pounds; halibut from Georges Bank, 11,900 pounds; cod from Western Bank, 1,403,000 pounds; halibut from Western Bank, 9,400 pounds; cod from Grand Banks, 2,133,000 pounds; salt halibut from Grand Bank 13,400 pounds; fresh halibut, 696,000 pounds; Greenland halibut, 90,000 pounds; pollock 588,000 pounds; hake, 36,000 pounds; cusk, 22,000 pounds; haddock, 23,000 pounds; fresh cod, 12,500 pounds; mixed dried fish freight from Maine, 10,550 quintals; pogy slivers, 170 barrels;. cod sold here, 95 barrels; cod imported from Nova Scotia, 700 quintals.
-Gloucester Mass, November 4, 1883.



MACKEREL FISHERY. The shore mackerel fleet all hauled up. There has been a large falling off in the catch of mackerel from last year. There have been 218,000 barrels taken this year against 378,000 barrels last year. There are 13,000 barrels on the wharf to-day; last year at this time there were 45,000 barrels. There are fifteen sail of vessels on the Cape shore after mackerel. A dispatch came last night from the schooner Charles C. Warren stating that they caught 270 barrels of large mackerel last week in Margaret's Bay, 35 miles to the westward of Halifax; also one from schooner Warren J. Crosby stating that she caught 300 barrels of large mackerel last week at Sydney. There is no news from the rest of the fleet. They are catching mackerel in nets all along the Nova Scotia shore.
-GLOUCESTER, MASS., November 11, 1883.

A REMARKABLE HAUL OF MENHADEN. A dispatch to the Boston Herald under date of November 9, 1883 says:

"The menhaden steamers George Curtis and Vista of the George W. Miles Company brought in over 1,000,000 fish last night. Value, $5,000. This news is enough to fire the heart of every menHaden fisherman with joy. It is a most remarkably large haul, particularly for this time of the. year. The fish now are fat and unusually fertile in desirable material."
-GLOUCESTER, MASS., November 11, 1883.

VESSEL STATISTICS FOR 1883. The following are the numbers of vessels and of men engaged in different branches of the Gloucester fisheries during the year 1883:

Mackerel fishery, 122 vessels, manned-by 1,708 men. '
Grand and Western Banks fishery; 111 vessels, manned by 1,333 men.
George's Bank cod fishery, 75 vessels, manned by 825 men.
Fresh halibut fishery, 22 vessels, manned by 318 men.
Shore fisheries, 56 vessels, manned by 448 men.
Greenland halibut fishery, 5 vessels, manned by 70 men.
There are, in addition, 25 small boats, with one man to a boat.
-GLOUCESTER, MASS., November 11, 1883.

GALE ON GEORGE'S BANK. They have had a hard time on George's. November 12 and 13 it blew a hurricane. Vessels arrived to-day with decks swept, sails torn, bulwarks gone, and cables and anchors lost. I think the worst is to come. Some of the haddock vessels arrived with the loss of dories and other damage.

MACKEREL FISHERY. Two vessels arrived last night from the Bay of St. Lawrence; schooner Fannie Belle, with 425 barrels of salt mackerel; and schooner S. R. Lane, with 200 barrels of salt mackerel. There are five more to come from the Bay of St. Lawrence, and there are eight still on the Cape shore.



MACKEREL. Four vessels from the Bay of St. Lawrence brought at least 1,180 barrels of salt mackerel. On the 9th of November the schooner Charles C. Warren caught 250 barrels of mackerel at one haul of the seine in Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia. There are three more vessels coming from the Bay of St. Lawrence with 300 barrels of mackerel each. That will end the mackerel fishing for this year.

GALE. Fears are entertained far the safety of four haddock catchers which were on George's Bank in the gale of November 12-13. Haddock are plenty on George's Bank, but there has been no sale for them for the last three days. There are five vessels here with haddock to sell to the slitters at three quarters of a cent a pound.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., November 25, 1883.

SUMMARY. I send you the amount of fish landed at Gloucester during the month of November. Shore mackerel, 6,572 barrels; mackerel from the Bay of St. Lawrence 3,787 barrels; mackerel caught on the Nova Scotian shore,551 barrels; George's cod, l,168,000 pounds; George's halibut, 34,400 pounds; Western Bank codfish, 211,000 pounds; Western Bank halibut, 7,900 pounds. Fish caught in cod gill-nets, 1,330,000 pounds codfish, 174,000 pounds pollock. Haddock caught on George's and landed at Gloucester 495,000 pounds; shorefish, 21,300 pounds: hake and cusk, 3,000 pounds; haddock, 4,000 pounds; codfish, 18,000 pounds; pollock, 49,000 pounds. Codfish caught in Bay of Fundy, 51,000 pounds. Fish on freight from Maine, 5,450 quintals hake, 500 quintals codfish, 20 barrels of herring. Fish imported from Nova Scotia, 667 quintals codfish, 10 barrels of mackerel. Fish caught in cod gill-nets landed at Rockport and 'Portsmouth during the month of November, 183,000 pounds.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., December 3, 1883.

COD AND HALIBUT. The vessels from George's Bank all brought in good fares of cod. They found plenty of' squid on the bank all the fall and until last week, when the squid disappeared. None of the halibut fishers returned last week and the price of halibut was high. All that the George's vessels brought in sold at 20 cents a pound.
GLOUCESTER, MASS., December 16, 1883.