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Old 21st February 2010, 14:03
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Old 27th August 2010, 11:45
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[B]Bitter-sweet and bitter salmon tales from the Dart

"About seventy or eighty years ago, (c 1750)
Sir Edward Seymour erected a hutch on a narrow
part of the Dart, about midway between Totness
bridge and the weir, for the purpose of taking all
the salmon in the river ; as none, or very few could
go up the river without either being taken, or stopt.
The consequence of this was, that all the fisheries
in the river were ruined, and his own among the
number. This hutch being placed in the full stream,
impeded the course of the water so much, that it
broke out a new channel by the side. Thus the
object of the hutch was defeated ; and falling into
decay, it was never after repaired, but in process of
time, went entirely to pieces. The foundation of
it was visible a few years since. In the course of
two or three years after, the river had found a new
channel, and this hutch, which has ever since, and
to the present day, gone by the name of Seymour's
Hutch, was destroyed, and salmon became as
plentiful as ever, resuming its ordinary price of
two-pence and three-halfpence per pound."

And happening around 1821 ......

"It was painful to see the millions of salmon-roe
which strewed the sand-banks of the Dart in the
tideway below Totness weir about three years ago :
the old fish could not pass the weir, and when the
natural season arrived they were compelled to
shed their spawn where they could. The whole
proved abortive ; for, as those sand-beds were dry
at low water, and the sand shifted with the tides and
the floods, the pea were uncovered and lay so
thick upon the surface, that a man could not put
his foot on the sand without crushing a hundred
to pieces at a time.

At the period I allude to it was quite lamentable
to see the unavailing efforts of the salmon to
get over Totness weir. I was an eye-witness to it ;
repeatedly beaten back, they tried again and
again, until they were quite exhausted, and had
scarcely strength enough to push their noses
above the surface of the water. What loss this
obstruction must produce to the public it is beyond
any known means of calculation to estimate."


Extract From:

A VIEW OF THE PRESENT STATE OF THE SALMON AND CHANNEL-FISHERIES,

by

J Cornish Esq

1824
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