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Salmon must at least be caught, in order to clear the rent, wages of labour, and profits of stock; the three parts into which the whole price of the fish finally resolves itself.

These fisheries lie on each side the river, and are all private property, except what belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, which in Rent and Tythe of fish, (for all the other fisheries are liable to tythe,) produced, in 1744, 450l. per annum. The common Rents are fifty pounds annually, for which Tenants have as much shore as serves to launch out, and haul their nets to land; the limits of each are staked, "and the fishers," says Mr. P. "never fail drawing as near as possible to those of their Neighbours." A man goes off in a small flat-bottomed boat, square at one end, and taking as large a circle as his net admits, brings it to land at the extremity of his boundary, where others assist in the landing it; and upon the net's coming into shallow water the Salmon are knocked on the head with a small bludgeon, not only to prevent their bruising themselves, but it also makes them longer susceptible of the operation called crimping: the fishermen well know the Salmon to be one of the fish that will lose all signs of life in less than half an hour after being taken out of the water, if suffered to die without farther injury, but if immediately upon being caught it receives a violent blow on the Head the muscles will shew visible irritability for more than twelve hours afterwards; and this holds true of all other fish, whose irritability and sweetness of the muscles will be preserved much longer by having the Head

crushed than if allowed to die with the organs of sense entire. This may possibly be a seasonable Hint to some Epicurean Gentlemen, who falsely imagine the fish must be cut previous to receiving a Blow, which stuns and deprives it of Sensation.

In the middle of the Tweed, not a mile west of the town of Berwick, is a large Stone, on which a man is placed to observe what is called the Reck of the Salmon, coming up the River; the best fishery is on the South side.

The English Legislature began very soon to pay attention to this important Article, providing for the security of the breed of this fish in the Rivers.

Scotland possesses numbers of fine fisheries on both sides of that Kingdom. The Scotch, in early times, had most severe prohibitions against the killing of the Salmon; in the Regiam Magistatem are preserved several Laws relating to their Fisheries, couched in terms expressive of the simplicity of the Times. From Saturday night until Monday morning, they were obliged to leave a free passage for the fish, which is styled the Saterdayes sloppe.

ALEXANDER I. enacted "that the streame of the water sal be in all parts swa free, that any Swine of the age of three zeares, well feed, may turn himself within the Streame round about, swa that his snowt nor taill sal not touch the Bank of the water." By a law of JAMES IV. the third offence was made capital, (before that the Offender had power to redeem his life.) Slayers of reide fish, or smoltes of Salmon, the third time are punished with Death; and sic like he quha commands the samine to be done."

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Salmon were, in the reign of HENRY VI., thought a present worthy of a crowned head, for in that reign the Queen of Scotland sent to the Duchess of Clarence ten casks of salted Salmon, which HENRY directed to pass duty-free.

The fish are cured in the same manner as at Berwick, and a large quantity is sent to London in the Spring; after that time the adventurers begin to barrel and export them to foreign Countries, although from the general relaxation of the discipline of abstinence in the Romish Church, that Commerce is far less lucrative than formerly.

Ireland (particularly the North,) abounds with Salmon: the most considerable fishery is at Cranna, on the river Ban near Coleraine; (some account of this fishery is mentioned in the list of the Rivers, &c. of this Country.) The nets used are eighteen score, or 360 yards long, and are continually drawing night and day the whole Season (nearly four months,) two sets of sixteen men each, alternately relieving one another; the best drawing is when the Tide is coming in.


The Salmon are cured by being first split, and rubbed with fine salt, and after lying in Pickle in great tubs or reservoirs for six weeks, are packed with layers of coarse brown Spanish salt in casks, six of which make a ton; these are exported to Leghorn and Venice. Salmon dried are also sent to the London as well as Foreign Markets, and are sold (under the Name of Kippered Salmon), at the former from nine to fifteen pence per pound. The Mode of preparing the dried Salmon is as follows: They are

split down the Chine, laid open, and salted for many Days; then tied up by the Head, and hung in an airy place, shaded from the Sun, until quite dry. They are dried with the Head upwards, that the essential Oil, and the Juices of the Fish, more abundant in the Jole, and on which its true Flavour depends, are thus preserved in its interior Substance in a contrary Position it would, from the Head, soon be lost, and much injure its Preservation; if not in warm Weather, even prevent its Cure.

The Salmon may justly be termed among fresh water fish, the superior of the rivers, both from its size and excellence; it is, however, so universally known, that a brief description will serve: It is handsome in its make, the head small, with a sharp pointed nose; the colour of the back and sides are grey, frequently spotted with black, sometimes plain, the covers of the gills are subject to the same variety, the belly silvery, (the female may be distinguished by having a longer snout and the scales being more dull, the flesh is said likewise to be drier, of a paler red, to have less flavour, and, according to WALTON, she is of inferior size;) the teeth are lodged in the jaws and on the tongue, are slender but 'very sharp, the body is longish, and the tail a little forked.

The purging of the salt water is so essential to the Salmon, not only in cleansing them from their impurities after spawning, but from every other, acquired by their feeding all the Summer in fresh water, that if any are prevented by weirs, &c. from

reaching the Sea, their heads augment, their bodies waste, and they pine away by degreeș, and die for want of it: the Porpoises are, however, their great Enemy, and for fear of them they are cautious of entering too far into the salt water, therefore keep about the bays near the entrance of rivers into the Sea, and this may in some measure account for what has been often asserted, "that Salmons always reenter the same River in which they had been bred.”

The largest Salmon Mr. PENNANT ever heard of, weighed seventy-four pounds. In September 1795, one measuring upwards of four feet from nose to tail, and three in circumference, weighing within a few ounces of seventy pounds, was sold at Billingsgate, and was the largest ever brought there: it was bought by a fishmonger in the Minories, and sold by him at one shilling a pound. The Severn Salmon are much inferior as to their bulk, for one taken near Shrewsbury in 1757, weighing only thirty-seven pounds, is recorded in the British Chronologist, as exceeding in length any ever known to be taken in that River, and being the heaviest, except one, ever remembered in that Town. They have in many parts been caught by angling with an artificial fly, and other baits, upwards of forty pounds weight.

The Salmon delights in large rapid rivers, especially such as have pebbly, gravelly, and sometimes weedy bottoms, and when feeding, generally prefers the rough and upper parts of gentle streams, and the tails of large ones; after their feeding time, they retire to the deep and broad water, and swim

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