BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMMISSION 1884. Page 249
Notes on the Fisheries of Gloucester, Massachusetts April 4 - July 27 1884
MACKEREL. The following Gloucester vessels arrived at New York
yesterday with good fares of small mackerel, which sold at $1 per
hundred, namely: Schooners Golden Hind, 80 barrels; E. L. Rowe, 90;
Henri N. Woods, 60; Electric Light, 70; Ethel Maud, 125; J. E. Garland, 100;
Goldsmith Maid, 80; Martha C., 100; Addison Center, 80;
Henry Dennis, 100; also schooner Elsie Smith, of Portland, 150 barrels.
SUMMARY. From April 1, 1884, to date there have been fifty arrivals from George's Bank with an average of 18,000 pounds of cod and 400 pounds of halibut to a vessel, twenty arrivals from Western Bank with small fares averaging 23,000 pounds of salt cod and 7,000 pounds of halibut to a vessel; and twelve arrivals from Grand Bank with an average of 31,000 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel.
MACKEREL. The mackerel fleet has not done well, the catch being small. Some of the vessels were ten days in getting to market, and their cargoes had to be thrown away, as the mackerel were spoiled. It takes from 800 to 1,000 mackerel to fill a barrel. The greater part of the mackerel has been caught 30 miles southeast of Hog Island. Gloucester has eighty sail engaged in the fishery. Most of them bring their mackerel to market fresh.
The weather out south has been rough up to the present time. Nineteen
seine-boats have been lost and some vessels have been badly
SUMMARY. Last week there were forty-two arrivals from George's Bank with light fares, averaging 14,000 pounds of salt cod and 300 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; twelve arrivals from Western Bank, averaging 35,000 pounds of salt cod and 5,000 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; and 3 arrivals from the Banks with fresh halibut.
HALIBUT. The number of vessels engaged in halibut fishing is larger than last year, there being an addition of four vessels each from Gloucester and Portland. Mr. Samuel Pool, of the Atlantic Halibut Company, of Gloucester, Mass., is at Halifax buying halibut and shipping them to Boston.
HERRING.-Herring appeared on the coast, on April 15, and were schooling from Race Point, Cape Cod, to Thatcher's Island, going east. A school of small mackerel was seen 4 miles southeast of Chatham on April 15th.
250 BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISFI COMMISSION.
There were twenty-five vessels in New York with fresh mackerel, three-fourths
of which were small and sold as low as $1 per thousand. Some of the mackerel
caught were so small that the fishermen threw them away. Three fares that
were carried in last week were large fish and sold for a good price.
SUMMARY. Last week there were eighteen arrivals from George's
Bank, averaging 13,000 pounds of salt cod and a few halibut to a vessel;
seven arrivals from Western Banks, averaging 45,000 pounds of salt cod
and 3,000 pounds of halibut to a vessel; three arrivals from the Banks,
averaging 28,000 pounds of salt cod to a vessel; and four arrivals from
the shore grounds, with average fares of 5,000 pounds of mixed fish to
a vessel. There were 15,000 gallons of cod oil brought from Nova Scotia
by freight last week for Gloucester parties.
MONTHLY SUMMARY. The number of pounds of codfish landed at Gloucester during the month of April, 1884, was 2,000,000 less than April, 1883. The fishing at Western Bank this year was a failure. The amount of fish landed at Gloucester during the mouth of April was as follows : George's Bank cod, 1,862,000 pounds; George's halibut, 59,240 pounds; Western Bank cod, 1,216,000 pounds; Western Bank halibut, 169,000 pounds; GrandBanks halibut, 538,000 pounds; shore cod, 172,000 pounds; haddock, 220,000 pounds; frozen herring, 160,000 pounds; fresh herring, 25 barrels; salt herring, 433 barrels; mixed fish by freight from Maine, 500 quintals; and 533,000 pounds of large cod caught in nets in Ipswich Bay. There were 15,863 gallons of cod oil landed from Newfoundland.
POLLOCK. Two schooners arrived at Gloucester this morning with 70,600 pounds of pollock. These fish were caught with seine 4 miles from chatham, and were the first fish of the kind caught this season.
MACKEREL. Schooner Henry Dennis arrived from the south with
280 barrels of mackerel, the first that have been brought here this
season. Captain McClain thinks the prospect fine for a good catch.
SUMMARY During the past week there have been twenty-seven arrivals from George's Bank with small fares of 12,000 pounds of codfish to a vessel; five arrivals from Western Bank, averaging 35,000 pounds of codfish to a vessel; five fares from the Banks, averaging 20,000 pounds of fresh halibut; and six arrivals from Chatham, aggregating 200,000 pounds of pollock, caught with seines.
MACKEREL. The outlook for the mackerel fishery is hopeful, the
others dull. Two vessels arrived from Boston yesterday, one with 300
barrels and the other with 400 barrels of mackerel. Mackerel sold
yesterday for $6 a barrel, and last Monday for $8.50 a barrel.
BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMMISSION. 251
SUMMARY. During the past week there have been sixty-three arrivals from George's Bank, with small fares, averaging 13,000 pounds of salt cod and 400 pounds of halibut to a vessel; five arrivals with fresh halibut, averaging 40,000 pounds to a vessel; twelve arrivals with pollock, aggregating 455,000 pounds; and nine arrivals with salt mackerel, landing 1,374 barrels. Seven arrivals from the shore fisheries landed 140,000 pounds of mixed fish. The pollock were caught with seine from 3 to 4 miles off Chatham. The first mackerel that were caught last year this side of Cape Cod was on May 18. On May 14 of this year 20 barrels of large mackerel were caught with seine.
HERRING AND SALMON. There have been 70 barrels of herring
caught in traps, and 1 salmon, weighing 12 and 3/4 pounds, caught in a trap
at Kettle Island.
BLACK GROUPER. I will send you Monday morning for identification
a strange fish,* said to measure 5 feet in length, but actually measuring
over 6 feet. The fish when seen was on its side, with its side fin
at the surface of the water, and was thought to be a sunfish. It was
easily captured. No one of the hundreds of persons who have been
here to see the fish have been able to identify its genus and species. I
hope to hear from you concerning its identity.
The strange fish was caught 20 miles southeast from Block Island. The fish when seen was on its side with side-fin and tail in motion. When seen the men thought it was a sunfish; they rowed up to it in a dory, threw a harpoon into it, and towed it alongside the vessel, where it was taken on board and put in the ice-house. The fish was caught Thursday, May 15, schooner Carrie E. Parsons, Capt. Albert Greenlow. There is no expense on the fish except the box. The Atlantic Halibut Company gave me the ice.
The captain asked me if I could get him the history of the mackerel
fishery and one of the last bulletins. If you will send them to me; I will
forward them to Captain Greenlow when the vessel is in. I am glad
the fish was in good order when it arrived in Washington.
SUMMARY. During the past week there have been tlrirty-nine arrivals from George's Banks, landing an aggregate of 980,000 pounds of codfish; thirteen arrivals from the Banks, aggregating 220,000 pounds of fresh halibut, and 980 barrels of salt mackerel landed by ten vessels. There have also been landed daring the past week 70,000 pounds of haddock, 75,000 pounds of shore fish, and 198,000 pounds of pollock.
* Identified by Dr. T. H. Bean as Epinephelus nigritus. Weighing 300 pounds. (See his statement, page 240.)
252 BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMffASION.
HALIBUT. The vessels fishing on George's Banks are doing well. There are thirty-one vessels engaged in halibut fishing. Gloucester has a large fleet in the business. Fresh halibut sold last week at 3 and a half cents per pound.
MACKEREL.-Ninety sail of the mackerel fleet are off Chatham, where large mackerel, full of spawn, are caught. Five hundred barrels of mackerel that were caught in weirs were shipped from Nova Scotia last week. The mackerel that are caught at Nova Scotia are also large.
The first mackerel caught in weirs at Nova Scotia last year was on May 20 against May 16, this year. Most of the vessels of the southern mackerel fleet are at home. They did not make large catches. The 340 barrels of herring caught in traps last week were sold to the fishermen for bait.
MENHADEN.-The following extract is from the Boston Daily Advertiser of Friday morning, May 23, 1884:
"A correspondent says that Mount Hope Bay and Taunton River
have been visited by a tremendous mass of menhaden, the like of which
has not been reported for a long time. They came unexpectedly, as
few had been noticed till recently. This irruption of menhaden may,
perhaps, account for the sudden departure of the scup. They abound
all over the bay, but generally move in immense schools, one of which
was playing around the piers of the iron railway bridge, and made the
river below the bridge, in some places, almost solid. Captain Springer,
an old fisherman employed at the draw, estimated the school at the
bridge to contain 1,000 barrels at least. Capt. C. C. Winslow, who
passed up from below with the fishing schooner Penekese, reports that
Seconet River, below the Stone Bridge and Gould Island, is almost
solid with menhaden."
SALMON. A salmon weighing 21 and one quarter pounds was caught in a trap at
Kettle Island on May 21.
MONTHLY SUMMARY. During the month of May there were one hundred and sixty-two arrivals from George's Banks, landing 2,724,000 pounds of salt codfish, and 82,000 pounds of halibut; thirteen arrivals from Western Bank, landing 1,120,000 pounds of salt codfish and 69,420 pounds of fresh halibut; twenty-six arrivals from the Banks, land- ing 594,000 pounds of halibut; and twenty arrivals with 436,000 pounds of shore fish, one-fourth each of cod, haddock, hake, and cusk. There were also the following arrivals: Twenty-six arrivals with 1,055,000 pounds of pollock; twenty-eight arrivals with 3,780 barrels of salt mackerel.
There were 392 barrels of herring and 132,000 pounds of haddock caught in traps in the harbor last month. The pollock were caught with seine off Chatham.
BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMMISSION. 253
In May of last year 500,000 pounds of codfish were landed
from Cape North, while none have been landed this
year, the ice preventing the vessels reaching the cape. There were
2,000,000 pounds of codfish landed during the month of May last year,
against 1,000,000 during the same month of the present year.
CODFISHING. During the past week, most of the George's fleet did well, the thirty arrivals having average fares of 23,000 pounds of salt codfish. The vessels which went to Cape North for codfish did not catch any in consequence of the ice lasting until the fish had left.
Two striped bass, one black bass, and four porgies were caught in traps in the harbor last week. Two barrels of squid were also taken out of them this morning.
MACKEREL. Mackerel are coming in slowly, only thirteen arrivals landing 1,705 barrels last week. Three hundred barrels of small mackerel were sold to be canned. Small mackerel extend from Block Island to Portland. The small mackerel on this coast, some larger than last year, when they were classed as number 4, are large enough for number 3. A few large ones have been caught in the traps in the harbor.
The school of large mackerel that was seen on the southern coast did not strike this coast; but went in an E.N.E. direction, across the southeast part of George's Banks to Cape Sable. From Cape Sable they took an easterly course down the cost of Nova Scotia. A large amount of mackerel has been taken in the weirs at Yarmouth and Cape Sable, whence 2,400 barrels of fresh and 800 barrels of salt mackerel have been shipped by steamer to Boston. The mackerel have been caught as far east as Cape Canso, Nova Scotia.
There are sixty sail of Gloucester mackerel-catchers after the large
mackerel on the Nova Scotia shore. They will follow the mackerel to
the Bay of Saint Lawrence.
SUMMARY. During the past week there have been thirty-seven arrivals from George's Banks, averaging 22,000 pounds of salt codfish and 400 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; ten arrivals with aver- aging fares of 24,000 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; eleven arrivals from the Western Banks with 70,000 pounds of salt codfish to a vessel; nine arrivals with averaging fares of 22,000 pounds of shore fish; nine arrivals with mackerel, caught on this shore, but mostly small, landing an aggregate of 2,277 barrels, and five arrivals from Nova Scotia, landing 820 barrels of large mackerel. There have also been 300 barrels of mackerel imported from Nova Scotia.
MACKEREL. We have sixty sail of mackerel-catchers on the Nova Scotia coast, and they extend from Cape Sable to Cape Canso. Some of the vessels have done well, but all of them were late in reaching the Nova Scotia shore. A large body of mackerel passed to the eastward before the arrival of the vessels.
254 BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMMISSION.
The first mackerel caught at Cape Sable this year was on May 14, and on last year June 12. Mackerel - have BEen going by Cape Sable for four weeks, and are still passing.
A large body passed down the Nova Scotia shore. Contrary to the expectations of the fishermen, the ice did not prevent the mackerel from entering the Bay of Saint Lawrence. In 1846 the ice was so late in leaving the Bay of Saint Lawrence that the vessels could not get to the Menhaden Islands before June 1. The catch of mackerel that year was very large.
Today I went on board of the schooner Lizzie Jones, which arrived from Cape North, Cape Breton Island, and ascertained from the captain that on June 9 the ice came down 8 miles from the shore. He says there were large schools of mackerel between the ice and the shore.
The Nova Scotia vessels which go to the Magdalen Islands to set their nets for mackerel arrived there June 10, and found plenty of mackerel at Pleasant Bay. Some mackerel were taken from traps at Prince Edward's Island on June 11. Most of the mackerel fleet will go to North Bay; some of them are now at Cape North. There are no large mackerel on this coast, and the vessels will not catch small ones, as there is no sale for them.
The schooner Chocorua arrived from the southeast part of George's
Banks, and reports plenty of mackerel schooling in 45 fathoms of water.
SUMMARY. During the past week there were landed at Gloucester 1,296,000 pounds of cod; 95,000 pounds fresh halibut; 120,000 pounds of hake, haddock, cusk, and pollock; 2,018 barrels of mackerel, caught off Newfoundland; and 740 barrels of mackerel from Nova Scotia, caught in weirs.
MACKEREL. Large mackerel are scarce here, but small mackerel are abundant from Block Island to the Bay of Fundy. Most of the mackerel fleet has gone to the Bay of Saint Lawrence, though but few fish are caught there as yet. Three vessels have just arrived from the Nova Scotia coast with salt mackerel. Captain Jones says that the fishermen around Halifax say that they never before saw so many mackerel pass down the Nova Scotia coast as this spring. Captain Jacobs thinks that the lateness of the ice in the Saint Lawrence has caused many of the mackerel to go to the Newfoundland coast.
Squid are abundant, the weirs being full of them at North Truro.
The George's Bank fishermen use them for bait. Dogfish are plentiful.
Four fares of small mackerel arrived today, three fares being from the.
Nova Scotia coast. The small mackerel are hardly worth catching.
They sold yesterday for $3.25 a barrel, including the barrel. Large No.
3 sold for $9 a barrel, including the barrel (worth about 80 cents).
BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES FISH COMMISSION. 255
MONTHLY SUMMARY. The amount of fish landed at Gloucester during June is as follows: There were one hundred and forty-five arrivals from George's Bank, landing 3,476,000 pounds of salt cod and 89,130 pounds of fresh halibut; twenty-three arrivals from Western Bank, landing 1,888,000 pounds of salt cod and 31,000 pounds of fresh hali- but. There were 185,000 pounds of salt cod landed from Cape North; 160,000 pounds of salt cod and 18,000 pounds of salt halibut from Flemish Cap; 1,099,000 pounds of shore fish, being mixed half cod and half hake and cusk; 575,800 pounds of fresh halibut, caught on the Banks; and 203,000 pounds of pollock, caught with seines off Chatham.
MACKEREL. The mackerel landed during June is as follows: Caught on the New England coast, 12,658 barrels; caught on the Nova Scotia coast with seines, 2,000 barrels. Four arrivals from the Nova Scotia coast brought 136,000 pounds of salt cod and 60,000 pounds of haddock.
From the Nova Scotia coast there have been imported to Boston 23,000
barrels of salt mackerel, most of this amount having been caught in
Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission
NOTES ON THE FISHERIES OF GLOUCESTER, MASS.
Four weeks ago the prospect for a large catch of fish on the Grand Banks was doubtful, as the whole fleet was seeking bait for four weeks. But on June 25 capelin struck the coast of Newfoundland in great abundance and all the vessels got bait. On reaching the Banks codfish were found to be plentiful. One vessel caught 30,000 pounds for three days consecutively. The prospect for a large catch is good, as squid came on the Banks when the vessels left for home.
During the past week there have been 33 arrivals from George's Banks, with good fares, averaging 25,000 pounds of codfish to a vessel. The vessels were absent from home from ten to fourteen days. Last week there were also 4 arrivals from Grand Banks, averaging 125,000 pounds of codfish to a vessel; 11 arrivals from the Banks, with small fares of 23,000 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; 6 arrivals with salt mackerel, 4 fares of small and 2 of large, caught at Block Island. The large mackerel caught at Block Island sold for $16.50 per barrel. Small mackerel sold yesterday for $5 per barrel.
In a letter dated Surrey, Prince Edward Island, June 30,1884, Capt. Charles Martin says: "We have seen no mackerel yet, though we were over to the west shore on June 27, and down the island June 28. Again we saw none yesterday, but today a few were to be seen with a school of herring off Surrey. There are about a dozen sail, some of which have been to Chaleurs Bay, but found no mackerel. We left forty sail at North Cape?"
Again, in a letter dated Surrey, Prince Edward Island, July 6, 1884, Capt. Charles Martin says: "There are 45 sail here to-day.
Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission
No fish schooling yet. Yesterday the wind was southeast, to-day it is
During the past week there have been 54 arrivals from George's Banks, with average fares of 23,000 pounds of salt codfish; 5 arrivals from Grand Banks, with 120,000 pounds of salt codiish to a vessel; 8 arrivals from the Banks, with 24,000 pounds of fresh halibut to a vessel; and 24 arrivals, averaging 350 barrels of salt mackerel to a vessel.
Most of these mackerel are small, and were caught in the Bay of Fundy.
No mackerel have yet been caught in the Bay of Saint Lawrence, and
50 of the 165 sail that went there for mackerel are on their return home.
The disappearance of the mackerel that were seen down the Nova
Scotia shore is a mystery which has not yet been solved. If the whole
fleet comes on this coast, small mackerel will sell at a low figure.
Yesterday small mackerel sold at $4.50 per barrel, with the barrel, which is
worth 70 cents. There are 10 sail of mackerel catchers in the harbor,
with 3,500 barrels of mackerel that were taken in the Bay of Fundly. I
think mackerel will be sold tomorrow at $4 per barrel.
SUMMARY. There has been the largest amount of fish landed at
Gloucester the past week of any week in eight years. There were 67
arrivals from George's Banks, with 1,680,000 pounds of salt cod ; 17
arrivals from the Grand Banks, with 2,780,000 pounds of salt cod; 7 arrivals
from the Grand Banks, with 182,000 pounds of fresh cod and 65,000
pounds of hake; 80,100 pounds of shore cod; 120,000 pounds of cod
from the Western Bank; 220,000 pounds of salt cod from Banqereau;
and 6 arrivals with 1,000 barrels of salt mackerel. Mackerel are reported
plenty in the Bay of Fundy, but of small size. Today 5 vessels arrived from
the Bay of Fundy, with 1,500 barrels of salt mackerel.
SUMMARY FOR MONTH. The amount of fish landed in Gloucester in July was as follows:
There were 186 arrivals from George's Banks, with 3,841,000
pounds of salt cod and 36,900 pounds of fresh halibut; 28 arrivals from
Grand Banks, with 4,120,000 pounds of salt cod and 19,000 pounds of
fresh halibut; 9 arrivals from Western Bank, with 660,000 pounds of
salt cod and 6,500 pounds of fresh halibut; 9 arrivals from the coast
of Nova Scotia, with 302,000 pounds of salt cod and 8,500 pounds of
halibut; 34 arrivals from the Banks, with 780,000 pounds of fresh
halibut; 522,000 pounds of shore fish; 22,818 barrels of mackerel from the
Bay of Fundy; 770 barrels of mackerel from Block Island; 478 barrels
of mackerel from the Bay of Saint Lawrence; 260 barrels of mackerel
caught in traps; making a total for July of 246 arrivals, with 9,445,000
pounds of cod, 850,900 pounds of halibut, and 24,326 barrels of mackerel.